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Basketball Offense - the Dribble-Drive Motion Offense - More!

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

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The "dribble-drive motion offense" is the latest, popular "hot" offense seen at the college, pro, and high school levels. The original innovator was Vance Walberg of Fresno City College and Pepperdine, and he called it his "AASAA" offense... meaning "attack, attack, skip, attack, attack". John Calipari, with his highly successful Memphis Tigers, has popularized it, modified it, and renamed it the "dribble-drive motion offense". Guard dribble-penetration is the key, and dribble-penetration is one of the most difficult things for a defense to stop... plus it exposes the defenders to picking up fouls.

To understand the basic offense and rules, first see the "Dribble-Drive Motion Offense - the Basics" article. What you read below and the diagrams that I have provided here are based on some things that our own high school team has done, and also from what I have learned from studying Memphis game tapes... and then simply diagramming what I am seeing. There are many, many options. Mainly, it's just teaching your players the basics of the offense, the rules, and then just "letting them play" basketball.

This is a guard-oriented offense that features spreading the floor and dribble-penetration to the rim for lay-ups or kick-out three-point shots. Coach Walberg uses the term "key or 3" meaning either a shot in the paint, or a 3-point shot. This offense uses a 4-out set (diagram A below). The post player does not look to post-up, but rather plays on the opposite block, elbow or short corner... as this creates more open lanes for dribble-penetration. The post player looks for lobs, or dump passes from penetrating perimeter players, and looks to "clean up" inside with offensive rebounding.

You need four perimeter players who can handle the ball and attack the seams 1-on-1 with dribble-penetration and then finish, and who can also catch-and-shoot the 3-point shot effectively. On dribble-penetration, the ball-handler has three options... (1) finishing the lay-up, (2) dumping it to the post player on the opposite block, or (3) kicking it out to the three point arc for the outside shot. Perimeter players move and rotate to specific spots. Very little screening is used, as screening tends to clog the driving lanes (seams). Good spacing with two guards on top and two deep in the corners really opens up those seams for dribble-penetration.

Now let's look at some diagrams and offensive flow.

Off the break

In diagram A, as the ball is brought up the court, O5 is opposite and O2 is deep in the corner. This gives O1 the very first chance to attack with the dribble-drive. O1 has the options of finishing the lay-up, dumping it to O5, or passing outside to O2. In diagram B, O2 has received the pass and could shoot the spot up 3-point shot from the corner. O1 moves out to either corner. Now O2 looks to attack with the dribble-drive and again will either finish, dump pass to O5, or kick the pass out to the perimeter. If the ball goes to O4 (diagram C), O4 could pass to O3. Here we have continuity as O3 can start the whole motion scheme over again (notice that diagram A and C are almost identical).

dribble-drive motion offense

But let's back up to where O4 gets the ball on the skip out pass from O2 (as seen in diagram B). Instead of passing out to O3 (as seen in diagram C), O4 could dribble-drive (diagram D) and score, or kick the ball back outside. If the ball is passed out on top to O3 (diagram E), O5 locates to the opposite low block, O4 moves through to the opposite corner, and O3 can now attack the left seam, a mirror of attacking the right seam above (diagram A).

dribble-drive motion offense

Dribble-Left Entry

If the X1 defender is over-playing O1 and denying the dribble into the right seam, O1 can dribble left (diagram F). O3 circles behind. Now O3 can attack the right seam (diagram G), while O1 pops back outside. This is almost like a "weave" action and will be demonstrated in more detail below.

dribble-drive motion offense

Opposite Guard Cuts First and Back-Cut Option

To give things another look, this time O3 cuts diagonally first, and then pops out to the opposite top guard spot (diagram H). O1 dribble-penetrates behind O3's cut into the left seam. Notice that O4 is waiting the corner for the kick-out pass from O1 on dribble-penetration. If O1 is stopped at the elbow area or higher (diagram I), O4 ordinarily would slide up to the wing for the pass back out from O1. But another great option here (when the defender is overplaying) is a back-cut from the corner (diagram I). Diagram J shows O4 moving out on top for the pass and possible 3-point shot. Here the X4 defender often drops inside to help on O1's dribble-penetration, and this leaves O4 open for the 3-point shot.

dribble-drive motion offense

Wing Pass Entry with O2 in the Corner

In diagram K, O1 dribbles right and passes to O2 in the corner. O1 cuts through to the opposite corner, and O4 and O3 rotate over. O2's options include a 3-point shot, or a dribble-drive either baseline or into the top seam. In diagram L, O2 dribbles baseline but realizes there is nothing there and passes back out to the wing (O3). O2 cuts through to the opposite corner and O1 and O4 rotate up. O3 passes to O4 on the top and re-locates to the corner. O4 can make the now-familiar attack up the right lane seam (diagram M).

dribble-drive motion offense

Wing Pass Entry with O2 up on the Wing

In diagram N, again we see the wing entry pass to O2. This time, O2 is higher out on the wing and O1 cuts to the ball-side corner. And again O2 could shoot the 3-pointer here. But this time we see O2 dribble-driving into the top seam.

dribble-drive motion offense

Wing Dribble - Weave Entry

In diagram P, O1 dribbles into the right seam and drop passes to O2 moving up top. O1 fills O2's original spot. O5 re-locates to the right side. O2 dribbles once again into the top seam. O2 could shoot, dump pass to O5, or kick out to O4 or O3 (diagram Q).

dribble-drive motion offense

Weave Pattern

We can run a weave-type action with O1, O2 and O3, as seen the diagrams below. In diagram R, O1 dribbles toward the right seam and drop passes to O2 moving up top. O1 fills O2's original spot. O3 moves up to the top. O2 dribble-drives to take the top seam (diagram S), but when stopped, passes back out to O3 and moves to the O3's left wing spot. O3 now attempts to dribble-drive into the right seam (diagram T). When stopped, O3 passes back out to O1 and replaces O1. Finally, in diagram U, O1 is able to break down the defense and attack the top seam, looking for the lay-up, dump pass to O5, or the kick out pass for the 3-pointer.

This weave action could go on indefinitely until one of our perimeter players finally breaks down the defense... or could end with the very first take to the hoop.

dribble-drive motion offense

dribble-drive motion offense

You can see how players must keep moving with this offense, maintain their spacing and think "attack" at all times. To counteract this offense, defenses may use a sagging man-to-man, or "pack-line" defense, or may use a zone defense to clog things up inside. Regardless of the defense, if you have four good perimeter players, you should eventually be able to break the defense down by attacking the gaps in the zone.

Also see: Dribble-Drive Motion Offense Drills, Dribble-Drive Motion Offense, and Dribble-Drive Zone Offense

Here are Helpful DVDs on the dribble-drive motion offense.

Vance Walberg:  the dribble-drive motion offense
Vance Walberg: Mastering the Dribble Drive Attack Offense
By Vance Walberg, University of Massachusetts Assistant Coach, creator of the innovative dribble drive attack offense, 2005 California JC undefeated State Champions.
Vance Walberg's Dribble Drive offense has taken the basketball world by storm. An idea 10 years ago, this system has evolved into an offensive attack adopted by John Calipari, Larry Brown, ... more.

Price: $119.99 (2 DVD's)
Buy Now!

Fran Fraschilla:  the dribble-drive motion offense
The Encyclopedia of the Dribble-Drive Motion Offense
with Fran Fraschilla, ESPN analyst, former college basketball coach, NABC District II Coach of the Year ('95), MAAC Coach of the Year ('95) while at Manhattan.
Fran Fraschilla lays out everything you need to know to install the Dribble-Drive Motion Offense. Fraschilla explains four types of Dribble-Drive Motion: the Memphis Attack (4-out, 1-in), ... more.

Price: $119.99 (3 DVD's)
Buy Now the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD Store!

Jerry Petitgoue:  the dribble-drive motion offense
Dribble-Drive Offense for High School Basketball
with Jerry Petitgoue, Cuba City HS (WI) Head Boys Basketball Coach (35+ years), 19 Conference titles, 3X Wisconsin State Championships .
Coach Jerry Petitgoue, the 41-year legendary high school coach, has put together his own unique twist on the Dribble-Drive Offense for high school basketball... more.

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

The Dribble Drive Zone Offense
The Dribble Drive Zone Offense
with Jerry Petitgoue, Cuba City HS (WI) Head Boys Basketball Coach (35+ years), 19 Conference titles, 3X Wisconsin State Championships .
Coach Petitgoue, the winningest coach in Wisconsin High School history, shows how to defeat zone defenses with the Dribble Drive Motion Offense. Petitgoue's on-court demonstration shows how to attack the 2-3 zone, 3-2 zone and how to beat it in transition. With an emphasis on... more.

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