The Mikan Drill

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Dusting off the archives: George Mason Inbounds Play

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We go back to the 2006 George Mason and Wichita State Sweet Sixteen game for today’s inbounds play breakdown. This is a simple play with 2 screens but it requires perfect timing to free the shooter for an open jump shot in the corner.

Mason opens the play in a box format with Lamar Butler, the eventual shooter, on the right block. He is going to set a diagonal screen for a teammate and immediately receives a screen from Will Thomas. Butler will come off the screen and flash to the corner in front of the player inbounding the ball to receive the pass.

The screens develop so quickly that the defense has no time to react which eventually one of the main reasons Butler gets open in the corner. Butler sets a screen for his teammate at the left wing but he barely slows down to set a solid screen, as this screen is only meant to make the defense react to the screening action.

The Wichita State player defending the screen has to defend the cut off the screen, so he is taken out of the play, although he does a good job of defending the initial cut. Butler doesn’t slow down when setting the first screen and goes directly into his cut off the screen from Thomas. Thomas slides to his right so quickly to set the screen that the defender runs right into him.

Thomas’ defender is caught flat-footed under the basket. As you can see, the defender guarding the inbounds man has his back to the ball and is in charge of taking away anyone cutting to the rim. This leaves Thomas’ defender (boxed in red) to hedge on the screen.

He is too slow getting out to the corner and with Butler’s defender getting caught in the screen by Thomas, Butler has a wide open jump shot from the corner. Again, since there is a defender taking away any possible roll to the rim by Thomas, Thomas’ defender needs to a better job of helping on the screen since he has no responsibility to defend the rim.

This play works because of the timing of the screen set by Thomas. With Butler moving quickly through the paint, Thomas disguises his action long enough before he quickly moves up the lane to set the screen. This puts the defender several steps behind Butler and catches Thomas’ defender off guard, not allowing him to react to the play. In the end, this frees Butler up for a corner jump shot.


Written by Joshua Riddell

October 21, 2011 at 3:32 am

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