Observations from the Under 19 World Cup

Posted on Jul 15 2021

The FIBA Under 19 Men’s World Cup was held in Latvia earlier this month, with 16 of the best teams from throughout the globe participating in a high quality tournament. We look at some trends and observations from the event.

Offence – individuals

  • Guards skilled with the ball in traffic – ability to play “low and slow” in the lane at the end of penetration and below the ball screen
  • Perimeter players ability to shoot the deep 3-point shot
  • Elite guards have the ability to shoot the 3-point shot off the bounce – ball screens and in broken play
  • Best perimeter players advanced passers in the pick and roll/drive and kick setting – use of jump passes, throw backs and hard skips (area Australia needs to develop)
  • Pull-up jumper and mid-range game feature of all he better perimeter players – hard drive to a spot and into the pull-up
  • Primary pass on deep penetration off ball screen lob or kick out
  • Posts – jump hook more prevalent than in other youth tournaments
  • Posts – use of “duck in” effectively

 Offence – concept

  • Trend towards significant off ball action with screens away from the ball – use wide pin downs or staggered screens as entries
  • Iverson cut, turn-out, zipper cut into the next action – pick and roll, DHO, “get”, hand-backs
  • Elite teams had at least one primary shooter they could rip off staggers, turn-outs or flares to create a shot – catch and shoot footwork and shot preparation advanced from previous tournaments
  • Spread pick and roll concepts into drive and kick concepts
  • On pick and roll, base-line big will stay low more than the traditional “roll & rise” action
  • Hand-back into flare screen, then down or staggered screen opposite prevalent
  • Use of “mix” (Spain) pick and roll concepts – screen the screener
  • Post action – some use of “up-down” ball-side action, space opposite
  • Elite teams sent bodies to the offensive glass

 Offence – team

  • Use of spread pick and roll concepts
  • More emphasis on screens off the ball – Diamond starts, use of wide down screens more prevalent
  • “Floppy” into the next action – curl cut more prevalent, players curling through the catch to create penetration
  • Some Flow concepts as a finish
  • Use of Drag and Double Drag in transition
  • Guards comfortable stretching to “high out” to create downhill opportunity – elite teams had overt spacing late clock to create penetration

Defence – individual

  • Elite defenders strong on the ball and ability impact physically
  • Lot of “up and in” early in the possession – forcing people to attack pressure
  • Good length on the wings and use of denial
  • Bigs do a good job of disrupting the line of the ball screener – no straight line runs into the pick, impacting physically (plus holding)
  • Use of “walling up” with verticality to contest at the rim is prevalent
  • Bigs could switch the pick and roll action for the most part with good success

Defence – concept

  • Overall, most teams had good intent to pressure the offence, both on the ball at point of pick and in lanes
  • Focus on disrupting actions – disrupt the path of the ball screener, “blow up” DHO, use of switching
  • Mix on post defence – some fronting, some play from behind and dig, some doubling on the first dribble
  • Ball screen D – MPR predominantly “quick show” coverage with some switching, SPR switching predominant and create the wall behind

Defence – team

  • Predominantly man to man tournament
  • Extended ball pick up point by most teams
  • 2-3 zone the predominant zone
  • 1-2-2 predominant press
  • Some use of 1-3-1 by teams as a change-up – effective early as teams had limited preparation time

Images courtesy of FIBA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *