Watched most of the game between Marquette and Oklahoma St. earlier today. Marquette won the game mostly through good half-court execution and a solid defensive effort. This particular play I like very much because it's a handoff play (my most recent fascination). It's also run out of the box set which I know from some of you coaches out there like very much. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.


My personal opinion is that you run the box set when you have forwards who are athletic but not particularly skilled low post players. Much like a flex, there are plenty of screen the screener action you can run out of it. We ran it one year and I was quite satisfied with the results.

The setup for this particular play is your typical box set. Your guards are setup on opposite corners, your PG is up top.

O3 sets a cross screen for O4 who cuts high to the wing but just above the 3-point line. O5 sets a stationary screen from the low block where O2 cuts under and comes around. After O1 passes the ball to O4 at the wing, he cuts towards the opposite wing, O3 does the same after setting his screen heading towards the corner.

Handoff and attack:

O2 comes to receive the handoff pass from O4 and curls around the screen of O4. At this point, there are a number of options that O2 can do.

If O2 is open, especially if his defender cheats underneath, he can take the 3-pointer. Otherwise, O5 is setting the upscreen and O2 can attack the hoop, which he does in this case. O1 and specifically O3 drag to the wing and corner respectively. If O2 cannot score of the layup or dunk, he can kick it out to O3 for the 3-pointer which he does in this case.


I like the box set a lot. It's very versatile in what you can run out of it. I watched a few highlights from the MSU/UCLA game tonight and MSU ran a nice box play using flex screens, the defense forgot to switch and the forward got an easy basket.

I'm also a big fan of the handoff. It's a very deceptive play and can really create problems for defenses whether it is M2M or zone. Marquette uses the dribble weave extensively as well.

There are a few Tom Crean videos worth looking at, Coach Crean has released a 4-pack that includes his post/perimeter drills, game action drills, competitive drills and setting the tone for the season DVDs all in one convenient package. There are Tom Crean notes in the downloads section of the X's and O's of Basketball forum so be sure to check them out as well.