Digital Chalkboard: South Carolina Staggered Screen
In this edition of the digital chalkboard, we have a set from South Carolina, where their first option was defended but they were able to execute their second option for an open dunk. Let’s break it down.
The first option is a double screen at the foul line for Damien Leonard. Leonard sets a screen, then uses the double screen to flash to the top of the key and look for the jump shot. Neither of the screens are set very well and with William Buford trailing the screen, he is able to take away this first option and deny the pass to Leonard rather easily.
Once Leonard doesn’t get the pass for a shot, he circles around to get the swing pass to keep the play moving. Buford does not strongly deny, as Leonard is not in a dangerous position where he makes the catch. This pass allows Malike Cooke to come off a staggered screen and Ohio State is not able to defend this as well as they did the double screen.
Cooke was the player who used the initial screen by Leonard before the flash to the top of the key. Once the ball was reversed to Leonard, that was Cooke’s cue to come off the staggered screen, where he would end up close to the left wing. The same players that set the first screen for Leonard only have to move their position a little bit to be set up for the staggered screen.
Once Cooke comes off the second screen Amir Williams steps out to cover Cooke. Lenzelle Smith Jr., Cooke’s defender, is trailing Cooke coming off the screen and had to take a wide angle to loop around the screen by Damontre Harris. This leaves Harris wide open off the roll to the rim.
Cooke gives a shot fake to Williams, who jumps to try to block the shot, which puts him out of position to defend the pass to Cooke. Smith is too far away from the play to help on Harris, who is left wide open for the dunk. The good screen by Cooke forced Smith out wide and put South Carolina in a favorable position, with Williams having to guard two players. Once he bit on the shot fake, he had no chance.
When the initial option does not work for South Carolina, they don’t panic and immediately going into their second option. This option is designed to take advantage of the position of the screeners, as they slightly change the angle of the player coming off the screens. They are able to get into a two on one situation by taking Smith out of the play by forcing him to take a long path around the second screen.
When Williams bites on the shot fake, the play ends with an easy dump off to Cooke on the roll to the rim and Cooke is able to finish with the easy dunk. Nice perseverance by the offense to continue to work through their options once the first one is defended well. They continued to make the defense work and were able to exploit the mistake to get an easy two points.