georgia basketball film room

Georgia Basketball Film Room: Attacking the Basket

The action on the floor is dizzying and it is hard to keep track.

In this feature, Georgia’s set offensive efforts to attack the basket off the dribble, cut or roll are examined.  WatchESPN is not exactly the most user friendly platform, the video quality is erratic and it was not worth multiple attempts to capture the desired clips, which will explain why some of the GIFs are not the crispest.  This being said, let’s go through some of the sets.

Setting Up the Dribble Drive using a Screen and Roll

Georgia’s clever use of frontcourt players to put frontcourt opposing defenders into poor defending position on dribble drives goes unseen, but it is hard not to appreciate the design.  Notice how Maten sets a screen at the Free Throw Line to provide Charles Mann with the option to drive down the middle of the lane.  A more experienced Charles Mann chooses only to just put his foot in the water off a head fake and then thinks better of taking a 20 foot jump shot, which he would have taken last season.  Mann dishes it to Gaines, but watch Yante Maten without the ball after the screen he sets, notice how he rolls to the low block establishes nearly dominant low block position on an already flustered post defender.  At this point, Gaines had two options that would not result in a turnover:  Pass it back to Mann who had returned to the top of the key or shake off the defender and take it to the rack himself.  Upon Gaines’ dribble drive, Maten moves himself back up to the elbow leaving a defender in a situation where his footwork is lacking and the play will require upon the attack of the rim more upper body action upon Kenny Gaines to stop the play rather than good footwork that will stem the completion of the drive.  Gaines’ instinct is never to dish the ball to Maten nor to anyone else and the hapless defenders are in a horrible position where they have no choice but to commit a foul.

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This set should have been the first run of the night to set the physical tone and see how the officials were going to react to Georgia’s dribble drive.  Georgia’s “Peek-A-Boo” approach in the half court is common, it is not like the Georgia players bring the ball up and immediately just attack the basket blindly in a brute force method.  The whole point is to catch defenders out of position and using terrible footwork.

Elbow Clearing Screen and Roll

To the casual observer, this is just an ordinary screen and roll that Houston Kessler could have chosen to spot up and shoot a short 8 footer.  However, this play is rather intelligently designed with Kessler to receive the ball on the elbow and let Kenny Gaines wrap around him and cut through the lane to give Kessler the option to flip it over to Gaines, spin and dribble if his man switched to the cutting Gaines or pass it to Charles Mann who replaced Gaines in his former spot on the perimeter.  His choice to go to Mann set up a new scenario on the floor.

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Notice how once Mann received the ball there was a “two man” game between Kessler and Mann and the other three were on the other side.  The screen and roll set up a situation where Mann faced a temporary double team and passed it to the wide open and rolling Kessler who had a clear path to the basket until it was impeded by Gaines’ man.  The play may have developed too slowly and Gaines let his man get inside position to be able to provide help defense.  Gaines put himself in a position on the offensive end where the possession was going to be terminal, either Kessler get fouled or scores or Kessler commits a turnover or gives Armstrong State an easy defensive rebound.  Mike Edwards’ man is the guy that Georgia wants to play the role of help defender in this case because he enters the play too late and out of position.

Similarly, here’s the same play, but this time there is no temporary double team.  See how Yante Maten handles it.

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A minute prior, Gaines did not effectively finish the set, but this time he sees it to completion and takes his defender out of the defensive picture in the paint.  The play worked out better because Gaines completed it taking his defender toward the perimeter, Turtle Jackson saw the immediate advantageous low post feed opportunity and Yante had the clear one-on-one with Mackey.  No help defense here and a 6 foot jump hook opportunity for Yante Maten means two points for the Dawgs.

Mark Fox Didn’t Completely Abandon the Triangle… Here’s A Little Proof.

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The set starts inconspicuously as it is clear in retrospect that it was not designed to score a basket immediately.  The action on the floor is originally designed to get the players in the right places to set up a particular cut to the hoop.  When coming up the floor in a half court set, defenses will not just let offensive players set up on the floor however they want.  Offenses have to move defenders around whether it be in a zone, man-to-man or junk defense.  There isn’t any so called “false motion” here, but rather the offensive players are trying to manipulate their opposition into a position to set up a scoring opportunity.  Take notice how much time the entire set took to execute – ten seconds.  It is not stall ball, there is a purpose to the activity and it becomes immediately clear when Parker dishes the ball to a wide open Charles Mann.

Georgia wanted to get into a traditional Triangle Offense look on the floor with three players in the form of a triangle like illustrated below.  It is not exact, but the concept is the same in spirit.

Notice how there is a triangle formed at the very end and then on the other side there is a “two man” game, this is emblematic of how Triangle Offenses set up.  The two man game could have both players on the perimeter, one in the high post and the other on the perimeter or one player on the low block with a perimeter player to complement.  Derek Ogbeide cleared himself off the low block toward the perimeter taking his defender completely out of the play in the paint, which removed any sort of a switch or help defense element.

Once the triangle was formed, Mike Edwards set a screen for the cutting Charles Mann in his spot in the low post, which freed Mann up to receive a quick pass under the basket for a layup from Juwan Parker.  It was executed beautifully and it is a set that Mark Fox likes to run.

Georgia likes to score in the paint and get the ball into the paint to set up shots from the perimeter.  This Georgia Basketball team will do it in multiple ways to get the easy buckets and Free Throw attempts.


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