College Basketball Rub Action Plays

Written by Wes Kosel

Wes Kosel will enter his first season as an Assistant Coach at Augustana University under Tom Billeter in 2016-2017. Kosel came to Sioux Falls after two season at Colorado College as the lead assistant. Kosel, a native of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, served as an assistant coach at Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Texas Lutheran University from 2012-2014. Kosel graduated from the University of Kansas in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. He also has a master’s degree in physical education from the University of Houston. While attending Kansas, Kosel served as an assistant coach at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. A life-long student of the game, Kosel honed his coaching skills by working summer camps for various programs in Texas, Colorado, Missouri, and New Mexico. Kosel also is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Certified Personal Trainer, both of which are certifications earned through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Kosel and his wife, Molly, live in Colorado Springs.

June 28, 2016

College Basketball Rub Action Plays by Wes Kosel

Below in this playbook are six “rub action” plays used by several college basketball teams. A rub action or rub screen is used by many teams to get a ballhandler open without setting a set screen. The rub is almost an illegal screen (and often could be called by an official) by having the rub screener run by the ballhandler’s defender and get in the way as the ballhandler starts driving. A lot of the rub actions are set at the top of the key or on the wing allowing the driver to penetrate into the lane and draw help defenders. A good rub screen takes good timing and patience by the dribbler. If the ballhandler leaves to early, his defender won’t be clipped by the rub screener. If he takes off too late, his defender won’t be affected by the screen. When used properly, a rub screen allows the ballhandler to drive at full speed without the help of the rub screener’s defender. Since there is no actual screen set, the defender on the screener is usually not anticipating having to help on the action.

Rub Action Playbook: Colorado School of Mines – 1-4 High Rub Side Ball-Screen

In this play, the rub screen is set off the ball by the 4 man. As 4 runs by 5, he clips 5’s defender allowing 5 to sprint into a ball-screen without his defender helping.


Rub Action Playbook: Indiana Hoosiers – X Rub

This double rub action allows the point guard to drive to the rim with his defender getting caught up by the multiple actions behind him.


Rub Action Playbook: Middle Tennessee State – Trail Rub

In this play, 1 passes off to 4 then cuts right in front of him to set the rub screen. 4 drives with his right hand to the rim looking for an easy layup.


Rub Action Playbook: Texas A&M – Rub Roll/Replace

This combo rub play sends 2 into a rub screen affecting both 1 and 5’s defenders.


Rub Action Playbook: South Dakota State – Rub Handoff Ball Screen

In this set, 4 sets a rub screen for 1 who dribbles straight into a dribble handoff action for 3. 3 then gets a ball-screen from 5.


Rub Action Playbook: Wisconsin-Platteville – Rub Flash

4 sets a rub action for 1 who dribbles left. As 1 gets to the left slot, 5 flashes high. 5 can then look to pass directly into 4 or can pass to 3 on the wing who looks for 4 posting up.


Click on the pdf link below to download the Rub Action Playbook:

Rub Action Playbook by Wes Kosel

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