Today I will be covering some Butler Set Plays from the Brad Stevens days of old. While I was a bit surprised to see Brad Stevens make the move to the NBA, there is little doubt his legacy at Butler will last for a long time and likewise there is little doubt that he is one of the best young coaches around. In Steven’s short time at Butler he was able to guide the ‘mid-major’ program to five NCAA appearances in six years, two 30 win seasons and two NCAA title appearances. I don’t know of many if any coaches at any level can claim that kind of success so early in their careers. Here are a few nice Butler set plays that you can use with your team to gain that Butler edge.
Butler Set Plays – Screen the Screener Action
This first play is a really nice yet simple set play that I think could easily be run at any level, although will likely work a bit better at higher levels where teams (a) Have a good outside shooter and (b) face teams who look to hedge or jam screens. Simply have your best big guy start at the top of the key. As your PG initiates the offense by dribbling to the right, your 5 man sets a down screen for the 2 (this should be your best shooter). I would tell your guys to make sure this screen is set around the FT line, as immediately following this screen the 4 will be back screening for the 5 man. While the 2 can be an option off this play (and perhaps the first time you run it you actually try to get your 2 a shot), the real option here is the 5 off the second screen.
Watch Butler run this play (from 0:00 to 0:08)
Butler Set Plays – AI Iso
Here is a series of quickhitters that Butler will run against a man to man which they call their AI plays. This first play is another rather simple play designed to create an isolation for your best guard.
Butler Set Plays – AI Fence
This second play out of the AI Series starts the same way as the previous play (AI Iso), but this time the 3 man, instead of clearing out to the corner for the ISO now gets an elevator screen as it’s called (imagine elevator doors closing to set the screen). These screens have become very popular recently, especially with teams like Golden State which feature some of the top 3 point shooters like Stephen Curry.
Butler Set Plays – AI Backscreen Behind
This final play is again out of Butler’s AI Series. It starts similar to the AI Iso, but the 3 does not clear out, instead he goes to the corner on the same side as he started on. This time, instead of the PG passing to the 2 off the staggered screen, he keeps his dribble and now gets a high ball screen from the 4. If there is no help the 1 can attack the basket and score, however if he gets stopped, there’s a backscreen behind the play. Have your PG reverse pivot away from the defense and look for the 2 coming off a staggered screen again.