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Archives by Tag 'Coaching Aids'

Two Dynamic Set Plays to Beat the 2-3 Zone Defense

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The 2-3 Zone Defense is one of the most common zone defenses implemented by high school and college basketball teams. Quite simply, it’s effective with the right personnel. Here are two proven plays designed to attack the 2-3 zone. Follow along with the movements and actions before watching the set plays be carried out live on the court. Then look to feature  these plays in your playbook later this season.

Set Play vs. 2-3 Zone Defense

Submitted by Ricky Norris, Oak Ridge HS, Oak Ridge, TN

The Set-up: This play is designed to create a mismatch for your perimeter player who has the ability to score close to the basket. Begin in a 1-3-1 look.

The Action: Make a first pass to 2 on the right wing. 1 then moves to the corner on the left side (weak-side). Now 2 must catch the ball above the free-throw line. The defender X1 will then go out to guard 2. Next, 3 moves into a position below the free-throw line and into the left corner.

Now, 4 must make a ball screen just off the right elbow. 2 goes hard off of this screen and passes to 3 across the court to the far wing. He/she can also pass to 1 if X3 cheats.

The Finish: 3 now has several options: Hit 1 who is isolated in the short corner against X5 OR pass to 4 who is diving to the low block OR pass to 5 in the midpost for a jumpshot or a dump down to 4.


“Pitt” Set Play vs. 2-3 Zone Defense

Submitted by Jim Boeheim, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Syracuse University

This is a tough set play to defend against for a 2-3 zone. Pittsburgh had a lot of success using this against Syracuse when Brandon Knight was their featured guard.

The Set-up: Set up two players behind the zone along the baseline and then place a post player on the weakside elbow.

The Action: A guard will bring up the ball on the left side of the floor, drawing the top defender toward him/her. The other guard cuts from the right side and receives a pass from the ball handler. The weakside forward then cuts wide into the corner.

Next, the player at the elbow breaks to the top and sets a backscreen on the top defender. The guard curls around the screen and drives straight to the basket. The drive to the bucket is always the first option. But as the middle defender steps up to defend the drive, the far-side baseline player cuts to the lane and sets up in the right side low block.

The Finish: The ball handler fakes a pass to the right corner and drops a bounce pass to the low block for a post-up scoring opportunity. The offside guard cuts to the basket on the weakside forcing the weakside defenders to stay at home.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 50 Set Plays to Attack Zone Defenses” by Winning Hoops. To check out more set plays in the Winning Hoops library, click here.

Two Effective Baseline Inbounds Plays to Run Against Man and Zone Defense

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In this week’s “Playbook Series“, we feature a pair of underneath-the-basket inbounds plays that have proven to be effective at both the high school and college levels. Follow along the play breakdown (with diagrams) before seeing them simulated live on the basketball floor.

Flex Inbounds vs. Man Defense

Submitted by Donnie Hand, Chilton County High School, Clanton, AL

The Set-up: This play sets up with four players across the baseline. 2 inbounds the ball on the left side of the basket. 1 starts just inside the three-point line in the far left corner. Meanwhile, 5 and 4 start out on opposite low blocks, while 3 starts in the far right corner.

The Action: 5 v-cuts up the elbow for the pass from 2. If 5’s defender is overplaying, he should flash straight back to the basket. After 5 receives the ball, 4 cuts to the opposite elbow. If his defender overplays, he should also cut backdoor.

After 4 receives the ball, 1 makes a flex cut over to the far block off 2’s pick in the near corner (on the inbound after the initial pass). Next, 5 down screens for 2 in the corner. After this, 4 looks for 1 down low, and then looks to go to 2. 2 then rolls back up to the opposite elbow from 5’s down screen.

The Finish: If 4 passes to 2 at the opposite elbow, 3 makes a flex cut off of 1’s screen to the opposite low block. The play continues until the proper shot presents itself. If 5 has trouble getting open initially, 5 can then pick for 1, and 1 goes to the elbow for the pass from 2. 5 will then flex cut off of 2’s screen.


Underneath Out-of-Bounds Play

Submitted by Pat Sullivan, St. Francis University, Joliet, IL

The Set-up: This play works against man and zone defense. 5 and 3 start out on opposite low blocks with 5 on the ball side. 4 inbounds the ball. 2 and 1 are at opposite elbows with 2 at the ballside elbow.

The Action: 5 steps in and then busts to the near corner. 1 pops out at the top on the ball side behind 2. 4 then passes to 5 and 5 passes to 1. 2 sets a down screen for 4, who is coming inbounds at the time. If the defense is man-to-man, 2 makes a screen on 4’s defender. If it’s a zone defense being played, 2 then screens the middle defender in the zone. Next, 4 curls off 2’s screen and then looks for a pass from 1. 5 screens the screener and 2 pops to the ballside corner.

The Finish: After setting the screen, 5 rolls to the basket. 1 then looks to 2, or throws a jumpshot pass to 5 in the post for layup.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Best of the Best Winning Hoops Series: Over 70 Baseline & Under-the-Basket Inbounds Plays.” Check out more plays from the Winning Hoops team by clicking here.


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