Players, coaches polled to find out who’s really good at defense


MINNEAPOLIS— Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell joked that “50% of basketball is the end (defensive) but the 98% that everyone talks about is the offense.” It couldn’t be truer. Basketball is a do-it-or-miss game, and that can sometimes mask whether or not a player is good at defense. Looking at block leaders or steal leaders isn’t always the right way to measure a player’s defensive prowess.

“Everyone wants the guy who gets robbed but sometimes that guy gets burned a lot because he plays and gets out of position,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins told 247Sports. “When you have a guy who is always in the right place? For me, I had the opportunity to train Shane Battier in college (at Duke). There was no better team defender than him in my opinion. He could take charge, he could change, he was always in the right place. He could trade, he could block shots. There were so many things he could do there.

“These days, guys who can hold multiple positions are the highest priority. So many people are doing pick-and-roll actions, so if you can change them and not get burned by them, that really limits a lot of what another team can do.

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247Sports interviewed dozens of coaches and players at Big Ten Media Days to find out who they believe they are Actually good defense. Here are the results :

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