For decades, coaches at every level have regarded the pick-and-roll as arguably the single most efficient offensive tool in their playbooks. Regardless of the offensive set, a well-executed pick-and- roll is effective and can create an array of scoring opportunities while forcing opposing coaches to make unwelcomed adjustments within their defensive schemes. 

As it’s now the cornerstone of most professional, collegiate and high school offensive systems, team practices and individual skills workouts are tailored to include high repetitions of various pick-and- roll actions, particularly in the role of the ball handler. While there is a mutually beneficial relationship between the ball handler and screener, it is the ball handler who dictates the action before, during and after the screen. 

While not neglecting the importance of the screener, care should be given in explaining the ball- handler’s role in the pick-and-roll. While some coaches use four ‘S’s to detail how the ball hander properly manipulates the screen — start, set, separate and score — a more exhaustive approach details seven ‘S’s to further build the ball handler’s intuition. 

They are:

• Survey. Read the defense from far to near.

• Start. Will I need to use my speed or length/size to engage my defender below the level of the 


• Setup. How will I get to the screener’s outside foot before my defender to successfully use it?

• Seal. No space can be allowed or compromised to let my defender bridge between my attack and 

the screen. Close the gap by attacking the screen shoulder-to-hip.

• Separate. The greater the distance covered after sealing off the screen, the greater the chance a 

player will find an open shot or create a mismatch.

• Sag/soft/switch. How is the screener’s defender playing the pick-and-roll?

• Score. The purpose of the pick-and-roll is to create scoring opportunities. Maximize its potential 

by staying aggressive at all times.

drskills Diamond in the Rough Skills Academy William Clay Polished by Purpose and Passion

Published “The Seven S’s of the Pick-and-Roll" Winning Hoops Magazine (2015).

Invited by Women's Basketball Coaching Association (WBCA) to deliver a half-court roundtable presentation on published work "The Seven S's of the Pick-and-Roll" at the Final Four in 2016.

Founder, Diamond in the Rough Skills Academy (2016)

DR Skills Academy is an entity that provides basketball skill instruction and mentoring through camps, clinics and other basketball forums to basketball players at all levels arcoss the United States, however primarily in South Carolina, California, and Florida.

Founder, Diamond in the Rough Skills Academy AAU (Non-Profit) (2018)

DR Skills Academy AAU is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide high school athletes, both girsl and boys aspiring to play college basketball, the opportunity to recieve high-level basketball skill instruction along with the means to showcase their talents at major AAU evens with the goal of being recruited and receiving a college scholarship.

Coastal Carolina University (2013-2015)

Assistant Women's Basketball Coach/Director of Player Development

Director of Operations


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