Here are some recent notes that I downloaded from a talk that Chris Mack, coach of Xavier University did on his ball-screening offense variety (notes via Zak Boisvert and DribbleDrive). Just some general information about running a ball screen offense, reads, etc... With Mike D'Antoni running his euro-style ball-screening, Coach K at Duke running their spread a few years ago (and still some this past year when they won the NCAAs) and Bill Self at Kansas with his ball-screen continuity, there has been a lot of attention on ball screening offenses.

For me, the key question on whether you should run a ball-screening offense has always been: are your players smart enough to make the reads? It sounds kind of like a leading question (towards no), but you really need to ask yourself honestly if the group of players you have are smart enough to make the right basketball decisions. Now, of course it takes reps to get good, but cerebrally, you have to have a PG that knows what is a good shot, a good pass, and when the right time to give the ball up is. You have to have bigs that know what it looks like when a defender is going to hedge, go underneath, and then make the right read. Easy on paper, hard to do in game-situations. But if you have the right group of players, smart players who know the game of basketball, ball-screening is definitely a good way to go. Without further ado, here are the notes:

Why Ball Screen?
- Keeps ball in primary ball handlers’ hands—Low Turnovers
- Players make plays
- Gets your team to the FT Line
- Creates Rotations which Lead to Open Shot
- Spacing
- Isolates the Low Post
- Offensive Rebounding due to Rotations
- Makes bigs defend away from the basket
- Pressure Release
- Bigs are more likely to screen on a ball screen than an off screen

Ball Handler’s Role
- Set Up (From Triple Threat, Live Dribble)
- Separation
- Level of the Ball Screen
- Reads
- Flat Hedge—Hesitate & Go, String 3
- Hard Hedge/Trap—Drag Throwback, Late Split
- Under—Shoot 3, Screen Re-Screen
- Switch—Drive the Switch, Post the Switch
- Overplay—Reject, Early Split
- Passing Routine
- Pocket Bounce Pass
- Late Throwback Jump Pass
- Drag Reverse Pivot Throwback
- Slip Pass from Triple Threat
- Slip Pass with Live Dribble

Screener’s Role
- Stationary, Sprint into It, Screen into it
- Pop Your Feet, Hold the Screen!!! (Must make contact!)
- How do we roll? Tap & Go or Traditional
- How do we pop? Sprint or Traditional
- How to Slip?
- Change the Angle
- Roll to Bury if team goes under

Ball Screen Actions
- Flat Hedge— Middle Ballscreen, Roll and Replace, Duncan action
- Hard Hedge/Trap—Slipped screen, Pick and Pop Sideline
- Under—Rescreen, Set it Lower, Old Spur action (Tony Parker)
- Switch—Seven Cut, Post the Switch, Sideline Roll and Replace (Hi-low flash)
- Overplay—Buffalo action

For more info on this offense, then check out Chris Mack's brand new DVD on his Ball Screen offense.