Following on my theme of tough physical basketball, I caught the second half of the Texas A&M game against Texas at College Station. I watched a lot of A&M on national TV last year while Billy Gillespie had them flying high, but admittedly only caught one Aggies game this season since Mark Turgeon took over. If there's one thing that you know the Aggies would be going into this season, it would be tough, physical basketball. That's the way Wichita St. played under Turgeon, and that's how he reportedly played while at Kansas.

One of those kind of physical plays is setting open court picks. Just after midway through the second half, Aggies' forward Bryan Davis set this devastating pick on Longhorns forward DJ Augustine,

Against teams that like to use token M2M pressure on the primary dribbler, there's nothing better than a open-court screen to blow the defender up. The football equivalent would be a bone-crunching crack back block by a receiver on a linebacker.

Setting the Open-Court Pick:

Just to show how it develops, there are a couple of things to keep in mind,

First off, the dribbler, O1, has to setup his defender. He does this by dribbling one way, the using a quick cross-over dribble to change directions such that the defender does not have time to see the screen coming, instead focusing on the defensive recover slide.

O4 should signal to O1 that a screen is coming by pointing his thumb in the direction of where to come off the screen. Bryan Davis uses great form in setting the screen by firmly planting his feet and hands crossed over the crotch. He absorbs the contact from DJ Augustine while Augustine collapses.


I'm admittedly a big proponent of physical play. I don't condone flagrant fouls or outright violence, I like full-contact basketball, there is a difference. I think by playing physical, bodying up your opponent, you set the tone of the way the game will be played. In the chessmatch that is coaching, I like challenging the opponent to see if they can match our physicality. If not, we will dictate the terms and will take advantage accordingly.

For a truly unique video, check out Seth Greenberg's new DVD on the Defensive Stance. Greenberg does not believe in 'step and slide' and prefers short quick choppy steps resulting in the offense going through you, interesting stuff. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk about this and your favorite basketball topics.