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Basketball Plays - Princeton Offense Style Plays

From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @
Submitted by Mark Lane of the Ohio Express.

Here are a few Princeton-styled plays that you can call while running the Princeton offense. Coach Lane calls these the "Ear-Nose-Hip" series. Also see: Pete Carril's Princeton Offense, Princeton Offense.

Princeton-style play - "Ear"

See the diagrams below. In diagram A, O1 passes to O4 and cuts off of O5's screen to the ballside block (looking for the pass inside from O2), and then moves out to the left corner. O4 quickly passes the ball to O2. The first look here is O2 to O1 cutting inside.

Princeton offense Ear play Princeton offense Ear play Princeton offense Ear play

Diagram B... if the pass inside to O1 is not there, O4 either cuts all the way through or will pop back when O5 screens. If you don't want O5 to handle the ball, then designate O4 to pop out every time. The pass back to O4 sets up the "dribble at" for the back door cut by O3. O4 dribbles at X3 to set up O3 for the back cut (diagram C).

If O4 had cut through in the previous frame, s/he would have filled the opposite (right) corner and O5 would have popped out and dribbled at O3 for the back cut.

Princeton-style play - "Hip"

In diagram A below, O1 dribbles at O4, who cuts through to the opposite side. O5 pops out and O1 passes to O5.

Princeton offense Hip play Princeton offense Hip play

Diagram B... O1 screens for O3. O3 steps above the screen and then backcuts (O3 never really uses the screen). This is the first look, a pass from O5 to O3 cutting inside.

Diagram C (below)... to keep good spacing, O3 sees that O4 has the opposite corner filled and fills back to the side he came from. O5 passes to O1.

Princeton offense Hip play Princeton offense Hip play

Diagram D... O5 follows the pass and sets up a screen and roll opportunity with O1. O1 dribbles around the ball-screen looking to score or hit O5. If O1 can't do either of those, he'll set up the back cut opportunity for O2.

Princeton-style play - "Nose"

We used to run this starting on the left because we knew that we were going to ask O1 to make a pass to a cutter and felt it was easier for O1 to use his right hand instead of the left.

Diagram A... O1 "waves" O4 through and O4 will run off of a double screen set by O2 and O5 on the backside elbow. You would want to put your best shooter in the O4 spot for this play (assuming he's not your point guard).

Princeton offense Nose play Princeton offense Nose play

Diagram B... as soon as O4 clears out, this sets up the "dribble at" opportunity for O1 and O3. NOTE - This takes place almost simultaneously with diagram A. You'd be amazed at how many times O3 was open on the back cut. O1 to O3 is your first look.

Diagram C (below)... if O3 is not open, he'll finish his cut to the opposite corner. O1 will then look at option 2, which is O4 going off of the double-screen.

Note, O5's defender (x5) may start cheating to help on O4. If this happens, O5 may slip the screen. If we know this is going to happen, sometimes we'll hold O3 back from cutting to keep his defender out of the picture.

Princeton offense Nose play Princeton offense Nose play

We're hoping to have hit O3, or to have O4 get a shot by this point, but if not, we'll run O5 off of O2 (diagram D) and see if we can't hit O5 going to the basket or O2 popping out for a shot. A lot of times, both defenders go with O5 and leave O2 open.

You could have O1 space out after passing and set up a O2 to O1 back cut opportunity!

Related pages:

Helpful DVDs:

The Princeton Offense: Back Door to Success

The Princeton Offense: Back Door to Success
with Kevin Pigott, Fordham Preparatory School (NY) Head Boys Basketball Coach.
The mystery of the Princeton Offense is unveiled in this masterful DVD! As Coach Kevin Pigott was learning this offense, he was able to tap directly into the mind of "the master," Pete Carril, to get a first hand overview of the offense. As a high school coach with limited time, Pigott shows how he has shaped this effective offense to fit his program. The star of the offense is the "back door cut," which Princeton has used for years to slay bigger opponents. Pigott shares the key drills that his team works on, every day, to perfect the offense and also teaches concepts such as the dribble handoff, fake handoff, weak side exchange, freeze dribble, butt screens, pick and roll and many more... (more info)

Price: $49.99
Buy Now

Winning with the Princeton Style Offense

Winning with the Princeton Style Offense
with Lee DeForest, Garrard County High School Head Boys Coach
Is your offense stale and predictable? Do you find it difficult to make adjustments to the defense? Now you can mold the elaborate Princeton Offense to match your players' abilities and maximize your team's scoring! After taking apart the famed Princeton Offense piece by piece, Coach DeForest reassembled it to give his high school team a versatile, high scoring offense. DeForest's unique teaching method makes the Princeton easy to teach and install. DeForest provides white board diagrams and practice footage of six interchangeable sets: Chin, Low, 5-Out, Point, Reverse, and Circle. He supplements his teaching with game footage... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now

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