Searching for that perfect last-second play? Look no further than these proven game-winners. The following plays are ideal for end of quarter situations and have been used with great success by high school basketball programs around the country.
Game Winner from Sideline Out of Bounds
Submitted by Brad Hatfill, Head Boys’ Coach, Lewistown High School, Lewistown, Illinois
Overview: Coach Hatfill’s squad recently won two games using this exact play. The best player (in this case, player 3) takes the ball out of bounds. This often confuses the defense. The other players start in a box formation, with 5 and 4 at the top of the key and lane-line extended, and 1 and 2 between the top of the key and halfcourt.
The Action: Players 2 and 4 screen for players 1 and 5. 5 then sprints to the opposite wing area while 1 heads toward the ball. Player 2 then cuts to the farside (or weakside) of the court while 4 dives to the basket.
The Finish: Next, player 3 passes to 5, who then passes back to 3 as he flashes onto the court. Player 5 then sprints to the nearside block for a possible give-and-go. Meanwhile, player 4 is the weakside rebounder and player 1 trails the play. Also look for player 2 as he/she is often overlooked by the defense.
Submitted by Brent Palmer, Head Girls’ Coach, Abilene High School, Abilene, Texas
Overview: If you only need two points at the end of the game, don’t try to get too fancy. This play will free up a player on the block for an easy score. Just be sure to get the timing down, as it’s vital to the play’s success.
The Set-up: Player 1 has the ball up at the top of the key. Player 2 is on the left side perimeter wing area and 3 starts out on the right side wing area. Players 4 and 5 begin on opposite low blocks.
The Action: Player 1 dribbles to the right side, player 5 moves to the high post and player 4 sets a back screen for player 2. Player 2 uses that back screen and slides to the ballside corner.
The Finish: Player 3 then screens for 4. Player 4 uses the screen and cuts to the ballside low block. Next, 1 passes to 2 in the corner, who immediately passes to an open 4 on the block for an easy layup attempt.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 50 Game-Winning Last-Second Plays.” Got a clutch play that has worked wonders for your squad? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature it in an upcoming story.
A first-rate transition drill can be one of the most beneficial tools that a coach can have at his or her disposal. By being proficient in the transition game, a basketball team can maintain a major advantage over its opponent during the course of a game. With the following drills, read through each description first before watching them get played out live on the court.
Carolina Fast Break Drill
Submitted by Greg Miller, Armstrong HS, Minneapolis, Minnesota
This is a terrific conditioning and transition drill often referred to as the old “Dean Smith drill.”
Get two teams of five. A jump ball starts a normal game of 5-on-5. If a team scores, a coach at that end of the floor will throw an outlet pass to a player on the team that scored. Immediately, they will run a fast break going the other way down court. The outlet must be received inside the three-point line.
However, if a shot is missed, play continues just as in a normal game and the team that secured the rebound transitions down court.
Play to a pre determined score or set a time limit. Also, you easily can add in a no dribbling rule to emphasize good passes and efficient ball movement.
The Daily Dozen Drill
Submitted by Dr. Gregg Williams, North Hall High School, Gainesville, Georgia
Overview: This is a perfect drill to begin or finish practice with each day. The goal here is to make 12 consecutive layups without the ball ever touching the floor or without making a turnover.
The Set-Up: Split up the post players into two groups and put them in a line under each basket. Do the same thing with the guards and wings, but have them in two groups at the half-court line by the sideline. Put two minutes on the clock.
The Action: Start the drill by having a coach bounce the ball off the backboard. The first post player grabs the rebound and throws an outlet pass to the nearest guard at the half-court line who is breaking to a proper outlet position. The next pass is to the other guard who is streaking on an angle towards the far foul line area for a layup.
Notes: Players must make 12 layups in a row before two minutes expires. If any player misses, makes a turnover, or dribbles, the layup count starts back over at zero. However, the clock continues to run.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “25 Aggressive Transition and Conditioning Drills” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out more videos featuring transition drills and concepts, click here.
Win the battle of the boards this season by incorporating these proven rebounding drills into your practice plan. The following drills — which are perfect for middle school, high school, and college level programs — are first explained step by step before a real team runs through them live on the basketball court.
Rebound Pit Drill
Submitted by Larry Inman, Former Head Women’s Coach at Eastern Kentucky University and Current Coach at Tennessee State
Overview: This is a demanding drill that challenges players both mentally and physically. Position two lines of players hitting the boards every time a coach or manager shoots it. Look to start out on the lane line extended and just above the three-point circle.
Drill Movements: Two defensive players will step up just in front of the offensive players and will box out and secure the board until they rebound three consecutive times. If they don’t get three rebounds in a row, they must start over from scratch. Also, players should rotate through and get to play both positions.
UNI Rebounding Drill
Submitted by Scott DeJong, Ankeny High School, Ankeny, Iowa
Overview: This is a competitive rebounding drill that simulates game conditions. There are four offensive players set up; One on the wing, one up top, one on the block, and another player on the weakside post/baseline area.
Meanwhile, the defensive players set up like this: One player is guarding on the weakside, another at the top of the key, a third in the post, and a defender X1 guards the ball.
Drill Movements: To begin the drill, X1 makes a bounce pass to the wing shooter and then closes out on the shot. All other players must block out. If the defense gets the ball, they must outlet to the coach. The coach then passes to the next defender in line. Players will rotate on defense through the different positions. Defenders are up for 10 shots and then switch with the offense. Keep stats and the team with the most boards after 10 total shots is the winner.
Coaching Tip: Mix up your post defense. For instance, try a fronted post on several reps and see how your players respond.
In the latest edition of our Playbook Series, we’re highlighting a pair of sideline inbound plays that feature up to four different options for basketball teams. Whether you coach a middle school, high school, or college team, these easy-to-implement set plays will make a terrific addition to your playbook for the upcoming season.
Sideline Out of Bounds Play with Four Options
Submitted by Bill Agronin, Niagara University, Niagara, New York
The Set-up: Player 3 takes the ball out. Player 5 is on the opposite block while player 4 sets up on the near block. Meanwhile, players 1 and 2 start off in the middle of the paint with 1 closer to the rim.
Option 1 – Player 4 sets a screen for 5 across the lane before cutting up to the foulline. The inbounder hits 4 with the pass.
Option 2 – Player 3 passes to player 2 in the lane area after 2 sets a screen for 1 and 4 in the paint.
Option 3 – Player 3 passes to player 5 going to the corner off of 4’s original screen in the lane.
Option 4 – Player 3 passes to player 1 around the top of the key off of 1’s screen in the lane.
Multi-Option Side Out of the Bounds Play
Submitted by Keith Cooper, Saint Martin’s College, Lacey, WA
The Set-up: Player 3 takes the ball out. Players 5 and 4 are at the top of the key, with 5 on the ballside and 4 on the opposite side. Player 1 is on the nearside low block and 2 is on the opposite low block.
The Action: Player 5 sets a screen for 4, who uses the screen and breaks to the ball looking for the inbounds pass. Meanwhile, player 2 sets a screen for 1 in the lane. 1 uses the screen and cuts around the lane and to the opposite side wing. Player 4 quickly receives the pass from 3 and the reverses the ball to 1 on the wing.
Next, player 3 comes inbounds and makes a shuffle cut to the ballside short corner. 1 looks to hit 3 on the cut while 4 and 5 set staggered down screens for 2. Player 2 then uses the screens to cut up towards the top of the key and receives a pass from 1.
The Finish: If 3 wasn’t open, or if 2 doesn’t have a clear look, then players 4 and 5 set a double screen at the elbow and 3 breaks across the lane and comes off the double screen around the opposite side wing area. Player 2 passes to player 3 for a three-point shot.
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.