Thursday, March 21, 2013

State Tournament Tidbits: Day 1 and 2

Logo Courtesy of
Spent the last two days at the Minnesota High School State Tournament. This is the 19th straight year my dad and I have attended. It's always fun to watch the best of the best compete on the biggest stage! There are also lots of great coaching points to be had! At this time of the year, coaches pull out all the stops in order to get the win. Also, with teams come from different areas of the state that may use different tactics than are the norm in our area.  Below are some of the best things that I have pulled out from the last two days.

Brainerd's BLOB Series
I got to see 28-1 Brainerd for the first time at the tournament. I will admit I was really skeptical that their record was over-inflated because they didn't play any teams from the metro. They were, however, the real deal! They ran some GREAT 5 out motion offense and this slick inbounds series.

The set starts in a 4 across. The ballside block (5) popps up to the elbow and receives the ball. The ballside corner (1) cuts to the ball and the inbounder fills the corner.

The BLOB has two options. In first one, the corner player (1) takes the handoff and drives to the rim. The other post (5) can lift to the elbow or cut to the backside block on the drive.
The other option is that they fake the handoff. The elbow player (4) can turn and go attack. As the handoff is faked, the backside block player (5) sets a flex screen for the wing in the opposite corner(3) who comes off of it to the basket.

Quentin Hooker's Footwork
Quentin Hooker is a Mr. Basketball Finalist who will be taking a full ride to the University of North Dakota next year. He is fun to watch and very fundamentally skilled. Something I noticed about him was that every time he changed direction he would quickly chop his feet while making the read. This was especially evident when he was coming off the pick and roll. It's something I want to look into more and figure out why he does it and how to teach it.

Perham Motion Entry
Let me preface this by saying that I hate the dribble handoff. With that said, I like that Perham did with this and think that it makes a great entry into the four or five out motion.

It's a five out motion with the guy you want to post up at the wing. The entry starts with the guard to wing pass and the guard cuts through. As the guard cuts through, the wing with the ball (5) starts to dribble at the corner.

As the wing (5) dribbles at the corner (2), the corner makes a read. If the corner's (2) defender is sagging off, he comes up and takes the dribble handoff. The player making the handoff (5) butt screens and then rolls to the block and they look to go inside. If it's four out, we can space and leave the guy there, if it's five out we can just play.

If the defender denies the handoff or pass, the corner (2) backcuts for a layup.

Lakeville North Late Game Situational Defense
Lakeville North was playing Park Center in the first round on Wednesday. The game was tied with 6 seconds left in regulation. Park Center called a time-out in order to set up a last second play. Their star is Quentin Hooker, who was mentioned above. Everyone in the gym knew that Quentin was going to take the last shot. And to everyone's surprise Lakeville North came out in a Box and 1 on Hooker. It totally threw Park Center off and ended up forcing Park Center into a poor shot. They still won in overtime, but the Box and 1 out of the timeout was definitely a surprise because North had not played it all game.

Upsala Dribble Drive Motion Sets
Vern Capelle is a coach from Upsala that runs some great dribble drive, he even a dribble drive DVD out. Below are two dribble drive sets that they ran into their dribble drive motion. He used these late in the game in order to put it away. Both involved the use of dead water screens.

The first one starts with the wings in the corners, a post, the point at half court, and the other guard setting the deadwater screen at the three point line. The guard comes off of it and goes to the rack. He either takes the shot, dumps down to the post, or kicks out for a three.

Coach Capelle went to this look when the other team started to really get out and deny the passes. I thought it was great. They got a bucket off it which sealed the deal for them. In this set, he brought the wings out super high. This eliminated the help and when the guard went off the screen there was no one there to prevent the layup.

There were a bunch of other small things, but these were some that I really thought were good - and a little big different. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Late Game IQ- The Jump Ball Situation

Image courtesy of Twiiter account
I was watching the Conference USA Title Game between Memphis and Southern Miss. Pete Gillen and Dave Ryan were annoucning the game, and Coach Gillen  made a great point about understanding late game situations. Memphis had the ball, the lead, and the posession arrow. Southern Miss was pressuring Memphis all over the floor and trapping the ball. Coach Gillen mentioned that Memphis players should be sure to just take a jump ball if they got in trouble, instead of throwing a crazy pass, because they had the posession arrow. It won't be a turnover; they can just take the ball out of bounds. What a simple, yet great, thought! It's not something we've worked with our guys on but surely will now. What a great piece of basketball IQ!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Doin' the Minnehaha Shuffle!

Unfortunately our season came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday as we lost to St. Paul Johnson in the seocnd round of section play. I always hate when our season is over, but it does give me a chance to get out and see some basketball. It also gives me a chance to resume my never ending quest to learn new stuff and improve as a coach. In light of that my goal is to try and find 25 things to share on this blog between now and June, this is the first one.

Went out and watched Breck vs Minnehaha tonight. I got to see the Redhawks of Minnehaha punch their ticket to the state tournament. Minnehaha runs a lot of different stuff, but something that caught my eye was their shuffle offense. It's a simple continuity, and even though I am not a continuity coach, I love the action that it creates. It really can get you some quality paint touches.

The offense starts in a 1-3-1 set with the post player in the high post.

The point guard (1) passes to the wing away from the low post (3). The opposite wing (2) cuts off the high pust and curls to the rim. The low post player (4) sets a backscreen for the point guard (1) who cuts to the backside block.

The player who came off the back screen at the point (1) fills the backside wing. The player who set the backscreen on the point guard (4) steps out to the point, gets a pass from the wing, and reverses the ball to the player on the backside wing (1). The wing who made the first pass (3) now comes off of the shuffle cut to the block and the lost post (2) screens for the player at the point (4). You keep running it until you score.

Minnehaha had a pretty skilled inside player at the five and sometimes they would throw him the ball. This would also him to go iso from the high post and was effective. Which ever way he drove, teh post player would pop out and make room for him to go to work. I would either put your defensive stopper here and not throw him the ball, or your best 1 on 1 player here and use the offense as a decoy to get him the ball in a 1 on 1, attacking situation. Depends on how you want to play it.

As with any continuity you need some counters for when teams try and take things away. If they deny the point, you dribble up from the wing, the point back cuts to the rim and fills the wing that was emptied by the dribble over. The player on the opposite block (4) pops to receive the pass as he normally would. Pass and get it into the shuffle.

 If the wing is overplayed the point (2) can dribble at the wing. He backcuts hard to the rim. The backside wing (1) rotates up to take the point spot. The backside block (3) cuts to the wing. The backcutting player (4) can fill the backside block. As soon as the ball gets to the wing the player who fills from block to backside wing (3) comes hard off the shuffle screen.

And there you have it, simple yet effective, especially if you add in the back cut actions. I think this would be a nice continuity to complement what we try to do in our motion offense - get to the rim.