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Low Post Moves for Big Men to Master

Low Post Moves for Big Men to Master

Although the modern game of basketball has drifted away from the low block, getting points from the post can still make the difference between winning and losing. While once upon a time, a basketball big man patrolled the paint on offense with his back to the basket, nowadays must develop a more well-rounded game. That said, having a variety of low post moves will help any developing big man in today’s game.

Where’s the Low Post?

Basketball court area namesThe low post area of a basketball court is the section of the painted area nearest to the basket. This stretch features a rectangular block to designate the spot and remains a vital piece of real estate on the court.

The low post stands in contrast to the mid-post, a section middle of the way between the low block and the free throw line, and the high post, which is situated near the free throw line.

Players that occupy the low post often try to pin their defender to their back before receiving a pass. This area makes for prime rebounding position, and when open, provides the highest percentage shots on the basketball court.

Although the modern game has pushed low post players away from the basket, being able to effectively score from this section of the court can often tilt control of the game. These players need to have a variety of low post moves to lean on when trying to score from the block.

Low Post Moves: Baby Hook

Perhaps the most important low post move for young big men to add to their bag is the baby hook. This simple and effective shot leverages the offensive player’s position near the hoop to get up a quality shot. By turning half way, the offensive player creates space from his defender along the length of his body. From there, the offensive player uses one hand to take this shot attempt over his defender.

This low post move requires a wide stance and a solid base to operate from. If the defender is on the offensive player’s back, a shoulder fake one way or the other should create an opening to attack. From there, the offensive player should turn his shoulders parallel to the hoop, with the ball away from the defender. The offensive player then brings the ball up vertically with one hand and executes the shot attempt with a quick snap of the wrist.

The baby hook is a simplified version of the traditional sky hook, a far more difficult move for low post players to master.

Low Post Moves: Drop Step

Another one of the low post moves every big man should have in his bag is the drop step. This simple maneuver leverages a defender’s position on the floor to create space right at the rim for a layup. The offensive player dribbles with his back to the defender after receiving the ball. Once physical contact is made with the defender’s body, the offensive player uses a shoulder fake to position the defender near his pivot foot. From there, the offensive player uses his other leg to wrap around the defender’s foot and “drop” toward the basket.

This move pushes the defender aside, creating an opening for a layup right at the rim. It must be timed correctly to avoid a charging call or to prevent the defender from getting a clean block. Using the dribble to set up the defender, the best drop step progresses the offensive player toward the baseline. Once the spin is made, the offensive player uses his own body to protect the ball from the defender during the shot attempt.

Low Post Moves: Up-and-Under

The up-and-under stands out as an effective set of low post moves that can also create fouls on opposing defenders. This move works particularly well once the offensive player has made a couple of baby hooks. The “up” portion of the up-and-under looks like a hook shot, inducing the defender’s reaction. The “under” takes place when the offensive player steps through while the defender is out of position.

To execute this move, the offensive player should once again start with a wide stance. From there, the offensive players should behave as if he intends to shoot a baby hook. As he moves into a two-foot position after picking up his dribble, the offensive player then performs a ball fake to get the defender to jump. Once the defender is up in the air, the offensive player performs a step-through underneath, getting an open look at the rim.


Related: Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Low-Post Look


Resources:

TO DEVELOP AN UNSTOPPABLE BASKETBALL TEAM AND DOMINATE YOUR LEAGUE, YOU NEED PROVEN OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE PLAYS! 

Click here for: Proven Basketball Playbooks, Drills and Strategies!

Don’t miss out on big discounts for TeachHoops Readers:
  • Code: TeachHoops (for 20 percent off)
  • Code: Combo25 (for 25 percent off combo packs)


Coach Unplugged Podcast: 

Youth Player Development

Ep: 393 Big Men and Switching Defense


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Setting Up a Basketball Playbook

Setting Up a Basketball Playbook

Heading into a new season, basketball coaches juggle a number of important responsibilities. Hopefully, coaches used the offseason to better themselves in preparation for the new year. But no matter what level a coach find him or herself coaching at, setting up the right basketball playbook for the team remains an integral step.

Coaches can use the offseason to accomplish several different goals, including becoming a better leader. Often times, evaluating last season’s performance comes at this point, as well as fine tuning the approach to practice planning. But setting up the team’s playbook should also be an important exercise.

Keys to a Good Basketball Playbook

A playbook crystalizes a team’s offensive and defensive approach. It helps build the team’s identity and provides a path to in-season success. Laying out the different sets and plays before hand can often help with drill selection and practice flow. Coaches seek to teach these sets and plays in order to leverage a team’s strengths, both from an individual and a collective perspective.

Any good basketball playbook relies on two relatively broad offensive categories. Those categories are: Man-to-Man Offense, Zone Offense and Specials.

  • Man-to-Man Offense: Teams execute these plays against man-to-man defenses, where each defensive player guards one offensive player. These plays aim to create opportunities for offensive players with staples such as the use of pick-and-rolls.
  • Zone Offense: Teams execute these plays against zone defenses, where defenders patrol specific areas in the half court rather than matchup one-on-one. These plays seek to leverage space, movement, and mismatches to create scoring opportunities.
  • Specials: Specials are those plays designed for specific situations in a given game. The most common offensive specials include Baseline Out of Bounds (BLOB) plays, Sideline Out of Bounds (SLOB) plays, and Press Breakers.

Fundamental Actions in a Good Basketball Playbook

Any basketball coach, no matter the level, should implement fundamental actions into their playbook. These actions often create the foundations for more complex plays and sets in a given offensive strategy. These actions should be incorporated in even the simplest youth basketball playbook.

  • Pick and Roll: The pick-and-roll remains the most recognizable offensive action at any level of basketball. In this action, an offensive player sets a screen (or pick) for the ball handler. The ball-handler reads the defense before deciding his or her next move, either driving to the basket or making a pass. The screener in this action rolls to the hoop and prepares to receive a pass, whether that pass is coming or not. This action remains a staple of any man-to-man offense.
  • Pass and Cut: Pass and cut is an offensive tactic in which a perimeter player with the ball passes to a teammate then executes a cut, typically towards the hoop. This basic action looks to draw attention from the defense and limit rotations or overplays. The pass and cut approach works for both man-to-man offenses and zone offenses.
  • Ball Reversal: The ball reversal action in basketball involves an offense working the ball via pass from one side of the court to the other. When executed properly, this action forces a defense to scramble and can create openings for cutting lanes or jump shots. This action can work against either defensive setup, but it is most effective against aggressive zone defenses.

Tips for Building a Basketball Playbook

No basketball playbook is created equal. Coaches should assess the skill level of their players before making definitive choices for their offensive approach. There’s such a wide variety of plays that coaches can certainly find something that will work for their team. But when building a playbook, youth basketball coaches should consider the following three tips.

  1. Start Simple. This is particularly true if a coach is dealing with newcomers to the sport or relatively inexperienced youth teams. Players will perform all the better as beginners when they aren’t too slowed by thinking about the next action in a play. Layering skills and actions in practice can often set up more complex plays later in the season.
  2. Embrace Space. One of the key skills young players need to develop is being able to move without the ball. Using the full court for drills and conditioning is a must for coaches, especially at the youth level. When designing a playbook, getting players to understand spacing will improve the effectiveness of each set. This is especially true against zone defenses.
  3. Add Variety. Experienced basketball coaches sport deep playbooks, pulling sets to combat specific defenses. Newer basketball coaches need to remember that incorporating a variety of plays into the playbook will help keep players engaged and prevent opponents from keying on tendencies. Avoid becoming predictable at all costs.

Click HERE for a TeachHoops Playbook Template. 


TO DEVELOP AN UNSTOPPABLE BASKETBALL TEAM AND DOMINATE YOUR LEAGUE, YOU NEED PROVEN OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE PLAYS! 

Click here for: Proven Basketball Playbooks, Drills and Strategies!

Don’t miss out on big discounts for TeachHoops Readers:
  • Code: TeachHoops (for 20 percent off)
  • Code: Combo25 (for 25 percent off combo packs)

Related: 3 Effective Full Court Basketball Drills


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast: 

Youth Player Development

Ep 1356 10 Keys to A Good Zone Offense

Ep 1318 Picking an Offense and Full Court Pressure Discussion


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

3 Go-To Baseline Out of Bounds Plays

3 Go-To Baseline Out of Bounds Plays

No basketball coach’s playbook is ever complete without a go-to baseline out of bounds play. Sometimes referred to as a BLOB, the baseline out of bounds play serves as a scoring opportunity for most teams. These plays are often quick-hitters with multiple options for the passer.

Coaches can be as creative as they want to be when designing these plays, but they have to keep in mind the skill-level of their team. Another consideration is being able to shift directly into the team’s core offense. Finally, some coaches prefer to install baseline out of bounds sets that have multiple variations from which to attack the basket.

Every coach needs go-to out of bounds sets heading into a season. Here’s a look at three effective baseline out of bounds plays.

Baseline Out of Bounds Plays: Box

baseline out of bounds playsThe first set to consider of these baseline out of bounds plays is called box. This play remains most effective against man-to-man defenses. For this play, the inbound should be your best passer.

Your best shooter should set up on the low block away from the passer, while your best wing finisher takes the opposite high post spot. Your two bigs create the other side of the box, with Player 5 on the low block and Player 4 on the strong-side elbow.

The first action of this play sends the shooter up to the opposite elbow to set a back screen for Player 3. After cutting down toward the basket, Player 3 should clear to the corner if he doesn’t receive a pass.

While this action unfolds, Player 5 slides up the court to set either a double screen or an elevator screen with Player 4.

After setting the back screen for Player 3, the shooter, Player 2 in this graphic, uses the strong side screens. Depending upon the movement of the defense, Player 2 can wrap around the bigs as a double screen or pass between them as an elevator screen. Player 2 clears to the corner and could be open for a three-point attempt.

The final action of this baseline out of bounds play involves the two bigs cutting to the low blocks. Player 3 can cut high as an outlet if need be.

Baseline Out of Bounds Plays: High Double Stack

baseline out of bounds playsThe next option among these baseline out of bounds plays is called High Double Stack. This play is best used against a 2-3 zone that’s trying to protect the interior of the lane.

The setup for this play stacks Players 5 and 2 at the strong-side elbow, while Players 4 and 3 stack on the opposite elbow. The inbounder should be your best passer.

The first action of this play involves a series of cuts. Player 2 cuts across the free throw line to screen for Player 3. As Player 3 uses the screen and curls along the three-point line, Player 5 makes a dive cut to the hoop.

After setting a cross-screen, Player 2 squares up at the top of the key. Player 4 flares out to the opposite wing as a potential outlet. The cut for Player 3 sees him progress all the way to the strong-side corner.

 

Baseline Out of Bounds Plays: Side Box

baseline out of bounds playsThe last set from these baseline out of bounds plays is called Side Box. This play is most effective against a 2-3 zone defense. The setup for this play utilizes an offset box.

Player 5 and Player 4 set up  several steps outside the lane line, about halfway between the lane and the three-point arc. Player 2 and Player 3 set up their side of the box in the middle of the lane.

The design for this play is to get an open look at a three-point attempt. Player 2 should be your team’s best shooter. He will be the primary option for this set.

The action begins with Player 4 and Player 5 setting an elevator screen on the side of the zone. Player 2 progresses through the elevator screen and exits high on the wing. The inbounder should look to pass Player 2 the ball.

Player 3 should set a down screen on the zone to create space for Player 4 to relocate to the top of the key.

After making the pass to Player 2, the inbounder should enter toward the strong-side corner, looking to receive the ball back for a shot if open. Player 2 can take the three if open.

Get More Out of Bounds Plays and Diagrams Here!

Click HERE for a TeachHoops Playbook Template. 


TO DEVELOP AN UNSTOPPABLE BASKETBALL TEAM AND DOMINATE YOUR LEAGUE, YOU NEED PROVEN OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE PLAYS! 

Click here for: Proven Basketball Playbooks, Drills and Strategies!

Don’t miss out on big discounts for TeachHoops Readers:
  • Code: TeachHoops (for 20 percent off)
  • Code: Combo25 (for 25 percent off combo packs)

Related: 3 Effective Full Court Basketball Drills


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast: 

Youth Player Development

Ep 217: Out of Bounds Plays (High School Hoops)


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Read and React Sets: Ball Screen Shooter Lift

Read and React Sets: Ball Screen Shooter Lift

In this ever changing world of trying to find ways to separate yourself from your opponent, it is important to take any step necessary to give yourself an edge over the opponent. We run Rick Torbett’s Read and React offensive system in our program and have enjoyed what it has brought to our players. The Read and React sets like the ball screen shooter lift can be tailored to get touches in specific areas of the floor.

One area where we as a staff felt like were falling short for our players was in a lack of set plays. We always know those times where we are going to need those quick hitters to get a quick bucket, but we wanted to avoid totally changing our system to just throw in a few quick hitters. What we decided to go with was sets using the principles of the Read and React.

What these sets did was allow us to get quick buckets using our offensive principles. But even if we did not need a quick bucket, it still got our players moving within our offensive parameters.

Read and React Sets: Ball Screen Shooter Lift

This play was inspired by watching the NCAA tournament a few years back. And we just applied Read and React principles to it. It is a simple ball screen look. However, while everyone is watching the ball screen action, you bring a shooter up on the backside behind the pick and roll. That player should get a good look at the basket.

read and react shooter

This Read and React set also begins with a 5-Out formation. The point guard, Player 1, initiates the action with a dribble-at move toward Player 5 on the wing. Player 2 keeps his defender spread wide by standing in the corner.

After Player 5 slips the dribble-at, Player 1 pull dribbles on the wing to bring Player 5 back for a ball screen.

The second action of this read and react set looks to get the shooter in motion. Player 1 utilizes the ball screen on the wing and attacks the lane. After setting the screen, Player 5 makes a hard roll to the basket.

read and react shooter

At this point, Player 2 completes the circle movement motion to lift on the wing.

Player 1 penetrates into the middle, with Player 5 occupying the defense with his roll. The defender for Player 2, the shooter in this read and react action, might help down if the defense tries to trap the ball handler.

After getting into the lane, Player 1 completes the throwback pass to Player 2 on the wing. This is a catch-and-shoot opportunity for Player 2.

The pick-and-roll action clears the backside along the wing for Player 2, who moves into the space following that action. This play can be run from either side of the floor, depending upon the set up of the defense and the hand preference of the driver.


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Read and React Sets: 5-Out Attack

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.

Episode: 901 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 1)

Ep: 902 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 2)

Ep: 903 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 3)


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Read and React Sets: 5-Out Attack

Read and React Sets: 5-Out Attack

In this ever changing world of trying to find ways to separate yourself from your opponent, it is important to take any step necessary to give yourself an edge over the opponent. We run Rick Torbett’s Read and React offensive system in our program and have enjoyed what it has brought to our players. The Read and React sets like the 5-Out Attack can be tailored to get touches in specific areas of the floor.

One area where we as a staff felt like were falling short for our players was in a lack of set plays. We always know those times where we are going to need those quick hitters to get a quick bucket, but we wanted to avoid totally changing our system to just throw in a few quick hitters. What we decided to go with was sets using the principles of the Read and React.

What these sets did was allow us to get quick buckets using our offensive principles. But even if we did not need a quick bucket, it still got our players moving within our offensive parameters.

Read and React Sets: 5-Out Attack

This Read and React 5-Out set gets the ball swinging side-to-side with lots of action to keep the defense occupied. If you have a player who is great at screening and slipping, this play will get them a look in the middle of the paint. If that look is not open, the ball ends up in the hands of a player who is great in a pick and roll look.

Read and React 5-Out

This Read and React set begins with a 5-Out formation. All five offensive players begin outside the three-point line to spread the defense out. This is effective against man-to-man defenses, particularly ones that like to deny passes and overplay.

Player 1 initiates the action with a pass to the wing. After the pass, Player 1 sets a weak side screen for Player 4. Once he’s set the screen, Player 1 cuts to the weak side corner as Player 3 fills up on the wing.

The second action for this set sees Player 2 center the ball with Player 4 at the top of the key. Once that pass is made, Player 5 and Player 1 both set pin screens on the perimeter. This action could create open looks for the shooters on the wing.

Read and React 5-Out

The next sequence of action involves Player 5 slipping the pin screen for a lay-up opportunity. Player 5 dives to the middle of the lane looking to post up his defender. Player 1, meanwhile, pops to the open space on the wing.

If those moves are covered by the defense, Player 4 passes to Player 1 then cuts away to screen for Player 2 in the corner. As Player 1 receives, Player 5 comes up the floor to set a ball screen.

This becomes a basic pick-and-roll action from the wing at this point. Player 1 can drive for a scoring opportunity or pass to a number of teammates. Player 2 will be shaping up on the wing, while Player 3 should do the same on the opposite side. The ball screener, Player 5, can roll while Player 4 sets up in the short corner.


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Read and React Sets: Ball Screen Shooter Lift

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.

Episode: 901 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 1)

Ep: 902 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 2)

Ep: 903 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 3)


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Read and React Sets: Dribble Handoff (DHO)

Read and React Sets: Dribble Handoff (DHO)

In this ever changing world of trying to find ways to separate yourself from your opponent, it is important to take any step necessary to give yourself an edge over the opponent. We run Rick Torbett’s Read and React offensive system in our program and have enjoyed what it has brought to our players. The Read and React sets like the Dribble Handoff can be tailored to get touches in specific areas of the floor.

One area where we as a staff felt like were falling short for our players was in a lack of set plays. We always know those times where we are going to need those quick hitters to get a quick bucket, but we wanted to avoid totally changing our system to just throw in a few quick hitters. What we decided to go with was sets using the principles of the Read and React.

What these sets did was allow us to get quick buckets using our offensive principles. But even if we did not need a quick bucket, it still got our players moving within our offensive parameters.

Read and React Sets: Dribble Handoff (DHO)

If you have a player that is a great downhill driver, this is the set for you! It gets every player on the court moving to confuse the defense. What’s more, this Read and React set allows that downhill player an opportunity to make a quick move/decision using the a dribble handoff. This move is also known as a “DHO.”

Read and React Dribble Handoff

This Read and React dribble handoff set begins with a 5-Out look. This spread formation forces the defense into help side coverage and creates multiple driving lanes.

The set starts with Player 1 making a pass to Player 4 on the wing. Once he initiates the action, Player 1 cuts to the weak side corner, away from his pass. As Player 1 makes his cut, Players 3 and 2 should fill up along the perimeter.

The second action in this set sees Player 4 center the ball to Player 3, then immediately sets a down screen for Player 5. This action occupies the defense on that side of the floor to set up the attacking action of this play.

Read and React Dribble Handoff

The attacking action of this Read and React set comes following a dribble handoff. Player 2 should be your team’s best creator using a ball screen. The movement of this set brought him to the wing and has opened the lane for a drive.

Player 3 initiates the dribble handoff move with a dribble-at toward the wing. Instead of cutting away from the ball, Player 2 receives the handoff and immediately works downhill to pressure the defense. At this point, both corners should be occupied by shooters. If Player 4 doesn’t have three-point range, he can slide up to the short corner. That move, though, could bring a help defender sooner.

As Player 2 attacks the lane, he can drive to the rim, kick out to shooters, or pull up for an elbow jumper.

Ideally, this 5-Out set involves your best shooters to space the floor. Player 2 should be your best decision maker with the ball. Also, this set can be run from either side of the floor to give the downhill driver access to their dominant hand.


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Read and React Sets: 4-Out

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.

Episode: 901 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 1)

Ep: 902 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 2)

Ep: 903 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 3)


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Read and React Sets: 4-Out, 1-In

Read and React Sets: 4-Out, 1-In

In this ever changing world of trying to find ways to separate yourself from your opponent, it is important to take any step necessary to give yourself an edge over the opponent. We run Rick Torbett’s Read and React offensive system in our program and have enjoyed what it has brought to our players. The Read and React sets like 4-Out can be tailored to get touches in specific areas of the floor.

One area where we as a staff felt like were falling short for our players was in a lack of set plays. We always know those times where we are going to need those quick hitters to get a quick bucket, but we wanted to avoid totally changing our system to just throw in a few quick hitters. What we decided to go with was sets using the principles of the Read and React.

What these sets did was allow us to get quick buckets using our offensive principles. But even if we did not need a quick bucket, it still got our players moving within our offensive parameters.

Read and React Sets: 4-Out, 1-In

This Read and React set is utilizing the 4-Out, 1-In look from the Read and React System. The set provides a player who’s good working off a ball screen to isolate on one side of the floor. 

Read and React 4-Out

For this Read and React 4-Out set, start with Player 4 on the inside. This puts your best post finisher, Player 5, in the corner to begin. Your point guard initiates the action with a pass to Player 2 in the corner. Player 2 should be your best pick-and-roll creator.

Once Player 1 makes the pass, he receives a back screen from Player 4 and makes a UCLA cut to the basket. As this happens, Player 5 sets a pin screen for Player 3 on the weak side. For Player 2, this first action can also be a catch-and-shoot opportunity.

The second action of this Read and React 4-Out set involves a ball screen. Most of the strong side has been cleared for this action to take place along the wing. Player 4 should pop to the corner or short corner once he’s set the screen. On the weak side, Player 1 sets a back screen for Player 5, to get the big man in post position.

Read and React 4-OuThe last sequence for this set leaves the decision-making to Player 2. After using the ball screen, Player 2 can attack the rim looking for a shot. Another option is kicking back to Player 4 in the corner or short corner.

As Player 2 drives, Player 3 should complete the Read and React Circle Movement into the weak side corner. That could be a clean look if the opposing defense shifted in help-side coverage.

Player 1 sets up on the wing for a catch-and-shoot opportunity, while Player 5 establishes post position on the weak side block. This set can be run from either side of the floor so that the driver uses his dominant hand on the take.


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Read and React Sets: Post Finish

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.

Episode: 901 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 1)

Ep: 902 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 2)

Ep: 903 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 3)


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Read and React Sets: Post Finish

Read and React Sets: Post Finish

In this ever changing world of trying to find ways to separate yourself from your opponent, it is important to take any step necessary to give yourself an edge over the opponent. We run Rick Torbett’s Read and React offensive system in our program and have enjoyed what it has brought to our players. The Read and React sets we use on offense can be tailored to get touches in specific areas of the floor.

One area where we as a staff felt like were falling short for our players was in a lack of set plays. We always know those times where we are going to need those quick hitters to get a quick bucket, but we wanted to avoid totally changing our system to just throw in a few quick hitters. What we decided to go with was sets using the principles of the Read and React.

What these sets did was allow us to get quick buckets using our offensive principles. But even if we did not need a quick bucket, it still got our players moving within our offensive parameters.

Read and React Sets: Post Finish

This one of the Read and React sets looks to get your best post player with an opportunity around the rim. Using specific ball movement and screening, the play creates space for a post finish. It helps when Player 1 in this diagram stands as a knockdown shooter. This keeps the opposing defense honest.

read and react sets

The play begins in a five-out set up. Player 1 drives hard to the wing at Player 4. This dribble-at move forces a basket cut by Player 4, who clears to the opposite corner. The other players behind 1 fill the empty spaces on the perimeter.

The next part of this set sees Player 1 pass to Player 2 in the corner. After making the pass, Player 1 cuts to the basket and touches the paint. Players 5, 3, and 4 must rotate to fill the empty spots on the perimeter.

read and react sets

Once the rotation happens, Player 1 reverse course and sets a back screen for Player 5. Player 2 can hit Player 5 with a leading pass as the post player makes the cut to the hoop. After setting the back screen, Player 1 should shape up for a jump shot.

On the weak side of the floor, another action takes place. Player 4 sets a pin screen for Player 3, who sets to shoot. Player 4 then flashes to the elbow. Should the post pass be defended, Player 2 has options: Player 1 for a three, a skip pass to Player 3, or an elbow entry for Player 4.


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Read and React Basketball Drills: Laker Cut

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.

Episode: 901 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 1)

Ep: 902 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 2)

Ep: 903 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 3)


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Read and React Basketball Offense Series: UCLA Cut

Read and React Basketball Offense Series: UCLA Cut

The Read and React is a great basketball offense. The only issue I have come across in our time running it is it can be difficult to get points quickly out of it. I did some research and playing with the Read and React and utilized the principles of this basketball offense to create some set plays out of it, including one with a UCLA cut.

These should offer good opportunities to score quickly out of the look while the opposing team thinks you’re still just running your offense. Even if you don’t run Read and React, these looks could still be utilized as great set play options to get good movement and looks at the basket.

Read and React Basketball: UCLA Cut

Another look that has action happening on both sides of the court to keep everyone busy and involved. This read and react set incorporates some basketball staples like pick and roll action and a few UCLA screens.

read and react basketball UCLA

This set beings in a 4-out, 1-in alignment. Player 1 passed to the corner, then makes a UCLA cut off a back screen from Player 4. 1 should cut with his hand up, looking for a pass from 2. While this action takes place, Player 5 sets a pin screen for Player 3. If 1 isn’t open on the UCLA cut, 2 can look to skip the ball to 3 for an open look.

This read and react set continues when 4 sets a ball screen for 2. 4 fades to the corner while 2 attacks the lane. While the strong side pick and roll happens, 1 sets a back screen for 5. 

read and react basketball UCLAPlayer 2 should be a solid ball handler and decision maker, considering he’s the focal point of this set. As he attacks the lane, 2 should read the defense and react accordingly.

Player 2’s options include driving to the rim for a layup attempt or hitting 5 on the left block. Player 4’s on the wing and Player 3 should cut to the opposite corner. 1 clears to be an outlet if the defense covers each option.

This play is easily reversible for a right-handed drive.

 


Related: Read and React – 5-Out Post Look

Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep 1246 Running the Read and React Offense


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Read and React Basketball Offense Series: 5-Out Post Look

Read and React Basketball Offense Series: 5-Out Post Look

The Read and React is a great basketball offensive system. The only issue I have come across in our time running it is it can be difficult to get points quickly out of it. I did some research and playing with the Read and React and utilized the principles of this basketball offense to create some set plays out of it.

These should offer good opportunities to score quickly out of the look while the opposing team thinks you’re still just running your offense. Even if you don’t run Read and React, these looks could still be utilized as great set play options to get good movement and looks at the basket.

Read and React Basketball Offense: 5-Out Post Look

If you have a very good post player or just someone that is good at finishing around the rim, this is a good look for them. It starts with a dribble-at to initiate the offense to clear out the right side a little bit. We have action happening on the weak side to keep everyone busy and hopefully get a good look for the 5 in the paint.

read and react basketball

This read and react play begins with your basketball team using a 5-out set. The point guard dribble hard at the wing toward Player 4, who cuts toward the basket. 4’s cut finishes in the opposite corner. As Player 1 fills the wing, Players 5 and 3 rotate up one spot along the perimeter.

From there, Player 1 makes a pass to Player 2 in the corner. Player 1 then cuts, calling for the ball as he does so. Players 5, 3, and 4 all rotate to fill the open spaces on the perimeter. Player 1 gets into the paint but stops his cut under the basket.

read and react basketball

1 reverses his course and sets a back screen for Player 5 on the wing. Player 5 makes his cut toward the basket. At this point, Player 2 can either hit 5 with a pass on the cut or wait for 5 to post up on the block.

On the weak side of this read and react play, the Player 4 sets a flare screen for Player 3 then cuts to the strong-side elbow. If Player 5’s cut was covered, Player 2 can throw a skip pass to Player 3. He can also clear the ball to Player 1 or hit Player 4 on the elbow. If Player 4 gets the ball, this set creates a high-low opportunity with Player 5.


Related: Read & React Offense – Pin Screens

Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep 1323. Read and React Offense with Rick Torbett


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Read and React Basketball Offense Series: Pin Screens

Read and React Basketball Offense Series: Pin Screens

The Read and React is a great basketball offensive system. The only issue I have come across in our time running it is it can be difficult to get points quickly out of it. I did some research and playing with the Read and React and utilized the principles of this basketball offense to create some set plays out of it.

These should offer good opportunities to score quickly out of the look while the opposing team thinks you’re still just running your offense. Even if you don’t run Read and React, these looks could still be utilized as great set play options to get good movement and looks at the basket.

Read and React Basketball Offense: Pin Screens

This is a VERY quick set, especially if you need a quick 2-point basket. The player on the left wing will receive a pin screen and they’ll curl to the block. For this play to be most effective, the player setting the pin screen on the left wing needs to be a knockdown shooter.

read and react basketball offense

The initial action of this read and react basketball offense set play involves your two bigs setting pin screens for your wings. Of these two bigs, Player 4 should be a better outside shooter than Player 5. When setting these screens, Player 4’s back should face the corner while Player 5’s back faces the sideline. 

As the screens are set, Player 2 curls toward the basket. Player 3 fades to the corner. The first look for your point guard should be for the layup. If not, the second read is for the shooter in the corner.

read and react basketball offenseThe second phase of this read and react basketball set involves a series of cuts for the offense. If neither Player 2 nor Player 3 are open on the pin screens, Player 4 flares to the wing. Player 2 cuts to the corner, and Player 5 cuts to the basket.

Another option here would be a high-low action with Players 4 and 5. In that option, Player 2 and Player 5 make still make their cuts, but Player 4 remains at the elbow. Player 1 makes an entry pass to 4 and clears to the opposite wing.

Player 4 would then look down low for Player 5, who has ideally sealed his defender when he made his cut.


Related: Read and React Basketball Offense Series: UCLA Cut

Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep 1323. Read and React Offense with Rick Torbett


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Basketball Quick Hitter Series: Pistol Action

Basketball Quick Hitter Series: Pistol Action

Getting good looks at the basket remains the primary focus of most offenses. Although there’s value in developing intricate offensive sets, sometimes in a close basketball game, getting a quick hitter releases the pressure and allows your team to thrive. A good basketball playbook features a number of options across a variety of situations, and having a consistent quick hitter is an absolute must. Sometimes, getting your best basketball players going downhill toward the basket with a pistol action helps create easy looks.

This is especially true as a season winds down or teams begin their postseason tournaments. You’re team’s already been well-scouted at this point, and you may have matched up with your opponents more than once. So it’s important to keep your opponents on their toes with a fresh playbook. The tricky part remains how to add to our repertoire without providing an extra burden on our players.

Enter the Basketball Quick Hitter series. These simple sets afford any offense release valves that players learn in a matter of minutes.


Basketball Quick Hitter: Pistol Action Progression

The basketball pistol play refers to an early offense action between the point guard and a wing player, with a post player at the top of the arc. The two main Pistol options to start a play are a dribble handoff and a pick and roll. In the Pistol action, the offense attempts to catch the defense before it sets in hopes to find optimal mismatches or blown coverage by a lack of defensive rotation, which makes it one of the best basketball quick hitters.

basketball pistol action

The sequence of this play begins with your point guard hitting ahead quickly to the wing. From there, Player 1 follows his pass and sprints into a dribble handoff with Player 2. As this pistol action develops, Player 4 sets a screen for Player 3 on the weak side. 4 rolls to the basket while 3 slips to the corner.

Player 1 needs to sprint up the basketball court into this pistol action. Completing the dribble handoff creates the quick-hitter here, because 1 is now going downhill to the basket at full speed.

basketball pistol action

If the defense covers this initial pistol action, the secondary scoring option unfolds for your basketball team. Player 2 cuts off a flare screen from Player 5. Player 1 on the wing has two options at this point: a pass to Player 2, who will have either a shot or a drive.

After setting the flare screen, Player 5 dives toward the hoop, drawing the defense down with him. While all that action is going on, 4 and 3 can screen for each other on the weak side to keep the defense honest.


Related: Entry Play & Quick-Hitter Offense

Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep 97: Quick Hitter: Drills and Practice – Quick Hitter and Talking about Drills and Practice


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Basketball Quick Hitter Series: Quick Backdoor Cut

Basketball Quick Hitter Series: Quick Backdoor Cut

Getting good looks at the basket remains the primary focus of most offenses. Although there’s value in developing intricate offensive sets, sometimes in a close basketball game, getting a quick hitter releases the pressure and allows your team to thrive. A good basketball playbook features a number of options across a variety of situations, and having a consistent quick hitter is an absolute must. Sometimes, a simple quick backdoor cut provides all the offense you need.

This is especially true as a season winds down or teams begin their postseason tournaments. You’re team’s already been well-scouted at this point, and you may have matched up with your opponents more than once. So it’s important to keep your opponents on their toes with a fresh playbook. The tricky part remains how to add to our repertoire without providing an extra burden on our players.

Enter the Basketball Quick Hitter series. These simple sets afford any offense release valves that players learn in a matter of minutes.

Basketball Quick Hitter: Quick Backdoor Cut

This quick hitter generates a great, quick backdoor cut opportunity for your offense. The play requires precise timing to ensure maximum efficiency. You’ll want to design this play with the player you want shooting the ball on the left wing.

quick backdoor cut

The play opens with a fairly traditional set up, with both bigs starting down low and the shooters occupying the wings. The point guard brings up the ball, and as he crosses half court, the action of this quick hitter begins. The wings exchange positions on the floor, with Player 3 starting the movement and Player 2 waiting until 3 passes the right elbow. Player 3 initiating the movement draws the eyes of the defense away from Player 2.

Once the wings have exchanged, the bigs cut up to the elbows. The point guard, Player 1, can lead the defense to the left with his dribble before an entry bounce pass to Player 5 at the elbow. Player 3 clears from the wing and floats to the weak side corner at this point.

quick backdoor cut

This is where the quick-hitting element of this quick backdoor cut takes place. As Player 5 receives the ball at the elbow, Player 2 starts his quick backdoor cut. Player 2 can set up his defender with fake or hard step toward the top of the key before his backdoor cut. 5 looks for 2 on the cut. 5 should use his peripheral vision to read the play

As the pass happens, Player 4 sets a flare screen for Player 1, who cuts to the left wing. Should the defense cover Player 2’s cut, 5 should look to skip the ball to 1 on the wing. This secondary action keeps multiple actions occupying the defense.


Related: Quick Hitter Series: Post Player Touch

Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep 97: Quick Hitter: Drills and Practice – Quick Hitter and Talking about Drills and Practice


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Basketball Quick Hitter Series: Post Player Touch

Basketball Quick Hitter Series: Post Player Touch

Getting good looks at the basket remains the primary focus of most offenses. Although there’s value in developing intricate offensive sets, sometimes in a close basketball game, getting a quick hitter releases the pressure and allows your team to thrive. A good basketball playbook features a number of options across a variety of situations, and having a consistent quick hitter is an absolute must.

This is especially true as a season winds down or teams begin their postseason tournaments. You’re team’s already been well-scouted at this point, and you may have matched up with your opponents more than once. So it’s important to keep your opponents on their toes with a fresh playbook. The tricky part remains how to add to our repertoire without providing an extra burden on our players.

Enter the Basketball Quick Hitter series. These simple sets afford any offense release valves that players learn in a matter of minutes.

Basketball Quick Hitter: Post Player Touch

The best basketball quick hitters on offense are designed around getting the ball to your key players in the right spot. This play is particularly effective for teams with a talented post player who has good hands and can finish around the basket. It helps to have your best wing scorer used as a decoy here.

basketball quick hitter

The play begins with your point guard coming up the left side of the basketball court, and Player 5, the quick hitter target, on the opposite block. 1 uses a high-ball screen from Player 4. As that happens, 5 comes across to screen for Player 3.

After the ball screen, 4 pauses at the top of the key. 1 begins a dribble penetration and looks for Player 3, who cut to the right corner. Player 5 acts like he’s setting a cross-screen near the elbow as Player 4 clears to the wing. 1 makes the pass to 3 in the corner.

basketball quick hitterFrom there, Player 2 sets a cross screen for Player 5. Player 3 looks for 5 as he cuts to the hoop. It’s important that Player 5 cuts to the rim and not the opposite block since this is a basketball quick hitter.

If 2 sets a solid cross screen, 5 should be open for a clean touch down low and a layup. Player 3’s pass must hit 5 in the hands to minimize the time needed to get the shot up.

If you have a left-handed post player, you can reverse this play. The important part of this play is you want to have the player that screens across for the post (2 in this play) to be a major scoring threat. You want the defense to respect this player and not cheat off onto your post. 

Related: Basketball Quick Hitter Series: Pistol Action

Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast

 

Ep 97: Quick Hitter: Drills and Practice – Quick Hitter and Talking about Drills and Practice


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Missed Free Throw Set Play

Missed Free Throw Set Play

At some point in your career, if not your season, a situation will arise where you are down three points with two free throws on tap. Or, you could be down two points with one free throw. In these situations, you’ll need a missed free throw play for a chance to extend or win the game.

The question is: Are you ready for this situation? Is this a situation you have worked on in practice? While this does not need to be a huge part of your practice planning, it is something that should find a place. This is especially true as you head into your postseason tournament.

Below is a play that we implement each season called Desperado. In it, we work on a missed free throw play to give us a chance to tie or maybe even win the game! This is not something we work on a ton, but we will sprinkle it in at times throughout the season to ensure we are ready for this situation.

Missed Free Throw Play: Desperado

missed free throw play

Situation: A free throw shooter MUST miss a free throw at end of a game.

Process:

  1. Run this on side of shooter’s arm (R handed shooter= R side, L handed shooter= L side).
  2. Shooter must line their shooting hand up with the vertical side of the backboard square.
  3. Shooter will shoot a high a high arching shot to ball banks off backboard and onto top of rim. This will cause a long rebound for offensive rebounder on 2nd block.
  4. If down 2, rebounder gets it and attempts a shot quickly.
  5. If down 3, rebounder either boards and passes out or tips it out to shooter for 3.
  6. Shooter will go to top of key and 1 guard at top will go to ball side corner while other will got to ball side wing.

missed free throw play

The two players at the top need to start moving on the flight of the ball but need to be sure not to cross the top of the key extended until ball is released to avoid a violation. Once ball is released, these players must sprint to their spots.

We like to overload the rebounding side to give us multiple looks for a shot.

In addition to running this play in a situation, you need to find time to allow all of your players to work on missing a free throw in this way. In addition to practicing missing the free throw, practice players grabbing the rebounding for a quick putback or receiving a tip back for a 3 point shot. Just make sure you are prepared for all situations!

 


Kyle Brasher
Gibson Southern High School
Social Studies Teacher
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Teaching Situational Basketball at the High School Level

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep: 686 End of Game Situations

Don’t Miss: Coaching Youth Hoops Podcast

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Box Set Series: Box Set UCLA Cut

Box Set Series: Box Set UCLA Cut

The Box Set offense in basketball stands out as a popular offense because it is purposefully designed to get easy buckets. This offense requires precise movement and timing, but when properly executed, the box set leads to scoring opportunities. These sets incorporate both on-ball and off-ball screens, and can be deployed against both man-to-man and zone defenses. This box set uses a UCLA cut for a quick-hitting first action.

Some of the most famous coaches throughout the history of basketball, including Chuck Daly, Mike Krzyzewski, and Dean Smith, used variations of the box set offense at different points in their careers. Box allows the ball to flow into the hands of your best playmakers in sports on the floor where they will be successful.

Box Set Offense: UCLA Cut

Unlike the Box Set Isolation play, this set uses multiple actions to create good shots. This set, like the others in the Box Set Series, begins with the same alignment. This helps prevent opposing defenses from immediately recognizing the play. Having the same set up also makes scouting your team more difficult.

This box set is designed purposefully as a quick-hitter with the initial UCLA cut. If the opposing defense covers up that cut, the second action of this play creates a pick-and-roll opportunity on the strong side. It also adds a weak side stagger screen to a potential jump shot. This play is great if you want to isolate a post defender on a ball screen and/or if you have a player that is great coming off a ball screen. This play is very effective because it keeps both sides of the floor busy to really allow that ball screen to get as open of a look as possible, either on the drive or roll.

Box Set UCLA Progression

box set UCLA

This set starts with the same alignment as the Box Set Three-Pointer play, with your team’s two big men occupying the elbows. Your wing players, 2 and 3, start on the low blocks.

The play begins with both Player 2 and Player 3 popping to the wings. The point guard passes to the open wing. Depending upon the defensive coverage, Player 1 can pass to either wing. Another variation to this play could have Players 2 and 3 cut to the opposite wings from the low blocks.

The Box Set UCLA cut comes following the first pass. If Player 1 passes to Player 2, he cuts off an elbow screen from Player 4. 2 immediately looks at the cutter for this quick-hitter opportunity.

box set UCLAIf the defense covers this box set’s UCLA cut, then Player immediately moves into a ball screen on the wing for Player 2. As that’s happening on one side, Player 1 uses stagger screens on the opposite wing as well.

Player 2 can attack the lane, hit Player 4 on the roll, or look to kick the Player 1 on the weak side wing. Another layer for this could see either 3 or 5 slip the screen and cut.

This play works in either direction. All the box set offense plays can easily be flipped to either side of the court and with them all starting out of the same base look. It makes scouting your set plays that much harder.

Related: Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Low-Post Look

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep: 897 Transition Offense and Man-to-Man Offense

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Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Low-Post Look

Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Low-Post Look

The Box Set offense in basketball stands out as a popular offense because it is purposefully designed to get easy buckets. This offense requires precise movement and timing, but when properly executed, the box set leads to scoring opportunities. These sets incorporate both on-ball and off-ball screens, and can be deployed against both man-to-man and zone defenses. The box set can also create solid low-post looks.

Some of the most famous coaches throughout the history of basketball, including Chuck Daly, Mike Krzyzewski, and Dean Smith, used variations of the box set offense at different points in their careers. Box allows the ball to flow into the hands of your best playmakers in sports on the floor where they will be successful.

Box Set Offense: Low-Post Look

Unlike the Box Set Isolation play, this set sports multiple actions to create good shots. Ideally, this set begins with the same alignment as other Box Set plays in your playbook. This helps prevent opposing defenses from immediately recognizing the play. Having the same set up also makes scouting your team more difficult.

This box set is designed purposefully to get an open low-post look for your best post player. If the opposing defense covers up that shot, the second action of this play creates an open look for your team’s best shooter. It’s imperative to stress the importance of cutting hard for both the post and the guard in this set.

Box Set Low-Post Progression

Box Set Low-Post

This box set play begins with the same alignment as the Box Set Three-Pointer play, with your team’s two big men occupying the elbows. Your wing players, 2 and 3, start on the low blocks.

The play starts with a series of cuts. Player 5 pops from the right elbow to the left wing and receives the initiating pass from Player 1. The point guard then cuts down to set a screen for Player 4, who curls to the top of the key. Following the screen, Player 1 cuts to the weak side wing. As this action unfolds, Player 2 cuts to the strong-side corner, and Player 3 moves from the left block to the right elbow.

The next action involves 5 reversing the ball. Player 4 receives the centering pass and reverses to Player 1 on the wing. As those passes occur, Player 3 sets a back-screen for Player 5 at the elbow. Player 5 uses that screen and cuts down the lane. Player 1 can either hit Player 5 on the cut to the basket, or once 5 establishes himself on the low-post.

box set low-postThe second action for this box set low-post play creates an opportunity for your team’s best shooter.

If Player 1 can’t get Player 5 the ball, the next movement begins. Player 3 and Player 4 set stagger screens on the weak side for Player 2. The shooter cuts up from the corner, curling along the three-point line.

In this box set, Player 1 can ball-fake to the low-post before passing to the shooter. Player 2 uses the stagger screens and receives the pass at the top of the key. He can either take that shot, or attack the lane. A hard dribble drive could draw Player 5’s defender, leaving the low-post open for a drop off pass.

Related: Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Backdoor Lay-Up 

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep: 682 5 Ways to Turn a GOOD shooter to a GREAT shooter

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Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Three-Pointer

Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Three-Pointer

The Box Set offense in basketball stands out as a popular offense because it is purposefully designed to get easy buckets. This offense requires precise movement and timing, but when properly executed, the box set leads to scoring opportunities. These sets incorporate both on-ball and off-ball screens, and can be deployed against both man-to-man and zone defenses. The box set can also create certain three-pointer opportunities.

Some of the most famous coaches throughout the history of basketball, including Chuck Daly, Mike Krzyzewski, and Dean Smith, used variations of the box set offense at different points in their careers. Box allows the ball to flow into the hands of your best playmakers in sports on the floor where they will be successful.

Box Set Offense: Three-Pointer

Unlike the Box Set Isolation play, this set is designed purposefully to get an open look at a three-pointer for your team’s best shooter. Ideally, this set begins with the same alignment as other Box Set plays in your playbook. This helps prevent opposing defenses from immediately recognizing the play. Having the same set up also makes scouting your team more difficult.

This box set three-pointer generates a wipe open look for your team’s best shooter when executed correctly. The most important part of this set is that the screeners must be shoulder-to-shoulder on both screens. If that happens, your shooter will be open a lot.

Box Set Three-Pointer Progression

Box Set Three-Pointer

This box set begins with your two bigs, players 4 and 5, occupying the elbows. Your two wings, players 2 and 3, start off on the low blocks.

The point guard dribbles up and the box set three-pointer play starts with player 3 popping to the wing. Player 1 passes 3 the ball and cuts to the opposite wing. As the pass takes place, 2 fills the strong-side low block vacated by 3.

Once 3 has the ball on the wing, player 5 sprints across and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with player 4 at the elbow, free throw line extended.

3 uses the double ball screen and puts pressure on the lane, with 1 spread out wide for a potential kick out. 3 can attack the basket at this point if the defense overplayed on the wing.

Box Set Three-PointerThe box set three-pointer play’s progression continues with players 4 and 5 pivoting to set a second screen.

4 and 5 stay shoulder-to-shoulder and drop to set another double screen, this time for player 2, ideally your team’s best shooter. The key to this second screen is setting it well below the three-point line to give your shooter space behind the arc.

Player 2 uses the double screen and curls up the floor. The shooter must have his hands ready to receive. This is a catch-and-shoot opportunity.

Player 3 drives toward the land, but picks up his dribble and reverses his stance. He hits player 2 coming up following the off-ball screen.

If players 4 and 5 set their screen properly, this box set should get your best shooter a wide open look at a three-pointer. Player 1 can drop for an offensive rebound opportunity. Player 3 remains high as an outlet to reset the offense if the defense covers the shot.

Related: Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Isolation 

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep: 682 5 Ways to Turn a GOOD shooter to a GREAT shooter

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Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Isolation

Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Isolation

The Box Set offense in basketball remains one of the more popular offenses because it is purposefully designed to get easy buckets. This offense requires precise movement and timing, but when properly executed, the box set leads to scoring opportunities. These sets incorporate both on-ball and off-ball screens, and can be deployed against both man-to-man and zone defenses. The box set can also create certain isolation opportunities.

Some of the most famous coaches throughout the history of basketball, including Chuck Daly, Mike Krzyzewski, and Dean Smith, used variations of the box set offense at different points in their careers. Box allows the ball to flow into the hands of your best playmakers in sports on the floor where they will be successful.

Box Set Offense: Isolation

Box Set Isolation

Unlike the Box Set Backdoor play, this set is designed purposefully to get an isolation opportunity for your team’s best attacker. Ideally, this set begins with the same alignment as other Box Set plays in your playbook. This helps prevent opposing defenses from immediately recognizing the play. Having the same set up also makes scouting your team more difficult.

This is a great box set isolation play to get your best penetrator a cleared side of a court. The key to this play is the player that gets the ball for the isolation must make a quick move. We have always coached our players up to do a quick jab to the middle of the court and go towards the baseline side. If you have a left handed player, this play could easily be flipped to the other side.

Box Set Isolation Progression

This box set isolation play begins with the two bigs, players 4 and 5, on the left box and elbow. 2 and 3 complete the box set on the opposite side.

The point guard, player 1 in this figure, dribbles hard toward the left, stopping at the three-point line elbow-extended. 1 picks up his dribble and looks to pass.

As that action happens, player 3 sets a down screen for player 2, who is the team’s best isolation player. 2 uses the down screen and pops up to the three-point line on the weak side of the floor.

As 2 pops up to the top, player 5 slides down beside player 4 in order to set up a double-screen along the baseline.

This box set isolation play continues as player 2 cuts to the right wing. Box Set Isolation

After setting the down screen, 3 then cuts to the strong side corner. 3 uses the double-screen set by players 4 and 5 along the baseline to draw the defense.

1 can ball fake to the corner before finding 2 with a pass on the right wing. From there, 1 holds his position to flood the left side, leaving 2 to operate along the right with this opportunity.

The box set isolation design creates an open side of the floor for your team’s best attacker to create off the dribble. 2 should look to penetrate hard, knowing he has a drop off on the opposite block as well as an outlet in the weak side corner. As player 2 begins his drive, the point guard can float toward to right wing to provide his teammate with a safety valve.

Related: Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Backdoor Lay-Up

Resources:

HIGH SCHOOL HOOPS Podcast


Ep: 127 A Quick Hitter and Scoring Offense

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Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Backdoor Lay-Up

Box Set Series: Box Set Offense for Backdoor Lay-Up

The Box Set offense in basketball remains one of the more popular offenses because it is purposefully designed to get easy buckets. This offense requires precise movement and timing, but when properly executed, the box set leads to scoring opportunities. These sets incorporate both on-ball and off-ball screens, and can be deployed against both man-to-man and zone defenses.

Some of the most famous coaches throughout the history of basketball, including Chuck Daly, Mike Krzyzewski, and Dean Smith, used variations of the box set offense at different points in their careers. Box allows the ball to flow into the hands of your best playmakers in sports on the floor where they will be successful.

Box Set Offense: Backdoor Lay-Up

This play out of the box set offense is designed purposefully to create a quick and east backdoor lay-up opportunity. When facing a man-to-man defense, this set can be used once or twice a game, depending upon how disciplined the opposing defense is. The key to running this play is misdirection.

Box Set Offense Box 1

This box set offensive play begins with the two bigs, 4 and 5, on the left box and elbow. 2 and 3 complete the box set on the opposite side.

The point guard initiates the play with a hard dribble drive toward the left elbow. As he makes that move, 4 slides down to create a double screen for 3, who races to the string-side corner. As 3 makes his cut, he yells “Ball!”

While this action takes place, 2 steps back to the three-point line. 1 picks up his dribble and does a ball fake to the corner. With all eyes and flow heading toward the left, 2 executes a backdoor cut at that point. 1 hits 2 with a bounce pass as he cuts down the lane.

Box Set Offense Progression

Box Set Offense Box 1If 2’s cut gets covered up by the defense, the progression out of this box set offense remains simple.

First, 2 must clear to the right side corner. Then, 4 sets a screen for 5, who curls into the lane. If neither of those players is open on their cuts, 3 must sprint up from the left corner to take a handoff from 1.

This variation allows the offense to flow into another set if need be, or create a scramble situation if 3 can attack an open lane.

The box set offense stands out as an adaptable set for almost any team. These plays can be quick-hitters, or designed to generate open three-point looks.

One of the benefits of using the box set offense can make scouting difficult for opposing teams. Using the same starting look with the set keeps the defense from immediately knowing the progression of the play, even if they’ve scouted well. Check back for more on the box set series.

Related: Box Set Series: Box Set UCLA Cut

Resources:

HIGH SCHOOL HOOPS Podcast


Ep: 127 A Quick Hitter and Scoring Offense

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1-2-2 Basketball Press

1-2-2 Basketball Press

Developing the right defensive approach can often be one of the most difficult tasks for coaches at any level. Defense often directly leads to wins. As the cliche goes: Defense wins championships. So when a coach is faced with the decision to develop a pressure system for the team, there are a number of choices. Among them, the 1-2-2 basketball press stands as an effective option, especially for coaches with developing teams.

1-2-2 Basketball Press

1-2-2 basketball pressThe good thing about the 1-2-2 basketball press is that it’s fairly easy to coach. This press also stands as a relatively safe option for coaches who don’t want to leave the back line of the defense open. This press also becomes particularly effective when the player at the top can provide ample pressure on the ball.

This defensive alignment takes advantage of a team’s best athletes. The primary strength of this press remains the constant application of ball pressure. This press also allows the defense to control the tempo and flow of the ball game. It can be particularly useful in places that incorporate a shot clock.

The 1-2-2 press allows the defense to trap along the side line. It often forces the offense into awkward counter alignments, which can lead to mistakes and turnovers.

While other full court presses, like the 2-2-1 or “diamond” press, try to leverage the back court to force a turnover, those alignments often leave the back end lightly covered. The 1-2-2 press keeps a pair of players back, doubling that back line.

This press can be useful in breaking an opponent’s offensive rhythm. It can also be folded back into several different half court zones or even a man-to-man.

Coaches must stress protecting the middle of the floor when implementing this press. Coaches should also stress trapping along the side line.

Communication is key with this press, like any other, because each offensive pass will require a defensive realignment on the floor.

Watch the video below where Coach Collins and Coach Jaryt Hunziker talk through all of the alignments and permutations of this press.

Related: Basketball Full Court Presses

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Teach Hoops

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Out of Bounds Play

Out of Bounds Play

Coaching basketball at any level often means teaching situational awareness. The out of bounds play stands as a key situation any basketball offense must master. These sets afford a team with a quick-hitting opportunity, as well as a chance to enter into the normal offensive flow.

Out of Bounds Play

Out of Bounds Play

Designing a useful Out of Bounds Play provides coaches with multiple options. A good set allows the offense to immediately attack the defense with a series of calculated cuts. And if the initial quick-hitting action doesn’t produce a scoring opportunity, the set seamlessly flows into a normal offensive action.

For this play, the initial set up calls for a Box formation. This formation puts the bigs, 4 and 5, at the elbows. 1 and 2 man the low blocks to start.

In the first action, 1 provides a cross screen for 2. 2 cuts to the strong side corner. The inbounder looks to make this corner pass first.

After setting the initial cross screen, 1 cuts up the court in a zipper action. 4 and 5 provide the screens in this elevator action. From the corner, 2 looks to pass to 1.

The permutations of this set might see an open three-pointer from 2 in the corner, or an open three-pointer from 1 near the top. If the defense overplays 2’s pass to 1, there might be an opportunity for a slip from one of the bigs. If both of those opportunities are covered up, the offense might flow into a continuity set.

Another option might be a down screen from 2 for the inbounder. 3 can pop to either corner after the entry pass for an open look.

Related: Baseline Out of Bounds Play (BLOB)

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep: 696: Out of Bounds Play of the Week

Teach Hoops

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Basketball Entry Play and Quick-Hitter Offense

Basketball Entry Play and Quick-Hitter Offense

Every basketball coach needs to be clear on their vocabulary for their team. Some basketball terms are interchangeable, while others are wholly unique. When discussing the concept of basketball entry plays, a coach might think of an inbound play like a SLOB or a BLOB. But an “entry” can also be considered any play that gets the offense going, providing both quick hitting options as well as getting into a continuity offense.

Sometimes, these plays are described as “false motions” or “decoy motions.” Regardless of the terminology, coaches need plays that deal specifically with pressure. Pressure-release plays must combat defenses that overplay or deny passes to the wings or the post.

Basketball Entry Play

basketball entry playsThis play begins with using the 1-4 High set.

1 starts with a dribble entry to the wing. As 1 makes his way to the wing, 2 imitates a zipper or loop cut.

2 cuts down and loops around 5, who provides the down screen.

As that action is taking place, 3 cuts to the corner as a decoy action.

This initial action might get an open look for 2 at the top of the key.

Any defensive overplay might result in a dump down pass to 5 for a layup.

basketball entry plays

3 pops up from the corner to receive a pass on the wing.

1, meanwhile, cuts from the opposite wing to the strong side corner. He cuts along the baseline, receiving a screen from 4 at the block to free him.

2 reverses the ball to 3 on the wing. Once that pass has happened, 5 provides a flare screen for 2.

This action might get an open shot for 3. It might also get an open shot for 1 in the corner, or 4 on the block.

 

basketball entry plays

The final sequence of this play sees 3 make the decisions. He might be open, or 1 in the corner, or 4 on the block.

3 can also skip pass to 2, whose flair screen might see him open on the opposite side. Depending on how the defense plays it, 5 might slip the screen for an open layup as well.

The value of a play like this one remains the pressure-release aspect. If a defense overplays or denies certain passes, preventing a team from initiating a continuity offense, then a set like this one provides a useful counter attack.

 

If this sequence hasn’t produced a good look, the offense can immediately shift into a continuity offense set.

Related: Ram and Veer Offensive Basketball Set

Related: What Everyone Gets Wrong About The Princeton Offense

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep: 797: Basketball Entry Plays

Teach Hoops

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2-Side Fast Break Offense

2-Side Fast Break Offense

The fast break stands as of the most exciting plays in basketball. Regardless of a team’s skill level, the fast break injects a level of energy and excitement to any game. Coaches constantly scheme for ways to incorporate a fast break offense for their team, and the 2-Side Fast Break allows them to do just that.

2-Side Fast Break Offense

The 2-Side Fast Break Offense loads a pair of players on the weak-side of the floor, the “two-side.” One player takes the weak-side corner, while the other takes the weak-side wing. The ball handler attacks from the opposite end, which features an empty corner. One of the bigs fills the rim runner role, while the rebounder who outlet the ball occupies the trail position.

This approach to fast break offense avoids players racing to balance the floor. Instead, the 2-side spaces the floor completely for the ball handler, allowing that player to dictate how the play unfolds. The ball handler attacks the paint, forcing the defense to choose which of the weak side options on the “two-side” will be left open.

The ball handler always looks to pressure the paint on the break, and if that means kicking the ball ahead, he makes the pass.

With the numbered break, the ball centers and the wings are occupied by runners. Sometimes, based on how a defensive possession played out, one of the wings would find themselves out of position. That player might cut across the floor, ultimately ruining some of the timing of the fast break. That relocating might short circuit the flow of the break and ruin whatever opportunities had presented themselves.

2-Side Fast Break Into Base Offense

Not every fast break opportunity will result in a basket, or even a good shot attempt. It’s important for players to understand that just because they’re on a break doesn’t mean they need to take a fast shot. Sometimes, the transition defense covers up any openings and the offense is forced to run a half-court set.

2-side fast break offense 2

If the defense prevents a score or shot attempt, teams using the 2-side fast break set up can easily flow into a base offense.

The break itself saw the 2 and 3 both run the weak-side of the floor. 2 takes the corner and 3 the wing. 4 started as a rim runner on the break, but since nothing materialized, he cleared to the strong-side corner.

1 probed the defense, but ultimately is forced to run a set. To initiate this set, 1 finds the 5 man, who was trailing the fast break. The 2-side fast break flows immediately into a 5-out offensive set.

2-side fast break offenseAfter making the centering pass to 5, 1 cuts through the lane.

 

As 1 makes his cut, he receives two screens away. 2 comes in to set the first screen, then 3 lowers to set another one.

This “floppy” action allows 1 to potentially get a look at a three-pointer on the wing. 2 cuts after his screen, and runs off a single screen from 4 on the opposite side.

From here, 5 looks to get the ball to 1 on the wing as he’s curling off the two screens.

 

 Base Offense Attack

2-side fast break offense5 sprints into a ball screen after making the pass to 1. This action creates a three-man game on the strong side of the floor. It forces the defense to make decisions on how to cover up the sudden movement.

1 attacks the lane off the ball screen and 5 rolls. 3 lifts from the corner to the wing.

1 reads the defense to determine the next move. 3’s defender might take 5’s roll, leaving 3 open on the wing. If 3’s defender stays home and 5’s defender steps up to hedge the ball screen, 5 will be open on the roll.

If 2’s defender sags to help on the drive, 2 will be open on the wing. Should 4’s defender sags into the lane to help, 4 will be open in the corner.

If this action unfolds quickly enough, 1 might find the lane opens thanks to a still scrambling defense.

 

Related: Chicago Action Basketball Offensive Set

Resources:

Shop Coach Vann’s playbooks here!

Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep: 809. 2 Sided Fast Break Discussion with Coach Vann

Teach Hoops

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