I decided to pick this play from the various clips even though Iowa lost the game because I've seen some questions lately about how to play against teams that are really putting a lot of ball pressure on the perimeter. In these situations, I like to bring the players up high and then go backdoor as most times the defense is over committed. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.


This was one of the first plays run in the game, as you can see the score is 0-0 just after 1 minute of play. Bradley really played great defense in this game and they would eventually win by about 10. I like Coach Todd Lickliter though, the new coach at Iowa. His teams at Butler always executed very well in the half-court and I really enjoy watching good execution.

Anyways, here is the play,

I'm not 100% sure this play is run out of the box set, but it appears to be. It could be a 1-4 high set. In any case, one of the guards goes to the corner, O3 in this case will come off a downscreen and come to meet the ball from O4.

Give and go, backdoor:

Pretty simple, O5 comes up and sets the upscreen for O1 who goes backdoor and gets the pass back from O3 and lays it up.

I think against teams that are chest-to-chest and hard-deny, you want to bring your players up high so that passes are easier to make against the pressure. Then go to the open part of the court underneath taking advantage of the overplay and making the pressure work against the defense.

The other option against aggressive pressure is to go with a 1-4 low. In that case, you basically have 1-on-1 with your best dribble-drive. The 1-4 low is also good at nullifying the pressure by flattening out the defense, but I don't like the 1-4 low as much because the defense is sitting in the lane waiting for you. So more often than not you will settle for a midrange semi-contested shot.

If you're interested in learning more about the box set and plays run out of the box, you should take a look at Kelvin Sampson's DVD on the Box Continuity set. Thanks for reading, enjoy the holidays. Check out all the coaching discussions going on at the X's and O's Basketball forum.