Change In Zone Offense - Odd vs. Even Man Front

  • One of the areas of concern that @icthawkfan316 mentioned on another thread was, “I think the frustration a lot of fans have is that they don’t think we work on, game plan, or scheme for 3-point looks.”

    This is the heart of the discussion we’ve had on our offense.

    In the Baylor pregame thread, one area I was concerned with was that our zone attack was based on utilizing a an odd man front to attack and odd man front defense. Baylor’s so-called 1-1-3, which is really a 1-3-1, caused us difficulty in Waco getting open looks from the perimeter. Many times, we were left passing the ball aimlessly around the perimeter, and making futile entry passes.

    But today, Self changed that attack. And I do think it was in large part to try to get three point looks. When Greene entered the game, Self went to an even man front.

    The first photo shows our standard attack, with Mason out front – odd man front. You’ll see how easy it is for Baylor to guard our perimeter.

    photo (2).JPG

    The second photo shows our modified attack with Greene in the game. See how Greene is on the baseline and Mason and Oubre are up top – in an even man front vs. Baylor’s odd man front zone. Using a shooter like Greene on the baseline against a 1-3-1 is certainly an effort to get looks for Greene. This scheme didn’t get the desired result, but it was a clear effort to get different looks. We didn’t do this once when we played at Baylor.

    When Selden was in later in the half, he took Greene’s spot in on the floor. We did this though much of the second half, and it also seemed to change the dynamic a bit overall. It also set up our set play lob to Selden out of the half. Anyway, thought it might be interesting for everyone to see.

    photo (3).JPG

  • So…that was a good way to attack the zone?

  • @HighEliteMajor Did you turn that quote into your ringtone?

  • @Hawk8086 - I certainly think that it is a better way. If you look at the second picture, think of all of the screening options on the back line. Another thing using an even front vs. odd (or odd vs. even) is that it creates more ready-made paths to attacking the creases off the dribble. I also think it makes it easier on the post men flashing to the high post, when the wing has to commit the more corner oriented offensive player. It requires the wing defender, on Greene’s side (or whichever side that the “3” is on), to respect him there, which pulls him away from the middle. If Greene is in the position that he is in the first picture, the defender at the top of the zone is in a great position to help on Greene, so the wing defender can be more aggressive inside.

    At 11:55 of the second half, you can go back and see how our offense sets up. Look where Greene, and where the defender has to play. This permits Mason to make the killer entry pass at the high post to Traylor. Oubre then slides down the wing as an option. On this play, Traylor drives and gets blocked. That one is on Traylor. But the function of it is perfect. I mean, this is exactly what you want. Traylor has multiple options, including a dump off to Lucas. Pretty cool to watch. Here’s a photo of how it set up: photo (7).JPG

    We also run set plays off inbounds with similar spacing. Go to 14:00 of the second half. Oubre gets a three from the near corner, shaded a bit to the wing. When I’ve mentioned screening against the zone, watch Ellis and Alexander on the inbounds play. This is it. We don’t see that in our regular offense, though. But it’s used regularly in our inbounds plays. This is another instance where I think we can say that Self is looking to get three point looks for guys. Mason inbounded the ball over the top to Greene to the far edge of the top of the key, Oubre was moving to the far corner. After getting to Greene, Mason went hard to the near forecourt. Oubre then cut baseline to the near corner. This is the sort of stuff all basketball coaches should copy. Here’s a photo that shows Mason getting the ball to Oubre, and Alexander and Ellis “walling up” in the middle: photo (5).JPG

    In contrast, at 12:35, we went back to the first look – odd vs. odd. It’s pretty easy to see how this aids Baylor in putting the clamps on our perimeter players. Really, it plays right into the hands of a 1-3-1. If you’re coaching the 1-3-1, isn’t this exactly what you’d hope that your opponent does? Further, look at Ellis and Alexander. When the ball goes to them, that sets up the trap perfectly because they’re only two guys on that back line. When our 3 moves lower, when we attack with an even front, it flattens everything out when the ball moves there. When the third guy isn’t on the backline, it allows the zone to stay more three dimensional. The photo below shows us going back to the odd front – Ellis then gets the ball, drives, gets stymied, and turns it over on a pass. Putting Ellis in a spot where he just isn’t going to be successful most of the time. Heck, Baylor didn’t even trap him there: photo (6).JPG

    And here’s one I think really shows the even front at it’s best. Mason attacks the seam, middle man steps up. Wing defender has to help. Selden in the corner. Mason then kicks it to Selden who then attacks to his right on the dribble getting fouled at the rim. Mason was able to break down the zone on the dribble because he had a seam, which left the defense out of sorts for Selden’s drive.

    By contrast, go back to what I mentioned with an odd front. The top defender could guard the wing if it were an odd front, and our wing guy was higher. Here, he can’t do that. Here’s the photo:

    photo (4).JPG I will say, though, that if you’re going to use an odd man front, you have to screen like crazy to create the seems, which we don’t do. Really, I think our change in approach much of the second half set up our impressive offensive performance.

    Sorry for all the photos … I just find this stuff really cool. And this was one of those games where I was worried based on what we did in Waco with the odd man offensive front. Personally, I think the even front changed the game.

    @wrwlumpy - Not yet, but thanks for the reminder.

  • @HighEliteMajor Thanks for that. Something I never would’ve caught watching it in real time. I appreciate the quick XO lesson. Keep it up

  • @ZIG Ditto, HEM

  • @HighEliteMajor Actually HEM, the details of the different offensive attacks plus the photos made the concepts easier to grasp for me. I hope you do that more!
    It is you and @jaybate-1.0 and @drgnslayr and the other more versed posters on here about college ball that help me gain knowledge about the game. I love it.
    Question. So, the 4 out 1 in sets that didnt happen in the Baylor game yesterday are not mutually exclusive in creating better looks for 3 point shots?

  • @Lulufulu Right. After the Utah game, one thing I mentioned was that I didn’t think Self would go four out, one in - at that time mentioning ISU as a comparison. I figured Self would stick with his two post guys. I assumed that if we were to play four out, one in scheme would be used playing small – with Oubre, Greene, or Selden at the four. And Self had just mentioned that the “going small” talk before the season was premised on CF needed PT too. I actually was more envisioning the “pick and pop” four, playing the high post, like Andrew White did against Belmont in Dec./2012.

    Self has obviously used Perry as the four in the four out, one in scheme with much success, and Traylor too (but that isn’t as pretty).

    There are many, many things we can do out of our regular high low to get three point looks, we don’t need the four out, one in to accomplish that.

    However, the reason I like the four out, one in with this team is that it exploits Perry’s strengths, when he’s in the four spot, playing on the perimeter. It was very impressive. It also drags a big away from the basket defensively so that our slashers can have more space. When we struggle scoring inside, it’s a terrific arrow to have in the quiver.

    Remember, though – yesterday Baylor was in a zone. The high/low deal really is well suited to attack the zone, because the entry pass to the high post can set everything up. I wouldn’t play four out/one in vs. Baylor’s 1-3-1. Makes me wonder how ISU played it?

    Also, one last point for those that watched the 30 minute deal on coach Self before the game. Self talked about Hank Iba striving his entire life to find the one offense that could be used against every defense. I’m wondering if that is why Self is so system oriented, meaning the high/low in every situation seems to be his go-to? That would be interesting to know.

  • @HighEliteMajor Yeah, that would be interesting to know. It kind of ties into my question to @jaybate-1.0 about which Coach did Bill take influence and knowledge from more, Coach Iba or Coach Brown? It sounds like Iba but Larry also had great influence on him as well with him being a grad asst, and then Larry being basically on the bench next to Self for a season or two. Fascinating stuff.

  • 4 out can be very effective vs a man defense. Primarily for a team like ours. Whose post presence is somewhat lacking(sugar coated) Part of the idea is to bring one of your opponents “bigs” away from the basket. Which opens driving and passing lanes. If you have slashers they can usually get to the rim easier this way for layups/and ones. Or dish to the perimeter once the defense collapses. Its a scheme to score easy 2 pt buckets first obviously. But doesnt negate the 3 pt opportunities. In fact if the driving is successful early. It should create more open 3s. This offense can also be very costly for offensive rebounding though as it spreads the offense away from the hoop. One thing I’d personally love to see when we run this set is some backpicking. Dont know if ive seen it at all yet. We just seem to pass it around without scheming to create. Bring your center big man(Cliff/Mari/Lucas) out to set a backpick for Ellis or Oubre or Selden. I think we’d See several more opportunities for the lob dunk shot we all love so much. And then once they start switching that. 3 pt open all day long. Especially for guys like Greene and Selden. That really dont require alot of daylight to hit. You can also run a little give and go out of this from the wing. Which either results in a nice 8 to 10 ft jumper. A lob to weak side for a layin. Or skip pass to weak side wing/baseline once the defense collapses for yet again a great 3 pt opportunity. I think we may see more of this put in play as the season goes on. Weve seen in the past that Self doesnt really open up the whole play book early on. Its like he makes the team figure out how to execute the few plays hes given them before he adds. I think he is starting to realize what our strong suit is this season and so im hopeful the playbook will open up soon with that it mind.
    This is all just my opinion of course. Although i do have experience with it. To some of you it may seem like basketball 101 stuff. But If executed properly. Basketball 101 can be a beautiful thing

  • @HighEliteMajor looks as if i just echoed some of your points. Wasnt trying to step on toes or be a parrot. Haha. Just takes me 30 minutes to type something like that. 🙂

  • Outstanding post. Loved the screen shots. Was frustrating at times when we had the 3 man out top and passed it back and forth with no movement on the floor. I hadn’t picked up the shift to 2 man up top.

    As many have mentioned, we are a poor passing team. We hold the ball too long (except when we feel pressure and pass crazy or are on auto-pilot). Seems some quicker passing against the zone would have created even more open shots especially when we seem to have 2 on 1 down on the baseline.

    Thanks for the post.

  • @HighEliteMajor I was sitting in a corner of AFH and noticed the change. I think they need some more time getting used to this offense. There were several times Greene or Seldon popped free in front of us and stood there waving their arms for the ball. It appeared like the timing was slightly off as about the time they broke into the clear the ball would swing away creating a poor passing angle. The wild pass into the crowd was one of those times I’m talking about.

    Was a great game to go to and the womens team put up a nice fight against Texas later on. Spending Valentines day in AFH is nice, and as it was the wife’s idea I’m not even in trouble!

Log in to reply