I took the opportunity with no NBA games and a small NCAA schedule to watch some Canadian college basketball action tonight. In Canada, it's called the CIS and the level of play is pretty close to Div II ball. The University of Victoria (UVIC) was hosting Simon Fraser (SFU) in first round playoff action. Tonight was game one of the best of 3 series.

I just want to start off by saying I have a great respect for UVIC head coach Craig Beaucamp. Even much more so this season given what he has been able to accomplish. Their entire starting lineup from last year was gone this year either by graduation or transfer and along with them virtually 100% of their scoring. Night in and night out, UVIC has had to be compete against teams that had more experience and more talent, yet they still made the playoffs and after their win tonight, look like they could go deep. UVIC has always been known for tough hard-nosed M2M defense, but the biggest challenge was finding scoring. Tonight, they had little trouble scoring against SFU whether it was against the 1-3-1 zone, M2M or full-court pressure. Here is a couple of sequences of their high-low offense against M2M,

I've watched UVIC over the years, and I've been amazed at the way Coach Beaucamp has been able to adapt different offenses to his changing lineup year to year. A couple of years ago I watched them run Princeton and 4-out 1-in motion en route to the championship game. Last year, they ran a lot of flex and box. This year, I see them playing a lot of high-low. Coach Beaucamp believes in recruiting the best talent available not recruiting players to fit a system. Therefore he fits a system to the that talent that he has.

High-Low Offense:

Very simple series. They start out in a 3-out 2-in set, with a forward near the top of the key in a setting a screen stance, another forward starting at the ballside low block and 2 wings.

O1 dribble drives across to the other side while O4 pops out beyond the 3-point line. O1 then passes to O4 at the top of the key.

O5 sets a flex baseline screen for O3 from the weakside. O5 immediately seals either his defender or the switched defender. O4 now has 2 options, hit O3 off the flex screen or O5 on the screen and seal. In the clip, I showed both options (first sequence was from the first half, second sequence was from the second).


For a team that usually scores in the 50s and 60s, the 82-69 score was an offensive explosion for UVIC. They did everything you need to win a big playoff game. They played lock down M2M defense, stopping penetration, doubling the post and rebounding the ball. On offense, they shredded the SFU 1-3-1 zone early on and then went on to dominate with their high-low offense when SFU went M2M. For a team full of underclassmen versus a team with a bunch of seniors and 3 year players, UVIC certainly looked like the team with more experience and poise in all facets of the game.

For a great video on the high-low offense, take a look at Bill Self's DVD on entries into the High-low Offense. Coach Self has several DVD's on the high-low so if you really want to know more about this great offense, you'll find plenty of info from his DVDs. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk about this and your favorite basketball topics.