Inside the play: Michigan State’s 4 high set
Today I am going to break down the 4 high set that Michigan State used several times per game last season. There are several different options out of this set, which can be called ahead of time or can be improvised after the initial action. Let’s take a look.
The first option is for the guard to set a cross screen for the big man, then receive a down screen he can use for a jumper. Watch as Korie Lucious sets a cross screen for Derrick Nix, which Nix uses to try to get free for a post up. Lucious then receives a down screen and while Shelvin Mack was caught up in all the action, he gets free for a jump shot.
If Lucious was not open, Nix was still an option for a post up. However, thanks to the screen by Delvon Roe and the great use by Lucious, an open 3 is buried by MSU.
In this clip, Princeton (excuse me, Georgetown) offense principles are used as an immediate backcut is made to try to catch the defense napping. Then a cross screen is made by Lucious to open up the post. However, the post is covered once again so Lucious pops out for a three.
Notice that there was no down screen set this time but Lucious read the defense and noticed that the top of the key was open. Teams did a good job of taking away the post action from Michigan State but that opened up the 3 for the guards.
Finally, we have a clip that shows what can happen when the screen for the big man is effective. Here, Lucious sets the screen for Garrick Sherman, who is open when he dives to the basket off the screen. He is fed the ball and converts the easy layup. The play is made by the nice screen by Lucious, who ties up the defender so Sherman has a free lane to the basket.
Michigan State shows the strength of running different sets out of the same formation. It can help the effectiveness as it gives the offense options and can slow down the defense in recognizing the play. MSU has showed they are effective in various actions out of this 4 high set and I expect it to be a staple of the offense once again this season. Keep an eye out for it.