I watched the Ohio St game against Michigan this morning. I've watched both teams now a couple of times and though Ohio St loss this game by 20 points, it was really much closer than the score indicated. I think Ohio St is a great team with great players, they're just a little young right now, next year they could be really good. I wrote earlier how Ohio St. changed their offense last year with Greg Oden. Well, this year, they went back to Thad Matta's dribble weave patterned offense. Here are a couple of sequences I caught from the first half,

There is a lot of motion so it's a little hard to follow. It's basically dribble weave handoffs on the wing to PNR or double ball-screens up top. They repeat this motion as the ball goes from sideline to sideline. They are basically looking for either a lane to the basket, the roll off the PNR, a post-up, or an open perimeter shot.

Dribble Weave Handoff:

They start out in a 1-4 high, or even a 1-2-2 set, forwards at the elbows.

O5 and O4 pop out to set a double stagger ball-screen for O1. O5 will roll to the basket while O4 stays at the top of the key for a quick ball reversal as an option. O1 will execute a dribble handoff with O3 on the wing.

If O3 doesn't have a shot or a pass to O5, O3 will look to dribble reverse the ball, all perimeter players rotate to fill an open spot. O3 will pass to O4.

O4 will execute a dribble handoff to O2 who will turn the corner looking to either take it all the way to the hoop off a O5 screen, or pass back to O5 to reset.


When executed properly, the dribble weave can really be difficult to defend. It is especially tough to defend teams that use the dribble weave if you don't use it yourself because you will find it difficult to practice against. The dribble weave is really a versatile kind of offense because of the many options you can run out of it, it's the equivalent of the triple-option offense in football, or any OSV, ISV or midline variation.

For a great video that teaches good handoff techniques, take a look at Tom Crean's DVD on Game Action Drills. Like Thad Matta, Tom Crean uses a lot of dribble handoffs in his Marquette offense and you'll learn all about the drills he uses to reinforce this important technique. Head over to the X's and O's Basketball forum to discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics.