Dusting off the archives: Hampton inbounds set
In their 2001 first round NCAA tournament upset win against Iowa State, the Hampton Pirates ran a baseline inbounds play that got their leading scorer in this game, Tarvis Williams, isolated on the block. It does not lead directly to an easy basket but the Pirates showed a unique series of screens to get Williams in an advantageous position against Paul Shirley in the post.
While a little dummy action goes on before this, the crucial part of the play commences when Williams moves across the paint to set a screen for Marseilles Brown. Shirley is concerned about letting Jamaal Tinsley go under the screen, so he gives him plenty of space, rendering this first screen ineffective. However, it sets Shirley up to be screened at the end of the play, allowing the play to be successful in the end.
There are two reasons that Shirley got screened on this play, allowing Williams to establish position on the block. The first was described above, which is that Shirley is playing far off of Williams to let Tinsley go under the screen and not let Brown find space from the first screen. The second is that the screener, Tommy Adams, starts from slightly behind Shirley before he sets the screen. Shirley does not see the screen until it is too late and is caught in the screen when Williams cuts to the block off the screen.
With Shirley being screened, Williams is able to cut to the left block and receive the inbounds pass.
The effective screen set for Williams allows him to get position on the block. As you can see, the pass is not the best, as Williams has to leap to catch it, but it puts him in an isolated position against Shirley. This allows him to make a move and take a high percentage shot in the lane.
The final key to this play is the spacing the Pirates use to give Williams room in the post. The play is designed to clear the lane through screens and cuts and allow Williams the room to operate. Iowa State chooses not to double in the post but if they did, Williams has outlet options if he does not have a good look at the basket.
Notice also how Hampton has an offensive rebounder positioned on the opposite side of the rim, in case the shot is missed. The inbounder made a cut to the opposite side of the rim after feeding Williams the entry pass and is available to grab any missed shot that goes long.
Although it did not lead directly to a layup or open jump shot, this play put Williams in a beneficial position, which allowed him to make a move in the post and get an early basket for the Pirates in their upset win.