With our 10th grade boys’ team, we ran a 4-out 1-in motion offense. We used this offense against man to man defense and ALL zone defenses. It worked great!!
Other than a couple “end of quarter set plays”, we never changed what we ran. We always ran our 41 motion offense regardless of what defense we faced.
As an experiment, we started our season with a different motion offense. That was a mistake!
After 6 games, we switched to the 41 motion explained below. Once it was implemented it worked great for us.
We started the season with 9 losses in a row. Then amazingly we finished the rest of the season with 11 wins and 1 loss.
The 41 motion offense was part of the reason for our incredible turn around.
Here are the rules for our 41 motion offense…
- Good spacing (15-18’ between players)
- Move the ball… lots of ball movement (if a guy is open give it to him)
- Get the ball inside
- Patience. Look for lay ups and get at least 10 passes before we look to shoot outside.
- Cut hard
- Offensive rebounding – must have a player in weak-side rebounding position on EVERY shot. Anticipate the shot.
- Stay back side or high post unless flashing or holding in the 3 second area. When ball is reversed, move to the back side or post up for 3 seconds (max).
- Pin defenders on ball reversal (as the ball come back to you). Look to pin when ball goes to the corner too.
- Always fill the spot closest to the ball
- Fill to the open corner once inside the three point line. (Once inside three point line, can’t pop back out. No dancing.)
- When you pass the ball, basket cut or screen away.
- Make hard cuts to the backboard.
- Watch the cutter.
- When you pass and cut..
- If defense jumps to ball, back door cut.
- If defense stays, face cut.
- When one pass away and overplayed, backdoor cut. If defense underplays (sags), pop out.
- Read the defense on the back side. If the corner defender starts anticipating the “fill” and cheats up, back cut behind the defender and seal.
- Pass and cut rules also apply to post pass. Laker cut and fill opposite. When post player is on the block, cut to elbow (to maintain spacing) and then clear to opposite corner.
- Come off shoulder to hip and hard.
- Set up the screen by getting slightly below the screener. Don’t go too deep so the play develops quickly.
- Read the screen (curl, straight cut, back cut/reject, or flare).
- For good timing and quick passing, screener must pop as the cutter brushes their shoulder and cut to ball aggressively (sprint back to the same spot you came from).
Dribble Drive Rules
- Straight line drive with purpose of GETTING TO THE RIM!
- If the ball is dribbled at you, back cut.
- On dribble penetration, players off the ball need to move, open passing windows, look to rebound, and then fill open spots. If your defender helps up to the ball, back cut. If your defender help down to the basket, pop out.
Pass, Cut, Back Screen
- When perimeter players pass and cut, they can now have the option to back screen.
- Look to back screen the next passer.
- Make sure that they still cut all the way to the backboard.
- Screener steps out.
Note: We did not add the back screen option. If we had more time we probably would have added this option.
When facing zone defense, run the exact same motion with the following adjustments:
- When you pass, always cut (instead of screening away).
- Use the “Hook and Look” when passing and cutting. Cutter finds the open spot in the zone, hooks in there, and looks for the ball.
- Post player looks to find gaps, seal defenders, and maintain good spacing.
Note: The biggest thing we had to emphasize when facing zone was….make sure you quickly fill spots to the ball on the perimeter and create good angles to allow for good ball movement.
For some reason, when teams went to zone, our players stopped filling spots the way the were supposed to. So we had to emphasize that to make it work effectively.
It might seem like we have a lot of rules. But in reality we kept things simple. Many of the rules are simply offensive fundamentals we wanted to emphasize. The fundamentals take time to develop.
The offense is really simple. Put players in 4 out 1 in spots. Post player stays on weak-side and looks to post when balls comes back to him. Perimeter players either basket cut or screen away when you pass and/or when you’re covered. Fill spots after you move/cut. Other than the “fundamental execution details”, that’s pretty much it.
Keep great spacing, keep the ball moving, and teach the fundamentals. Looking at the rules on paper it seems a little complicated. But truth be told the offense was extremely simple. And it has been extremely effective for us.
Motion Offense Resources
If you want to learn more about motion offense, I highly recommend the Don Kelbick Motion Offense DVDs.