Brian Goorjian, American born, was named in 2003 as the greatest coach in the first 25 years of the Australian National Basketball League. He started his coaching career as assistant coach of Geelong in 1985, later becoming coach of the Melbourne Tigers and winning two championships. He then coached Sydney, winning three titles in a row from 2003 to 2005. He was named NBL Coach of the Year four times. Since 2001 he has been head coach of the Australian men's national team, coaching them at the 2004 Olympic Games and 2006 FIBA World Championships.
Our first priority at the 2006 FIBA World Championship was to move the ball very quickly down the court with the point guards handling the ball. The wing players sprinted ahead of the ball to keep pressure on the defense. We also took advantage of our agile power forwards, who sprinted to the offensive basket and looked to receive the ball as close to the basket as possible. In addition, our quick ball reversal was one of our best offensive assets, combined with the dribble penetration of our guards and small forwards. If we did not have an opportunity for a full court transition, our guards started to control the offensive play.
Here a list of our offensive sets strategies:
- On ball screens.
- Entries through our 4 and 5 players, flashing at the elbow of the free-throw area.
- Turn out actions from our 2 and 3 players.
- Effective use of screens from little players to big players.
Our main offensive alignment was to have four perimeter players and one inside player, or else use three perimeter players and two inside players. When there were just a few seconds left on the shot clock, we relied on ball screens, quick ball movement, and dribble penetration.
I am proud to say that we had a good awareness of the offensive tempo and a good judgement of which plays were required depending on the time left in the game and the score.
PLAYER POSITIONS AND SKILLS
Our guards handled the ball and were able to control the tempo very well. They had a good range of shooting from the perimeter and penetrated with the ball through quick dribbling off the ball movement. They passed well to the cutters and post players who were flash cutting to the elbows of the free-throw area. Their main attacking moves were the crossover and the speed dribbles.
Our forwards ran the court very well in offensive transition and the power forwards were very agile and quick to post up strongly. The small forwards had good shooting range. They were effective with the catch-and-shoot jump shot and penetrating with the ball inside the three-second lane. They also passed well to teammates cutting off screens.
Our centers passed to the cutters very well. Their main offensive moves were the jump hook from a "back in" move and turn-around jump shot. They also had strong and effective counter moves from the low post position, combined with a medium shooting range. They screened well on the ball screens and created effective scoring threats from these offensive plays.
These were the players who played the most minutes and we designed plays to take advantage of their skills:
C. J. Bruton, point guard Jason Smith, guard
Sam McKinnon, forward
Luke Kendall, forward
Andrew Bogut, center
Mark Worthington, forward
Brad Newley, forward
The following plays are some of the quick plays we used at the FIBA 2006 World Championship.
PLAYS OFF THE TRANSITION
Play for the point guard, Bruton
Out of the three-two set, with two low posts, 4 and 5, 2 and 3 on the wings with 1 (Bruton) with the ball at the middle of the floor, 1 passes the ball to 3 and runs to the corner, while 4 and 5 start to run a staggered screen (diagr. 1).
2 moves toward 3, receives the ball from 3 and passes it to 1, who gets off the baseline from the staggered screen of 5 and 4 (diagr. 2).
Play for the center, Bogut
Here a play from a one-four set, with two wings: 2 and 3 in the corners, and 4 and 5 are at the low post positions. 1 has the ball on one side of the court, 4 runs out of the lane and sets himself near the sideline, while 5 screens on the ball for 1 (diagr. 4).
1 drives off the 5's screen, while 5 rolls to the basket and freezes his defender near the basket (diagr. 5). 1 drives to the opposite side of the court from where he received the screen, and passes the ball to 5 under the basket (diagr. 6).
PLAYS VS. MAN-TO-MAN SET DEFENSE
Plays for Bruton or Bogut
Out of set with three perimeter players and two inside players, 1 (Bruton) passes to 2 and 3 runs along the baseline and cuts off the screens of 5 (Bogut) and 4.
Right after the pass to 2, 1 curls around 5, goes back to the same position and receives the ball back from 2 (diagr. 7).
5 gets out of the lane and plays pickand- roll with 1, who can shoot, drive to the basket, or pass to 5 on the roll. While 5 screens for 1, 4 screens for 2 (diagr. 8).
Play for Kendall
Using a set with three perimeter players and two inside players: 2 (Kendall) passes to 3 and cuts to baseline around 5 and goes in the corner (diagr. 9).
5 sprints out of the lane and screens for 3 (diagr. 10).
3 drives off 5's screen and drives to the basket. If the defender of 2 tries to help, 3 passes the ball out to 2 in the corner for a jump shot (diagr. 11).
Play for Newley
With two players on the corners, 3 (Newley) and 2, 5 at the left elbow of the free-throw area, 1 with the ball on the right wing, and 4 out of the top of the key, 4 screens for 1 (diagr. 12).
Right after 4's screen and 1's drive off the screen, 2 back screens 4 (screen-the- screener action). 4 cuts to the baseline and then on to the low post on the same side (diagr. 13).
Right after setting the back screen for 4, 2 runs to the baseline on the wing position and 1 passes the ball to 5. 3 cuts to the baseline, receives a screen from 4, and 5 passes to 3 for a shot, while 2 goes in the corner (diagr. 14).
Play for Worthington
Out of a set with three players outside and two players inside: 3 (Worthington) cuts along the baseline and gets off the screens of 4 and 5 and sets himself on the wing (diagr. 15).
2 passes to 3 and then down screens for 4, while 1 relocates on the wing, and 5 pops out of lane and goes to the corner (diagr. 16).
3 passes to 5, cuts to the basket, and 5 passes the ball to 3 (diagr. 17).
Play for McKinnon
The initial set is the same, with 1 with the ball: 2 cuts down in the middle of the lane and waits for a second under the basket, and 3 replaces 2 (diagr. 18).
2 runs off 4 (McKinnon) and goes in the corner, while 5 goes to the elbow on the same side (diagr. 19).
Right after the cut of 2, 4 cuts to the lane and receives the ball from 1 (diagr. 20).
Play for Bogut
The initial set is the same, with 1 with the ball: 2 cuts along the baseline and off the screens of 4 and 5 (Bogut) screens, while 1 passes the ball to 3 (diagr. 21).
5 flashes to the elbow and 1 cuts to the corner to take away the defensive help. 3 passes to 5, who plays one-on-one (diagr. 22).