Tom Izzo Michigan State University Zone Set Plays by Tedi Yaghoubian
Tom Izzo is one the greatest coaches in college basketball history. His teams have always been known for their rebounding prowess, toughness and defensive tenacity. As the head coach of the Michigan State Spartans coach Izzo has led the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA Division I National Championship, the 2009 NCAA Division I National Championship Game, seven Final Fours, and seven Big Ten Championships in his first 18 years at Michigan State. He is also the longest tenured coach in Big Ten conference. His remarkable success during NCAA tournament play has earned him the nickname “Mr. March” among all active collegiate coaches. As such, many consider him as the best coach in modern college basketball of today.
Coach Izzo is also a great offensive mind and this has often been overlooked by his teams’ success in areas of rebounding and defensive intensity. His ability to diagram and implement different sets to take advantage of the strength of his best scorers is second to none in college basketball. With a coaching resume expanding over three decades, Tom Izzo has been able to build an extensive playbook that allows his teams to succeed in close games in particularly at tournament style games.
Below you will find five (5) set plays out of Tom Izzo’s zone offense playbook that have been used at MSU for many years. These Tom Izzo Michigan State University Zone Set Plays when executed correctly are bound to create multiple high percentage scoring options for your team – either when you need a quick 3-pointer or when you like to get the ball inside to your post players. These sets are designed to distort any 2-3, 3-2, 1-2-2 or 1-1-3 match-up zone defenses with ball movement and player movement.
The first set “J” is designed to set-up a 3 point shooter for a corner 3 by creating an overload situation. This play also has a post option to counter vs teams playing covering the corner shooter. This set will be even more effective if your 4/5 man can stretch the floor and shoot from the outside. The second set of this mini-playbook is “J-Long” designed to get a lob for an athletic big man. This is a great ATO set vs teams that like to zone coming out of a time-out. The third set “Pin” is another great play out of a 1-3-1 alignment with multiple scoring options.
Players have to be taught to make reads of the zone when executing these plays. “Box” is a set that MSU has used for a number of years (this can also be used vs man or zone) in particularly coming out of time-outs. Again, this set provides both inside and an outside scoring option.
The next play “Chop” is a play that utilizes a ball screen to initiate the offense. There are timely cuts and movements off the ball hence the point guard has to be able to make reads of the defense and make a good decision.
I hope you find these five Tom Izzo Michigan State University Zone Set Plays useful for your team in your upcoming season.
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