Compared to a lot of college basketball teams, Jim Calhoun's UConn Huskies plays a very vanilla system. He runs mostly pro-sets that get the ball into the hands of his best scorers. This is primarily why he has been so successful in recruiting and getting them into the NBA. In this video, coach Calhoun talks about UConn's overall offensive philosophy and why they've been so successful for so long. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.

A lot of times, we as coaches try to find the perfect offense, the perfect defense. Ultimately, basketball is about the players on the court and their abilities. If you are fortunate enough to have a number of elite players on your team, you will probably be best served running a pro-style offense like UConn does.

The team I coach with now, we are fortunate to have some of the better athletes and basketball players in our region. We do run a lot of pick and rolls and stagger screens. We run motion as our base but in certain situations where we want to get the ball into our best players' hands where they are most effective, it's been simple plays like the pick and roll and stagger screens which we run.

This is why you see a lot of NBA teams run generic offenses with mostly pick and roll, ball screens, and multiple stagger screens. The pick and roll is a great isolation play because you've basically isolated the offense to 2 players, your 2 best players. You force the defense to make a decision on how they will defend your 2 best players, it's like an option play in football.

Stagger screens are great because again it isolates your best player and gets your player in a position to catch the ball and make a move before the defense can recover. We'll run a lot of stagger screens to get our best shooters open for jumpers and we'll run also run screen the screener action to get our big men the ball in a position to score.

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.