More on the Skip Pass

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Passing Actions

I’ve had some comments about why we play the skip pass like we do.  Need a reminder?  Ok, here goes.

On a skip pass, the player 1 pass away from the receiver is the cutter. It’s pretty simple.  

You:  Doesn’t this “break the rule” that the passer always cuts?
Me:  Yes it does.

You: Coach, it’s not consistent.
Me: You’re right.

You:  Coach, isn’t this hard for players to learn?
Me:  Not really.

The worst thing that can happen is that both players end up cutting.  This isn’t ideal, but it’s not the end of the world either.

I could go into dialogue about why we do this.  I’m going to let film and a few comments say it for me.

I will comment on each clip as we go.

Besides the skip pass, notice that we’re in a 4 out 1 in alignment against a 2-3 zone. Are we breaking the cardinal rule of odd vs. even?  Yes, we are.  If you haven’t gathered it yet, we break a lot of rules around here. Anyway, the skip pass makes this alignment very hard to guard for the defense.  They were keeping their wings close to the basket.  They were trying to keep us from driving. We get a layup anyway.

Again we’re even vs. even.  This is a great use of the pin screen by our post player.  I know we haven’t talked about that yet.  It’s coming.

We don’t need to “setup”.  Even against zone.  We decide to kick it out after the fast break and we’re in attack mode anyway.  In this case, the cutter turns into a screener.  Maybe she should have reacted to the drive.  But really where is she gonna go?  So instead she stands still and sets a screen.

The first couple clips were against zone. This one is against man to man. Having this player cut creates a driving lane. This is just one of many missed layups. If the passer cuts, we don’t get that driving lane. I also think it’s easier to bump the passer in this situation. When the cutter is the player 1 pass away, she is really hard to guard.  Even against good defense, the cutter becomes a “pulling guard.” I know we’re not the Redskins of the 80’s but Joe Gibbs might be proud.

Last but not least, my favorite play from last year.  This clip has lots of good action before the skip pass, but then a great skip pass.  Or is it a post entry pass?  I say it’s both.  I also say this is beautiful basketball.  It still gives me chills every time I watch it.  I’ve watched it a lot.

As I watch film, I will continue to look for more skip passes and how they help create scoring opportunities if the cutter is the person one pass away.  I found these in just a couple of games.  I’m sure I can find examples of more.

I hope you enjoy.


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