FastModel Friday: Big Monday Breakdown

By Gibson Pyper

Friday is here again and that means we are going to look at the Big Monday games and break them down between Duke and Syracuse as well as Iowa State taking down #1 Oklahoma in a thriller. Also, we will take a look at 3 NBA quick hitters that are both creative and effective for big men that can shoot, as well as a nice decoy set out of a post up that the Dallas Mavericks use to create an open shot for Wes Matthews.


Iowa State vs Oklahoma

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Iowa State and Oklahoma are two offenses and programs that let players play, with creativity while spacing the floor. This game was free flowing, attacking basketball with both teams getting out in transition looking to attack early. A prime example of letting their players make plays was the very first possession for both teams running Isolation sets for their best players, Buddy Hield and Georges Niang.

Iowa State Weave ISO


Oklahoma AI ISO


Late in this game, Buddy Hield took over scoring eleven straight points and bringing Oklahoma back to tie the game. Oklahoma utilized an “Angle Ballscreen” to attack Jameel McKay who was struggling with a leg injury, similar to an NBA offense. NBA offenses really pinpoint weaknesses (think Golden State vs Kevin Love) and attack them often, and that is what Hield and Oklahoma did. McKay is a good pick and roll defender and actually did a good job considering he was injured, and Hield hit some great shots late.

Oklahoma Angle

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What I really want to break down is the fantastic end of game execution that Steve Prohm and Iowa State ran late up 2. Up late, taking the ball out and needing to get the ball in to a good shooter and close the win out against #1 Oklahoma, Iowa State ran an inbound set that every coach should add to their playbook.

Iowa State Inbounds Special

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Steve Prohm had a great shooter in Matt Thomas sprint to the baseline across from the inbounder and step out-of-bounds to receive a pass from the inbounder. This is a legal pass and is great action to use against any pressing teams, especially late in games. Isaiah Cousins ended up reaching across the line and made contact with the player and the ball, resulting in a technical foul and essentially sealing the game a big time win for Iowa State.


Duke vs Syracuse

We are also going to look at is Duke vs Syracuse, which started off slow then built to a good ending that Syracuse ended up winning. Syracuse is known for its 2-3 zone and we are going to look at how Duke attacked it and why I think they could have been more effective, as well as Syracuse ballscreen attack that won the game late for them. This game was controlled by Duke for the most part into half way through the second half, when Syracuse was down 6 and made an 8-0 run by attacking in transition. After this the game went back and forth and eventually Syracuse took control late and Duke could not score off an inbounds play, partially due to Syracuse’s zone.

Duke Zone Attack

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Duke did a good job attacking Syracuse’s zone to a certain extent. They did a good job moving players and attacking off the drive, using dribble penetration to create scoring opportunities. While watching Duke attack the Syracuse Zone I noticed something that really stood out to me: Duke was not getting the ball into the post, high or low. For reference, this is what I mean by high or low post:

Post Spots vs Zone

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Duke got the ball into the post, either high or low, on 19 occasions on their 63 shots. On their 20 made shots (2 and 3 point makes) the ball touched the post 12 times, and only touched the post 7 times on their 43 misses. This to me is the main reason Duke struggled against Syracuse and when the ball touched the high post it usually resulted in an open shot, I expect Duke to adjust this philosophy the next time they see a zone this year.
duke post


Syracuse really gave Duke problems with their ballscreen attack, which was not complicated but very effective. Running a big into a high ballscreen for the point guard, Syracuse keeps two players on the wings and the other big in the short corner or “dunker spot” on the baseline. Because Duke likes to “ICE” the ballscreen, Syracuse found success either beating the point guard before the big can get to his spot for help or turning the screen back inside when the roll man found success.

Syracuse Ballscreen


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This week I looked at 3 NBA quick hitters designed to get a quick shot for bigs who can shoot (think Atlanta Hawks) and a nice decoy set out of a post up by the Mavericks. Dallas looks to get Deron Williams and Wes Matthews post ups, especially if they can take advantages of mismatches with smaller guards defending them, and they run a nice post decoy set that is designed out of those post ups. Deron Williams walks his man into the post, and takes a dribble or two which triggers a double stagger screen on the weakside for Wes Matthews in the corner for an open 3.

Dallas Mavericks Post Decoy

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Atlanta Hawks have two great bigs who can shoot the ball all the way out to the 3 point line. This set is an option out of the “Wedge Roll” set made famous by the San Antonio Spurs, especially if the big man’s defender sags off to be able to help on the pick and roll.

Atlanta Hawks Wedge Stay

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Charlotte Hornets run my favorite set this week, and it is unconventional to say the least. It is a designed curl set for their 4 man Cody Zeller out of their “Veer” action. Veer is when the big slips or fakes the pick and roll with the point guard and sprints to set a pindown screen, typically for a guard. Charlotte runs this for Cody Zeller and it usually catches the defense off guard for a quick score.

Charlotte Hornets Veer

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I hope everyone can take away something from this breakdown and quick hitters, from this edition of #FastModelFriday. If you have any questions or thoughts you can contact me on twitter @halfcourthoops, and if you have any suggestions for sets/actions you want to see on #FastModelFriday then please let us know!

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Creator/Owner of & half court hoops youtube channel. I love NBA & NCAA X's & O's and look to help coaches everywhere!

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