The UCLA Offense is one of the staples in many basketball coaches bank of plays. The UCLA Offense blends a number of very simple principles together to make a highly effective and efficient offense. The formation for the set-up of the Strong Side Fill Play described in this article is just one of many variations that can be found centring on the UCLA Offense philosophy.
The Strong Side Fill Play of the UCLA Offense provides a double cutter action initially within the offense that is very effective in providing good offensive opportunity for the first and second players. As a point of note often when a player cuts directly following another cutter there is a vacuum created within the defence as the defensive players move in response to the first or initial cutter. The second cutter then has an advantage of a condensed and out of position defensive rotation.
The second significant scoring phase within the UCLA Offense is a screen the screener action. This is very effective in creating mismatches. Alternatively, with so much movement focused around the screen in the initial stages of the offense confusion within this movement of the play is not uncommon from the defensive player, often resulting in easily executed scoring openings.
Finally, in the closing stages of the UCLA Offense Strong Side Fill Play the terminal phase of the offense finishes with an on-ball screen. This helps to once again create mismatches, but additionally provides a different feel to the offense from the standard UCLA Offense cuts and screening action.
Formation for the Strong Side Fill Play is three out and two in.
One (1) makes a pass to Two (2), then cuts to the basketball off a strong lead.
Five (5) sets a screen towards the split line providing a better angle for the cut to the basket by One (1).
Five (5) continues to move towards the weak side were the player (Five) will set a second screen for Three (3).
Three (3) continues rotation to fill initially the space provided by One (1) then cut to the basket off the screen of Five (5).
This cut provides a ‘wheel action’ to the player rotations and has the opportunity to move multiple players through the same space rapidly creating issues with regards to vision and rotations in defence.
Three (3) empties to the weak side of the floor.
Five (5) creates a lead and cuts ball side of the screen to the vacant basket area.
Five (5) moves into the weak side double block.
Three (3) lifts to the foul line extended on the weak side of the floor.
Four (4) moves into sideline on-ball screen.
As Two (2) goes over the screen, One (1) lifts to strong side foul line extended acting as a pressure release option. Three (3) additionally rotates to the point position as a perimeter shooting option.
The UCLA Offense Strong Side Fill Play can be a great addition to any coach’s playbook. This is because of a number of different elements that make the offense unfamiliar and unique. Always remember to never undervalue the initial UCLA Cut within the UCLA Offense. Ensure all players value this movement as a scoring option, not just a movement based exercise.