Inside the play: St. John’s set
In their exhibition game against St. Mary’s (MD), St. John’s found themselves in a tight game late in the second half. St. John’s had a clear size advantage over the D-III Seahawks and tried to exploit this advantage as often as possible. Here is one set play that worked well to get the ball to God’s Gift Achiuwa in the paint.
The ball starts with Nurideen Lindsey on the left wing. Malik Stith, having just passed the ball to Lindsey, cuts through the lane and circles around to the opposite wing. Lindsey looks into Achiuwa in the paint but doesn’t make the initial entry pass. After looking in, he reverses the ball back to the top of the key to Maurice Harkless, who continues the ball movement to Stith.
Achiuwa, having been denied the ball initially, follows the ball as it is swung around the perimeter. As Stith is finishing his cut through the paint, he circles to the left wing as Harkless swings him the ball. As he is coming out of the paint, Sir’Domonic Pointer cuts to the right block and sets a cross screen for Achiuwa.
You can see Achiuwa’s man trying to fight to get position to defend an entry pass from the top of the key. As the ball is swung from the wing to the top of the key, the defender has to fight to over the top of the post man to try to cut off the pass. While the defender is focused on the ball on the top of the key, he does not see Pointer coming to set a cross screen.
With Achiuwa’s man screened off by Pointer, Achiuwa ducks under the screen and seals off his defender who is trying to recover after being screened. With Achiuwa having sealed him off after using the screen, the defender is stuck behind Achiuwa and fouls him when he goes up for the layup.
The quick ball movement around the perimeter is the key to this play, as it forces Achiuwa’s defender to focus on changing his post defense position. This causes him to miss Pointer coming to screen him and he runs right into him. This gives Achiuwa the space needed to seal him under the rim and draw the foul.