Language of Basketball. Layup, jump shot and alley-oop

VTB-League.com presents Part IV in the Language of Basketball series, highlighting the words and phrases every basketball fan needs to know. Along with detailed explanations, we've provided clips from the VTB United League to illustrate each concept.

Today's edition covers three new terms: layup, jump shot and alley-oop.

This is one of the most popular ways to score in basketball. Layups are executed in the paint and only use one hand. While attacking the basket, a player lifts the ball with one hand, and bounces it off the backboard and through the net for a layup. The shot is almost exclusively executed by backcourt players.

With the basket so close, layups are very effective. Left unguarded, a player will make a layup almost every time. But they can be blocked. The defense, especially the big man in the middle, try to trap guards that slice into the paint and swat away any shot attempts.

Nando de Colo, Keith Langford, Tyrese Rice and Walter Hodge are some of the league's best layup artists and provided us with plenty of highlights last season.

Jump shot
Not surprisingly, a jump shot (or jumper) requires the player with the ball to jump when shooting. Ken Sailors was the first to try a jump shot, way back in 1934. Eight decades later, the jumper is the most popular shot in the game. A jump shot is executed by holding the ball in both hands and lifting it as you jump, before releasing with one hand at the apex of the jump.

Jump shots are usually at least 12-15 feet from the basket and used to attempted mainly by guards. But the game has changed and now forwards and sometimes even centers are expected to knock down a jumper. In the VTB United League, big men like Sergey Monia, Valery Likhodei and Andrey Vorontsevich, to name a few, are among the league's best outside shooters. 

The alley-oop is one of the most exciting shots you'll see in basketball, requiring two players to complete. The first tosses the ball toward the basket, while the second catches and scores in mid-air, usually by dunking.

The first alley-oop date back to the mid-1960s. Al and Gerald Tucker of Oklahoma Baptist University are credited with inventing the shot. Once a novelty, you'll see the shot in almost every game at the professional level these days thanks to the ever-improving athleticism of the players.

But athleticism is just one element. In order for an alley-oop to be successful, both players must understand each other perfectly. A guard usually passes the ball, while one of the big men finishes at the other end. Among the VTB United League's most effective duos last season were Milos Teodosic and Sasha Kaun, Malcolm Delaney and Anthony Randolph and Scott Machado and Frank Elegar.