The earlier game saw NC State face Michigan State. I love watching Michigan State because I like the structure of Tom Izzo and his offense. For example, this year their best player is senior guard Drew Neitzel. Much like JJ Reddick in his days at Duke, Drew is a shooter and so alot of MSU's offense is trying to get the ball into Drew's hands where he's open and can hit his deadly shot. In this high-post set (looks almost like a stack set at the high-post), Drew is able to get open on the cross move and double screens down low. Watch the video and read my thoughts below,

Stack high-post:

I'm not 100% sure the original play is a stack set at the high-post because they ran the double stagger down low many times and I don't remember them always in the stack up high, but I suppose you could easily run it out of a 1-4 high set.

Like in most stack sets, 1 forward goes right, the other goes left, and the last player comes through the middle. O1, Drew Neitzel bounce passes to O3 at the top of the key. Then starts heading to towards the low block. O2 starts heading towards the other low-block.

Double-screen, cross baseline:

O4 and O5 flare to the 3-point line then come down to set the double screens right away. By this time O1 and O2 should already be close to the low-block. Obviously timing here is critical as the picks have to be there when O1 and O2 cross and both players must make sure they don't run into each other at the mesh.

Finally, O1, Drew Neitzel explodes out of the second screen with his defender trying to trail. The picks have given Drew just enough separation to get off his shot.

Now unfortunately, the live play was whistled right before the shot for a moving screen by either O4 or O5. But it illustrates one of the main ways MSU is able to get Drew Neitzel in a wide open catch and shoot situation.

If you are a big Tom Izzo fan like me and the many MSU fans, then you'll learn a lot from his videos. I've recommended the zone offense DVD, but another I like alot is Coach Izzo's DVD which includes his 'Basketball Smorgasbord' of Drills and Basketball Wisdom. As always, head over to the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk with other coaches about your favorite basketball topics.