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Basketball Plays That Use the Horns Set

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net
The "Horns" set is popular these days, and here are several plays that start out of the Horns set. Also see many more plays and options at Lason Perkins "Horns Offense". The basic Horns set has two high post players O4 and O5 (the "horns"), O1 at the top, and shooters O2 and O3 are deep in the corners.





Bucks

This horns play was used by coach Del Harris when he was with the Milwaukee Bucks. Starting with the box-set in diagram 1, O4 and O5 step up to the arc in a horns set. O1 could dribble either way, but since O5 is our best post scorer, O1 goes right off O4's screen. O3 and O2 set a staggered double screen for O5. O5 cuts around the screens for the pass from O1 (diagram 2). If O5 is not open, O4 down-screens for O2 (diagram 3). O2 cuts to the top for the pass and 3-point shot.

Box set - Bucks Box set - Bucks Box set - Bucks


"Loop"

This first play comes from Minnesota Lynx (WNBA) Head Coach Cheryl Reeve. This play starts with the Horns set (diagram 1) and could be run to either side, depending on the first dribble. Here, O1 dribbles left. Very importantly, O1 dribbles high and wide to maintain good spacing. The ballside corner O3 cuts off a downscreen from O5, and cuts all the way to the top to fill O1's vacated spot.

Diagram 2 shows O1 passing back to O3 on the top. O5 shapes up to the ball and steps out to get the pass from O3. The rule is that O3 must pass to the ballside high post player. The opposite post O4 slides out a little for spacing. As soon at the pass goes to O5, O2 cuts hard inside for the pass from O5. It could be that O2 may have to post up the X2 defender, and O5 makes the hi-lo pass to O2. Coach Reeve points out that the X2 defender is not usually accustomed to playing inside post defense, and O2 has a good chance to score here.

basketball play Loop basketball play Loop - counter

Notice that we have a counter (diagram 3) if O3's defender goes over the screen to deny the pass to the top. O3 simply pops back for the pass from O1 and the open shot.

basketball play Loop


"Michigan"

Using the Horns set, O1 is point guard, O2 and O3 start in the corners, and O4 and O5 are at the high post spots. This play can be run in either direction, and the first pass determines the direction of the play.

Here we run it to the right side as O1 yells "Go" and O2 cuts to the wing to receive the pass from O1. The ball-side post (O4) immediately screens for the opposite post (O5) to make spacing for the cut by O1. O1 makes the basket cut, looking for the pass from O2, before moving out to the opposite corner. O3 rotates to the point.

Michigan play

On the O4 screen, O5 delays until after O1 has already cut through (if O5 cuts too soon, O1 and O5 might collide, with no spacing). After O1 cuts through, O5 cuts hard off the screen to the ball-side low block, looking for the pass from O2.

O2 has several options: pass to O1, pass to O5, shoot the 3-pointer, or drive. If O5 does not receive the pass, he/she can optionally backscreen for O2.

See this page's animation!


"Horns-3"

This play comes from coach Roy Rana, Ryerson University Head Coach. Get his DVD "Winning the Game within the Game: Special Teams Play for Basketball."

This play is useful when we are looking for an open 3-point shot. It starts with the "Horns" set and uses three double-staggered screens for a sequence of three possible 3-point shots.

See diagram 7. Note the horns set with the wings deep in the corners and the post players O4 and O5 up high facing the point guard with one foot outside the 3-point arc. O1 dribbles over O4 to the right wing. O4 and O5 relocate to set a staggered double-screen. O2 cuts hard around the double screen (diagram 8), for the pass from O1 and the 3-point shot at the top.

basketball play Horns-3 basketball play Horns-3

Diagram 9. If O2 does not have an open shot, note that O4 and O5 have again relocated to set a staggered double-screen for O3. O3 cuts under the double-screen (diagram 10) for the pass from O2 and the 3-point shot.

basketball play Horns-3 basketball play Horns-3

If O3 is not open for the shot, O3 dribbles up to the top (diagram 11), as O1 and O2 rotate over to the corner and wing respectively. O4 and O5 relocate inside to set up the last staggered double-screen, this time a baseline screen for O1. O1 cuts to the opposite corner (diagram 12) for the pass from O3 and the 3-point shot.

basketball play Horns-3 basketball play Horns-3

See this video from Coach Roy Rana:



"Horns"

"Horns-4"


Become a Premium Member or get the Deluxe CD or download to get the complete article. The complete article also includes these plays:
  • Horns
  • Horns-4


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Helpful DVDs:


The Encyclopedia of the Horns Offense

The Encyclopedia of the Horns Offense
with Fran Fraschilla, International Basketball Analyst for ESPN.

Price: $49.99
Buy Now


Tom Izzo: Man-to-Man Offense and Counters to Crush Defensive Adjustments

Tom Izzo: Man-to-Man Offense and Counters to Crush Defensive Adjustments
with Tom Izzo, Michigan State University Head Coach.

Price: $39.99
Buy Now



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