Monday, December 3, 2012

Post Play

A primary difference between the offense we used at ONU and the Grinnell attack is the involvement of a post player.  We included this element from our earliest System days for two simple reasons:  a) I was a post player and like teaching that aspect of the game, and b) we had good post players throughout my tenure at Olivet.  Reason enough to include some inside threat, especially since we were still consistently meeting our goal of creating half our shots from beyond the arc!  Why not a few layups, too?

This past week we made good progress in integrating our drive and kick series (DK) and the pass and downscreen series (DS).  These two continuities allow us to stay in a four-out set while giving offensive players two basic options: penetrate and kick to a shooter, or downscreen for a shooter.

A third way to create a three-point shot is what we call "Post Inside-Out."  Normally, getting the ball inside is more for the purpose of creating a good inside shot.  In our offense, although this is certainly an option, we use the post as an additional point of attack.  That is why we train our post players to always catch, chin the ball, and look over their inside shoulders before making any post move.  This look inside allows them to see if a player is open at the top for a three point shot, often coming off a weakside downscreen.

But if we have a strong inside player, as we often did at ONU, we also will encourage them to attempt to score inside.  However, we limit their post moves to three specific options: the Power Move, the Layback, and the Spin Move.  All three of these options are set up based on the post player's ability to "read the defense" before making the appropriate scoring move.

  1. Power Move.  This is an old standby, which everyone teaches.  Our post catches, chins, and looks inside.  If the post defender is leaning to the high side, we teach our players to dropstep, take one hard dribble and score the power jumper.
  2. Layback Move.  We originally developed this move because some of our post players at ONU were small and overmatched inside, and could not create a shot over the defender, so... we decided the only thing to do is create "separation" via the Layback move.  Again: catch, chin, look inside.  If the post defender is not there (i.e. is sealing the baseline to prevent the Power move), we step with the inside foot, dribble, and take two more steps to complete the layback, shooting off the glass on the far side of the lane.  Think of this as an off-side layup:  three steps, one dribble, and very difficult to block.
  3. Spin Move.  The last move in this sequence has our post again catching, chinning the ball, and seeing inside.  If the post sees no defender, she starts a Layback move by stepping with the inside foot towards the middle of the lane and taking a dribble... but if the defense then jumps to the inside to take this move away, our post then drop-steps with the trail foot and spins back to the outside for a power jump shot.
The beauty of the three moves is that they follow the "path of least resistance."  We don't force anything, we just simply take what the defense chooses to give us! 

"But," you ask, "what if the defense doubles down on the post?"  Well, how many coaches do you think will encourage a post double-team vs. an offense that averages 45 three-point attempts per game?  Not many.  Which is why our post players at ONU tended to shoot such high percentages.  As I've noted before in our book, we had one season in which all three low post players shot over 60% in league play.  And two years ago our post player led the nation in FG percentage, shooting 67% for the year.  Not bad for a 5-8 player.

As with any System team, we use the three-point threat as our primary weapon.  But the Olivet Attack also uses the perimeter threat to set up our post game.  Unlike conventional offenses which are "inside-out" oriented, we are an "outside-in" team.  And this week we plan to work on integrating that final weapon into our offense!

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