This play is great to use for youth coaches, because it is very simple to teach, yet effective.
You can also use this as a simple, continuity offense that you will run over and over. The offense
starts in a basic 1-3-1 set. It will provide dribble-drive opportunities.
You want Players 4 & 5 to be your post players. You want players 1, 2, & 3 to have good ball handling
Player 1 can pass to either wing, Player 2 or 3. If the player is on the block on the
ball side, he will cut to the opposite block to clear out the ball side. In this case, Player 4
goes to the opposite block for Player 1 to make a basket cut. It will also create an opportunity
for Player 2 to dribble drive, if he/she sees an advantage.
Player 1 fakes towards the opposite wing, then brushes his man off Player 5 as he cuts to
When Player 1 reaches the block area, Player 5 flashes to the high post. Player 2 can pass
to either Player 1 or Player 5. If Player 5 gets the ball in the high post, he can also dump the
ball down to Player 1. If Player 1 can get the defensive player on his outside hip, he can get
an easy score.
If player 1 is not open, he/she cuts to the opposite wing, and Player 5 replaces him
on the low block. Player 3 cuts to the top of the key. Player 4 cuts to the free throw line.
If Player 5 & Player 4 are not open, Player 2 returns the ball to the top of the key. They
are back in the original set, and Player 3 can start the offense again by passing to either
Player 2 or Player 1. If the ball is passed back to Player 2. Player 5 will have to cut to the
opposite block again. If the ball is passed to Player 1, Player 5 stays on the left block.
I agree that you could use this against zone defenses, but this offense has been used by many youth and high school teams with great success against man to man defenses. It's basic, but if your team understands fundamentals and how to react to the defense, this will work just fine.
For more advanced teams, you could add some screens into the motion to keep the defense on their toes.
for varsity, i run a 1-3-1 defense and a shuffle offense; constant movement, constant lane slashing, screen, and picks. i decided to mix this in against 1-3-1 & 2-1-2 defense. after scoring nearly 15 points it forced a team to play us man-to-man, which allowed my set play to work even more effectively. i think i will do the same for JV.
jaimel hill cpt., cscs. heritage academy mesa, az.
Thanks for sharing this. The diagrams really help. I am coaching a youth team and am a little out of my league. We got beaten pretty soundly and I think it was for lack of a good offense. I was told by someone they wouldn't be able to follow one, but the other team had one and it worked. I feel better now that I found this one.
This is a great play, because it keeps offense moving with or without the ball. and you can easily get a lot of uncontested lay-ups. the players shouldn't have a problem learning it quickly. nice job guys. thanks you
I am looking for an easy offense to use with my 4 grade team. Most of the teams in our league play zone with traps at half court. I would like a simple offense that will work against a zone or man defense with a few minor adjustments.
First of all, I would find another league to play in if you can. Personally, I am strongly against any zones or pressing before 14 years of age. We have enough trouble teaching the players the fundamentals, yet try to teach them 5 different offenses. I could go on and on about this all day. If you want to see more of our insight on this subject, visit this page: http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/defense/age.html
Here is an answer that I recently posted to your question..
After reading a rough copy of a "Motion Offense" book that Don Kelbick is helping us develop, I believe that the motion offense is the way to go with youth players. A motion offense does NOT put youth players into 'roles.' With a motion offense, they learn all of the skills needed to be a good all around players as you mentioned above. It doesn't if they are going to be a guard or a post when they get older, they will have developed the skills needed within a motion offense.
A motion offense teaches them how to react to situations, instead of just learning patterns like other offenses I've seen used at the youth level.
You could easily run something as simple when you make a pass, you either cut to the basket or set a screen away from the ball. Then, you would teach them a pass and cut drill and a pass and screen away drill. Within each drill, you teach them how to react to what the defense gives you.
And you can slowly expand upon this as they get older.
For the half-court traps, I would use a 2-1-2 formation. Put two guards in the back court. One player in the middle. Two players on the wings. Have the two guards work the ball back and forth while trying to get the ball in the middle or down the court to the wings.
If the ball gets to the middle, he can look to pass it to the players on the wings or hold the ball until the guards get into the front court and pass it to one of them.
If they get the ball to the wing players, they usually have a 2-on-1 fast break opportunity.
this is effective, but i see and encourage the pass early in step 3 which gives 3 players surrounding position on the ball for the rebound and two outlets after the rebound if no put back. the two outsid also serve as key elements to stop a fast break and strong points to start defense now and push the other team as close as pssible to a 10 second violation.
how could you play this against a rotating 3-2 and every pass is attacked to keep it on the outs
I think it would work fine. However, I still feel that youth players should not run a patterned offense. Instead, they probably should run a motion. The motion is perfect because you get to work on SKILLS at the same time you are working on offense, while in a patterened offense that is rarely true. You want your players to have basketball instincts which allow them to read and react to the defense. If you teach a patterend offense, it tends to get players to act as robots because they are learning a pattern instead.
For kids at that age, the offense probably will have very few rules, such as:
1. Do not stand still for two seconds. 2. Fill a spot - designate spots they should be in. 3. Pass and move. cut or screen.
You can gradually progress the team to learn more cuts and screens as they get older. While they are young, you want to keep it very basic.
Great offense, use it for my high school team. However, one adaptation I did make to the play was that player cuts through the basket and replaces player 3, as player 3 take the position above the 3 point line. After player 1 cuts passed the basket, I then have player 5 cut down just after him, usually for a wide open lay-up as the defense is compensating for player 1's cut and new position. This play as it is works wonderfully though.
The hardest pass for young players is the 1st one especially if the def is over-playing. I teach the point guards to declare a side in order to make a shorter safer pass to the wing. This also gives a better angle for a back-door pass. The screener #5 will then set the screen more towards the side-line. This may seem trivial but it prevents turnovers on the initial entry pass and makes it easier for the point guard to run her player off the screen.
You may also have your PG dribble to the wing area and clear out the wing (we call this "circle" because your perimeter players move in a circle pattern). Once the ball gets to the wing, you can then start the offense.
Your good PG can then go one on one or wait for a pick & roll with your 5 man.
Great play because it can be used for man and zone offenses. The spacing is great and adding options is very simple. Can be adapted to ones'' personel. Very simple and the use of pick and rolls can be added, not to mention staggard screens. Can be adapted to be used as a delay game offense also.
I use this play with my middle school team ... Out of this set we also run an overload .. using the example above, the 4 would pop to ball side corner ... 1 passes and cut to block .. then moves thru to foulline extended opp side, 3 would fillin up top . If the pass to 1 is not there 2 looks to pass to 5 or 4 .. after pass he cuts to ballside block and then continues to weak corner .. The 4 or 5 then cuts to block .. if not there reverse to other side
I'll probably try this with my new U13 team (while doing "clock" offense against zones) so that we can start in 1-3-1 set against either man or zone. That way, if they have trouble reading the D, or a junk D, we're still okay. But worry about not enough motion -- senior coaches, are there ways to get more player movement here...
A variation that I use has the cutter popping to the corner on the ball side rather than clearing to the opposite wing. It allows for an overload on the ball side and pulls the defensive forward out of the box area if playing against a zone. When the ball swings back to the top of the key, he then runs baseline to the opposite wing to balance the floor again.
Coach Kip - There are lots of ways to get them open. It's up to you on how you want to teach. Just a few ways include...
- v-cut - post and seal near the elbow and then step out on the catch so you end up on the wing (kind of like the NBA guys do when they want the ball somewhere) - start from a stack or box set - have the guards cut and rub off the post players to get open - have the point guard dribble at the wing when they are covered and do a shallow cut - etc.
I have used a similar 1-3-1 offense against the 2-1-2 or 2-3 zone. It works very well against these zone defenses. Specially if the team has decent perimeter shooters as it allows the shot or the penetration drive with a pass to the opposite low block.
I never used it with a Man Defense because the only method to getting open cutting (no screens).
I have used this successfully with girls teams as young as 9U.
I am coaching a J.V. Girls basketball team. I am going to try this offense because of its simplicity to teach, and its flexiblity. I'm using it against both man and zone defenses - you just need to stress to the players finding the "openings" in the zone as they make their cuts. Promotes good movement and ball rotation. I like it so far.
Have a big problem with the ball being stolen from player 2 off the first pass while player 1 gets to the post. Seems like a long time for player 2 to stand there guarded while everyone gets moving. Any recommendations?
I used this play with 7-8 yr olds and it works great. One modification that I put in was to start #2 player on block and and have 4 on the wing. As player 1 crosses half court player 4 runs down to set pick for #2 player. 2 cuts up to wing to receive pass then continue play as drawn up. It gives 2 an extra second to make pass back to 1or 5
I'm a player and this I the first time I've ever done this play before and I'm already in love with it. When my coach first introduced it to us we were all like so confused and at first I thought it was going to be really hard to do but it's actually one of the most easiest plays I've ever learned in the time I've played for my school (this is my 3rd year playing).