Coach Mark Few’s Gonzaga just came off an incredible 37-2 run, only to lose to powerhouse North Carolina in the finals. Now, let me explain why this is incredible. College basketball is dominated by powerhouse programs with resources, huge followings and ability to attract great players. Then you have mid-major programs (not part of ACC, Big ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC) that somehow manage to pull off upsets from time to time with less resources and Gonzaga ranks no.1 on the list of mid-major programs. Coach Mark Few has led the Zags to the NCAA tournament every year during his tenure. Racking up a 81% winning record and 7 Sweet 16 appearances. So if your high school team isn’t a traditional “powerhouse” team, you should look into Coach Mark Few.
- Coach Mark Few’s background
- Offensive philosophy
- Ball screen rules
- Ball screen offense
Coach Mark Few’s background
Coach Few started as a high school coach then took a graduate assistant job at Gonzaga for NO PAY. He was single and could afford to be broke for a couple years. Eventually took over Gonzaga in 1999 and for much of his first 5 years ran FLEX offense 60% of the time and 4 out 1 in motion 40% of the time. As they started to get national exposure, their recruiting expanded, player’s talent improved, he now looks to score in transition and into ball screen motion if not.
We want to get the ball up the floor as quickly as we can and see if we can get a great shot. We feel like we can get a better shot early in the clock than we can late. We’re open to transition 3’s. It’s also easier to offensive rebound transition shots because the defense isn’t set.
A ball screen continuity offense just means you get multiple opportunities to run a 2 man game (pick and roll or pick and pop). If you can’t get something out of the 2 man game, you can reset and run it on the other side because the offense is symmetrical and you can run it “continuously” on either side.
- Great spacing (using corners)
- Ball movement (side to side)
Gonzaga will post individual numbers in the lock room, this is their benchmark
- 50% FG
- 40% 3PT
- 75% FT
Ball screen rules
- Big sprint to ball screen (NO JOGGING)
- Should to shoulder
- Get as wide as you can, Stop – if ball comes at you
- Big after screen
- Don’t open to the ball
- Turn and sprint to basket, play off speed (4 man)
- Big strong, turn seal (5 man)
- Off ball screen the opposite post gets in post (seal)
- Guard duck in
- Reverse, then seal in post
- No space on screens
- Make the defender go under
- Get into the hop of the big guy
- Get bigs in foul trouble
- Best FT shooter with the ball
- “Every screen is like a sunset….they are not the same”
- Swivel (Stockton move)
- Defender has hard show
- Guard pick up the ball
- Swivel back and throw pocket bounce pass to big
- Big man seperates from screener
- Punch the ball baseline
- Make the defender honest
- Don’t get pushed out
- Drop back and take both out
Ball handler vs Ball mover
- Don’t stop the ball on the reversal
- Who is guarding roll guy (MUST KNOW)
There are multiple ways to start this offense but most often, they use down screens to set up the wings so the point guard can get an entry pass.
1st ball screen
- After 1 passes to 2, 1 will cut to the basket and to the left corner
- 4 steps out and runs a side pick and roll with 2. If 4 can shoot, then they can run pick and pop.
- 5 cuts to the top of the key. This creates space for the pick and roll on the weak side.
- If 2 can’t create off the pick and roll then pass to 5.
2nd ball screen
- As soon as 5 catches the ball, you are running the same ball screen action on the other side.
- 3 cuts hard to the basket, if they don’t get the ball then cut to opposite corner
- 1 cuts up and receive the pass from 5
- 5 then sets a side ball screen for 1 for the pick and roll action
- 4 cuts to the top of the key as release
3rd ball screen
- If you still can’t get any shots on this 2nd ball screen, 1 passes to 4
- 2 cuts hard to the basket
- 3 cuts up and receives a pass from 4.
- 4 sets another side ball screen for 3.
- 2 cuts to opposite corner and 5 comes up to the top as the release.
As you can see, this offense repeats itself and can be run unlimited number of times on each side.