Break stack for lob at the rim

From the playbook of Jay Wright, Villanova University head coach

A free-throw-line stack is the perfect call against young or inexperienced players who tend to lose focus during out-of-bounds plays as all you need is a split-second to score.

Why use it

Surprisingly trailing unranked Marquette at home last month, Villanova’s Jay Wright made a pair of outstanding back-to-back out-of-bounds calls that shifted the momentum back to his team as the Wildcats went on to an easy victory. This play uses a stack in the middle of the court, which forces defenders either to switch or lose ground when screens are set.

Set up

Have your point guard (or best passer) take the ball out of bounds on the side. The other four players stand in a line facing the ball and are positioned at the freethrow line. The player you want going to the hoop is second in line.

Break stack for lob at the rim

How to play

5 steps toward inbounder. 3 takes a step away from the hoop [1].

4 takes a small step toward 3 and sets a screen for 3. 3 curls around the screen but not too far wide as 3 slips between 4 and 2. 3 sprints to the hoop and 1 throws a lob to 3 [2].

3 catches the ball near the rim and scores before the defense recovers [3].


Marquette is a young squad and lost focus on this play. Defenders weren’t sure to drop or chase on the perimeter, and it made it easy for 3 to slip through with no defensive pushback.

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