Pittsburgh’s perfectly executed fast break
Over the past few seasons, Michigan State’s Draymond Green has earned endless praise for his basketball IQ, which is well deserved. However, one player with a significant amount of basketball IQ who does not get as much credit for it is Pitt’s Nasir Robinson. Nothing he does is flashy, but his moves on the court are calculated and intelligent. This fast break shows that, as Nasir Robinson recognizes the opening and exploits the defense for a layup.
After the missed shot by Notre Dame, Pitt pushes the ball down the floor and leaves three Notre Dame defenders behind the ball. The key here is that Pitt moves the ball by the way of the pass, instead of the dribble (illustrated in blue). This moves the ball quickly down the court and allows Pitt to play three on two in the frontcourt.
Dante Taylor does his job as the first big man down the floor and runs directly to the rim. With one Notre Dame defender on the ball and one with the responsibility to protect the rim, Robinson recognizes the opening on the floor several seconds before the play develops. Robinson sees that the foul line will be the best place for him to catch the ball, as Robinson takes the second defender to the rim.
Robinson curls in behind Taylor and flashes to the foul line. This gives him the ball in space and before the defense could recover down the floor. This allows him to take one dribble on his way to an easy layup.
Taylor completely took Scott Martin out of the play with his run to the rim. Not only does he open the foul line for Robinson, he ties him up as Robinson is driving to the rim which prevents him from stepping in front of the shot attempt.
This play really displayed his basketball IQ, as he was in the process of making his cut to the foul line before the space opened up. Not only was he able to find the open spot on the floor, he got there before the defense recovered to defend the fast break. This gave him an easy two points in transition. Green gets all the media love but Robinson has some of the highest basketball IQ in the nation.