Leave the defense guessing

From the Providence Friars men’s basketball team playbook

When the defense expects the ball to go to one of your stars, use action to create decoys and create a high-percentage layup chance for a more-than-capable player.

Why use it

Trailing USC, 69-68, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with just three seconds remaining, Providence College ran this baseline out-of-bounds play that netted a layup and left USC wondering what happened.

Set up

Providence lines up in a box. A lot of defensive attention is placed on 2 (Kris Dunn) and 4 (Ben Bentil) as those are the Friars best scoring options. The player who eventually gets the ball, Rodney Bullock (5), lines up directly in front of the ball.

Leave the defense guessing

How to play

2 and 3 step into the lane to create congestion in a tight area making it difficult for their defenders to know which way 2 and 3 may go from here. 4 moves toward the ball [1]. 3 cuts in front of 2 and moves to the ball-side wing. 2 moves down the lane and looks like he may come off a screen from 4 [2]. With the defenders concentrating on the space directly in front of the ball as both 2 and 4 are there, 5 slips to the other side of the hoop and comes free. 1 passes to 5 for the layup [3].

Technique

The other possible look is 2 curling back into the lane as the defenders jump outside the lane thinking 2 is about to pop to the wing off a 4 screen.