Winning Dead Ball Situations: Three Jump Ball Plays

Take advantage of jump balls this season to attack and keep your opponent off balance. Follow along as Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reveals three jump ball plays used frequently by the Spartans. By consistently winning the battle of deadball situations, Coach Izzo believes programs can add three or four victories to their win total each season.

Jump Ball Play 1

This first jump ball play is one that Coach Izzo looks to use every game.  It’s a play to implement if you’re almost certain to win the tip.

Put your second biggest player facing the jumper. Meanwhile, your best athlete should be parallel to the jumper and the point guard is on the opposite side from your best athlete. Your remaining player will get back deep just in case of a lost jump and transition the other way.

This play is as basic as it gets, but the mentality is to score in every dead ball situation. Every time the clock is stopped, you want to attack right out of it. In this scenario, as the ball is tossed, your best athlete will branch out towards the near sideline, the point guard will branch out toward his near sideline, and the back defender will hold down the fort in the back.

When the second biggest player gets possession of the tip, he will turn and pass it hard with two hands to one of the streaking athletic players. From here, they can look to do a lob play on the fast break for a layup. The minute the ball is tossed, you are gone. As for the lob itself, throw the ball to the block, not to the rim. This really helps with timing.

Play 2

This is a play to use when you believe you’re not going to win the tip. This time put your best shooter parallel to the jumper when starting. The point guard will start way back and hold down the fort.

Now, tip BACKWARDS. In this scenario, you’ll be aiming for a three-pointer or post up right off the tip. The two sideline players will branch out like before. The point guard will get possession off the tip and take it to the left side of the court while the two bigs sprint down to the right side and set a double screen for the best shooter. The shooter will come off of it, one screener will slip, and the other will move to space. From here, the shooter comes around to catch the pass and release a shot.

Play 2 Plus

Once in a while your opponent will start reading what you do. If that happens, start by tipping it backwards. Everything is the same as Play 2 from the onset. However, when the shooter comes off the double screen and it’s not there, he should continue to curl around. Meanwhile, the other shooter moves down to the low block now and the bigs screen down for him. From here, he comes off the double screen and has a variety of options to choose from.

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Tom Izzo: Winning Dead Ball Situations.” To check out more videos featuring special situations and inbound plays, simply visit our basketball library.

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