Lorenzo Romar’s Washington Huskies Break Down Cal’s Defense
In the May/June 2011 issue of Winning Hoops we featured a cover story on Lorenzo Romar and his Washington Huskies. Romar spoke about his offense defense and allowed us to witness one of his practices.
The following is a breakdown of how Washington ripped off a 13-2 run against Cal on Jan. 16 to eventually blow out the Bears in Berkeley Calif. This run consisted of solid defense beating Cal’s zone and several scoring plays.
Three days after suffering its first conference loss of the season at Stanford Washington played at Cal on Jan. 16 2011. Leading by a single point with 7:01 left in the first half the Huskies went on a 13-2 run over the course of two and a half minutes to take a 36-24 lead en route to an impressive 92-71 victory. Here is how that 13-2 stretch unfolded.
Leading 23-22 with 7:01 left — Cal appears to be in a 1-2-2 zone. Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has the perfect play ready to go.
DIAGRAM 1: Backdoor Vs. 1-2-2 Zone (A). A pass from the point to the wing shifts the defense to the right. The point guard and weak-side guard switch positions.
DIAGRAM 2: Backdoor Vs. 1-2-2 Zone (B). A pass is made back to the top of the set. The ball is then reversed to the left side. As the zone scrambles to keep pace Washington moves its weak-side post player toward the lane to draw a defender to drop from the wing in coverage. The weak-side wing for Washington now begins cutting backdoor. With the strong-side post cutting into the lane the interior defense of Cal is occupied. The pass is made from the wing to the player cutting backdoor for an easy layup for a 25-22 lead.
Cal scores an interior basket to close the gap to one but the Bears don’t get back on defense fast enough. Washington pushes the ball up the court and hits a three-pointer in transition to go up 28-24.
Leading 28-24 with 5:40 left — After a stretch where Cal misses two free throws Washington turns the ball over and Cal misses a subsequent three-pointer Washington strikes again in transition.
DIAGRAM 3: Transition Score. Washington has moved the ball into the front court as the Cal defense is bunched. The trailing Husky player sets a screen on the defender closest to the ball handler then rolls toward the basket. The ball handler dribbles right and passes to the roller as the defense is slow to adjust. Washington nets another easy score with a simple high screen in transition.
Leading 30-24 with 5:03 left — Cal has missed a shot at the other end then compounded the problem by going over the ball on the rebound. Washington brings the ball up the court and sets up with a double-low stack.
DIAGRAM 4: Double-Low Stack (A). The point guard dribbles left as one strong-side player comes high to set a ball screen and the other screens across the lane. The lane screener then circles back to the strong-side corner and receives a pass.
DIAGRAM 5: Double-Low Stack (B). With two defenders near the ball handler in the corner the lane is opened up a bit. The guard in the lane screens across which frees the forward to move into the ball-side low block. A pass is made and the Washington player scores a layup is fouled and knocks down the free throw.
Leading 33-24 with 4:37 left — Washington’s defense forces Cal into a quick contested shot at the other end and the Huskies are in transition again.
DIAGRAM 6: Double-Screen For 3. The point guard dribbles left and receives a double-screen from a wing and the opposite side post player. The point guard throws a skip pass to the opposite wing. The screener on the ball pops to the top and receives an immediate pass for an open three-pointer. The shot is good and Washington leads 36-24.