Xavier Stagger Series

By Timothy Hipps

The Xavier Musketeers are the lowest seed still in the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. They are in the Sweet Sixteen after taking down Maryland and Florida State. Much of their success is due to constant defensive adjustments, the hot hand of Trevon Bluiett, and the offensive playbook of Head Coach Chris Mack.

One portion of that playbook comes from a series I’ve been calling “Staggers” because it can features a few stagger screens. I’ve talked before about how great it is to run the same play back to back, or multiple plays out of the same formation. “Staggers” has been pretty productive for Xavier so far this post season. Let’s take a look at what it looks like.

The Initial Formation:


Staggers Regular:  2 different 3 point looks with a flare action at the end.  This is typically the first set in this series.


Staggers Curl: While the Regular involves an early rip screen, instead 3 curls around cutting toward the ball.


Staggers Reject (Corner Rip):  This one worked really well against Florida State and ended in a wide open dunk.  There are other videos out and diagrams out there of Corner Rip sets, rips screens while the ball is in the opposite corner.  This set is different in that it sends the ball to other side of the formation immediately.


Staggers Double:  This one has multiple stagger screens and a single screen ends in a flare to a corner.


Staggers Punch:  A set for a low post option.



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Timothy Hipps

Timothy Hipps is an assistant coach at Central High School in Capital Heights, MD. He is also the founder of Math-n-Basketball Academy, a youth basketball organization that also offers academic support to players. Coach Hipps uses basketball statistics, scouting reports and game technology to integrate sports with mathematics and literacy in Maryland public schools. While coaching at amateur levels, he has sought to adapt NBA actions and offenses for youth and high school teams. Hipps is adamant about offering professional preparation, collaboration, and effort at the recreational and interscholastic levels. While a head basketball coach at the interscholastic level, Hipps' teams won 3 league championships in five seasons. You can follow Timothy on Twitter @mathnbasketball.

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