Digital Chalkboard: Long Beach State Set
Kansas State frustrated Long Beach State with their tenacious defense all game in the championship matchup of the Diamond Head Classic, frustrating LBSU into 36.8% shooting and allowing the 49ers to score only 0.95 points per possession. While they struggled most of the game on the offensive side of the ball, LBSU was able to find an opening on this play to get an easy layup early in the second half.
The play, after LBSU inbounds the play in the frontcourt, begins with a ball screen for Casper Ware by T.J. Robinson. This is not designed for Ware to use the ball screen but to get Robinson’s defender to hedge on Ware, putting him a step behind Robinson. Robinson’s defender does not hedge too hard, as Robinson does not hold the screen long enough to make it look like a dangerous pick and roll.
Robinson then cuts toward the baseline, where he will receive a screen on the block. Ware comes off the screen by Robinson and swings the ball around the perimeter, where it will eventually land in the corner.
James Ennis sets a screen for Robinson, which Robinson uses on the baseline side to receive the pass from the corner. Kansas State has a plan to defend this screen well, as Ennis’ defender steps away from the screen, which would allow Robinson’s defender to get through the screen.
While Robinson’s defender has plenty of room to go high over the screen, he runs right into the screen, allowing Robinson to get the entry pass from the corner and have an unguarded layup attempt, as neither Robinson’s nor Ennis’ defender can recover in time to challenge the shot.
The ball movement on this play helped it succeed, as LBSU quickly swings the ball around the perimeter to corner for the entry pass. It gets to the corner right when the entry pass needs to be made, so that the ball is never stagnant, allowing the perimeter to defend the entry pass or forcing Robinson to wait for the ball, which would have allowed his defender to recover and defend the shot.
This wasn’t a complicated set but Long Beach State ran it perfectly. It would have worked much better if Robinson and Ware would have sold the ball screen more, forcing Robinson’s defender to hedge harder on the screen. However, they ran the screen on the block very well, as they forced Robinson’s defender to run right into the screen, freeing Robinson for the layup.