Combating the 'switch'
The defensive players often try to avoid being blocked out by switching their guarding assignments. In the situation on this page the defenders switch assignments but the offense maneuvers them into a mistake with the help of the pivot man. The maneuver looks simple but must be executed swiftly and accurately to be successful.
1 Pivot man takes pass and waits for his teammates to cross in front. Offensive man in rear fakes defender toward basket.
2 Defender No. 2 moves with offensive man No. 1 and bumps into pivot, while offensive man No. 5 swings defender wide.
3 Blocked out, No. 2 calls "switch," but wide arc of offensive man No. 5 makes the defense switch very difficult to execute.
4 Although the defenders have switched their assignments, No. 4 has been taken out of play and offensive man No. 1 is free.
All of the fundamental maneuvers shown on the previous pages are combined in DePaul's weak-side play, so-called because that side of the court on which the offense concentrates most of its men is known as the strong side. The key to the play's effectiveness lies in fooling defensive man No. 2 long enough for offensive man No. 5 to get a step ahead of him on the weak side. This clears him for a pass and a drive-in for an easy layup. The play begins with the offensive team's two guards bringing the ball downcourt. Pick it up at drawing No. 1.
1 One offensive guard dribbles in front of other, and the two exchange sides of court as the defense switches assignments.
2 One guard (No. 5) continues toward near side of the court (foreground), thus forcing the defense to spread itself wide.