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Bulls interested in Mark Adams; top Texas Tech assistant

he is the defensive architect there

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NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

5/16 UPDATE: This isn’t happening. Another free agency failure for the building.


Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen isn’t done adding to the gritty grindy army.

Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported yesterday that Texas Tech assistant coach Mark Adams is a candidate to join Boylen’s staff and that he’s meeting with the Bulls today. Chicago Tribune writer K.C. Johnson confirmed the rumor.

Where Adams can help this team is the defensive side of the ball.

Despite Boylen’s reputation as a defensive minded coach, the Bulls finished 27th in the NBA with a 113.7 defensive rating last season in the 58 games with him at the helm.

Meanwhile, Adams orchestrated one of the best defenses in recent memory last season at Texas Tech. The Red Raider’s 84.1 adjusted defensive efficiency was not only the best in the nation last season, but the best mark in that category since started tracking the statistic in 2002.

The Associated Press’s John Marshall gives some insight into why Adams defense works so well.

The main goal of the defense is to keep teams out of the lane, so the Red Raiders pack it in, forcing teams to the perimeter and to the baselines.

Texas Tech also attacks the offense rather than sitting back and react, “icing” ball handlers on ball screens by angling them away from the middle. Forcing a ball hander to the sides of the court limits his options and effectively turns the sideline into a sixth defender.

In Adams’s own words:

“I’ve always preached keeping the ball out of the middle, but it’s evolved,” Adams said. “We’re now much more aggressive. My belief is that offense has so many advantages over the defense, and we don’t want to be a victim. So we try to be as aggressive as we can, and try to make them uncomfortable and attack and push them to the sideline and baseline.”

He’s also “tough”: was a former boxer, owned a minor league hockey team, and is on the record saying that he loves sports “because they are so physical.”

Adams took the small college coaching route before landing the assistant gig with Texas Tech and there aren’t any obvious connections to the Bulls staff. Yfbb unsurprisingly found some sneaky connections though.

Side note: what if the Bulls want him because they know they are taking Jarrett Culver in the draft?

Hiring Mark Adams gives the Bulls an opportunity to add another quality assistant coach with the last name Adams onto their staff after they ran the other one out of town.