Inside the play: Texas alley oop play
Many alley oop sets start with a backscreen, such as this Utah State’s play. This Texas alley oop set utilized a different type of setup, yet it was still executed for a dunk.
The play starts with Tristan Thompson working to post up but J’mison Morgan denies the entry pass. Thompson then turns and sets a screen for Cory Joseph, who is stationed just off the block. Joseph had started on the wing to space the floor for the post up but moved in to receive the screen once he realized Thompson was not going to get the ball.
Texas swings the ball to the left wing and Morgan gets in help position, on Thompson’s right side. He loses sight of Thompson for a moment as Thompson sets the screen for Joseph. Morgan doesn’t really react to the screen, as he stays stationary in the paint. After Thompson sets the screen, he immediately turns and seals the man he screened, Fred Ellis. He puts Ellis on his back and effectively takes him out of the play.
The screen was not really designed for Joseph to get open, but rather to take Ellis out of the play by sealing him. Joseph’s role is to now go screen Morgan, opening up a lane to the basket. Morgan still has his eyes mainly on Hamilton on the wing, and isn’t able to fight around the screen.
You can see the lane to the basket for Thompson in the following frame. He has sealed Ellis, the man he screened, and Joseph has screened Morgan, taking him out of the play.
There are two keys to this play. The first is the quick pivot and seal of Ellis by Thompson after the screen. He puts Ellis on his back, almost like a box-out and Ellis is unable to get around it to try to break up the play. The second is the help defense of Morgan. He is in good position but is only focused on the ball, while losing sight of his man. He neither sees nor reacts to the screening action and in the end, gets taken out of the play by Joseph’s screen.
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