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Auriemma Half-Court "Strong" Set

From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
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UConn Women's coach Geno Auriemma uses this half-court offensive set "Strong" out of transition. O2, O5, and O3 have sprinted up the floor to their positions in diagram 1. The rebounder O4 is trailing, and fills at the top. O1 speed dribbles into the forecourt and passes to O2. O1 cuts around O2 to the corner.

O2's first look is to O5 posting up for a layup. If that pass is not open, O2 passes to O4 at the top (diagram 2). O4's first look is O5 posting up for a hi-lo pass. If the hi-lo is not open, O4 passes to O3.

strong set from transition strong set - ball reversal

O3 looks to pass into O5 posting up (diagram 3). Meanwhile O2 and O4 set a weakside double staggered screen for O1. O1 sets up the cut and cuts around the screens to the top for the pass from O3 (diagram 4). O1 could shoot a 3-pointer.

strong set staggered screens strong set - double screen

If O1 does not shoot, O4 ball-screens for O1 (diagram 5). O1 dribbles around the screen and might have a shot, or a pass to O5 inside, or to O4 at the free-throw line high-post area. If O4 gets the pass, she/he might have an open shot. The next look is a hi-lo pass to O5 posting up (diagram 6). If that is not open, O1 passes to O3 who has moved down to the left corner.

strong set high ball-screen strong set - high post options

O3's first option is the 3-point shot. If O3 does not shoot, O4 sprints over and ball-screens for O3 (diagram 7). O3 and O4 run the pick and roll (diagram 8). O3 could shoot, pass to O4 on the roll cut, or to O5 on the opposite block, or to O2 or O1 spotting up for a 3-point shot.

corner ball-screen strong set - pick and roll options

"Push" dribble entry

Another way to start the offense is with a dribble entry. The defense might be denying the wing pass from O1 to O2. O1 simply dribbles to the wing (diagram 9), "pushing" O2 down to the corner. Diagram 10 shows that everything is the same from here. O1 looks for O5 in the post, but if not open, passes to O4. Run "Strong" as usual from here.

strong set -  entry strong set - start it with O1 on the wing