Pick and Roll: Roll Man Passing Options

By John Leonzo

A little while ago I did a post on passing out of pick and roll situations for the ball handler. In a similar way, there are many passes that are available for the roll man to throw as the defense rotates to take away the finish at the rim.

The advantage of running pick and roll is that it (should) put the defense in a position where they have 2 guarding 1 offensive player and then have to help and rotate. Because of being guarded this way, it is vital the roll man look ahead of the roll and be prepared to pass should help come early.

General Teaching Points:

  1. The roll man must position their body in a position in which they can see the majority of the floor as early as possible. This allows them to have proper vision, and the proper vision enables them to make a proper decision.
  2. The roll man must assume a state of balance and control on the catch so that they are able to effectively make a pass. How many of your teams turnovers come from passes in which the passer is out of position or off balance?
  3. The roll man must look ahead of the play to anticipate where the help may come from. The best players in the game are scanning and checking the floor before they catch the ball so that they are prepared to decide on the catch based on how the are guarded. Proper position and balance enables anticipation.
  4. Passing off the roll allows the offense to keep attacking without pulling the ball out or calling a new play (effective for shorter shot clock). The small advantage created by a pick and roll can be turned into a larger advantage later in the play should the offense continue to attack.
  5. All of these plays are made possible because of the ball handler being able to make 2 defenders guard him. If the defense can easily switch the screen or fight through, it will be hard to take advantage if this concept.

To see the video showing the various roll and pass situations, please see below. The various rolls that are shown are the:

  1. Slip and Pass
  2. Pop and Pass
  3. Short Roll and Pass
  4. Roll and Pass

For more videos like this or for more coaching resources, please be sure to check out my website HERE.



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John Leonzo

John Leonzo is the CEO of John Leonzo Basketball where he seeks to provide the highest quality training for both players and coaches. Through on the court training with players and online courses for coaches, John is able to make an impact in all the areas of the game.

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