A 1-3-1 set implemented by coach Sen in his team practice to improve his players’ “seeing” of the game:
The legendary Pete Newell teught players to ‘see’ the game. Teaching players to find situations they can convert into great scoring opportunity is our greatest challenge.
Spacing and “piece movement” become the figurative chess game for checker players. We spend a few moments setting up ‘the board’ and ask players how they can move the pieces.
First, we ask the players to name our toughest opponents and why. They know our strengths (defense, quickness, and fundamentals) and our limitations against height. They then link that to the need to move the action away from the basket.
One of our base sets is “yellow”, a 1-3-1 set. We move the ’4′ toward the ’5′ and ask the players what they see. After spacing, we emphasize offense in smaller pieces, 3-on-3 and 2-on-2.
First, they appreciate that the point guard can crossover and drive if the ’2′ cuts baseline.
With an emphasis on off-the-ball screens, they identify the initial choices of emptying the weak side with either a baseline cut or move to a ’2 guard out’ set, realizing an ideal chance for a cut for the wing to the ‘emptied’ weak side (above), for a potential one-on-one chance for our best driver.
But we know the understanding is improving when they see the second screen for the ’5′ for a basket cut, and the ’4′ sealing her defender for a possible follow-on cut for dribble drives or midrange shots for our ’4′.
Ron Sen, MD, FCCP @rsen01 on Twitter
Ron Sen is an assistant coach in a middle school girls basketball program and a primary and specialty care physician.