Ride the Northern Iowa “Elevator”

From the Northern Iowa basketball team playbook

Northern Iowa dumped Texas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year and used this set to create an open 3-point look from the top of the key.

Why use it

Elevator plays are perfect to set up 3-point shots. These use a double screen in the middle of the floor as a shooter comes from the baseline to the top of the key. Northern Iowa used this play in its NCAA Tournament first-round victory over Texas last year.

Set up

Starting from a Horns look with 4 and 5 at the elbows and 2 and 3 in the corners. 1 is dribbling at the top of the set.

Ride the Northern Iowa "Elevator"

How to play

5 turns and takes a step toward 4 to set a screen. 4 runs to the low side of 5 and moves to the left wing. 1 uses dribble penetration to attack the right wing as 2 comes higher toward the ball [1]. 1 hands off the ball to 2. 2 dribbles left. 1 runs across the court as 3 steps toward the lane line to screen for 1. 1 moves deep onto the left side. 2 passes across to 4. 4 passes to 1. 5 steps high [2]. 4 and 5 now run toward the free-throw line to set the double screen leaving enough room for 3 to pass between them. 3 comes high through the double screen, catches a pass from 1 and shoots [3].


4 and 5 allow 3 to pass between them then close the gap so the defender can’t split them. This allows 3 to have an open jumper opportunity.

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