Video Playbook: Michigan State Transition Offense

By Randy Sherman

December 6, 2017 - Piscataway, New Jersey, U.S. - Michigan State's forward Kenny Goins (25) blocks out Rutgers forward Eugene Omoruyi (11) in the second half during NCAA basketball action between the Michigan State Spartans and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey. Michigan State defeated Rutgers 62-52. Duncan Williams/CSM(Credit Image: © Duncan Williams/CSM via ZUMA Wire)

Five-Part video series detailing Transition Offense concepts with the help of the Michigan State Spartans

Green is the color of March. As we flip the calendar to the favorite month of College Basketball fans, the green-clad Michigan State Spartans once again look primed for a top seed and another March Madness run.

Michigan State (28-3, 16-2 Big Ten) is racing past their opponents this season to the tune of 1.12 points per possession (PPP) in transition. The following video series serves as a “clinic” full of Transition Offense tips featuring the Spartans. Enjoy the video playlist with notepad handy and volume up to get the full clinic experience!

Rim Runners

The Rim Runner is the non-rebounding or non-inbounding big. He/she sprints down Main Street looking for the ball or sprints to a seal if their man has recovered.


Pitch Aheads

The next video details the Pitch Ahead. Watch as Michigan State follows the “Pitch Ahead Rule” which states if you can pitch ahead, you must! 

Some keys:

  • High and Wide outlets
  • Sprinting the floor with great lane integrity
  • Get the eyes up ASAP
  • Getting the ball airborne over the halfcourt line.
  • Using the advantage on the catch
  • We’re looking for threes, layups and post entries by pitching ahead

Diagonal Advance Passes

The next video is on the Diagonal Advance Pass – or DAPs. If no pitch ahead is available within one to two dribbles after receiving the outlet pass, begin attacking diagonally while still seeking to advance with the pass.

Some keys:

  • High and Wide outlets
  • Sprinting the floor with great lane integrity
  • Get the eyes up ASAP
  • Using the advantage on the catch
  • We’re looking for threes, layups, 2v1s and post entries by advancing diagonally

Benefits of diagonal advances:

  • Defense may “lose” the ball while recovering when it changes sides of the floor
  • Defenders must open their hips and cross over their feet then find the ball while in recovery
  • Puts defense in close outs as they often assume the ball is coming up the outlet side and shade that way

Crossing Main Street

The next video is on the “Crossing Main Street” concept. If no pitch ahead is available within one to two dribbles after receiving the outlet pass, begin attacking diagonally while still seeking to advance with the pass. If no pass is available, “crack the shell” of the defense with dribble penetration to the rim. Drive to score, or kick out if the defense collapses.

Some keys:

  • High and Wide outlets
  • Sprinting the floor with great lane integrity
  • Get the eyes up ASAP
  • If no pass ahead is there, crack the shell with the dribble
  • We’re looking layups or kick out threes

Benefits of diagonal advances:

  • Defense may “lose” the ball while recovering when it changes sides of the floor
  • Defenders must open their hips and cross over their feet then find the ball while in recovery
  • Attacks and penetrates a disorganized defense before the are dug into stances and gaps

Trail Threes

The next video is on the “Trail Three” concept.

Some keys:

  • High and Wide outlets
  • Sprinting the floor with great lane integrity
  • Get the eyes up ASAP
  • Sprint the floor all the way to the baseline to “flatten the defense”

Benefits:

  • This is why we pitch ahead and run hard trip after trip after trip. Even if the primary three runners don’t get an advantage, the trail players may
  • Flattening the defense facilitates ball reversal
  • The trailing players are often catching against a recovering defender and may have a one count opportunity, a drive or a “one-more” change pass.

Coaches often under-emphasize or ignore the transition from defense to offense phase. Tom Izzo is not guilty of this sin. It is clear the Spartans have a “94-Foot Offense” and believe “offense” begins with the rebound/inbound. They attempt to capitalize during the phase where the defense is most vulnerable – during transition.

If the Spartans do find their way to San Antonio for the Final Four, they will surely be racing their way there.


Continue the conversation:

Check out #TransitionOffenseTips on Twitter for more on Transition Offense!

For help with practice planning and implementation of a full-court transition attack and other offensive elements for finding, using and creating offensive advantages please contact us and/or join our community for basketball coaches!

Any questions, contact us! Happy to talk hoops any time day or night! Sign up here for our twice-monthly newsletter for basketball coaches!


The off-season is the ideal time to take your coaching game to the next level. Get FastDraw today and organize your #XsOs like a pro!

Winners Come Prepared w/ FastDraw

The following two tabs change content below.
Randy Sherman
Randy Sherman is the owner and founder of Radius Athletics - a basketball coaching consulting firm - where he consults with basketball coaches at all levels on coaching philosophy, practice planning, Xs & Os and teaching a conceptual style of basketball. While a head basketball coach at the the interscholastic level, Sherman's teams won 197 games in nine seasons.
Randy Sherman

Latest posts by Randy Sherman (see all)

December 6, 2017 – Piscataway, New Jersey, U.S. – Michigan State’s forward Kenny Goins (25) blocks out Rutgers forward Eugene Omoruyi (11) in the second half during NCAA basketball action between the Michigan State Spartans and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey. Michigan State defeated Rutgers 62-52. Duncan Williams/CSM(Credit Image: © Duncan Williams/CSM via ZUMA Wire)
Authors

Related posts

2 Comments

  1. Jay K said:

    I run a similar transition system with a high school varsity team that evolved out of the UNC numbered fast break. On a change of possession, I agree the key is the high and wide outlet as you’ve identified. I wonder if you have any advice for teaching and conditioning point guards to get to this spot on the floor and instructions for your forwards on making these passes.

  2. Randy ShermanRandy Sherman said:

    we use some terminology in our system. We call the area below FTLE the dead zone. No outlets to the dead zone. Two, we have used an outlet box where outlet targets are to get upon the rebound or inbound

*

Top