By consistently winning the battle of deadball situations, Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo believes teams can add three to four victories to their win total each season. This area is often overlooked by many coaches but can really pay major dividends for a program. Take advantage of inbound plays, jump balls, and missed free throws this season and find creative ways to attack your opponent.
In this week’s team concepts feature, Coach Izzo reveals many of his proven strategies along with two effective sideline out-of-bounds plays. Izzo truly believes that many of these tips and strategies have played a key role in his program improving from an NIT team and into a NCAA tournament mainstay.
Coach Izzo uses these sideline out-of-bounds plays after timeouts and late in games. So why exactly are they such a big deal? Well, when players know they are coming out with a play, it makes them think and focus a little more. After time outs, some guys think it’s time for their shot. For Coach Izzo, it eventually got to be a confidence thing. That’s when the team started winning the close games.
It’s about the attention to detail after a time out or dead ball situation. If you do it and believe it and sell it, it will be helpful. You can come up with three or four more wins during a season and see that these things really make a difference.
The objectives here are simple: score points, punch it inside, go after a player in foul trouble, or post up. Always carry a purpose.
Play Set-up: With “One“, you’ll need your best swingman taking it out of bounds. Three players are stacked at the top of the key facing toward the opposite hoop. The remaining player starts down low at the near low block. Also, your point guard should be a good shooter in this situation.
Play Movements: Now anytime we can get the ball into low post, we will look to do so. First, the low block player should act lazy to the defense and then break hard to the ball. Next, the PG in the stack nearest to the ball loops around the stack and to the opposite wing. Once the ball is passed in to the former low block plater, the inbounder cuts to the hoop close to the player with the ball and looks for a handoff & drive to the hoop.
The remaining two guys in the stack then set a double screen for the far wing player. The wing player comes off the screen and the player low with the ball looks to hit him for a jump shot.
Meanwhile, the closest pick guy slips backdoor to the basket, and the furthest pick guy then spots up on the wing for a three-pointer opportunity.
Tip: This play is great for a late three-pointer at the end of the game or quarter. The options are there for inside and outside chances. Remember, timing is important here.
Play Set-up: Similar to before, start three players in a stack at the top of the key with your point guard in the middle. Also like before, have another player start out at the low near block. Make sure this player is one of your top shooters.
Play Movements: First, your goal should be to get the ball to the point guard. We’re also looking to post a player and then get a quality jump shot.
In the stack, the guard pops out and receives the pass. He immediately dribbles to the opposite wing area. The passer then cuts toward the hoop and then posts up on the far side block. The two remaining stack players set a double screen for the low block guy. He comes off the screen and sprints up top for a jumper. There should also be a “slip and space tactic” with the two screeners, similar to the first play where one slips backdoor and the other creates space and gets in position for a shot.
The previous clips can be seen in Championship Productions’ DVD “Tom Izzo: Winning Dead Ball Situations.” To check out additional videos featuring special situations and inbound plays, head over to our basketball library.
In this week’s edition of All-Access, we take you to East Lansing, Michigan for an exclusive look inside a Michigan State men’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Tom Izzo — who led the Spartans to a 2000 National Championship and six final fours — walks through a variety of team drills for you and details specific roles, player instruction, overall strategies and general team tips.
First, Izzo leads his team through a standard warm-up that Michigan State uses nearly every day and incorporates many different facets of the game. Next, the coaching legend provides explicit instruction to his players as they work their way through their “Daily Dozen” practice drills. With this behind-the-scenes look, see what kind of ideas, drills and coaching tactics you can pick up on and implement with your team. Most drills can be used across all levels of basketball and are easily adaptable.
In this particular warm-up session, Coach Izzo has guards working at one end and forwards/centers at the other. First, the guards start with pound dribbles. After practicing in-place, players will go from the baseline to half court as one repetition and even work their way up to using two balls at the same time. Additional warm-up work for the guards includes baseball passes, plus drills focusing on hop-steps, pivoting and passing.
Meanwhile for the big men, players will explode to the rim for quick monster rebounds before passing to an outlet. Then, the drill graduates to tip-rebounding, which is essentially trying to tap rebounds into the basket while in the air and never returning to the floor. Finally, a dummy will be put in the paint so that players have to work their way around contact while looking to finish the play.
In the “Daily Dozen”, players start out with right and left-handed layups. Note that even at the college level, the fundamentals of basketball are still used on a daily basis. Reverse layups are incorporated next before it’s time for hanging layups, where players try to avoid the charge and finish the short-range basket in the lane. And finally, the team breaks out into a 3-man break drill. The drill starts with a rebound on one end of the floor and finishes on the opposite end with all participants making a layup or jumper. Consider using this drill to add some variety to your own daily warm-ups.