“Havoc” Defenses

Anyone who played any sport with two “goals” (basketball, soccer, hockey, football, rugby, blindfold water polo) remembers those games where you just felt overwhelmed on offense. You may have been the better team, but the other squad just dominated defensively. They challenged you in every aspect and never let you find your groove.

Shaka Smart’s defensive style at VCU is often referred to as Havoc. This video does a good job of showing what it looks like.

Havoc, by definition, is widespread destruction. It’s not one particular thing that a “havoc” defense does to an opponent. It’s a defense that’s in your face, on top of the ball, pressing, going over screens, contesting every pass, flocking to the shooter, etc. It causes an uneasiness that spreads to other aspects of the game.

There are a few statistical categories (tempo-free of course) where VCU has been highly rated (block %, steal % and TO %). The chart below shows the teams that have some of the best overall numbers in these categories this season. Any team with a shaky offense should be frightened to play one of these squads.

Missouri plays at Ole Miss on Jan 12 and I’ll be watching.

Team Block% Steal% TO%
VCU 6.5% 18.8% 30.0%
Syracuse 13.1% 14.8% 24.9%
Louisville 6.5% 16.4% 29.7%
Minnesota 11.8% 14.6% 23.7%
Ohio 7.0% 13.9% 27.4%
Memphis 9.4% 13.9% 24.2%
LSU 8.5% 14.8% 24.1%
Cincinnati 11.9% 12.8% 22.2%
Mississippi 10.1% 12.8% 23.7%
Clemson 10.1% 13.0% 23.3%
Georgetown 8.8% 13.2% 23.9%
Savannah St 7.9% 13.0% 23.8%
Oregon 7.8% 13.3% 23.6%
Wichita St 9.3% 12.6% 22.8%
DePaul 8.5% 12.7% 23.3%
Wagner 10.8% 11.7% 22.0%
Hampton 9.8% 11.2% 23.4%
Wyoming 7.4% 11.7% 25.2%
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