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Basketball Offense - 3-2 Motion Offense Options

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @
First read "Motion Offense". So you want flexibility and want to vary your offensive attack, while maintaining the 3-out,2-in as your basic set. Here are some simple options to run off the 3-2 set. These do not necessarily have to be called as set plays, but can be taught to the players as various options to use within the general motion offensive scheme.

"I Up"
To change to a 1-3-1 set, call "1 up" and the weak-side low post player moves to the high post.

If the ball is on the point, O5 moves to the high post.

This is also a good set to use against the 2-3 zone defense.

Motion offense options, the 1-3-1 set

Want to show a 1-4 stack set, call "2 up" and both posts move to the elbows.

Now you can run the 1-4 stack offense and plays.

Motion offense options, the 1-4 set

Call "4 down" to run a simple low stack play such as this. O1 drives and tries to create his own shot, or dishes off to a teammate.

O2 and O3 set picks for O4 and O5. O2 flares out for a three-point option. O3 moves out on top as prevent man on defense.

1-4 low stack play

Want to overload a zone (in this case the right side)? Call "3-cross" to have O3 makes a cut to the hoop, and then out to the opposite corner. Now the right side of the floor is over-loaded. If O1 passes to O2, you'll have a ballside "triangle" with O3, O4 and O2.

Motion offense options, 3-cross Motion offense options, 3-corner

The defense is showing a 1-3-1 zone and you want to go to a two-guard front. Call "3 corner" to have your O3 slide down to his own corner, and O1 and O2 move over into a two-guard set.

You can change to a 4-out, 1-in set by calling something like "4 Out to John", where John becomes the inside post player. See "4-out, 1-in motion offense".

4-out motion offense Open post, 5-out motion offense

If you have good quick guards in the game, run the open post (5-Out) offense. Call this "5", rather than "5-Out". Once I called "5-out" and the ref charged me with a time-out, thinking I had yelled "time-out" instead of "5-Out"... so just call this option "5". See "Open Post Offense".

Wing to Low Post Motion.

Downscreen & Curl.

The wing O3 sets a down-screen for the low post, who curls around the screen for pass from O1. After setting the screen, O3 can seal for the inside position and the pass from O1, or flare out to the short corner or wing for a pass for an outside shot.

Motion offense options, using down-screens Motion offense options, using back-screens


The low post O5 sets a back-screen on the same side wing defender. The wing O3 cuts backdoor for the pass from O1. After screening, O5 can also seal and roll for a pass from O1. If the defense switches the screen, O5 seals and slips the screen, cutting to the hoop for the quick pass from O1.

Post-Post Motion

Option #1

O4 sets a pick for O5 who cuts off the screen for the pass from O1.

Motion offense options, low post screens Motion offense options, low post screen and seal

Option #2

This is the same play as option 1. In this case the defenders switched the screen, and the X4 defender picks up O5.

Reading this, O5 takes the defender out to the short corner. O4 has inside position after screening and sealing the defender, and gets the pass from O1 (who dribbles a little to the right to set up a better passing angle).

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

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