Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Hanlen ballscreens

Basketball Manitoba (YouTube)

Ballscreens are very simple at the high-school level. Keys are

1. Sneak a peak downhill before you come off the screen, read your teammates and the coverage.
2. Lose your primary defender - reject the screen and beat them, or run them into the screen, get them trailing.
3. Can you reject the screen? If yes, reject it, because there is no coverage waiting for you.
4. Can you split the coverage? If you come off and see the screen defender hedging out, you will have an advantage if you split through (e.g. crossover).
6. Can you get around the coverage? You will still have an advantage if you can get around quickly.
7. Can you drag (extend) the coverage? Eventually you will have an option to throw it back to a teammate who can take advantage.

Against hedge coverage, options are (in order) reject, split, get around, drag the coverage.

Against drop coverage (the screen defender drops off), options are reject, pocket jump shot, snake to the rim (split), fake the snake.

See Tactics - Bill Self ballscreens, 5star pick and roll, Dave Smart using sidescreens, Calipari pick and roll, also YouTube playlist - How to use a ballscreen (Pro Training).


Use these for shooting and finishing.
See Shooting - Procopio sidescreen, Dave Smart 1 on 0 sidescreens.

a) Reject the screen

Back down, start to attack the screen, your defender cuts you off, reject it (e.g. crossover or between the legs), into a mid-range shot.

Augie Johnston - to use a pick and roll, start with the ball in your outside hand, dribble down, change hands (he goes through the legs), back your defender in or use a crab dribble. To refuse a screen, dribble down, go through the legs,
- take a step to the middle with the baseline foot (here the right foot), at the same time pound the ball and go right into a spin move (he shows a reverse dribble), finish with a shot or at the rim,
- or hesitate, crossover baseline.

b) Split

Start to come off, when you see the screen defender hedging, fake up then split through, a long, low (crossover) dribble.
Early split - split before the screen if the screen defender hedges and your defender leaves space between you and the screen.

Johnston - there are two ways to split the hedge,
- pound crossover (keep it low, next dribble with the other hand)
- behind the back.

c) Get around the coverage

Float (hesitate) and open up your hips (throw your butt to the logo in the jump circle), eyes downhill, go around the hedge, get to the nail for a shot.

Johnston - hedge work - two options when the screen defender hedges out, you can split it sometimes if he hedges too high, but most of the time you will have to use a back-dribble to get away from him,
- if he retreats back to the screener, you will have a split second when no one is guarding you (your man is screened), eat that space up as soon as he leaves (don't let your man cut back in front), take your shot,
- reject the hedge - if the hedge defender does a good job of bumping you out and your defender gets over the screen and hustles to cut you off, make a back-dribble crossover and attack baseline into a jump shot or finish at the rim (see Bump-off re-screen, below).

d) Drop coverage

A lazy big or a shot-blocker who drops back.

The first option is to reject the screen, the second is come off for a pocket jump shot.

The third option is snake it to the rim (shown), come off the screen like you are going to get to the nail then wrap it (e.g. crossover), finish with a right-hand touch shot (not a layup).

If you can't split (snake it), it's an automatic inside-out after the screen, into a pull-up shot or go downhill for a left-hand finish (shown).

e) Bump-off re-screen

This happens a lot, the on-ball defender does a good job of getting over the screen, you end up accomplishing nothing.

The solution is that as soon as the on-ball defender gets past the screen (and squares up on the ball), the ballhandler pops back and uses the screen the other way (using a pullback crossover). The pop back hopefully brings the defender towards you which sets up the re-screen action.
Can also re-screen if your defender goes under the screen, pop back and square up, the screener changes the screening angle and gets closer to the rim. Another option is to shoot from behind the screen.up

This page was made with Basketball playbook from Jes-Soft

2007-17 Eric Johannsen