Basketball Offense - Michigan-Style 2-Guard OffenseBy Dr. James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
High School Coach Tom Jicha (Miami Sunset Senior High School) has spent years working with Michigan Head Coach John Beilein's 2-guard offense. He presents the offense in this excellent DVD, detailing the three sets ("chin", "motion" and "shuffle"), and shows how they easily flow into one another. Many options are available at each point in the offense. It is a read and react, perimeter-based, patterned offense that also allows for free-lance motion.
Coach John Beilein
"Chin" SetThe "chin" set is the basic set that our motion and shuffle sets may fall back into, so it will be discussed first. The two-guard front is used with two wings (free-throw line extended) and a high post player (diagram A), giving us a "2-3 high" look. There are four ways to start the chin series.
Chin Entry #1 - Point to High-Post PassThe point guard O1 starts the offense here by passing to O5 who sprints up to the arc to meet the pass (diagram B). O1 and O4 cut inside to the low blocks and either could receive a pass back from O5. O2 and O3 rotate up to fill the two guard spots on top.
O5 passes back out to O2 (diagram C), O2 passes to O3, and then O3 swings it to O4 on the left wing.
O2 cuts around O5 for a possible pass from O4 (diagram D). O2 has to time this cut for when the ball gets to O4, not sooner. O2 moves out to the left corner. Now O3 "bumps" off a flare-screen set by O5 (diagram E) and could receive the pass at the 3-point arc for an outside shot, or a dribble-drive off O5's ball-screen (diagram F), with a kick-out option to O1 on the right wing.
If the pass to O3 on the top is not open, O3 then cuts around O5 to the hoop (diagram G) and could get the pass from O4. If nothing is open, O4 dribbles up top and passes to O1 cutting up from the wing (diagram H). It's very important that O3 dribble up very high, to the left lane-line extended, and similarly, O1 must cut all the way up to the right lane-line extended. Thus the pass from O4 to O1 is a very short pass. O2 and O3 fill out to the wing spots.
O1 swings it to O3 on the right wing (diagram I). O4 either back-cuts or front-cuts around O5 for a possible pass from O3. Again, our cutter O4 has to time this cut and must wait until the pass goes up the side to O3. Are you starting to see the continuity? We are now using the same options on the right side.
O1 bumps off O5's flare-screen (diagram J) and could get the pass up top, but if not, cuts through off O5 (diagram K), and could get the pass inside from O3.
Diagram L shows that O1 moves out to the right wing as O2 cuts up to the top left guard spot (lane-line extended). O3 dribbles up to the top right guard spot (lane-line extended), and passes to O2.
O2 swings it to O1 (diagram M), and O3 back-cuts off O5 for a possible pass from O1.
Chin Entry #2 - Reverse Pass to TrailerThe second way of starting the chin series is to pass to our trailer O4 (the pass to O5 is denied). Except for this starting point, the pattern runs exactly the same as described above. Diagram N shows O1 passing to O4. O4 swings it to O3 on the left wing. O1 cuts through off O5 for a possible pass from O3. If the pass is not open, O4 "bumps" off O5's flare-screen for a possible pass, but if not open, O4 cuts around O5's back-screen (diagram P).
Next, Diagram Q shows that O3 dribbles up top (lane-line extended) and passes to O2 (lane-line extended), as O1 and O4 fill the wing spots. O2 swings it to O4 on the right wing (diagram R). O3 times the cut and cuts off O5 for a possible pass from O4. I think you can see that the pattern is exactly the same here, only the starting point was different.
Chin Entry #3 - Pass to WingThe third way of starting the chin series is to pass to wing O2. Except for this starting point, the pattern runs exactly the same as described above. Diagram S shows O1 passing to O2, and O1 and O4 cut through to the blocks. Next (diagram T), O2 dribbles up top (lane-line extended) and passes to O3 cutting up to the lane-line extended top left guard spot. O1 and O4 fill the wing spots.
O3 swings it to O4 (diagram U) as O2 cuts through looking for the pass from O4. From here, everything in the chin pattern is the same.
O3 bumps off O5's flare-screen (diagram V),and then cuts around O5 (diagram W). O4 then dribbles up top (diagram X) and passes to O1 cutting up top, as O2 and O3 fill the wing spots.
Next, O1 passes to O3 on the wing and O4 cuts through (diagram Y)... everything in the chin pattern is the same.
Chin Entry #4 - Dribble Hand-OffThe fourth way of starting the chin series is for O1 to dribble hand-off with O2 (diagram Z). O4 cuts through to the left block, as O3 moves up to the left top guard spot (diagram A1). O2 dribbles up top and passes to O3 as O4 fills the left wing spot.
From here, the chin pattern is exactly the same as described above. O3 swings it to O4 on the left wing (diagram A2) and O2 cuts through. Next, O3 bumps off O5's flare-screen for a pass on top, or a cut to the hoop off O5 (diagram A3). In diagram A4, O4 dribbles up top and passes across to O1 (lane-line extended) and O2 and O3 fill the wing spots.
Next (diagram A5), O1 reverses the ball to O3 on the right wing, and O4 cuts through. O1 bumps off O5's screen (diagram A6) and cuts through... everything is the same with our chin pattern.
Counter - What to do when the defense denies the guard-to-guard passDiagram A7 shows the that the guard-to-guard pass from O3 to O2 is being overplayed and denied by the X2 defender. Here, O2 recognizes this and back-cuts through to the hoop. O5 steps out to the guard spot to accept the pass from O3 (diagram A8), and O3 cuts through to the block, as O4 and O1 rotate up. O5 passes to O4 (diagram A9) and we are back in our chin pattern.
Tom Jicha video:
"Motion" SetThe "motion" set uses the same 2-3 high set as seen in the chin series. "Motion" is started with a guard to wing entry pass... for all the details of the motion set get Coach Jicha's DVDs and become a Premium Member.
"Shuffle" SetThe "shuffle" set uses the same 2-3 high set as seen in the chin and motion series. "Shuffle" starts just like "motion" with a guard to wing entry pass... for all the details of the shuffle set get Coach Jicha's DVDs and become a Premium Member.
Get the rest of this article in the Premium Members section and the Deluxe USB and downloads.
It also includes all of these important parts of the Michigan-Style 2-Guard offense:
- Chin set with options.
- Motion set with many options, including how it flows seamlessly into the "chin" series.
- Shuffle set with options, including how "motion" can flow easily into "shuffle" and then into "chin".
- Counters for defensive overplays.
- Multiple options - 23 motion options (described in the DVD)!
- Summary - simple offensive actions, or triggers, that determine which set we are in, chin, motion, or shuffle.
In the DVD, Coach Tom Jicha demonstrates many more options, which are not discussed here. For example, in the "motion" set, there are three options on the first pass, nine options on the second pass, three options on the third pass, three options on the fourth pass, and five options on the fifth pass! Thus players do have freedom to read and react freely, in spite of the patterns presented above. So if you are serious about using this Michigan-style offense, be sure to get the DVDs below.
Get the DVDs!
"Michigan-Style 2-Guard Front Offense" with Tom Jicha.
"20 Quick Hitters for 2 Guard Front Offense" with Tom Jicha.
Copyright © 2001 - 2019, James A. Gels, all rights reserved.