High school basketball is the most pure form of basketball played at a true amateur level and coached by some of the best men and women that excel, not only as basketball coaches, but as community leaders and sometimes even father figures. Basketball offense at this level changes from year to year as classes graduate and the high school basketball coach is forced to adapt to changing strengths and weaknesses.

Minnesota HS Man to Man Set Plays

Minnesota HS Man to Man Set Plays

Set Plays for High School Coaches

I have been coaching youth, high school, and AAU basketball in the state of Minnesota for 20 years now.  Every year the competition in this state gets tougher.  Our players here are getting better, and our coaches are also being pushed to become better.  We have some very creative coaches in Minnesota that run both simple but effective sets, to very complex sets that come from college and NBA basketball.  I am lucky enough to be charged with scouting many of our upcoming opponents on film and in person.  I thought I would share a few of my favorite man to man set plays from the 2015-2016 season.

[bctt tweet=”Favorite Set Plays from 20 Year Veteran Matt Johnson” via=”no”]

Double Backscreen:

Simple but effective play starting in a 3 out 2 in set.  4 flashes and catches at elbow while 5 sets back screen for 2.  This is effective false action as 5’s man usually sinks to help on 2.  1 cuts to opposite corner, and 5 comes to elbow to get pass from 4.  2 continues through the lane and sets the second backscreen on 3, who is usually wide open for the easy layup.  Could easily add one more STS (screen the screener) action with 4 screening for 2 coming back to the top of the key for 3.

Double Backscreen set play

Double Flare Backdoor:

A misdirection set play coming out of either 1-4 high, or Horns set.  The HS that runs this usually loads one side with its 4 and 5, but you could easily balance the floor with 2 and 3 in corners as well.  2 pops above three point line to get pass from 1.  4 and 5 sell the double flare with fists in the air, and lots of communication as 1 goes down to level of 4 and runs off both flare screens.  2 takes 1 dribble towards the flare action as 3 comes up towards the wing.  2 plants and pivots back to 3, who cuts hard to the rim and receives the backdoor pass from 2.

Double Flare Backdoor set play

X Shuffle Stagger:

I am a big fan of the STS action in set plays, especially when the initial screen can result in a layup.  Here you start in a 4 out 1 in high post set.  1 swings to 3 and we see the standard scissor cut off the high post.  4 flashes above the 5 and receives the pass from 3.  1 pops out to the wing and the ball is reversed.  2 sets a backscreen on 3 who cuts through the lane for a layup or easy post touch.  2 then comes off a stagger screen from 5 and 4 to the top of the key for 3.  Good way to get a bigger wing a post touch, and a look for your best shooter.

X Shuffle Stagger set play

Shuffle STS:

Similar set play to the previous action.  1 throws to 4 on the wing and cuts to ball side corner.  5 sets a screen for 2 who cuts to the block.  The HS that runs this gets a lot of easy layups because their 5 is 6’9″ and a decent shooter making it tough to help on this action or switch.  If there isn’t a layup, 5 pops to the top of the key and receives the pass from 4.  5 swings to 3, and 2 sets shuffle screen for 4 who cuts to the rim.  5 sets another screen for 2, this time to pop to the top of the key for the 3, or a high low look to 4.

Shuffle STS set play

Quick Lob:

I’ll end with another simple but unbelievably effective set play for a lob to your best athlete.  I watched this HS run this against 3 different teams in its league and should have had the action scouted, but still got the lob.  It starts from a box set with simple down screens for the 2 and 3.  1 makes the pass to 2 on the wing.  4 posts hard to create a little misdirection.  5 turns back around and sets back screen for 3, who runs to the rim. Their 3 man was a solid athlete, but not quite an elite leaper that you see at D1 programs across the country yet he got plenty of easy dunks off this set.

Quick Lob set play

As with any set plays, look to steal what works for your players and program.  Look to make tweaks.  I love stealing and sharing this info with other coaches.  Good luck and keep sharing.