Playbook Series: Two New Plays to Exploit Man Defenses

After picking up dribble penetration tips and techniques in this week’s team development feature, look to implement the following offensive sets to tie it all together. Follow along as each play is diagrammed and broken down into segments before being simulated live on the hardwood via five-on-five action. 


Submitted by Greg Zeller, Concord High School, Concord, MI

The Set-Up: Start with player 1 on the right side of the floor and with the ball. Player 5 is on ballside low block, 4 is on weakside low block, 2 is on ballside elbow, and 3 is on weakside elbow.

The Action: 1 initiates the play by dribbling to the right. 2 then flashes to the wing and 1 passes to 2. Meanwhile, 4 flashes to the ballside elbow. 5 replaces 4 and 3 breaks out beyond the three-point arc.

The Finish: From here, 2 passes to 4 and then follows the pass and cuts to the opposite block to screen for 5. 3 follows player 2’s cut and breaks out to the corner. Player 4’s options now are: 5 coming off 2’s screen, 3 in the corner, or 1 for the three-point shot.

Notes: This play is ideal versus a man-to-man defense that chases instead of switching. Also, 5 should be open on this often and can receive a low bounce pass from 4 for an effective finish.


Duo – A Set Play vs. Man Defense

Submitted by Rhonda Farney, Georgetown High School, Georgetown, TX

The Set-up: Players 4 and 5 start off on opposite low blocks. Player 1 has the ball on the same side as 4. Meanwhile, player 3 is on the ballside wing and 2 is on the opposite wing/corner area.

The Action: Player 1 has the ball up top. Player 5 cuts up gets a pass from 1. Next, player 3 cuts to the basket along the baseline and winds up in the ballside corner behind the three-point line. 2 pops out towards the top.

The Finish: From here, player 1 cuts to the weakside corner and 4 flashes up hard to set a screen for 5. Player 5 immediately rolls around 4’s screen and drives to the basket. Basically, 4 and 5 run pick and roll options in the paint. If the defense collapses, look to throw it to either corner for 1 or 3.


Got any go-to plays that are particularly effective against man-to-man defenses? Share with fellow coaches below or e-mail us at We’ll look to feature your play in an upcoming issue of BasketballCoach. The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 60 Plays to Attack Man-to-Man Defenses” by Winning Hoops. 

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