Archive for the ‘Basketball-Inbound’ Category

Saw this a few times this weekend while watching girls MidAtlantic Regionals.  Quite a few scoring opportunities and buckets from this classic set.

2 cuts off the ball side double screen calling for the ball.  As all eyes focus on 2, 5 screens for 4 who slips into the lane, often unaccounted for.

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Common tactic in youth basketball – versus baseline inbound, zone up…Why?  Fear of getting burned by a man/man play that results in a layup.  Don’t play scared, here’s why.  There are a thousand baseline inbound plays designed specifically to take advantage of overloads against a 23 zone.  Here’s one that has resulted in more layup opportunities than we can recall…I’ve seen it used at every level through D1 NCAA teams.

Guards both flash to the corners – screaming for the ball.  This will cause the defense to spread out a bit.  Perfect.

Now 4 flashes to the opposite block, taking one defender with them and sealing if possible.

On a delayed cut – 1 second after 4, 5 flashes to the gap and is usually open…If not, 4 is likely open.  Worst case, inbound to the corner and look right back to the inbounder for a quick baseline scoring opportunity.

Moral of the story – versus Baseline Inbound – Man Up – worst case put the on ball defender in the middle of the lane to take away basket cuts while everyone else plays solid man.

VCU advanced to the Elite 8 last night, beating Florida State on this late game baseline inbounds play.  Coach Shaka Smart used a box formation and a two screen the screener actions to setup a ball side back cut for the game winner by Bradford Burgess.

Not for the feint of heart, this play took 4.5 seconds to develop, and last I checked, you only get 5 seconds.  No problem for VCU guard Joey Rodriguez, the inbounder, who was keeping count in his head.

As diagramed below, Burgess begins on the ball side elbow, uses a screen from to fade to the wing.  The original screener (the 4) in the diagram, gets a screen himself from the 5.  In many cases, 5 will be open rolling to the basket.  In fact the Florida State defenders, for a moment, all went with the 4.  In fact, three defenders collapsed on him.  Instead, the 4 floated out to the elbow area and the defenders all scrambled back to their men.  Meanwhile, Burgess, moved into place to set another screen, but instead slipped the screen and was wide open for an easy deuce.

To Jay Bilas and the rest of the chirping commentators, I ask them now, “Does VCU pass the Laugh Test Now?”.

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DePaul used this set in a late game situation to get a 3 against Villanova.  Unfortunately for DePaul, they nailed this 3 to take the late game lead, but Villanova followed up with a game tying 3 from Corey Fisher to send the game to OT.  Once in overtime, Villanova took care of business to win on the road in the Big East.

This play uses a simple back screen to setup a fade cut for the shooter.  On the first pass, the defenders tend to focus on the ball.  At that time, our big sets a backscreen for our best shooter who fades to the wing for an open 3.

Today we review two plays seen over the past week that share a common theme – screen for the inbounder to setup a curl scoring opportunity in the lane.

The first set is based on the popular “Box” formation.

The bottom, ball side offensive player flashes to the corner and receives the pass.  The ball is then reversed to the ball side wing player.  On the initial pass, the ball side elbow player slides down the lane and screens the defender nearest the inbounder.  By screening the nearest defender to the inbounder, the play can work against either man to man or zone defensive sets.  The wing player should occupy their defender with a few hard dribbles away from the play, then jump stop, pivot and deliver a solid bounce pass to the inbounder.  If the inbounder is covered, of course, look for the screener to be wide open.


Using another formation, we can achieve the same result with the play below.  In this case, we use a mini stack formation, again with an offensive player flashing to the corner for the initial pass.  The ball is reversed to the wing and the remaining stack player sets a screen for the inbounder who curls the screen, looking for a scoring chance in the lane.  Again if the inbounder is covered, the screener is often wide open.

Villanova University basketball coach Jay Wright really understands the importance of baseline inbounds as a scoring opportunity.  This set was used on multiple occasions today to get a basket for Nova’s tremendous offensive threat, Corey Fisher.  The first frame shows the initial action out of a box like formation.  After the initial screens and cuts, Fisher inbounds to a post player at mid post.  Once the big makes the catch, Fisher sprint cuts to the ball for a handoff and curl dribble into the lane.  With any help, Fisher can dish to either block, or kick out to a three point shooter.  While Nova lost the game to Connecticut, this play nearly helped them pull off the win on the road in this clash of Big East titans.



This baseline inbounds, used by Michigan State and a host of other teams, sets up a nice scoring play for the inbounder.  Using a stack formation, with a three in the stack and a weak side scorer, you run a typical stack play.  Two guard flashes corner, PG flashes out as safety receiver, and weak side scorer flashes weakside corner.  You can inbound to 2 in corner, or direct to PG.  If inbound goest to 2, you then reverse to PG.  Either way, once PG has the ball, PG starts a dribble penetration towards the weakside.  At the same time, your 5 screens for the inbounder who curls the screen for a nice inside scoring look.  PG hits inbounder.  Depending on your level, this is either dunk, layup, or alley-oop to the 5 setting the screen if both defenders follow the inbounder.

This baseline inbounds play, which I like to call Pinball, uses a classic screen the screener tactic to free up a scorer for an easy opportunity in the lane.  In this case, we are trying to get a shot for 3, who starts by setting an elbow back screen for 2.  2 should cut down the lane towards the block, then fade to the corner.  As two begins to move, 5 sets a screen for 3, then 5 dives towards the ball.  3 comes over the top of 5’s screen and often will be open walking down the lane, as all eyes and defenders tend to be collapsing on the diving 5.

This works exceptionally well against a man/man defense.  Even when the defense is switching screens, they will often miscommunicate on the second screen.  5’s defender may collide with 3’s defender while attempting to switch the screen.  Or in some cases, one defender will switch while the other does not, resulting in a wide open layup.

The Philadelphia Sixers coach Doug Collins drew this play up Tuesday night in a game the Sixers eventually lost to the Washington Wizards.  Needing a basket with only 5 seconds on the shot clock, the Sixers were faced with a very tough inbounding position – deep (or dead) corner.  Coach Collins used a box formation and the classic screen the screener concept to free up Lou Williams (#2) for a clean look.  As Lou drew the defenders, screener Marreese Speights (#5) rolled to the basket – Lou found him and Speights finished in thunderous fashion.

The Sixers went on to lose after Andre Turner missed two foul shots with 8 seconds left – Sixers up three.   On the Wizards final possession, John Wall was fouled by Jrue Holiday 35 feet from the basket.  Wall made all 3 foul shots to force OT and the Wizards went on to win.


I saw this play a few times today in the gym of the 1978 National Champion, Cheyney University.  The 1978 team, led by Coach John Chaney, was not in attendance.

This baseline inbound play is designed to exploit the 2-3 zone defense.  The 2 guard flashing to the corner will draw some attention from the on-ball defender.  4 screens across for 5 who dives hard to the ball.  Moving on the start of the play, 3 drifts outside, apparently out of the play, then cuts and curls hard off the 4 who sets a second screen for 3.  Normally the middle of the floor is open for this cutter.

As this can be a difficult pass, the inbounder must ball fake effectively before delivering the pass.