HomeBasketball Press Offense3-Up Press Break

See this page's Flash animation!

Basketball Press Offense - 3-Up Press Break

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net

Get immediate access!  Join today!


From HoopsKing

Please visit Coach's Clipboard Basketball Store
Like this page? Please "Like", Tweet, Google +1, or Follow this. Thanks! - Coach Gels
Coach's Clipboard on Facebook
   Coach's Clipboard on Google Plus
   Follow Me on Pinterest    Coach's Clipboard on Twitter


Here is another way of attacking the full-court press. Use this 3-up, triangle setup. You can position your players however you want, depending on their ball-handling skills.

Point-Guard Denial

We start with a 3-up triangle as seen in diagram A. The strategy in diagram A works well against teams that are denying the inbounds pass to our point-guard O1. We send O5 deep down the floor. O1 and O2 start at the elbows and split as seen in the diagram, while O3 sprints right up the middle looking for the pass from O4. O3 gets the pass and O1 and O2 immediately cut up the sidelines for a quick pass from O3... and now we are off to the races and should be able to attack for a lay-up.

Not shown here, but what if the pass to O3 is also denied? In this case, O1, O2 and O3 should all take their defenders down near the endline, and then quickly back-cut for the over-the-top lob pass. It's important that all three players take their defenders to the endline so that there are no defenders high to pick off the lob pass. If done correctly, this pass should be wide open, and when completed, we are "off to the races". The rule for the inbounds passer, is "don't be short on the lob"... a short lob can be intercepted. We can usually beat the defense to a long log, and if the long lob is intercepted, we can still get back and defend.

3-up press break 3-up press break 3-up press break

Point-Guard Trap

Alternately, the defense may allow the pass into O1 and then immediately trap (double-team). Again we start with a 3-up triangle as seen in diagram C. We send O5 deep down the floor. O1 and O2 start at the elbows and split as seen in the diagram, while O3 sprints right up the middle as usual. Here, O1 gets the pass. O3 makes a quick diagonal cut (diagram D) looking for the pass from O1 and he/she speed-dribbles up the court, looking to attack with O5 for a lay-up.

If O3 does not get the pass, he/she keeps going up the right sideline. Right after O3 diagonal cuts, O2 follows with a diagonal cut (diagram E) and will often be open if the first pass to O3 is denied. Now O2 speed-dribbles up the court. If O2 does not get the pass, he/she locates in the middle and could still get the pass if O1 dribbles up the sideline. If O2 sees the ball being reversed to O4 (diagram F), he can either stay in the middle or move up the left sideline, whichever looks open, for a pass from O4.

O4 steps inbounds after the inbounds pass and always stays behind the ball, so that O1 (caught in a trap) can pass back to O4 (diagram F). O4 then dribbles up the opposite (left) side, and if not a good ball-handler, will look to pass to either O2 who is either in the middle or has gone up the left sideline near half-court. Or O4 passes back to O1.

If the trap is not tight, O1 could either split the trap with a dribble, or speed-dribble up the right sideline. On the sideline dribble, he has to be aware of a possible trap, especially around half-court. In this event, O1 can pass back to O4 (always behind the ball), and O4 attacks up the left side. On the sideline dribble (diagram F), O1 should be looking to pass to O2 in the middle, O3 up the sideline, or even O5 long under the basket if this is open.

3-up press break 3-up press break 3-up press break


Related pages: Attacking the Full-Court Press, 80-60-40 Press-Breakers, 4-Across Press Breaker, Simple Press-Breaker, 1-2-1-1 Diamond Press-Breaker, and 2-2-1 Press-Breaker.


Several helpful DVDs...


Bruce Weber: Drills for Breaking Full-and Half-Court Presses
Bruce Weber: Drills for Breaking Full-and Half-Court Presses
By Bruce Weber, University of Illinois Head Coach; 2005 NCAA Runner-Up. In this DVD, Coach Weber assembles the pieces that make up a successful press attack; it must be simple, provide continuity and be consistent. Features of this presentation include Press Attack by Fast Break, which requires a quick inbounds pass to the point guard up the floor. Nine drills are shown... (more info)

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



Secrets of the North Carolina Secondary Break
Secrets of the North Carolina Secondary Break
By Roy Williams, University of North Carolina Head Coach, 2005 National Champions, 4X Time National "Coach of the Year," Winningest Active Coach in College Basketball. After 17 years as a head coach, Roy Williams unveils the secrets to the North Carolina Secondary Break! It all started with legendary coach Dean Smith at North Carolina and was "passed down" to Coach Williams... (more info)

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



Roy Williams: Tar Heel Offense & Transition Drills
Roy Williams: Tar Heel Offense & Transition Drills
with Roy Williams, University of North Carolina Head Coach; 2009 and 2005 NCAA Champions.
  • Explore the secrets of the Tar Heel offense with four-time National Coach of the Year, Roy Williams
  • Get easy baskets using this tournament-tested transition offense.
  • Discover drills to improve your primary and secondary breaks.
  • This offensive system guided North Carolina to 90.2 points per game in 2009.
Many of Roy Williams' current beliefs were developed in his early days of coaching high school basketball in North Carolina. This basketball DVD will illustrate the "Tar Heel Running Game" with the use of players in an impressive on-court demonstration. This style relies on running the floor and sharing the ball with teammates. Advantages of this style are that the running game negates the defense's ability to get set, which leads to many easy baskets. Coach Williams covers his three offensive rules against a set defense... (more info)

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



Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball - Breaking the Press
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball - Breaking the Press
with Mike Krzyzewski "Coach K", Duke University Head Men's Basketball Coach; NABC "Coach of the Decade," 12X NABC "Coach of the Year," Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2001), 3X NCAA National Championships ('91, '92,'01).

  • Learn how to break any press on your basketball team from the National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Decade, Mike Krzyzewski
  • Basketball drills for beating any press
  • Numerous tips and insights to all your team to enter the offense quicker and create scoring opportunities without generating turnovers
More and more teams are using half-court, three-quarter court and full-court zone presses to disrupt their opponents' continuity and produce turnovers. With this in mind, Coach K takes the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium to share his effective press break drills and his revered coaching philosophy. (Examples: - "players need to acquire the basic skill of catching the ball by meeting the pass" - "most teams need to cut down on the dribbling - use passing to advance the ball quicker!"). Coach Krzyzewski guides you through a series of effective drills used to break the 2-1-2 half-court press, 1-3-1 half-court press, 2-2-1 three-quarter court press and the 1-2-1-1 full-court press... (more info)

Price: $44.99
Buy Now from the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD -  Video Store!



Tom Izzo: The Numbered Fastbreak
Tom Izzo: The Numbered Fastbreak
with Tom Izzo, Michigan State University Head Coach; 2000 NCAA Champs, 3X National "Coach of the Year".
  • Learn the numbered fast break from three-time National Coach of the Year, Tom Izzo
  • Tactics for having a successful fast break
  • Two- and three-man drills are first step in building a productive fast break
Coach Tom Izzo believes in scoring quickly by pushing the ball up the floor. The numbered break puts each player in a position to score. Izzo stresses that this fastbreak limits turnover and confusion by players. Two- and three-man drills are the first step in building a productive fast break. These drills can serve as a warm-up and are good for conditioning. Other drills... (more info)

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



Billy Donovan: The Unstoppable Transition Game
Billy Donovan: The Unstoppable Transition Game
with Billy Donovan, University of Florida Head Coach; 2007 & 2006 NCAA Champions, 2000 NCAA Runner-up; One of only two people ever to serve as head coach, assistant coach, and player in a Final Four.
Coach Donovan shares concepts for winning transition basketball that are usable at any level of basketball! The basis for his offensive philosophy is imbedded in fundamental skill and player mentality. Donovan demonstrates the drills that helped turn his inexperienced team into a "teamwork machine." Practice drills are the Two-Man Sideline drill, Three-Man Sideline drill and Five Cycles drill. A popular peer pressure drill is the "Laker Fastbreak" drill, where the ball is not allowed to touch the floor. The Gator transition game is based on concepts instead of patterns, which offers many obstacles for the defense.... (more info)

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