Film Study: Xavier 1-4 BLOBs (Pt. 2)

Well I’m back again, this time brining you a shorter, but hopefully just as quality part 2 of this breakdown of Xavier’s 1-4 BLOBs from this past season. Here we go!


(Video Courtesy: Pick&

“Diagonal Screen-the-Screener (STS)”

If you watched and read about what a “Screen-the-Screener” or STS action looks like in part 1, then it is safe to say you will probably know the sort of description that is coming. Again, Xavier aligns in that 1-4 look. This time the ball is entered by the inbounder to the strong-side corner, who in this case is Bluiett (#5). Once he catches, the player on the strong-side block releases for a catch and reverses the ball to Gates (#22). The player who inbounded the ball, Gooden (#0), then cuts up to where O’Mara (#50) is on the free throw line area and sets a diagonal back-screen for his teammate to cut to the strong-side block (#50 is now going to the strong-side as the ball was reversed from one side to the other). Gates (#22) reverses the ball to the same-side corner and head hunts the defender guarding Gooden (#0). As you can see the defense is confused by this quick back-screen to down-screen or (STS) action and results in a wide open look and made three-pointer.

Guard-on-big screens are always tough to guard and in this case Gooden (#0) sets a great back-screen which causes a mix up between Cincinnati players #11 and #1. The key here is to make contact on all screens and not screen the air. A lack of contact on any sort of a screen is not going to get the job done.


(Video Courtesy: Pick&

“Wide Pin”

This play is rather simple in design, but because it promotes a great deal of spacing and operates on a wide open side of the floor it is still very tough to guard.

This time the ball is entered to the man on the strong-side (a.k.a. ball-side) block after he releases for a catch. As soon as this happens, O’Mara (#50) goes to head hunt the man guarding Bluiett (#5) for a wide pin-down screen. The key to this action working is Bluiett’s ability to read and feel where his defender is. In this case, the man who is guarding him tries to go over the screen and meet Bluiett (#5) on the topside. As the Musketeer wing-player sees this, he actually turns the action into a flare/fade, which again results in a wide open three-point basket.

Conversely, if Bluiett’s (#5) man had tried to chase him off the wide pin-down (i.e. staying on his hip), then he most likely would have tight curled the screen and either had a pull-up jumper, a drive to the rim or a drive and kick to one of his other teammates.


(Video Courtesy: Pick&

“Wide Pin (Screen & Respond)”

Okay, maybe I lied a bit to you all in my previous post. I did say there were going to be six different actions, but in reality it is just five. Yet, this alteration or spin on wide pin is so lethal that I had to put it in this breakdown.

Literally, the only difference with this action is the ending. Everything starts the same, the ball is entered to Bluiett (#5) on the strong-side block and reversed to the other side of the floor. Now, Macura (#55) is preparing to fly off the wide pin from Bluiett (#5), but instead cuts hard backdoor acting like he’s slipping to the rim for a wide open layup. Again, if Macura (#55) did indeed come open, the Musketeers would throw it to him every time and take the easy lay-in.

Anyhow, as soon as Macura (#55) back-cuts, you can see how Bluiett (#5) responds out to the three-point line and literally could have a picnic if he wanted to before he decides to shoot. Bluiett’s (#5) quick response creates the separation he needs since both defenders crash down toward Macura (#55) to ensure that they do not give up an easy basket at the rim. Yet, this miscommunication costs the opposition giving up an open three-point shot and granting Xavier three-points off of a well executed action.


I hope you have enjoyed this dive into the genius behind the actions that Chris Mack put together during his time at Xavier and surely will continue to do so at Louisville. You can find part 1 in the previous posts section the website. Enjoy!

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