JONATHAN CHAIT MARCH 7, 2011
How the pick and roll became the hot play in college basketball:
When Illinois coach Bruce Weber started his coaching career as an assistant at Western Kentucky and Purdue, hardly any college teams used the pick-and-roll as a central part of their offense.
Indiana coach Bob Knight’s motion offense and North Carolina coach Dean Smith’s fast-break offense were the standards. Screening was still used, but more in the confines of offensive movement as part of cuts.
Then Stockton found Malone and the Utah Jazz perfected the art of the two-man game. A generation of players started wanting to run the pick-and-roll. Even as the Jazz used it to reach success in the late 1980s and early 90s, the ball screen’s current incarnation didn’t evolve until the past decade. ...
“It’s tricky to defend,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “It isolates stuff, it inverts, it brings a big guy out. There has been more clinic discussions in the last three years in the off-season of topics of how to defend the ball screen.”
Few have figured out a good way to stop everything that the ball screen offers.
Jeter estimated it is almost 60 percent of the Milwaukee offense. Cluess uses it 25 percent of the time. Michigan coach John Beilein said he has used it more this year than he has at any time in his career.