Maryland’s backdoor counter shreds defense

From Maryland’s playbook

The Maryland Terrapins run this set to create an opportunity near the rim, because once the corner defender cheats high, the backside is wide open for a layup.

Why use it

Two minute and 10 seconds after running the set on page 4, Maryland came back with a Horns look and started running through the same actions (albeit it on the right side instead of the left). Once a corner defender cheated high, the Terps took the play to the backside for an easy layup.

Set up

Start in a typical Horns set with your posts at spots just higher than opposite elbows and guards in opposite corners with the point guard dribbling at the top.

How to play

1 throws an entry pass to 4, who is near the right elbow this time and steps out to meet the pass near the 3-point line. 1 runs off 4’s shoulder again as if a handoff is coming [1]. Just as in the previous play, 1 continues low, then runs through the lane to the weak side of the floor. 4 takes a dribble toward the corner as 3 takes a step high out of the corner [2]. 3’s defender has turned to face the baseline and is a step higher than 3 as the defender tries to deny the potential handoff between 4 and 3. So, 3 plants, then makes a hard backdoor cut. 4 fires a bounce back to 3 in stride for a layup [3].


The key is once 3 notices the defender cheating high, 3 understands to make a backdoor cut rather than trying to force a perimeter handoff.

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