Going through some taped stuff from over the weekend. I've been trying to catch as many Gonzaga games as possible this year because a couple of Vancouver, BC boys are playing with the Zags and getting actual playing time which is rare indeed for Canadians in NCAA play. Although the Zags lost the game to Wake Forest at the end by missing free-throws, I thought this play they ran at the end of the game was a great example of the offense reacting to the defense, and taking advantage of mismatches and good offensive spacing, check it out:

It's an extremely simple play here, but the execution is key. The situation is that the Zags are down by 3, less than 2 minutes in the game. Out of a 3-out 2-in initial set, they decide to run a high screen-roll for their PG with the Center.

Now what's key here is that both the PG and the Center read the defense to see how they're going to defend the PNR. If they appear to hedge or trap, maybe the Zags run a fake PNR and just basket cut. If they go trail but go underneath, maybe the Zags shoot the 3-pointer. Here, the Demon Decons decide to straight switch. Both offensive players read it, the PG uses the screen and dribbles to the open wing bringing his switched defender with him,

So, now you have a situation with little on big (PG with a center defender) and big on little (Center with a PG defender). For better spacing, the weak-side forward vacates the low block and comes up top,

The Zags now have 2 options. Post entry with their center against a smaller defender. Or 1v1 with the PG against a big slow defender. The smaller defender fronts the center. The big slow defender decides to crowd the PG. The easy play is for the PG to make 1 crossover move and drive down the middle,

A seemingly simple play, but a lot going on. These subtle nuances are the kind of thing that your players need to go over and over in practice, breaking it down in 2-on-2 and working your way up to 5-on-5. That's why I like breaking down practices into 2-on-2 because it allows you to teach simple offensive reads.

As for Gonzaga, I'm a huge fan mainly because of the aforementioned BC players, Rob Sacre, Bol Kong, and Kelly Olynyk. I've watched all 3 of them from when they were juniors in high school, and seeing them on ESPN with those big college crowds is unreal. If you like Gonzaga and some these matchup concepts discussed, then check out Mark Few's Set Plays DVD where he outlines principles of maximizing matchup scenarios.