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HomeBasketball Plays3-Out, 2-In Motion Offense Plays

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Basketball Plays for the 3-Out, 2-In Motion Offense

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @
First read "Motion Offense". Here are a several plays to run out of the 3-2 motion offense. There is another page of simple 3-2 plays that youth teams might find more helpful. Like most plays, these plays can also be adapted to other set offenses. At the bottom of this page, there are several links with more plays that can be run from the 3-2 offense.

3-out, 2-In Motion Plays


"Kentucky-2" and "Kentucky-3" are the same play with the former run to the right side and the later run to the left. We run these out of our 3-out, 2-in motion set.


This play gives our O2 an excellent chance for a three-pointer. See diagram A. The play starts with a weave screen with O1 dribbling toward O2, handing off and screening for O2. Meanwhile, O5 cuts up to the weakside arc. O3 initially slides toward the corner (for spacing) but will eventually move back outside.

See diagram B. O2 dribbles toward the point and passes to O5. To get good spacing, it is important for O2 to dribble high to the top, even with the lane line. O4 picks for O1 who cuts around the screen, eventually out to the opposite corner. O5 can pass to O1 inside as our first "early" option. After screening for O1, O4 moves up and backscreens for O2.

basketball play Kentucky-2 basketball play Kentucky-2 basketball play Kentucky-2

See diagram C. O2 cuts around the back-screen and flares to the wing-corner area. O5 skips passes "over the top" to O2. After back-screening for O2, O4 rolls to the ball-side low post. O2 has the option of shooting the three-pointer, or passing inside to O4 in the low post. If the pass to O2 is denied, then O4 can post up inside and O5 can make the "hi-lo" pass to O4. Notice the weakside rotation after O5 passes to O2... O5 drops to the elbow, O3 rotates out to the point and O1 rotates to the left wing.

Another option is the "slip" (diagram C). After O2 hits a couple of "3's", the defense may switch the O4-on-O2 screen. If the defense switches O4's screen on O2, O4 slips the screen, and cuts hard through the lane to the hoop, for the pass (red arrow) from O5.


This is the same as "Kentucky-2" except to the left side. See the diagrams below. O1 dribbles left, hands off to and screens for O3. O3 dribbles toward the top and passes to O4 who has moved out on top. O5 screens for both O1 and O3. O4 looks for O1 cutting inside, or for the over-the-top pass to O3. After screening for O3, O5 cuts to the ballside block. O5 could get the pass from either O3, or directly from O4 ("slip" option) if the defense overplays the O5-on-O3 screen.

basketball play Kentucky-3 basketball play Kentucky-3 basketball play Kentucky-3


We run this play out of our 3-out, 2-in motion offense. Look at the six diagrams below. In diagram A, O1 starts a little left of the middle and O2 goes to the corner. O4 cuts up to the arc. O1 passes to O4 and then O1 down-screens for O5. O5 curl cuts around O1's screen, and O4 should look to bounce pass in to O5 for the lay-up as our first option (diagram B). O5 should try to score, but if the X2 defender drops inside, O5 can kick it out to O2 in the corner for a 3-pointer.

Now, if the pass to O5 is not there, O3 down-screens for O1 and O4 passes over to O1. O1 could shoot the 3-pointer, or look at the post (O5) inside. Notice in diagram D that O3, after screening for O1, now lateral-screens for O5, and O5 cuts to the ball-side block to post-up for the possible pass from O1 and the shot.

basketball play, MSU basketball play, MSU basketball play, MSU

Meanwhile, after O5 cuts around O3's screen, O4 down-screens for O3 and goes to the right block (diagram E). O3 cuts around O4's screen out to the point for the possible pass from O1 and the 3-point shot.

Alternately, if you have a very athletic O4, instead of O4 down-screening for O3, have O3 back-screen for O4 (diagram F). O4 cuts around the screen for the possible lob ("alley-oop") pass from O1. After screening, O3 pops out to the point. When running this last option, O5 moves to the short corner, which will take the X5 defender outside. This keeps the inside from getting clogged with defenders. In either case, notice that we are back in our 3-out, 2-in set (but with O3 on top).

basketball play, MSU basketball play, MSU basketball play, MSU


Here's a play to get your left wing O3 involved with possible dribble-penetration. In diagram A, this play starts like a "Weave-Screen" play with a dribble hand-off screen from O1 to O3. O2 goes to the corner for spacing and a possible kick-out pass. O5 and O4 move up top and set staggered screens for O3.

In diagram B, once O3 dribbles around O4's screen, we have a pick and roll with O4 sealing and rolling to the hoop. If the defense switches the pick and roll (diagram C), O3 passes back out to O5. O4 will probably have a small defender on him/her. O5 makes the "hi-lo" pass to O4.

As another option, if the X2 defender drops inside to help, O3 can make a kick pass out to O2 in the corner for a possible three-pointer for O2.

Basketball play diagrams - Texas Basketball play diagrams - Texas Basketball play diagrams - Texas


This play starts off as a simple screen-the-screener play with a "slip" option... (more)


This play gives us several options... an open shot for O2 or O4, or a post up with O5... (more)


This is a good play with several options. We run this play against teams that full-front our low post. It also works well when the opponent does not come off our best shooter, O2, to give help... (more)


We run this play from the high-post. O4 cuts up to the free-throw line and receives the pass from O1... (more)

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:
  • Slip
  • Wisconsin
  • OSU
  • Tiger
  • and links to a number of additional Coach's Clipboard plays that can be used with the 3-out, 2-in motion offense.

Helpful DVDs:

Bob Knight: Advanced Tactics & Techniques for Man-to-Man Offense

Bob Knight: Advanced Tactics & Techniques for Man-to-Man Offense
with Bob Knight, former head coach at Texas Tech and Indiana University; Over 900 career wins, 3X National Championship Coach, Five Final 4 appearances; 4X National Coach of the Year; 1984 US Men's Olympic Coach (Gold Medal)
No one in the game teaches the motion offense better than coaching legend Bob Knight. Discover how his screening and cutting motions can benefit your offense. Coach Knight teaches every element of his man-to-man offense with on-court demonstrations including screens, cutter options, post screens, screening angle, balance and spacing. This 2-DVD set... (more info)

Price: $99.99
Buy Now

Jim Calhoun: Set Plays for Your Offensive Attack

Jim Calhoun: Set Plays for Your Offensive Attack
with Jim Calhoun, 2011 NCAA Championship Coach - only the fifth coach to win three NCAA titles (2011, 2004 & 1999); member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Class of 2005); 17 Big East Championships (10 regular season 7 tournament titles); over 850 career victories

Starting from transition offense, you will learn options for attacking the defense at different points in your possession. Coach Calhoun also shows you seven "need" plays for scoring in special situations. If you have a team that looks to play with a traditional lineup of three perimeter players and two post players then this offensive system is perfect for you... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now

Excellent lessons on the motion offense.

3-Out 2-In High/Low Motion Offense
with Dave Loos, Austin Peay State University Head Coach

Coach Loos, four-time Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year, clearly and systematically teaches the 3-Out 2-In High/Low Motion Offense. Using on-court demonstration, Loos goes through a step-by-step process of initiating and setting up the high/low offense and building into it over 10 play options from the wing, post and dribble entry. Learn both a pattern for the high/low and specific plays such as "America's Play"... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now

Bill Self: The High/Low Motion Offense

Bill Self: The High/Low Motion Offense
with Bill Self, University of Kansas Head Coach; 2008 NCAA Champions; former Head Coach University of Illinois.

This is a 3-out/2-in motion offense which is simplified with some basic rules for continuity. Because the offense is designed to pull one of your post players to the high post, it allows you to isolate your best big man at the low post with lots of room to score. The High/Low also places your perimeter players in position to score off the catch or dribble with the look of a true motion offense. Self uses on court demonstration to teach each player's responsibilities within the offense... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now

Six Effective Entries into the High/Low Motion Offense

Bill Self: Six Effective Entries into the High/Low Motion Offense
with Bill Self, University of Kansas Head Coach; 2008 NCAA Champions.

Coach Bill Self complements his popular High/Low Motion tape with this tape on entries. Self details and demonstrates six entries, each consisting of multiple options and counters for all five players on the floor. Options include post-ups, 3-point shots, backdoors, and lobs out of a 1-4 and 1-2-2 alignment. This high quality videotape, shot at one of the largest demonstration coaching clinics in the country, is an excellent complement to his High/Low Motion Offense video... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now

Copyright © 2001 - 2016, James A. Gels, all rights reserved.

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