As I've written before, I think it's critical that as a coach you are prepared for every scenario in a late game situation as Rick Barnes states. This is a play that Illinois used in a late game situation to beat Michigan a few years ago. It's a simple play, but obviously well executed by Illinois and poorly defended by UM.


Illinois starts out as they usually do, in the box set. O5 is the inbounder instead of a guard as in late games, usually there is a taller defender attempting to steal the inbound.

O3 and O2 set downscreens for O1 and O4 respectively. O1 comes off hard straight coming to the ball. O5 should hit O1 and get directly to the ball-side elbow. O4 comes to the weak-side elbow and both screeners O2 and O3 go to the wings at the free-throw line extended to form a 1-4 high setup.

I like this 1-4 setup because it's good in late game situations when the team is playing aggressive ball pressure.

Quick Hitter:

Pretty simple play out of the 1-4. O1 will dribble towards the other wing. As that happens, O5 will come across the free-throw line and set a cross-screen for O4 who will curl around over top of the screen then cut directly to the basket. O3 heads to the corner for spacing.

O1 passes the ball to O2 who looks for the quick lob to O4 for the layup. O5 pops out again for spacing and to confuse the defense.


As I stated, nothing terribly complicated here. What happened in real life was on the O5 cross screen, X5 forgot to switch and so O4 was left wide open all by himself underneath the basket.

Personally, for last second plays, I've mostly just designed a play to get our best shooter the ball, we clear the side, and have one of the forwards come and set a ball-screen and roll. We tell our best player to shoot if open or hit the roll if the defenders trap.

Defensively, we tell our players to switch everything in a last second shot. The thinking is that regardless of a mismatch, we want everyone defended in a last shot, we can't afford to have an open man underneath the hoop.

Not entirely related, but if you're looking for a great Bruce Weber video, I highly recommend you take a look at coach Weber's DVD on 20 competitive defensive drills. Now, for a brand new video with sideline last-second shot special plays, check out Kelvin Sampson's DVD on Special Late Clock Plays.

Check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum for the plenty of notes to download.