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Play from Coach K: Post Isolation Against a Man-to-Man Defense

By November 13, 2014November 26th, 2014No Comments

Thanks to our friends at Breakthrough Basketball, we are pleased to share a play from Coach K’s playbook. It illustrates post isolation against a man-to-man defense. The play is pretty simple and is designed to get your best low-post scorer isolated on the low block with a possible mismatch.

Comments welcome…


Duke Basketball: Post Isolation Against Man-to-Man

– By Daniel Benjamin


This play is pretty simple and is designed to get your best low-post scorer isolated on the low block with a possible mismatch.


Player 5 needs to have the ability to score with his back to the basket as well as be able to set solid screens and possess some agility. Players 1 and 2 should be able to handle the ball well and be good passers. Player 4 should be able to make a post entry pass.



Step 1:

Four players start on the perimeter with player 1 in possession of the ball.

Player 5, who the play is run for, is positioned on the strong side low-block.

Player 1 passes the ball to player 2 and cuts to opposite corner.

Step 2:

After player 1 cuts to opposite corner, player 5 goes to set a back screen for player 4, who cuts to the ball-side block.

Player 5 then goes to set a ball-screen for player 2.

Step 3:

Player 5 sets a ball screen for player 2 and then rolls to the basket.

As player 5 is setting a ball-screen for player 2, player 4 cuts out to the near corner.

Player 2 dribbles towards the top of the key.

Step 4:

Player 2 passes the ball to player 4 in the corner.

In the meanwhile, player 5 is working to keep his defender under control (i.e. behind him).

Step 5:
Player 4 passes to player 5, who looks to score.

Additional Comments:

Duke has used this play time and time again to get all three Plumlee brothers an easy look.

The play can be run both sides; just have to adjust personnel.

Do not start the play in the middle of the floor.

While the play is designed for player 5 to receive the ball on the low-block, do not be afraid to get the ball to player 4 or player 5 on their basket cuts.

A good way to get a defender under control is to go towards the basket. Then get your head and shoulder past the defender by using a front pivot and step through. After securing proper position, sit down in your stance.

Note: In step 4, if player 4 is not open, player 2 can enter the pass to player 5.

© Copyright 2014 Breakthrough Basketball, LLC. 5001 1st Ave. SE, Ste 105 #254, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

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