I caught only a few minutes in the first half of the game between UConn and UCF. The Knights used a lot of zone which slowed the pace a little and there wasn't a lot of good flow, a lot of 3-point shots. UConn responded by playing a little zone defense themselves, a move that coach Calhoun must have done in spite as I know he is strictly a M2M defense coach. Anyways, when there was some M2M defense being played by UCF, UConn ran a lot of their pro-style offense, but I liked this set play they used. I actually recognized it from way back when Rip Hamilton was still playing at UConn. It's just a box play with a couple of double-stagger screens, really good for getting your shooters open. Though the shot here is missed, I still like the play a lot, especially when executed all the way through. Watch the video and read my thoughts below,

Box Double Stagger:

Run out of the box set, it looks really good when run with athletic players. Your forwards are setup at the elbows, your shooters at the low block. Starts off by O5 and O4 setting a stagger screen.

The first stagger screen is actually for both O3 and O2 so O3 curls around first, then O3 curls around. This time, O2 gets the pass from O1 at the top of the key.

At this point O2 can shoot (which he does). But the play continues as O5 and O4 continue to set a second stagger screen for O3 who comes across the baseline.

O2 can then hit O3 coming of the second stagger screen for an open 3-point shot in the corner.

I posted yesterday with coach Jim Calhoun's interview on Charlie Rose's show. I've also posted before where Jim Calhoun talked about UConn's pro-style offense. They run a lot of set plays, I have a playbook that has at least 15 set plays, 8 quick hitters and 5 zone offense plays. That's a lot of plays! But the pro-game is mostly about set plays so that is partially why UConn players do so well in the NBA, they are prepared.

One of the great things you can tell about UConn is the way they practice. Much like Roy Williams at UNC, coach Calhoun runs a tight ship. If you want to learn how UConn practices, take a look at Jim Calhoun's DVD on essential practice drills. Coach Calhoun teaches the teachers in this DVD on what are some of his most effective practice drills. To discuss this and other basketball coaching topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum.