Michigan State Spartans High Ball Screen Set Plays
Moving on with the 2015 Final Four Series and looking at three different high ball screen sets that the Michigan State Spartans ran against Duke in the National Semi-Final game. MSU utilized a ton of high ball screen action against Duke in an effort to pull Okafor away from the basket and put him in multiple ball screen defensive coverages.
One thing I want to point out is how Tom Izzo made an emphasis that his 5 man started on the block in near all of the high ball screen sets so he could sprint up and set the ball screen. This forced Duke’s Okafor to have to sprint up along with him, creating a less aggressive hedge since he would be late at times getting to his ball screen coverage.
In the first play shown in the video was the first basket of the game. The 5 starts below the block and sprints up to set the ball screen, Okafor didn’t make it out above the arc due to MSU’s emphasis of sprinting the 5 man up from the baseline. The point guard hands the ball off to the Michigan State Spartans, most dynamic scorer, #45 Valentine. Valentine turns the corner off the 5’s ball screen and has plenty of space to shoot an open jump shot. Because Okafor didn’t get out above the arc he was too deep to properly guard either ball screen which led to the first basket of the game.
In the second play shown in the video MSU runs a weave action into a high ball screen. Once the ball gets to their best scorer, the 5 man in this instance #10 Matt Costello sets a ball screen. #45 Valentine attacks off the ball screen and Costello rolls right to the rim. With Okafor showing on Valentine, it allows Matt Costello the ability to roll and seal right into #12 Winslow for Duke. This free’s up #22 Dawson for the Michigan State Spartans. Instead of a traditional roll & replace action where the 5 rolls and the 4 replaces to the top of the key, MSU rolled the 5 right into the 4’s man. #22 Dawson instead of going all the way to the top of the key, curls the seal right into the middle of the paint for a wide open shot.
The third and final play of the Michigan State Spartans shown in the video is another sprint up ball screen from 5 and a stagger screen away. With the Michigan State Spartans 5 man sprinting up off the baseline again it creates a lot of space between him and Duke’s Okafor on the ball screen. 1 attacks off the ball screen, while the 4 and 5 move to set a stagger screen for MSU’s best scoring threat in #45 Denzel Valentine. MSU’s #20 Trice has an option to attack the rim with the back side cleared out, work a dribble handoff with the strong side wing, or wait for Valentine to come off the stagger screen. When Valentine curled the stagger he became wide open as Okafor was so far off his man he was in no position to show on that movement.
These are three great different actions from the Michigan State Spartans and they are all off a high ball screen that you can utilize against a team that has a big or slow 5 man that you want to put in a ton of ball screen situations to pull him away from the rim and make him defend quicker guards.
Kevin Bruinsma is entering his third year as the Men’s Director of Basketball Operations at Youngstown State University. Before joining the staff at YSU in 2013-2014, Bruinsma spent the 2012-2013 season as the Director of Basketball Technology at the University of Portland. Prior to heading out west to Portland, Bruinsma served as the Graduate Manager/Video Coordinator at Cleveland State University from 2009-2012. During his time at CSU the Vikings won the Horizon League Regular Season Championship, participated in two Post-Season NIT’s, and had a first round NBA draft pick. While working at Cleveland State he received his Graduate degree in Sports Management. His first video experience was in the Summer of 2008 as Bruinsma served as a video & scouting intern for the Orlando Magic throughout the NBA summer leagues. After his experience with the Magic, he applied those skills as an Advanced Scout for Albion College during the 2008-2009 campaign. Along with multiple years of video, and scouting experience Bruinsma has also been a Head Coach at the High School level serving as the JV Boy’s Head Basketball Coach at Concord High School from 2007-2009. Bruinsma graduated from Spring Arbor University where he played Basketball, and Soccer. As a basketball player SAU won the 2005 NCCAA National Championship, while on the Soccer field he was a two-time All-Region Selection, and Team MVP.
Bruinsma runs his own coaching website: https://bruinsmablog.wordpress.com and is a contributor to Fast Model Sports.
Click on the pdf link below to download the Michigan State Spartans High Ball Screen Set Plays