The Mikan Drill

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Dusting off the archives: Pittsburgh baseline out of bounds play

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In continuing the theme of looking at sets and out of bounds plays from archived games, we are next going to look at an out of bounds play executed by Pittsburgh in 2003. This is a typical out of bounds play with one twist that allows the play to be successful. Let’s take a look at this play.

When you look at how Pitt is aligned to start the play, it looks like Donatas Zavackas, the player on the far side of the line, will rub off the two players on the right block for a baseline jump shot. Marquette is packing the lane to try to block Zavackas from getting free.

However, this alignment is set up for Marquette to assume they know where the play is designed to go, when in fact it is designed for Zavackas to get his shot on the wing. Immediately after Brevin Knight starts the play, Chevon Troutman spins and meets Julius Page at the elbow to set the double screen.

Zavackas comes around Page to attempt to catch the ball on the wing. Travis Diener attempts to switch onto Zavackas but Troutman is there to screen him and slow him down. Dwyane Wade switched onto Page off the screenso it is up to Diener to defend Zavackas. Troutman sets an effective screen though (likely a moving screen) and Zavackas is able to get open on the wing.

You can see that Robert Jackson (#55), who was guarding Troutman at the start of the play, is still standing in the paint. He made no reaction to Troutman setting the screen which was part of the reason that Zavackas was able to get so open. Jackson should have made an attempt to hedge on Zavackas and make the entry pass more difficult. Instead, the assist from Knight was rather easy, especially with the defender responsible for Knight guarding the rim.

This is a somewhat simple out of bounds play but I like how Pitt disguised the play at the start. With Troutman starting on the block before setting the double screen on the elbow, Marquette seems a bit confused on how the play is designed. With Zavackas moving quickly off the screens, this allows Pitt to free him up on the wing for the jump shot.

Marquette could have defended this play better if Jackson had reacted better to the action. Instead, he was rooted in the paint and did not make any effort to help Diener when he was caught in the screen. This allowed Knight to make the simple entry pass to Zavackas for the jump shot.

Written by Joshua Riddell

July 7, 2011 at 3:14 am

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