The second time around in conference play we went up against Pella Christian and they HAD in fact prepared. They shredded our zone with a similar look. I was going over tape and it gave me the idea for this zone set series. I haven't run it in a game, yet, but I really believe it's a great way to beat a 1-3-1 zone.
The set starts with horns. A point guard (1) two in the high post (4, 5), and two deep corners (2, 3). It doesn't take much to see how this distorts the zone and makes it tough to match up against.
This was the basic action they ran effectively against us. The point guard (1) dribbles a little bit one direction, pulling the top player. As he does the middle defender (X5) will likely slide to take away the high post. Once the dribbler reaches the lane line, he throws back to the opposite high post player.
Deny the Opposite Elbow with The Middle Man Adjustment
One of the adjustments they make make is to leave their middle man (X5) in the middle to take away that pass. That obviously leaves the ball side high post open (5) so then we run the same basic action. What happens is we force the middle man (X5) to decide who he's going to cover.
Deny the Opposite Elbow with the Backside Wing Adjustment
If they cover it by bringing the back side wing, we throw the diagonal skip pass to the backside corner (2). If that pass is made the 2 attacks the zone. The ball side elbow (4) dives to the front of the rim. The backside corner spots up and you make a play. The 1 could also rotate over to the other lane line if you wanted to give you that pitch as well. And if the bottom of the zone (X1) is over far enough 2 can cut to the backside block for a pass in and a layup.
Deny Elbow and Skip Adjustment
If their backside wing (X2) manages to play it correctly to try and take away both the backside elbow and the skip, you can throw it to the ball side corner player (3). The action is exactly the same as the above counter. If he catches the ball he should drive it. The ball side elbow (5) cuts to the front of the rim. So you have the hammer pass to the opposite corner, the 45 degree to the backside elbow (4), the post at the front of the rim.
Hubie Brown Special
This is a special set you can run out of the look. It's one from one of the Hubie Brown videos. The 1 dribbles hard and makes the trap happen. As this happens the ball side corner cuts through, up the opposite lane line, and gets open.
We reverse the ball to the 2 filling up and he drives the ball. On the catch the high posts (4 and 5) dive to the rim.
If the ball side wing (X3) stops the drive it's an easy kick to the corner for a wide open three.