Spice up your playbook this season with a pair of basketball plays that effectively attack zone defenses. After getting a breakdown of each play, watch as an actual team runs through them at full speed. This week’s collection offers a number of options for offenses and favor open shots from the perimeter.
Wolf Against Zone Defense
Submitted by Kevin Sivils, Houston Christian High School, Houston, Texas
Setup: Player 1 should be your point guard. Player 2 is your best three-point shooter. Player 5 is your best low post player. Player 4 is your best screener. Player 3 should be your other guard or small forward.
Player 1 takes the ball out on the sideline. Player 5 starts in the near corner while player 2 is on the nearside low block. Player 4 is a few feet from the sideline and close to the inbounder. Player 3 is in between the three-point line and half court.
Action: When the official hands player 1 the ball, player 5 screens down for 2 while player 4 screens down for 3. Player 2 comes off the screen and to the corner looking for a three-point shot. Player 3 goes into the backcourt as a safety option.
Options: If player 2 doesn’t have the shot, he should feed the post. Look for a lob if the situation presents it. Meanwhile, player 4 then backscreens 1’s defender and 1 cuts to the foul line. Player 2 can now hit 1 for a layup or 1 can hit 5.
If the ball is inbounded to player 3, player 4 backscreens for 1, who cuts to ballside off the screen. Player 3 hits 1 driving to the foul line. On 3’s pass to 1 , 5 backscreens to 2. Player 1 can now drive for layup or hit 2 cutting to the basket.
Finally, if player 2 gets the inbound pass but can’t hit the shot or feed to 5, player 1 steps inbounds and sets up for a return pass and shot against the zone.
Half-Court Set for a Three-Point Shot
Submitted by Keith Cooper, St. Martin’s College, Lacey, WA
Setup: Player 1 starts up top with the ball. Players 2 and 5 are stacked on the right low block. Players 3 and 4 are stacked on the left low block.
Action: Player 1 starts by dribbling to the right wing area. Players 2 and 5 immediately set a double screen for 3, who cuts to the corner. After the screen, 2 loops to the top of the key. 4 and 5 remain in the post.
The play continues as player 1 then passes to 2. After this, 4 breaks up and sets a diagonal backpick for 1, who cuts to the left low block. 5 remains on his block while 3 stays behind the three-point line.
Finish: Next, player 4 steps out after setting the backpick and receives the pass from 2. Players 3 and 5 set a double screen on the baseline for 1. 4 passes to 1 in the corner coming off the double screen on the baseline. Player 1 catches and shoots a quick three-pointer.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 50 Set Plays to Attack Zone Defenses.” Know of any effective plays to beat the zone? Tell us below or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature it in an upcoming article!
In this behind-the-scenes look, we visit Cincinnati, Ohio for a glimpse inside a recent Xavier University men’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Chris Mack leads his squad though a competitive team full-court transition drill called “War Rebounding.”
War Rebounding – Overview
For this drill, we’ll go 4 on 4. All four guys on offense must start beyond the three-point line. Meanwhile, all four defenders must be inside the lane with both feet.
To initiate the drill, the coach shoots the ball. If you’re an offensive rebounder, you can crash the boards. If you get the rebound, play it out at that basket. If the offensive team can convert quickly and easily, do it. Otherwise, set things up, get spacing, and look for a good shot.
However, if the shot goes up and the defense gets the rebound, they are allowed to push the ball down court. From here, play it out until there is a score, turnover, change of possession. If the (new) offense gets the offensive rebound and scores, stay right there.
Scoring: Keep track of scoring throughout for both teams. If you get an offensive rebound, it’s + 2. A three-pointer is + 3, a two-pointer is +2, and if you get fouled, it’s +1.
Overall Drill Goals: The entire goal for the defense is to not allow the offensive guy anywhere near the paint. If you’re an offensive rebounder, do what you have to do to get the offensive rebound.
Now watch as Xavier goes 4 on 4 at full speed. Notice that the team changes up the lineups after each down and back. Try to make your transitions as seamless as possible.
Coaching Tips: You must stay balanced to get the respect of the officials. Also, if you get the ball down low, especially after an offensive rebound, don’t put the ball back on the floor.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Xavier Basketball Practice with Chris Mack.” To check out the latest videos in our All-Access lineup, click here.
The pick ‘n roll can be a very effective offensive technique with the right personnel and match-ups. It can also be a go-to option during critical moments and must-score situations. Look to add these proven pick ‘n roll plays to your offensive arsenal this season. Both have been used with great success at the college level.
Pick ‘n Roll Quick Hitter
Submitted by Rick Berger, Former head coach at Westfield State College, Westfield, MA
Player 1 starts with the ball up top. Players 2 and 3 are on opposite wings while players 5 and 4 are on opposite low blocks.
Option A: Player 5 starts by breaking to the top of the key and sets a pick for 1. Player 1 then passes to 2 and uses 5’s pick to break towards the hoop. Player 2 looks to hit 1 cutting through the lane. If the pass isn’t there, player 1 flashes back to the weakside wing area and 3 replaces 1’s spot up at the top of the key.
Option B: Player 1 passes to 2 on the wing. Player 4 breaks up and sets a screen for 2. 2 dribbles around the screen and drives to the hoop. 2 and 4 should look for a nice give and go on the pick ‘n roll.
Submitted by Bill Agronin, Niagara University, Niagara, NY
The Set-Up: Start in a 1-4 high set, with 1 up top, 2 and 3 on opposite wings, and 4 and 5 on opposite elbows.
The Action: Player 1 dribbles right and then throws a pass left to 5, who is popping out to the top of the key. Meanwhile, player 2 breaks hard to the low block on the weak side. Player 5 passes back to 1 along the right wing area. On the pass, player 2 breaks up high across the lane and sets a screen for 5. Player 5 then uses player 2’s screen and rolls hard to the basket. 4 slides down and screens for 2 who uses the screen and rolls to the top of the key.
The Finish: Player 1 looks to hit 5 rolling to the hoop or hits 2 for a three-point shot. If neither shot is available, player 1 passes to 2, where 2 and 4 will run a pick and roll move.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 50 Game-Winning Quick Hitters” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out more videos featuring effective team plays and sets, click here.
Spice up your practices this season by implementing this pair of proven rebounding drills. Between second chance opportunities, transitional basketball concepts, and strategies for controlling the boards defensively, these drills cover a ton of ground and are bound to become staples of your practice plan. Start by reading the drill synopsis provided before seeing each segment played out at full speed.
Submitted by Paul Foringer, Quince Orchard HS, Gaithersburg, MD
The Set-up: This is a terrific drill that works on transition rebounding. Set up three lines of players on both ends of the court. The player in the middle starts the drill with the ball.
The Action: Start by weaving, passing, and cutting behind the other players. The player in middle line shoots a mid-range jumper after three passes down the court. The other two players block each other out at the basket and aggressively go after the rebound. Even if the shot is good, the players fight for the ball and play 1-on-1 under the basket. The player who gets the rebound goes to the middle line. The shooter goes to the line to the right. The losing player goes to the left line.
3-on-3 Rush Drill
Submitted by Steve Alfonso, Archbishop Rummel HS, Metairie, LA
Overview: This drill simulates both strong and weakside rebounding plus fundamentals of solid rebounding. Also, it puts emphasis on team play.
The Set-up: The three defenders (set up inside the three-point circle) must get three straight rebounds to get out of this drill. If the offense gets the rebound, the teams must play it out live and the defense goes back to zero.
The Action: The drill begins with coaches skipping the ball back and forth to each other. At this time, all defenders must jump to the pass. Eventually, a coach shoots the ball and all defenders must locate their assigned man and block him or her out.
The Finish: If the defense gets the rebound, they must kick it out to a coach and then get back in a defensive stance. The defense stays in until they get three rebounds in a row. The rotation goes like this: Offense to defense and defense to the end of the line.
In this week’s Playbook Series, pick up a pair of game-winning quick hitters proven to be effective at the high school level. These special situation plays are perfect to use at the end of a quarter or for the final play of a game. Be sure to read each play summary before seeing them simulated live on the basketball floor.
Sideline Out of Bounds Game Winner
Submitted by Marlee Webb, Head Girls Coach, Chapin HS, El Paso, TX
Set-up: This play gives you several options in the closing seconds of a period. Start in a box formation, with 1 at the nearside low block, 4 on the far low block, 2 on the near elbow, and 5 and on far elbow. Player 3 has the ball on the sideline.
Action: Players 2 and 5 set down screens for 1 and 4. 1 curls around and receives the pass from 3 just above the three-point line. Player 4 then curls to the top of the key. 4 then sets a screen up top for 1, and 1 dribbles to the right side of the floor. Players 2 and 5 then set screens for 3, who is cutting to the far (ballside) corner.
Finish: Next, player 2 rolls out towards the wing. 1 now has several options: Take it to the hoop, hit 4 rolling to basket, hit 3 in the corner for a three-pointer, or pass across the court for an open jumper.
Hendersonville From 1-4 Set
Submitted by Rob Strong, Head Boys Coach, Hendersonville HS, Hendersonville, NC
Set-up: This play is great for a three-pointer at the end of the game. Start in a 1-4 set. 1 has the ball up top. 2 is on the left wing. 4 is on the left elbow. 5 is on the right elbow. 3 is on the right wing.
Action: Player 1 passes to 3 on the wing and cuts off a ballside screen made by 5 at the top of the key area. 5 steps out after the screen. 2 then sets a screen under the hoop for 1. 4 also sets a pick for 1 to use after 2’s initial screen.
Finish: From here, the ball is reversed from 3 to 5 to 1. If 1 is open, take the open shot. If not, 5 downscreens for player 2, who pops up to the top for an open shot.