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Digital Chalkboard: Ray McCallum hits two early three point shots

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While Detroit could not close out the game against Notre Dame yesterday, wasting a second half lead, Ray McCallum had a great showing as he filled up the statsheet with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Early in the game, McCallum hit three straight three point shots to give Detroit the early momentum. Let’s take a look at the setup for the first two attempts.

McCallum starts the play with a pass to Jason Calliste on the wing and cuts through the lane. While he looks for the ball off the cut, Detroit is not going to force the ball and will allow the play to develop as McCallum will come off a double screen on the opposite side of the court.

After LaMarcus Lowe sets a backscreen for McCallum, he sets a ball screen for Calliste. Again, while Detroit will look to create off the pick and roll if the defense breaks down, they will continue to let the play develop. The bigger reason for this ball screen is to open up space for Calliste so he has a passing lane to McCallum coming off the screen.

After McCallum cuts through the lane, he sets up his defender to run off a staggered screen from Chase Simon and Nick Minnerath. The screen is set up for McCallum to run off the screens and receive the pass on the wing.

Eric Atkins is defending McCallum and tries to slip through the opening in the staggered screen. Instead of trailing McCallum around the screens, Atkins tries to take the shorter route to get through the screens. The screeners see him doing this and close their screens, turning it from a staggered screen into a double screen. McCallum recognizes this as well and changes his course to catch the ball behind the double screen.

Great read by the screeners and McCallum to slightly change the course of the play from the initial setup. With Atkins trying to cheat and cut through the screens, the screeners come together to set a double screen and not allow Atkins to get through. The help defenders don’t recognize this quickly enough and cannot close quickly on McCallum, who now has an open shot.

The second play, on the very next possession for Detroit, turns out to be very similar to the first play. Both the screeners and McCallum read the defense and react to what the defense gives them. This time, Atkins does trail McCallum instead of trying to fight his way through the screen. The screeners stay in their designed staggered screen and McCallum alters his movement to come off the screens higher on the wing.

It’s a subtle change but the offense read the defense perfectly on both sets. When Atkins tried to circumvent the staggered screen, McCallum altered his motion and caught the ball closer to the corner than the second play, when Atkins trailed him off the screen and McCallum ran Atkins off both screens to catch the ball higher on the court. The screeners do a great job of adjusting their position to get a piece of Atkins while McCallum does his job of running Atkins into the screen to create space for himself.


Written by Joshua Riddell

November 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Set Plays

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