Lutz's Half-Court Offense

I wouldn’t plan on Lutz seeing Withers getting the ball on the low-block anytime soon. Lutz’s half-court philosophy has always been look for the 3 first then HOPE to get something inside.

In the half-court set, Lutz primarily runs “Quick Hitters”. This is where a player (Jobey, Demon, Diego, Plavich) runs off a series of screens for a “Catch and Shoot” opportunity beyond the 3 point arc. When the 3’s drop, Lutz looks like an “Offensive Genius”- which he’s been called.

However, this philosphy has 2 negative manifestations, which have been fairly common-place in the Lutz Era, if the Niners don’t make a 3.

  1. Blowing big leads in the second-half - this is due to too many 3’s (low-percentage shot) launched way too early in the shot clock.
  2. Players Standing around as 1 guy goes One-on-One - this happens when the guy designated to get the shot on the quick-hitter is denied the ball or can’t get a shot off after the catch. If the Quick Hitter doesn’t work then it appears to me there is no contingency for “Continuity” in the offense.

We need a set offense to rely on if the desiganted play does not work. Most coaches use a continuity offense such as “Motion” or the “UCLA High Post Offense” as their primary half-court man offense. They will occasionally throw in quick hitters to keep the defense guessing or get a quick 3. Lutz uses the quick hitters as the main attack and doesn’t have a Continuity Offense to rely on if the set play fails. It’s a real gamble to approach the game this way, but the staggered reward of 3 is like a slot machine and becomes addictive.

As far as feeding the post I’ve never seen a Lutz team look to the post and I can’t see that changing. For example, we had Cam Stephens, one of the best combinations of strength, quickness and athleticism, who should’ve been able to dominate on the low block (use quickness against taller players, strength against smaller players), who got the ball on the low block next to never in the Lutz system. He was always setting screens and/or catching the ball at the top of the key. He really should’ve been more dominant offensively when he was a Niner. I just hope Withers doesn’t fail to reach his full potential in the system.

[i]Originally posted by 4AMer[/i]@Dec 2 2004, 04:22 PM [b] For example, we had Cam Stephens, one of the best combinations of strength, quickness and athleticism, who should've been able to dominate on the low block (use quickness against taller players, strength against smaller players), who got the ball on the low block next to never in the Lutz system. He was always setting screens and/or catching the ball at the top of the key. He really should've been more dominant offensively when he was a Niner. I just hope Withers doesn't fail to reach his full potential in the system. [/b]
Cam averaged nearly a double/double his senior year and was second team all conference. We worked the ball into him frequently on the block and the base line.

We also had Jobey.

[i]Originally posted by 4AMer[/i]@Dec 2 2004, 04:22 PM [b] We need a set offense to rely on if the desiganted play does not work. Most coaches use a continuity offense such as "Motion" or the "UCLA High Post Offense" as their primary half-court man offense. [/b]
Actually, there are several options in each set. If option 1 isn't open, there's a spin-off for 2, 3, etc. Lately, Option 1 has been open. I agree that Option 1 needs to be Curtis Withers more often.

I absolutely agree with everything you posted.

I said this last March and I’ll say it again now. How in the world did Plavich get blanketed by Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAA and never get an open look and then I go home and watch McNamara from Syracuse get open look after open look and go off for 43 points against BYU. The answer is not the defense. It is the offense. Syracuse understands the kick-out using their post players and we run our shooters ragged around multiple screens. Our shooters get tired and defenses switch to combat the three.

Last year we needed Withers on the block, Demon feeding him, and Plavich off-set. Are you going to go one on one with Withers and let him eat you up or are you going to rotate and give Demon or Plavich wide open looks. It was amazing to me and it still is. Our half-court offense does not adapt to the skills of our post players, we just recruit new shooters. It sucks.

I think you guys are oversimplifying. Last night was clearly a vanilla game plan. I have no doubts that ULL would give Bama some game film, so in order to combat that Coach Lutz doesn’t throw in all of his game plans. However what Lefty said is correct. You guys probably have heard of the ‘zipper’ play we run (WFNZ talks about it like they know something) but you probably don’t know that the ‘zipper’ play has about 4 different looks to it. Our offense is a little more complex then most teams, however I do agree that we need to start getting some plays in for Curt, however don’t forget that Curt did most of his damage last year using his outside game on slower footed 4’s.