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Take advantage of man-to-man mismatches on the offensive end of the floor with these proven set plays. Read through the breakdown of each play before seeing them carried out live on the basketball court in a 5-on-5 situation.
Quick Hitting Lob Play
Submitted by Les Wilson, Washington HS, Washington, IN
The set up: Player 1 has the ball up top. Players 2 and 5 are at opposite elbows, while players 4 and 3 are at opposite low blocks.
The action: From a 1-2-2 set, 2 and 3 break to the free throw line extended on their respective sides. Player 1 then passes to 3 and cuts to the ballside corner behind the three-point line.
The finish: From here, player 4 breaks wide to the weakside corner while 5 pops to the top. 3 passes to 5 who quickly reverses the ball to 2. As the pass is in the air and going towards player 2, player 3 quickly cuts up and sets a backscreen for 5. 5 curls around the screen and breaks hard toward the basket. Player 2 throws to 5 for a lob opportunity.
Set Play for a Mismatch
Submitted by Tom Reiter, Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, PA
This play incorporates spacing and takes advantage of a mismatch situation so an offense can make a quick-hitting offensive advantage.
The set up: Get in a 3-out, 2-low alignment, with 1 at the top of the key, 2 on the left side above the arc, and 3 on the right side above the arc, plus 4 on the baseline and 5 on the baseline (for spacing and isolation purposes).
The action: 1 dribbles up to the top of the key, passes to 2, and then runs to the ballside corner. 4 comes up to set a screen on the ball. As 2 dribbles off the screen, 1 cuts across the lane to screen for 5. 2 passes to 5 for a layup.
Options: If the post-up is not there, 4 should screen for 1 for a jump shot. 3 spots up on weakside for a possible skip pass from 2.
In this week’s Playbook Series, we highlight three proven defensive drills that focus on transition basketball. Competitive and effective at improving defensive recovery, these drills should become staples in your future practice plans.
Never Too Late Drill
Submitted by Will Mayer, Middletown North HS, Middletown, NJ
“Never too late” runs for three minutes before the offensive and defensive players switch off. A coach is on the sideline and inbounds the ball to either player 1 or player 2. Meanwhile, player X2 is starting at the hash mark, gets back on defense while X1, positioned on the opposite foul line, sprints in behind to provide catch-up defense in transition.
Look to put a scoring system in place where an offensive basket counts for one point and a defensive stop or turnover results in minus two points for the offensive team. After both teams have played offense for the three minutes, the team with the least amount of points must run laps.
Two Player Recovery Drill
This next transition drill uses the same time limits and scoring system as the previous drill. Player 1 begins the drill by passing to player 2. Player 2 then passes to player 3. Meanwhile 3 and 4 attack defender X1 in a 2-on-1 situation. X2 must sprint back as soon as X1 makes his or her pass and tries to provide defensive help while on transition.
The offense rotates after each possession in the following manner: 5 goes to 1’s spot, 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to the end of 4’s line, and 4 to the end of 1’s line.
Breakdown drill for 2-2-1 Full Court Press
Submitted by Larry King, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
This breakdown drill enhances your team’s presses using groups of three players. To begin, there are three offensive players going against three defensive players playing over a full court. O1 starts in the right corner, while O2 and O3 are located at half court, one on each side of the floor. X1 is positioned on the foul line in the backcourt, x2 is at half court, and x3 is at the foul line in the front court.
Restrictions for the offense: O1 must take three dribbles before passing to either O2 or O3. O2 and O3 must catch the first pass in the front court. O2 and O3 cannot cross into the backcourt to catch a pass.
The drill begins with X1 passing the ball back to O1. X1 forces O1 up the right sideline and must prevent O1 from dribbling to the middle of the floor. At the same time, X1 and X2 are trying to trap O1 just before or just beyond half court. X3 is trying to steal the pass that O1 is trying to throw to O2 or O3. If the pass cannot be stolen, X3 must quickly get back under the basket ready to play 1-on-2 against O2 and O3 until X 1 and X2 recover and come back to play help defense.
The goal for the offense is to score in a fast break situation. If there’s no score, the play should evolve into a 3-on-3 contest.
Add a few new wrinkles to your basketball playbook this season by incorporating this trio of effective baseline inbounds plays. The following plays are designed to counter all kinds of defensive looks and give your squad an edge during key moments in basketball games.
Submitted by Joe Pitt, Union HS, Union, South Carolina
Set-up: Player 1 takes the ball out. 2 starts at the ballside low block. 5 is on the opposite low block. 4 is at the nearside elbow. 3 is at the opposite elbow.
Action: Player 2 pops out to the nearside corner to receive the pass. Player 1 steps in to set up a screen for 5 coming across the lane. If 5 isn’t open, look for 4 rolling down the lane on the backside of another pick by 1, this time a backscreen. Meanwhile, player 3 can also sprint to the top of the key as a safety valve for 2. Look for a little dump down pass to 4 in the lane for a high percentage look.
Three-Point or Two-Point Inbounds Play
Submitted by Jon Pye, Former Head Coach at Central Missouri State U, Warrensburg, MO
Set-up: Player 2 takes the ball out under the hoop. 5 is on the opposite low block. 1 is at the opposite elbow. 3 is at the near below. 4 is on the ballside wing.
The Action: Players 3 and 4 pick for 1. 5 sets a pick for 3 and then rolls to the hoop. After setting the pick for 1, 3 rolls to the hoop off of player 5’s pick. Player 4 is the safety valve. Player 2 now has four options:
Option 1: Pass to 1 beyond the three-point line.
Option 2: Pass to 5 rolling down the lane.
Option 3: Pass to 3 coming off 5’s pick.
Option 4: Pass to 4 as the safety valve.
Triangle vs. Man Defense
Submitted by Nelson Catalina, former HC at Arkansas State University
Set-up: Player 1 has the ball under the hoop. 2 is at the top of the key. 3 is at the free throw line. 5 is at the ballside low block. 4 is on the opposite low block.
Action: If player 3 doesn’t get the ball off the break, he/she should drift to the corner. Next, 4 delays and then goes to set a backpick for 5 using a screen the screener action. After this, both players roll back to the basket. If 4 and 5 are not open, 1 passes to 3 and then 3 passes to 2, who is sliding back ballside. Player 2 then begins to drive across the key to reverse the ball to 1, who sprints to the far corner.
Finish: Player 2 drives left and then drifts back right. 5 goes to set a backpick for 3. From there, player 3 V-cuts off this pick and looks for the ball on the ballside block/baseline area.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 70 Baseline and Under the Basket Inbounds Plays” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out more plays in the Winning Hoops collection, visit our basketball library.
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.