Inside the play: Notre Dame out of bounds play
We have looked at several successful baseline out of bounds plays over the past week, including this one by Tennessee that had the screener getting open after the defense went to double a shooter. Notre Dame ran a similar version of this play, yet the inbounder was the player open at the end of this play, not the screener.
Although this may not always be the case, when you see this setup with a scorer in the mold of Hansbrough, you have to first think that the shooter is going to come across the paint off a double screen. Notre Dame starts with that action, as we saw with the Tennessee play earlier.
The player you have to watch is the second screener slipping the screen to cut to the basket right in front of the inbounder. That’s how Tobias Harris got open, as the defense was keying in on the shooter coming across the paint. You would expect that Yarou would step out and hedge on Hansbrough, leaving Jack Cooley to roll to the basket.
Villanova has a good defensive strategy against this play, which is a bit different from the norm, as they leave Yarou at home against Cooley, while taking Corey Stokes, who is guarding the inbounder, to run out and double Hansbrough in the corner.
This is a smart defensive play for two reasons: It allows the defense to harass the player who catches the pass, forcing a tough shot (if any) or a possible turnover. Second, while it leaves the inbounder open, this player either may not step into the play to make himself open or the ball handler may not recognize him as an option.
That’s what Villanova is counting on in this situation. By taking Fisher out to the corner, they are banking that Scott Martin will not recognize the situation and be an outlet for Hansbrough. However, Martin smartly steps into the court immediately after he passes the ball and with Fisher doubling, he is wide open for a layup.
You can see how this play is so tough to defend. You can trail the screen and not hedge, leaving the jump shooter open. Or you can hedge or switch the screen, leaving the screener open to roll to the basket, or you can play it as Villanova did, by sending the second defender off of the inbounder and hope the inbounder does not step into the play in time.
I think you have to hedge on the shooter and have the player covering the inbounder facing the play and taking away the roll man. You want to make sure that he is playing far enough away from the inbounder to not get the ball bounced off his back for a basket and to not wander too far out of the paint (as we saw Mississippi State do). This will hopefully make it difficult for the player coming across the paint to get open, while taking away any slip of the second screen.