One of the things that you need to do as a coach I think is to adjust your system to your players and not the other way around. Case in point, the Ohio St. Buckeyes last year. Thad Matta had Greg Oden and Mike Conley, 2 of the best players in college basketball, one a dominant center, one the best point guard of his class. Now, coach Matta has traditionally ran all of his sets out of the box formation. What they did last year was adjust a lot of their offense to pick and roll and hi-low action to take advantage of their offensive weapons while keeping the box set. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.


Coach Matta still uses the box set here, but what he does is incorporate a quick hitter from the box. If the quick hitter is not there, they'll start their pick and roll hi-low action with dribble handoffs.

Pick and Roll:

If you had 2 players similar to Greg Oden and Mike Conley, the pick and roll is the perfect play for them. Add in hi-low action, to Oden down low and you've got the perfect offense.

In many ways, this is very similar to the Louisville women's play that I diagrammed earlier in the month. But this time, the pick and roll action can lead to an immediate score. Also, coach Matta emphasizes that his guards can drive to the rim after the ball-screen, and we saw Conley take advantage of that last year.

Hi-low action:

The hi-low action is the second option. If the pick and roll isn't there, the guard will hit the post coming up who will look for the other post who has sealed his man outside.

If the hi-low isn't available, the guards on the strong-side simply do a dribble handoff and the action repeats with the high post setting the pick and rolling to the basket while the low post comes up.


With both Oden and Conley gone to the pros, I expect coach Matta to go back to a lot of the traditional box set that he's run in the past.

For a great look at a pro-style pick and roll offense, take a look at Jeff Van Gundy's DVD on the pick and roll. Van Gundy goes through both executing and guarding the pick and roll. Also, I have a some Jeff Van Gundy and Stan Van Gundy notes that might be useful, check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to request them.