Film Session: Exploiting Sampson on the switch

  • 01/07/2011 2:19 am in

As Dan Dakich noted during the second half of Tuesday night’s broadcast, the Hoosiers exploited Ralph Sampson III’s screen switches on a few occasions.

By drawing him out from the basket — a place he can often feast as a shot-blocker, as his 2.07 blocks per game are third best in the Big Ten — and getting him to switch to defending Indiana’s dribble-drive threats (Jeremiah Rivers, Verdell Jones), the Hoosiers were able to get some desirable looks at the basket.

A breakdown of three such plays — with video! — in the latest edition of Film Session:

(Note: Apologies for the poor — but tolerable — video quality.  Working on my video-encoding skills as I go.)


After an Indiana timeout, Jeremiah Rivers passes the ball into Jordan Hulls:

Tom Pritchard sets a pick for Hulls, as Sampson hedges up to meet Hulls:

Hulls passes up top to Rivers as Pritchard curls to the hoop and motions for the ball:

Rivers decides against the tight pass and lets things run:

Sampson eventually re-marks Pritchard as he sets a pick for Rivers:

Sampson does an initial good job of denying Rivers entry to the lane on another switch, while Pritchard is setting yet another pick — this time for Victor Oladipo:

Rivers passes to Oladipo, who then draws Al Nolan and Sampson — allowing Rivers penetration room to the left elbow, and finally an advantage for Indiana:

Trevor Mbakwe comes up to meet Rivers, allowing him to dump it off to Pritchard:

Pritchard hits a reverse layup — one of his few offensive moves these days. A nice reward for all his picks on this play:



This one took a little while to develop as well, but here’s the end result.

Pritchard sets a pick for Verdell Jones at the top of the key:

With Sampson hanging back and not hedging up to meet the ball, Verdell cuts through and begins to go to the right elbow (an alley-oop to an open Will Sheehey could have been fun here):

Jones uses his quickness on Sampson — who had been Mr. Block Party earlier in this half —  to get enough separation for a mid-range jumper:

And it’s buckets for Jones:



When Minnesota ripped off a 10-0 run and Indiana found itself down 59-51 with 4:51 to go, Tom Crean signaled for a timeout. Here’s what he drew up in the huddle — yet another play that went right after Sampson.

Jones passes the ball into Rivers as Pritchard comes over to screen:

Pritch sets the pick:

Rivers blows by Sampson (notice how Blake Hoffarber stays home on Hulls, taking away Rivers’ option to kick out for a corner 3-point attempt):

As three Minnesota defenders converge on Rivers while he rises towards the basket, Oladipo cuts in from the corner:

The pass is made:

Oladipo’s knifes in and hits the layup:


A very nice set here for the Hoosiers to stop the bleeding.

Filed to:

  • Kelin Blab

    Tom Pritchard picks have value if we use them correctly. Oh how nice it would be if he set an off ball pick.

  • JerryCT

    Hallalujah and Amen !

  • CTC does try to free up shooters and Pritch is the key here….IU is still 287th in D1 in experience – we are still a young team! Point is that the chemistry, flow, and execution of offensive sets takes time and experience before they become second nature to players. Pritch gets this (as Jerry has pointed out once or twice)……

  • Anonymous

    Now, if the officials would afford him the same leeway in physicality that other Big 10 players get he may be on the floor long enough to be of use.

  • Anonymous

    I like these breakdowns both negative and positive. It makes points about things that IU can do offensively to create scoring opportunities and to exploit the defensive lapses of others.

    Obviously, the other breakdowns of IU’s defensive shortcomings makes the point without obligating your site to be viewed as too harsh.

    Hutchens article today was better than usual imo.

  • His picks also have value if he’s not called for a moving screen… it’s been what, like 3 games? That’s gotta be a record for ol’ Pritch.

  • JerryCT

    TP actually sets 4 screens in No.1 if you view the video.

    WS sets 2 screens in his brief segment ( yup a nice potential alley oop there ).

    No.3 again the ball screen from TP shakes VJ loose

    I take a lot of ribbing on ITH , mostly good natured, for pointing out that if you want to know what is happening in the game all you have to do is watch Pritchard. He covers more ground and does more things to create offense for others than any other player.

    So again w the question . Why can he not set screens for CW or anybody off the ball ?

    My gosh , It is not like we would miss all the passes to the roller ……….

  • Hoosiers1111

    There are a few things that I take from this:
    1) Next year when Cody is setting those picks the opposing team won’t be able to just leave him open like they do with Pritchard. He will make them pay if they do.
    2) We miss too many open guys. I know it is easier to see the open players when it is slowed down and taken frame by frame, but Nolen was caught sleeping and Sheehey was WIDE open on that second play.
    3) Crean CAN coach. The players just have to execute the plays that are called and look for the open guys. Easier said than done I know, but still these three plays illustrate that while the offense isn’t a motion offense like so many want, it is an offense that can work if properly executed.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully Pritchard will continue to progress with his defense and rebounding and be able to at least hold down the fort at the 5. With Zeller coming next year it will allow him to play the 4 and finally let CW play the 3. As someone else posted earlier this week I think our guards are partly to blame for our bigs picking up so many fouls on the screens by not allowing them time to get there and set up before they move that way. We will get better.

    GO IU!!!!!

  • JerryCT

    Trying to be helpful here and not nit picky but there is a class of offenses called MOTION that are either FREELANCE or PATTERN. PATTERN examples would be the FLEX or PRINCETON which repeat player movement in sequences with a few counters and can result in alot of “motion” because there is limited “read & react”

    I believe we run FREELANCE based on the DRIBBLE DRIVE . In our case when we have few drivers so we “over-read” and dull the “react”.

    Again trying to be helpful here you can go to Coaches CLipboard to learn more

  • marcusgresham

    Most moving screens are the fault of the person receiving the screen for leaving before the screener is set. I know Tom has had one or two where he stuck the hip out a bit, but that also could be on the other person for not coming off it properly.

  • JerryCT

    Hmmmmm. Check it out again in No 1. It was in fact the off ball screen that shook VO off his man to get the pass and into the lane for the double team that JR exploits. W/o that screen nothing happens.

    I think those calling for more of this are saying they want this wing pass to go to Jones or Hulls more often and this would require an off ball screen even more than VO required it here since neither player has the quickest first step

  • Now there is a stat!!!! 287th!

    Guess who the most experienced team in the big ten is?

    Penn State. Also Penn State has played the 2nd hardest schedule (17th in D1) FYI.

    You know what sucks though, Michigan is 335th most experienced and they are 11-4.

  • Anonymous

    These videos show off the increasing amount of screening and structured offense that has continued to be added incrementally since Vegas. It has taken the players some time to settle into these changes but I believe that you can see things moving more smoothly.

    That’s also true on the defensive end. Using VO and Rivers to front bigs was a great changeup and will likely be seen again down the road. We communicated much better on defense against Minny and if we can keep our focus on that end of the floor we should have enough to handle the wildcats on Sunday.

    These are examples of changes that Crean has implemented despite the fact that they’re not really dribble drive principles once they appear with such regularity. Crean has tinkered with the offense because he can see that these players can’t quite run the DD. It’s been an incremental process because he still wants them to run as much of it as they can manage and that’s the point he’s looking for. I’m not sure I agree with his stance on that but I think it will help VO and Sheehey a lot to have grown up in at least a modified DD.

    Crean clearly makes better adjustments between games than during games but that doesn’t mean he can’t succeed here. His lineups will be more stable when we have better, more reliable players. I think these players will be a lot more reliable as soon as next year. Finally shifting the lineup down like we talked about will give us much better height and post defense immediately. VO will hit his free throws night in and night out. Watford will be tall and long at the 3 and should be able to shoot over most of his matchups there. Creek will be healthy. If Zeller grabs 3+ boards a game he will be outdoing our post tandems all on his own. I think the people who think we’re in a quagmire til 2012 are mistaken. And this season isn’t over yet either.

  • JerryCT

    I like what you are saying and your attitude. I saw some different sets last game too.

    Against Minn we almost never switched on D which I think really helped and is a departure from how the year started

  • Anonymous

    Very informative Ryan….a couple of things I noticed were:

    1) If the team didnt score then this plays would have been extreamly disappointing. If Hulls hadn’t picked up his dribble and instead extended the play he had TP wide open on the roll UM had only one defender back and IU two TP and VO. If TP did not go straight up for the layup he had VO, doing what he doe best, slashing from the corner

    2) Same for the second…as you noted, “an alley-oop to an open Will Sheehey could have been fun here,” this is true but even if that pass is not made and VJ3 keeps his head up when he is splitting the defenders then a simple left handed bounce pass would have been effective…

    Im dont get on this site to add to the neagativity with this team nor to bash CTC, who I think, gets too much…

    This team goes on too many scroing droughts for anyone like. These are well called plays but at times, more than not, the players do not execute as efficiently as we hope.

    Geno Auriemma said “There are two types of coaches, there are coaches who coach great players. And then there are ex-coaches.” I believe this and right now CTC prolly isnt a great coach but at the same time he do not have great players…Luckly help is on the way

  • Anonymous

    Great quote from a great coach. Couldnt agree more.

  • Anonymous

    I love these film sessions

    #1 is a near disaster. Creek is grossly out of position and the spacing is putrid. Rivers doesn’t correctly use the screen and Pritchard misses out on an easy bucket. When I saw this live I nearly threw my remote against the wall…..

    #2 makes me sad. Look how far from the basket they are. That’s inexcusable. VJIII misses an easy layup for Sheehey at least twice. Fool’s gold.

    #3 is ok but VJIII is walking along the perimeter while the play is taking place. If Rivers stopped his dribble and looked for a kickout at the top of the key there would be no one there. Once it was known that Rivers was driving to the basket I don’t know what Pritchard was doing besides taking his own man there to clog things up.

    I imagine the film sessions are pretty rough to watch for the coaches.

  • Anonymous

    Cool site, Jerry. Checked a few offenses I’d played in to see how thorough the site was and it’s pretty good (sadly my favorite, the triangle offense, isn’t free).

    Interesting to read about the dribble drive as I have little familarity with it. About all I knew were that big men are not supposed to screen or post as you’re getting in the way of the guards trying to drive.