I've made several posts already on Michigan State's zone offense, and that's probably because they are so good at it. Here is a break down of Michigan State's high post zone offense. In this play, MSU uses an overload which results in a true triple threat play, as you can hit the shooter, the low post underneath or the high post. In this sequence they actually get the benefit of the offensive rebound which is another great way to beat a zone. Here is what it looked like live today in their big win over Indiana,

Zone Overload:

It's pretty basic. In the video, you can see Drew Nietzel at the very beginning directing traffic, the sign of a true captain.

The pass goes from the top to the wing. O3 from the high post cuts to the basket. O4 and O5 set a double stack screen for O3 on X4 on the zone.

Once O3 gets through the screen, X4 has to go around to cover O3. O1 has 3 options here:

- He can hit O3 coming off the screen for the shot
- He can hit O4 who flashes to the high post
- He can hit O5 underneath with the lob pass


Zone offense is just one of those things where you need players with skills, shoot, rebound, pass. The best zone offense scheme won't work if you don't have players that can make plays. In this case, it was the offensive rebound that made the play. But you also have to make good quick passes, outside shots and penetration.

If you're interested in the overload or any of Michigan State's zone offense, you'll enjoy Tom Izzo's DVD on the 1-3-1 Zone Offense. As always, head over to the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk with other coaches about your favorite basketball topics.