“Stampede Cut” (aka “Go-and-Catch”)


Term: Stampede Cut (aka “Slot Drive,” “Go-and-Catch,” “Run Thru”)

Definition: an offensive tactic in which a player on the perimeter is already running to the hoop as he catches a pass and continues driving to the basket (instead of squaring up for a shot and then attacking the closeout)

See Also: Corey Maggette Cut, a curved stampede cut (often on the backside of a pick-and-roll)

How It Works:

Perimeter players are often taught to look to shoot as soon as they receive a pass. “The most open you’re going to be is when you first catch the ball,” former coach Jay Wright taught his players at Villanova, for one notable example. After the shot has been considered, the ballhandler decides whether to drive (attack the closeout) or pass.

Stampede Cuts are different. First, the player has already started running towards the hoop when he receives the pass, and then he drives into the lane. As a result, athletic non-shooters like Zion Williamson and Ben Simmons (in the following video) are one instance when Stampede Cuts are more effective than looking to shoot:

Because Ben Simmons isn’t a shooter, defenses try to help off him, but Stampede Cuts are an effective way for punishing that help:

Notice that Simmons catches and then immediately starts dribbling. If a Stampede Cutter isn’t careful, he can get called for a travel if he takes two steps before his first dribble.

Another time to use Stampede Cuts is to punish a help defender for stunting/cheating towards the ball. In this diagram, x2 is the “nail defender,” who is presumably responsible for digging at the ballhandler as he comes off the pick-and-roll:

In this example, Tyus Jones (green) uses the ballscreen and then passes to the weakside slot for Desmond Bane to make a Stampede Cut (violet). the nail defender, Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels (light blue), is caught ballwatching; as you can see, he has his back to Bane. As the pass is made, he recovers to where he thinks Bane will be, but Bane’s Stampede Cut helps him beat McDaniels immediately:

The difficulty of a horizontal closeout helps Bane get past his defender and draw a foul at the rim:

(Note: the corner defender [green] switching onto Bane and McDaniels [blue] peeling off Bane and switching onto the corner player is a perfect example of a peel switch.)

a textbook “corner peel switch

Possibly, McDaniels expected Bane, who’s made over 43% of the nearly 800 3-pointers he’s attempted in his first two years, to first look for a shot, which would give him time to recover from his stunt. The fact that Bane is already running downhill when he makes the catch is why the Stampede Cut is so effective.

The difference between Stampede Cuts and regular backdoor cuts is that the Stampede cutter catches the ball close to the 3-point line. He might already be running towards the hoop when he gets the ball, but he still has to dribble and drive before he’s close enough for a layup. Contrast the Stampede Cut on the left with the backdoor 45 Cut on the right:

Because the cutter is both on the move when he catches the ball and too far from the hoop to layup without dribbling once or twice, Stampede Cuts are similar to Maggette Cuts (aka “blade” or “Corey Cuts”), which is when a player on the backside of a pick-and-roll lifts up from the corner to the wing and immediately attacks when he gets a pass as he curves towards the hoop. Corey Maggette himself makes a Maggette Cut on this play:

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