K.I.S.S. Series – Man to Man Sets

K.I.S.S. Series – Man to Man Sets

In the second part of our Better Coaches, K.I.S.S. Series, we will give a simple series of man to man sets. The purpose of the K.I.S.S. Series is to remind coaches the benefits of “keeping it simple.” All coaches want their players to play aggressively and with confidence. Preparation and simplicity are two keys to allowing this to happen. I am a huge fan of a great man to man set. That being said, the only thing that allows a set to be great, is if players can execute it at a high level. Below is a series of plays, which start from a box formation, and fit multiple needs. They include plays for a post touch, an isolation, a three point set, and a couple of counters.

“K.I.S.S. stands for Keep ISimple, Stupid!”




This set is designed to get an interior touch. It can be run for any player, by calling their position number or name. For example, the diagram below would be “Box 2.” There are a couple of keys to this set. The player on the opposite block needs to be a capable shooter. This creates space for the duck in and post up. If the defender helps, it is a direct pass to the corner, for an open three-point shot. The other key to the set is the footwork of the player that is posting up. The player needs to step in with their top foot, spin to make contact, and pin the defender behind. If the defender fronts the post, then the offensive player must work them up the lane, to create space for a high/low lob pass.


“Box Flop”

This is the counter to “Box #/Name.” These two sets can be run on back-to-back possessions, to help your offense find a rhythm. It can also be an automatic, if X4 sags into the lane, to take away the pass to the post.


“Box Elbow”

This set is an isolation, which utilizes a back cut to clear out the side. It can be run for any player, by calling their position number or name. This set would be called, “Elbow 5.” It has the same Flare screen at the top, as we want everything to look the same. This makes it harder to scout and recognize, until the action has already taken place. The back cut will set a “Hammer Screen,” for a baseline drift if the drive is not open.


“Box Triple”

This three-point set is a screen-the-screener, with an elevator screen. When the ball is dribbled to the wing, both ball side players set a cross screen. The players at the elbows cross screen, to engage their defenders. This keeps the defenders below the eventual elevator screen.


“Box Horns”

This Horns set can be run for a three-point shot, on the flare screen. It can also be run as a post isolation, on the slip to the rim. One way to maximize the effect of this action, is to put a guard into the Horns action. This makes it much more dangerous for the defense to switch the flare screen.


Like everything in our K.I.S.S. Series, these sets are very SIMPLE. All of the sets start from a box set, and use 1-2 actions, to create a scoring opportunity. Hopefully there is something in this post that can help your team score an important basket, at a key point in your season. If you want other ideas, or have any comments, please reach out to us. Below is that information.

Coach Doug Brotherton can be reached via e-mail at CoachBrotherton@gmail.com

You can also reach him via Twitter at @CoachBrotherton

HoopGrind Basketball can be reached via Twitter at @HoopGrind

Lastly, please check out last week’s blog post,K.I.S.S. Series – Transition Offense.

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