I watch a lot of basketball as you can tell. And I can admit, by far my favorite to watch is college basketball. Because the talent between teams is so much closer (with the exception of just a few teams), coaching and schemes mean much more at the college level than professional. I love watching high school basketball as well, but I find that there are too many 1-man teams and the strategy is limited to getting the 1-man the ball. This is a great play from Michigan St. tonight in their win over Michigan Tech. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.


It's a 1-4 high play. It's great to run against teams that are pressuring you M2M and aren't switching.

I'm not positive I got all the positions correct in this one, but it appears that O1 starts on the right side, O3 starts on the weak-side elbow and pops up to receive the pass at the top of the key. Notice how O3's defender X4, really tries to steal/deny the pass.

UCLA cut:

Simple strategy here, O5 comes up from the elbow and sets an upscreen on X1. O1 comes off the screen and looks for the lob from O3.

Now, I'm not sure if X5 forgot to switch here or if they are playing a non-switching M2M defense, but this is a great quick hitter to use early in the game to make the opposing team adjust their defense.


I'm sure there is more to the entire play from coach Tom Izzo, but the first option here will work great at least initially. Secondary options include a flare screen after O1 clears out or a dribble handoff to O2 coming across the top on a drag.

I really like the 1-4 high set against any M2M team that is playing you aggressive. It clears out the basket area underneath and allows you to exploit a lot of things over the top.

If you are a big Tom Izzo fan like me, you'll be sure to want to check out his DVD on the 1-3-1 zone offense. Plenty of info there to exploit any of the zones you'll be sure to see this coming season. Also, be sure to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum for notes including Tom Izzo stuff.