3 Effective Offensive Plays Against Man Defense

In search of some effective new plays to add to the playbook this season? With defensive techniques becoming more complex, it’s key that coaches are equipped with a variety of creative set plays they can call upon for any offensive situation. Check out the following offensive plays designed to attack man-to-man defenses. The plays have been submitted by several of the top basketball coaches in the nation, including Tubby Smith and Fran Fraschilla.

4 High Quick Hitter

Submitted by Tubby Smith, University of Minnesota Head Coach

The Set-Up: Player 4 should be your best post-up player. Player 1 brings the ball up the floor and the rest of the team should set up in a 1-4 high set. Players 4 and 5 set up at opposite elbows, while 2 and 3 are at opposite wing areas and behind the three-point line.

The Play: Player 1 passes to 2 and 2 cuts to the ball. Players 4 and 5 criss cross in the lane and both break down to the opposite low blocks. Player 2 immediately looks to get the ball to 4 posting on the low block. Player 1 then cuts to the weakside behind the three-point line. Next, player 5 breaks up to the top of the key. Player 2 then initiates a quick ball reversal by passing to 5 at the top of the key. 5 then immediately passes the ball to 1 on the wing. Player 3 breaks toward the basket and sets a screen for 4 on the opposite low block. Player 4 then rolls off the pick and heads to the lowside block. 1 then looks to pass to 4 posting up on the block.


Side Two or Side Three

Submitted by Fran Fraschilla, former St. John’s Head Coach

The Set-Up: Player 1 starts out at the top of the key with the ball. Players 2 and 3 are down low on opposite blocks. Player 5 is on the left side wing area beyond the three-point line. Player 4 starts on the opposite wing area.

The Play: Player 5 sets a down screen for player 3 around the low block. Player 3 then curls off the screen and into the middle of the lane, then pops up to the opposite elbow. Player 4 moves towards player 1 as 1 dribbles to the left. Player 5 then sets a screen at the left low block and player 2 cuts baseline off 5’s screen and to the opposite corner.

Player 2 looks for a shot in the corner or 5 in the post. If it isn’t there, the offense resets as 2 passes back to 1, and 1 passes to 4 at the top. The same inside options are available like before, as 5 can set the screen on the low block for 2 as 2 cuts to the opposite low block. Player 5 then cuts off the screen and into the middle of the paint.


Quick Hitter out of a Stack

Submitted by Nate Webber, Nottingham HS, Hamilton, NJ

The Set-Up: Initially, look for a quick hit option for the guards off the double screen. Two guards start out on opposite low blocks. Two forwards are stacked with them just above them on the blocks. The point guard starts up top with the ball.

The Play: If there is no shot available off the double screen, the left-side guard and forward both screen across the lane for the opposite forward, who cuts around the picks and to the opposite corner. It’s his shot to take if open.

If the shot isn’t open, the forward and guard who last made the double screen now have options. The forward down low sets a screen for the guard right below him, then cuts to the middle of the paint. That guard cuts outside of the pick and to the elbow. At the elbow, the top of the key guard makes an elbow pick, while the other guard then curls around that and to the top of the key area. He should be ready for the catch and shot.


The above plays can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 60 Plays to Attack Man-to-Man Defenses” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out the entire Winning Hoops collection, click here.

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