The Mikan Drill

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Inside the play: Rick Jackson gets a dunk to start the half

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I really liked the play drawn up by Jim Boeheim at halftime that got Syracuse a dunk attempt to start the second half. It involved Rick Jackson faking setting a screen before cutting to the basket. When Mouphtaou Yarou defends a ball screen, he hustles out to hedge on the ball screen. Syracuse takes advantage of that in this play.

Here is a look at Yarou hedging on a ball screen from the Pitt game. Look at him anticipate the ball screen and get above the ball screen to cut the ball handler off.

Here is how Yarou anticipates the play being run. He thinks that Jackson is going to set a ball screen for Kris Joseph (red arrow), so he is already thinking about hedging the screen (green arrow), so he is playing about a half step higher than Jackson so he can get in position to defend the ball screen.

The play is designed to take advantage of the eagerness by Yarou to hedge the screen and Jackson makes a quick backcut to the basket, leaving Yarou in the dust. This gives him an easy dunk, as the help defense has been cleared out and Yarou has been beaten on the back cut.

You could say Jackson slips the screen but I would contend the play all along was for Jackson to cut toward the basket. They wanted to give the illusion that Jackson was going to set the ball screen to take advantage of how Yarou defends the screen. A slipped screen usually involves a screener reading the defender while setting the screen. I’m not convinced Jackson was ever going to set the screen in this play. Very nice play call by Boeheim.


Written by Joshua Riddell

February 22, 2011 at 3:41 am

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