Coach's Clipboard

Premium Member Login Youth Member Login My Account
Coaching Basketball - Search
Please visit Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD Store.

HomeBasketball Plays1-4 High Stack Offense
HomeOffensesWest Coast 1-4 High Stack Offense1-4 High Stack Offense

See this page's Flash animation!

Basketball Offense - 1-4 High Stack Offense

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @

The 1-4 offense tends to "flatten" the defense, and with the empty space under the basket, is ideal for back-cuts to the hoop, especially from the wing. In fact, when we are on defense and see this set, we expect underneath cuts. This offense also is effective against teams that over-play (deny) the pass to the wing (which makes them more vulnerable to the back-cut).

You can imagine some simple things, like O1 passing to a high post player, and then the wings O3 and O2 back-cutting to the hoop for the pass from the high post. Or the pass could go to a wing, and the near post screens away for the opposite post, who then cuts to the hoop for the pass from the wing. Several set plays are presented below.

1-4 offense

1-4 Stack, Post-Point Pick ‘n Roll, "41"

This play uses a simple high post screen for the point guard, and then the seal and roll by the screener (see Setting Screens). The same side wing (O2) slides deep into the corner to clear his/her defender out. This makes the wing O2 available for a "kick-out" pass to the corner for the outside shot (3-point shot).

1-4 offense pick and roll play - Post-Point Pick and Roll

High-Post Pick-and-Roll, "45"

This is a simple high post pick and roll play where the pass goes to the player rolling off the screen. O1 is at the point, O2, O3,O4 and O5 stack across, at the free-throw line extended (diagram A). O1 calls the play and starts to dribble to the right to clear a passing lane. A jab step to the right or a pass fake to the right might work as well. Or O1 could pass to O2, and O2 to can make the pass inside. O4 sets a pick for O5 and seals the X5 defender (diagram B).

1-4 high post-post screen basketball play 1-4 high post-post screen basketball play 1-4 high post-post screen basketball play

O5 cuts around the pick. O4's defender (X4) will probably switch and go with O5 on the cut. O5 takes the X4 defender with him to the baseline (out of the way and out of the paint). O4 now has inside position on the X5 defender and cuts to the hoop, for the lob pass from O1.


Run these plays off the 1-4 set. See the diagrams below. O2 and O3 cut low and cross to the opposite sides. O1 passes to either side (O2 in the diagram B), and the ball-side high post (O5) drops to the low post for the possible pass inside and post move. O2 could also shoot the 3-point shot.

basketball play 1-4 set - Georgetown basketball play 1-4 set - Georgetown basketball play 1-4 set - Georgetown

The opposite wing (O3) drops inside as a back-side rebounder. If O2 does not shoot or pass to the block, then O4 flashes to the ball-side high post, while O3 sprints up and back-screens for O1 (diagram C). O5 slides out to the short corner.

O1 cuts over O3's back-screen (diagram D) and could get the skip pass from O4 for the possble 3-point shot. O3 could also "slip", or seal and roll-off the screen, and cut up the lane for the pass from O4 (diagram E).

basketball play 1-4 set - Georgetown, back option basketball play 1-4 set - Georgetown, back option basketball play 1-4 set - Georgetown, back option

You can also run a "Back" option (diagram E) to keep the wing defenders "honest". O2 and O3 start their low cuts, but then suddenly cut back to their original spots, for a pass to either side. Then the rest of the play is run the same as above with the ball-side post dropping to the block, etc.


Again, start with the 1-4 set. See the diagrams below. O4 drops to the block and first back-screens for O2, and then for O3. O2 cuts low to the opposite corner, while O3 cuts low and crosses to the opposite wing for the pass from O1. Next (diagram B), O4 cuts up to the elbow and receives the pass from O3. O3 then slides up toward the top and O1 also moves laterally. Meanwhile, O5 drops inside and screens for O2, and O2 makes a "flex" cut over O5's screen into the paint, for the possible pass and shot. If O2 does not get the pass, O2 moves out to the corner, and O5 then cuts into the paint for the possible pass from O4 (diagram D).

1-4 set basketball play Hoyas 1-4 set basketball play Hoyas 1-4 set basketball play Hoyas

Notice that while the flex cut is being made, O1 back-screens for O3 (diagram C), and a pass from O4 to O3 for an outside shot is also an option (diagram D).

1-4 set basketball play 21 1-4 set basketball play 21 1-4 set basketball play 21


If you run "Hoyas" and find the flex-cut and the inside jammed with helpside defenders, run the "Hoyas-21" option instead (diagram E). The play is run the same as "Hoyas" with O2 and O3 crossing and the pass going to O4 at the high post. This time, instead of running a flex-cut into the helpside defense, O2 moves outside and back-screens for O1 (diagram E). O4 could pass to O1 for a 3-point shot (diagram F). Notice that we also have O5 cutting through the paint (diagram D) for a possible pass from O4 and the lay-up.


Here's another play off the 1-4 set (diagram 4A). This play gives our athletic O4 a chance to play. O1 passes to O4 at the left elbow. O2 slides down to the corner and O5 pops out to the weak-side wing (for spacing). O1 cuts hard around O4 for a possible hand-off and dribble-drive (diagram 4B). O4 rolls to the hoop, like a pick and roll. O3 moves up top as our safety.

1-4 offense play 4-Up 1-4 offense play 4-Up 1-4 offense play 4-Up

Often the defense will switch as O1 makes the cut around O4... O4 reads this and instead of making the hand-off, with a quick first step, dribble-drives around the defender for a lay-up (diagram 4C). Notice that we have O2 in the corner for a kick-out pass and 3-point shot.

Become a Premium Member or get the Deluxe CD or downloads to get the complete article and animation. This complete article also includes these special plays:
  • 42
  • 53
  • 93 Low
  • 92-Low
  • Michigan State's 1-4 High Plays (4 plays)

For access to this complete article, and all the Coach's Clipboard's articles, plays, offense, defenses, etc and more, you can purchase any of these products:

Compare products...

Related pages:

The folowing plays can be adapted to the 1-4 set:

Helpful DVD:

The 1-4 high offense from Coach Tubby Smith

The Kentucky 1-4 High Offense
with Tubby Smith, University of Minnesota Head Coach Head Coach, former University of Kentucky Head Coach, 1998 NCAA Champions!
This effective offense allows the coach to dictate who will shoot the ball and forces the defense away from the basket. 1-4 High Offensive sets include: back-door options, staggered screens by either the perimeter or post players, repeated double screens, and back-screens for post-players in the lane. Each set causes player mismatches using designated screens (big on small, small on big). All sets are demonstrated on-court and include drills. This offense can be customized to fit player stengths and can be intiated using a pass or dribble... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now the Coach's Clipboard DVD-Video Store!

Copyright © 2001 - 2015, James A. Gels, all rights reserved.

Copyright © James A. Gels, all rights reserved.
Sign-Up! Newsletter What's New DVDs Products Specials! Links Info/Help About Contact Us