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February 1, 2015
Newsletter #55


Dear Coaches, Players, Friends,

Today's Quotes:
"The only important shot you take is the next one."
"Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting." - Christopher Morley


Today's theme is Fred Hoiberg's Transition to Drag-Screen Action

Fred Hoiberg is the Head Men's Coach of the Iowa State University Cyclones. After winning the 2014 Big 12 Tournament Championship, his 2014 team went to the NCAA Sweet 16, losing to eventual NCAA Champions UConn. In 2012 Coach Hoiberg was named Big 12 Co-Head Coach of the Year.

Coach Fred Hoiberg

Coach Hoiberg likes to run this basic "drag-screen" action in transition, as an "early offense" attack. In diagram 1, after securing the rebound, the wings O2 and O3 run wide to the corners. O4 (or the post who does not get the rebound), "rim runs" to the hoop and eventually to the left block area.

O1 receives the outlet pass from O5. Coach Hoiberg wants O1 to have his "butt to the sideline", above the free-throw line extended, when looking for that outlet pass. O1 speed dribbles up the left side, as O5 sprints up as the trailer.

In diagram 2, O5 then sets the "drag-screen" for O1. This screen is set at, or just inside, the 3-point arc.

Fred Hoiberg's Transition offense Fred Hoiberg's Transition offense with drag screen

Diagram 3 shows the drag-screen action. O5 screens for O1 who dribbles around the screen. O4 cuts across the lane, mirroring O1's dribble across. O5 rolls after screening. O3 moves up to the wing. O1 looks to score, or to pass to O4 inside, or to O5 on the roll. If the pass goes to O5 just inside the left elbow (a "pocket pass"), we might have a 2-on-1 situation with O5 and O4 vs one defender inside.

Fred Hoiberg's drag-screen options Fred Hoiberg's drag-screen wing pass Fred Hoiberg's hi-lo options

If the initial screen and roll action is stopped, O1 looks to pass to O3 (diagram 4). O3 could shoot the open shot, or pass to O5 posting up above the block. If O5 is being full-fronted (diagram 5), O4 flashes to the ball-side elbow for the pass from O3. O1 has to move off to the right for spacing. We now have a hi-lo situation, and O4 might be able to hit O5 sealing inside for the lay-up.

Although not actually discussed by Hoiberg, diagram 6 shows a good option if you have a very athletic O4. O4 could pass-fake or shot-fake and dribble-drive for a lay-up, or a kick-out pass to O2 for a 3-point shot.

Fred Hoiberg's drag-screen options Fred Hoiberg's drag-screen wing pass Fred Hoiberg's hi-lo options

Diagram 7 shows the next high-post option, a dribble hand-off, which is difficult to defend. O4 dribbles toward O1 and hands-off to O1. O4 then rolls after the hand-off screen (diagram 8). O2 moves up to the wing. O1 again looks to score, or to pass to O4 on the roll, or to O2 on the wing. Notice that we have continuity here with the same options that we initially had on the left side. O2 could shoot or pass to O4 posting up, or to O5 flashing to the right elbow for the hi-lo option.

Coach Hoiberg likes this very simple drag-screen, early offensive attack with lots of hard to defend options.

Coach Hoiberg video


Fred Hoiberg: Transition Basketball with Six Secondary Break Sets

Fred Hoiberg: Transition Basketball with Six Secondary Break Sets
Coach Hoiberg starts with his primary break and then teaches the ins and outs of the Cyclones' sets:
  • Primary Break, Flex Set ( with six options)
  • Wide Pin Down Set (four options)
  • Drag Series (four options)
  • Isolation Set (three options)
  • "1" Transition (three options)
  • "2" Transition (two options, plus transformation into 3-out-2-in, 4-out-1-in, 5-out set ups)
Fred Hoiberg: Transition Basketball with Six Secondary Break Sets

Fred Hoiberg: Transition Basketball with Six Secondary Break Sets
Coach Hoiberg starts with his primary break and then teaches the ins and outs of the Cyclones' sets:
  • Primary Break, Flex Set ( with six options)
  • Wide Pin Down Set (four options)
  • Drag Series (four options)
  • Isolation Set (three options)
  • "1" Transition (three options)
  • "2" Transition (two options, plus transformation into 3-out-2-in, 4-out-1-in, 5-out set ups)


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Coaches... act now and get a group membership (deeply discounted) for all your coaches!


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Till next time...
Best wishes,
Dr. Jim Gels, aka "Coach Gels"
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