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"Ball Screen Reactions" - By Graham Bousley

Graham Bousley is in his first season at George Washington after spending the last three seasons on head coach Jamion Christian’s staffs at Siena and Mount St. Mary’s, and boasts seven years of collegiate coaching experience under the likes of Bo Ryan, Shaka Smart and Mike Rhoades. He serves as offensive coordinator at George Washington.

“Graham has been a vital part of our success at both Mount St. Mary's and Siena,” said Christian. “You always want to work with people who are high achievers and who attack challenges without fear. That is exactly who Graham has always been. His understanding of our offense and how we can attack opposing teams will help us climb to the top of the A-10.”


In our system, guards come off 20-25 ball screens a night at minimum. As a guard, you need to be able to have an array of scoring moves and ways to manipulate the defense. We call some of the skills we develop ball screen reactions, ways to get the defense to react to the ball and either score or distribute the ball.


On a ball screen sending the ball handler towards the middle of the floor, we use a wedge dribble when the ball handler’s defender goes over the top of the screen and the big flat hedges. The ball handler basically boxes out his defender while

dribbling and holds the flat hedge in front of him while the big rolls to the rim. If the big drops back to cover the roller, the guard pulls up for the jump shot.


On a flat ball screen, we like to snake the screen, which means the ball handler will come off one side of the screen and cross over to the other side going downhill. This often changes how the defense will tag on the roll and also may get the flat hedge defender shifting one way or another. We have the guards shoot this pull-up if no passing options are available.


On any drive, we allow our guards to keep their dribble and post up if they cannot get by their defender. This allows the ball handler time to draw a help defender and find a shooter or get a more controlled shot up. A key to the dribble post are protecting the ball while you put the defender who cut you off on your hip. 


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