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In need of a few proven last-second sets for your playbook this season? Read on to learn about three highly-effective plays used by elite coaches at the high school and college levels.
Submitted by Brad McGhee, Liberty High School, Mountain View, MO
Setup: Players are lined up in a box formation with 4 and 5 at the elbows and 2 and 3 on the low blocks. 1 has the ball at the top.
Action: Player 1 dribbles off a screen set by either 4 or 5. Player 5 then immediately screens down for 2, who comes off the screen and pops to the top. If 2 is open, 1 passes to 2 for an open three-point shot.
Options: If 2 is not open, 1 keeps the ball. After the screen by player 5, player 3 then screens across for 5, who cuts across the baseline/lane and sets up on the ballside block. Player 1 then looks for 5 on a post-up shot. If 5 isn’t open on the post-up, 3 comes to the top thanks to a double screen set by 2 and 4 just inside the free throw line area. 1 passes to 3 or looks to get the ball into 5 on the low block.
Submitted by Gary Williams, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Setup: This play is run out of the flex set, with 2 and 3 down low on opposite blocks, 4 up high behind the three-point line near the wing, and 5 on the elbow and the same side as 3. 1 has the ball up top.
Action: Player 5 makes a V-cut toward basket and sets an on-ball screen for 1, who dribbles to the right side wing area. Players 5 and 1 run a pick and roll game on the right side, while 2 and 4 set staggered screens for 3 on the ballside low block and the weakside elbow. Player 3 will then cut hard along the baseline and up towards the weakside elbow.
Finish: If no shot is available on the pick and roll between 1 and 5, 1 quickly passes to 3 on weakside elbow for a quick jumper.
Submitted by Gary Barnes, Calhoun HS, Calhoun, GA
Setup: This is a simple set that Coach Barnes has had a ton of success with. Player 1 brings up the ball on the left side of the floor. Player 4 starts in the corner and on the same side as 1. 2 is in the opposite corner. Players 3 and 5 line up in the middle of the court, with 5 at the top of the key, and 3 just inside the three-point line (and both in a stack). Player 3 should be your best shooter.
Action: Player 1 dribbles off a double screen up at the top of the key set by 3 and 5. As 1 comes off the shoulder of player 5, 5 rolls to the hoop on the ball side. As player 5 establishes his position in the post, player 3 then makes an inside pivot and pops to the top of the key. 1 can look to hit player 3 for a three-point shot.
Options: At this point, 1 has four options coming off the ball screen. A) Drive and kick to player 2; B) Drive to basket for a score; C) Play a pick and roll game with player 5; or D) Pass to player 3 for a three-point shot.
Tips: Timing is the key. As 5 rolls, 3 must wait a half second before popping to the top. Most times, 3 will be open for that shot because player 3’s defender often gets caught playing help defense on the pick and roll between 1 and 5.
Coaches: Do you have a favorite quick hitter that has worked for your team?
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “”Over 50 Game-Winning Quick Hitters” produced by Winning Hoops. To pick up more plays for your playbook, head over to our basketball library by clicking here.
Follow along as Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reveals three of his program’s top under-the-basket inbounds plays. The plays are designed to give teams many different options in tight situations. They can also be adjusted to go up against both man and zone defenses. Look to add these proven special situation plays to your playbook today!
The Set-up: Get your best shooter to take the ball out under the basket. Get your best screener to start on the ballside low block. Get your next best screener to set up on the opposite lowside block. Meanwhile, the remaining two players are stacked at the free throw line with the point guard in the back. It’s a triangle-like look. You can run this effectively against a man or zone defense.
The Action: Look to enter the ball to your big popping out to the side. Next, the first free throw line guy comes down and sets up a double screen with the opposite low block guy. The point guard pops out up top. The big can now pass to the point guard up top. Next, the big now comes down and sets a screen on the low block.
The Finish: The best shooter can now go either way. If the defense goes over the top on the big, he can step through to the ball and look for the ball down low. If the shooter goes around the double screen, the top screener can do the same thing and flash down low. If he goes off the double screen, you can also have the two screeners screen across for the big, who comes across underneath where you can hit him down low for a layup.
This is a terrific play when you want a three-pointer, especially with time winding down at the end of a quarter or half. Everything is basically the same as before except now we put our two bigs on the same side. In other words, put one big as the bottom player in the free throw line stack. This play is also ideal against man and zone defenses.
Next, the (down low) big pops out and gets the ball. Now the big in the stack pops out to the same side wing as the big with the ball. He passes to the point guard up top. Next, the two bigs screen the nearest players on that same side as the inbounder comes around and sets up beyond the three-point arc for a shot on the wing.
The Set-up: Set up two big men facing the sideline inbounder at just about the free throw line. Get another player behind them on the opposite wing. Also, get another player set up on the nearside low block.
The Action: Start by having the low block guy flash and receive the ball. The passer now sprints either over or under (he can go either way) the flasher with the ball. The two big guys at the free throw line make a double screen away for the wing player. Next there’s a pass to the wing player who curls around the screens and gets to the top of the key for a quick shot.
Note: You can screen a number of ways for that double screen (staggered, etc.). The first guy can also slip to the basket while the other one spaces out to the wing to give the ball handler two more options. This spacing really gives you some outside and inside options.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Tom Izzo’s Basketball Smorgasbord.” To check out more videos featuring out of bounds plays and other special situations, visit our basketball library.
In this week’s Playbook Series, we highlight three highly-effective defensive drills that will give teams a ton of reps in a short period of time. Covering themes such as help-side defense, charging, and low post defense, these proven drills will pay major dividends for your squad this season.
By Len Garner, North Gwinnett HS, Suwanee, GA
Easy to run and very efficient, the “3 Plus 1 Drill” improves your players’ knowledge of team defense and rotations and teaches them how to give and receive defensive help.
Set up three defensive players around the perimeter just inside the three-point arc. Place a fourth defender in the middle of the lane. Also, three offensive players are positioned outside the three-point arc and around the perimeter. These players are looking to move the ball side to side and penetrate with the goal of scoring.
Meanwhile, the defensive players must work on containment, help-side defense, and middle post player rotation. The player in the middle (X4) must communicate with his teammates and alert them of picks, slide-throughs, and more. Run a pre-determined number of offensive possessions or run the drill for a set time limit and then switch up the groups.
By Phil Martelli, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA
Divide players into four pairs (with four offensive players and four defensive players). Next, a coach will call out a defensive command. The defensive commands are:
Shooter – The offensive player shows the ball as he/she would to shoot. The defender works on close out techniques and sliding to the shooter. The player with ball does not shoot.
Passer – A player must guard the offensive player while he/she waves the ball around looking to make a pass.
Charge – The offensive player dribbles at the defender and the defender takes the charge. To avoid injury, teach proper charge techniques before doing this drill.
Five-Second Count – The offensive player dribbles for a few steps and then picks up the ball. The defender closes hard and swarms him for five seconds, simulating a forced turnover. The defender must guard at game-like intensity and at full speed.
By Jason Graves, Ritenour HS, Saint Louis, MO
Take the same drill set-up as before but now place an offensive player in the low post. Tell your defenders to guard the player with the ball and then drop down and guard against a low post entry pass. Work the defensive technique into whatever your team is specifically working on. The offensive players should look to score.
By taking advantage of baseline inbound plays and missed free throws, basketball teams at every level can creatively attack the basket and pick up extra points. Follow along as Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reveals some of his key strategies for free throw situations and under-the-basket inbounds plays, including three different looks using the same play.
Start by getting two offensive players lined up inside their typical lane blocks during a free throw situation. With this strategy, look to get one player cutting in hard to the middle of the paint area, while the opposite player is spinning behind his inside defensive counterpart.
Make sure that the players give a signal about what they plan to do. The key here is to do something aggressive in order to get to the ball. It doesn’t matter if both players come to the middle or to the outside, they just can’t stand there. The overall goal is to get one basket out of this strategy per game.
Backcourt Players: As for the guys behind the free throw line, align one player to the side wing area just beyond the three-point line. As the shot is taken, there will be a signal by the two inside guys. The backcourt players must recognize this.
If the backcourt player’s teammate on the same side is going in hard to the middle, then he/she will cut toward the basket fast on an angle to fill that vacated area. It’s key that all five players do something aggressive to get to the rim. Also, don’t forget that your players can’t move until the ball hits the rim.
Chips: Set 1 – Coach Izzo likes to run this baseline out of bounds play out of different sets.
The Set-up: Start by setting up two big guys on the low blocks and then two smaller players stacked just above the free throw line. Get your best shooter as the first guy in the stacked group. The two block guys start by popping out to their respective corners. Next, the first shooter cuts down and the guard behind him cuts back beyond the top of the key.
Player Movements: Now, let’s say the ball is passed to the ballside corner guy. From there, he quickly reverses it to the top of the key guard. When this happens, have the first shooter screen for the inbounder. Next, get the former ballside block player to screen down for the first shooter. This shooter can now pop out to the corner/side for a catch and shot.
Notes: This play involves a bit of inside and outside action. Pay particular attention to the options for the inbounder as he’s cutting through the lane. He can go low or high and the point guard up top should be looking for him as he cuts through the lane.
Also, when the pass goes from the point guard down to the corner shooter, the shooter has the option to dump it down to his former screener for a layup chance. It all depends on how the defense plays it. Of course, the shooter can also just rip that jumper if open.
Chips: Line Set
For this set, get in a stacked line on the lane line ballside. Here, the two bigs cut to opposite corners and the point guard pops back — just like before. It’s essentially the same play just from a different set. So why is this so effective? It’s not as confusing for players and you can get more plays in since the end result is very similar.
Chips: Box Set
This box set is great for those times when teams are overplaying. Once again, everything is the same except for the starting set.
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 inbounds plays, head over to our basketball DVD library.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.