The Mikan Drill

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Digital Chalkboard: Arizona dribble handoff

with 4 comments

In their opening night win against Valparaiso, Arizona did a superb job of forcing tough shots on defense but they also showed some positive actions on offense. They ran this dribble handoff play several times last night and got several open jump shots out of this set.

The play starts with a pass from Jordin Mayes to Nick Johnson on the wing. Jesse Perry sets a backscreen for Mayes, then turns and sets a ball screen for Johnson. With the Valparaiso defending hedging hard on the screen, Johnson has no path to the rim, so Arizona goes into the dribble handoff part of the set. They do not get flustered when the initial option is defended but have a second action ready.

Mayes has circled around to the corner after cutting through the lane off the backscreen. With Johnson going across the court toward him instead of toward the rim, that is his cue to curl around Johnson for the dribble handoff. As is the case in most handoffs, as Johnson hands the ball off, he sets himself up to set a semmi-screen on Mayes’ defender as he hands the ball off. This gives Mayes an opening as he comes around Johnson with the ball.

Arizona adds a unique wrinkle to their handoffs, as they then use Angelo Chol to set a second screen for Mayes on the handoff. Valparaiso’s defense is scrambling after the handoff, as Mayes’ defender ran into Johnson on the handoff and Johnson’s defender was scrambling back to Johnson after being screened by Perry. This left Mayes wide open and gave Chol nobody to screen initially, although he did get a piece of a defender who had no chance to challenge the jump shot.

I like this set because it opened with a side pick and roll option and once that was not open, Arizona had a second a back-up option with the dribble handoff. The spacing is set up so that the offensive players (Johnson and Chol in this scenario) tangle up the defense to create space for Mayes. Great execution to get Mayes open for the long 2 point jump shot.


Written by Joshua Riddell

November 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Posted in Set Plays

4 Responses

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  1. Great example of how effective the pick and roll can be. I was really impressed with how Nick Johnson played in this game. His jump shot looked very respectable, which I wasn’t really expecting. Given his body, athleticism, and the skills he showed against Valpo, he should be one of the top impact freshmen and bench players in the Pac-10 for sure.


    November 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    • Thanks man. Are you writing anywhere? Do you have a twitter? Always respected your opinions.


      November 11, 2011 at 6:42 pm

      • Not writing anywhere right now. I need a more entertaining way to share my thoughts. I love what you’re doing with the videos, keep up the good work.

        I did join Twitter a couple months ago just to follow some sports people, but I haven’t started using it myself yet. I saw DraftExpress reference you in a retweet a couple weeks ago (awesome job), so I’m following you on there.

        Look forward to talking to you throughout the year. It’s hard to find people to discuss college hoops in depth with, especially mid-November. Everyone is busy watching the NFL while my eyes are fixated on Cleveland State-Vandy.


        November 14, 2011 at 12:23 am

  2. […] their first game, Arizona ran a perfectly executed dribble handoff set to get an open jump shot. In their second game, they again attempted the dribble handoff but the […]

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