June 2, 2010 • FeaturesFrom the BenchOffenseWinning Hoops

Successful strategy for crashing the offensive glass on free throws

Several years ago, our state association adopted a new rule stating that the offense can only have two players on the lane line, whereas the defending team can have four. After this change, we felt that we could adjust how we rebound free throws to get an advantage.

Based on extensive studies of missed free throws from the previous three seasons, more than 75 percent of them go to the same side as the shooter’s hand. Probably because a right-handed player shoots across their body on misses and hits the back left of the rim. This results in a reflective angle coming off long and to the right. To compensate for this tendency, we placed a rebounder on the same side as the shooter’s shooting hand.

We also have the 5 try to get as far inside the lane as possible to clear out the entire right side, allowing our 2 to get all misses on that side. I can’t remember too many games over the past two seasons when we haven’t grabbed at least one offensive rebound due to this strategy.

DIAGRAM 1: This is how we’ll line up. Our best rebounder will be on the right block for a right handed shooter and the left block for a left handed shooter. 2 is on the shooting-hand side to start, while 1 is back communicating with the coach. If 1 is shooting, this is 2’s responsibility.

DIAGRAM 2: On the shot, 5 attacks the middle of the lane, beating the defender to that spot. This hopefully draws in X5 and X2, and 2 fills in that space. 3 steps back or spins to get inside position on X4. We usually get an offensive rebound from this at least twice each game.