Man to Man Basketball Plays: Indiana Short Roll - A Counter For Trapping Ball Screens

Spencer Barnes

In the 20 Ball Screen Offense, Don Showalter demonstrates an offensive tactic to counter trapping defenses called the short roll.

This is an easy but effective man to man basketball play to run when your opponent is blitzing/trapping your ball screens.

In the video clip and diagrams below, you can see this same tactic being used by the Indiana Hoosiers. They use the "short roll" with their bigs against Miami's blitz coverages.

And executing "short roll" quickly is a great way to get the ball to the roller before the help gets there. This immediately creates a 4v3 advantage and a driving lane to attack the basket.

You can watch Indiana execute this in the video and the diagrams with instructions listed below.


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  1. A team blitzes (doubles) a ball screen can be tough to play against. One great way to counter this is by having the roller "short roll."
Double2 (4K)
  1. The roller opens up right away and stops a few steps after rolling. At the top of the key this would be right around the free throw line. The ball handler finds a way to dump a pass to the roller quickly.
Double3 (4K)
  1. This creates a natural 4 on 3 advantage for the roller to attack or find the open player after the helpers step up.
Double3 (4K)
  1. A short roll also works great against a blitz on a wing ball screen.
Double3 (4K)
  1. The roller again opens up and finds the ball quickly. The pass will happen 15 to 18 feet from the basket. The only job of the ball handler is to find a way to get the ball to the roller as soon as possible.
Double3 (4K)
  1. Again, this creates a 4 on 3 advantage for the offense.

If you'd like to implement an easy-to-teach ball screen offense by a Hall of Fame coach, be sure to take a look at Don Showalter's 20 Ball Screen Offense.

In addition to being a great offense, you can learn so much from just watching Coach Showalter teach!


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Dan Smith says:
5/19/2023 at 8:33:44 PM

Love this videos and articles, thanks guys. Kelbick is a basketball master & guru. Going to pick up his systems very soon, or at least 1 or 2!


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