Tom Izzo Michigan State Zone Offense by Wes Kosel
Here are two zone set plays that Tom Izzo used against Middle Tennessee State in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Izzo and the Spartans went 29-6 this season bringing Izzo’s record to 524 victories. Izzo played at Northern Michigan from 1973-1977 and was an assistant there from 1979-1983. He then moved on to be an assistant coach at Michigan State from 1983-1995 before taking over as head coach of the Spartans. He has taken his teams to the Final Four seven different times (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010, and 2015). He won the NCAA Division 1 National Championship in 2000.
The video below shows how the Spartans got into the middle of the zone defense to score.
Tom Izzo Michigan State Zone Offense
Zone Step Out High PNR
The Spartans get a high ball screen against the zone by stepping out the 4 man to the perimeter. Once 1 is driving off of the ball screen and turns the corner, x4 has to help on the drive which forces a 2 v 1 situation in the lane. X5 has to decide whether to guard 4 rolling to the basket or guard 5 posting up on the right block. In the video, x5 hesitates and 1 throws to 5 for a layup. It is important that x2 and x3 are occupied with shooters.
Zone Short Corner Lob
This is a quick hitter that attacks the middle of the zone with dribble penetration. If the guard can get inside the lane (past x1 and x2), it puts pressure on x4 or x5 to step up and help. In the video, x5 steps up to help leaving 4 wide open for an alley-oop pass. If x5 would have stayed back, 1 could pull up for a jump shot in the lane.
Click on the pdf link below to download the Michigan State Zone Offense Playbook: