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Basketball Offense - Secondary "Numbered" Break

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @

Use this secondary break to transition quickly after the opponent scores, or after getting possession by either a rebound or steal. Push the ball up the floor quickly before the defense can get set. You can even use this as a press breaker if you get it in quickly, before the press has time to get set.

The initial setup and lanes are similar to the "80" press break. This numbered break and the "80" and "60" press breakers complement each other well and are easy to teach together. Use the "5-on-0, 5-trips drill".

The numbered break has five (numbered) options. In practice, we run all five options up and down the court.

  • Option 1. O1 making the dribble-move in the seam for the lay-up.
  • Option 2. O1 passes forward to O2 for the shot from the corner.
  • Option 3. O1 makes the long pass to O5 for the lay-up.
  • Option 4. O1 passses to O4 cutting through the lane.
  • Option 5. O1 passes to the trailer O3 for the outside shot.

After the opponent scores... O3 gets the ball out of the net quickly and passes in-bounds immediately to O1 while O2, O4 and O5 sprint up the floor. Be quick, but stay under control and make no bad, forced passes.

Diagram A. O2 runs wide up the sideline and sprints to the right corner. O5 sprints to the left block (5-spot). O4 runs to the area just above the left elbow, free-throw line area at the three-point arc.

Secondary numbered break - passes up the court Secondary numbered break - passes up the court

Diagram B. O1 speed dribbles up the floor and O3 is the trailer behind O1. O1 can make the long pass to O2 in the corner, or to O5 up the middle. O4 holds at the left wing. Or O1 can dribble up to the right three-point arc area, looking to make a move and take the ball all the way to the hoop. If O1 drives inside, he/she should look to score, or dish off to either O2 or O5 (Diagram C).

O4 must read what O1 is doing. If O1 is able to take the ball to the hoop, then O4 delays and then trails O1 looking for the offensive rebound (Diagram C). If O4 cuts too soon, it clogs the seam and we don't give O1 a chance to make the dribble-move in the seam. We always like to give O1 the chance to attack the seam as our first option.

Secondary numbered break - passes up the court Secondary numbered break - passes up the court

But if O1 stops outside, O4 makes a hard flash cut to the ball-side block for the pass from O1 (Diagram D).

Not shown here is the last option to O3. O3 trails and fills the left wing spot (after O4 cuts through). O1 passes to O3 for the possible 3-point shot. But, if nothing develops off the numbered break, then just flow into your usual half-court offense.

Related pages:

Helpful DVDs:

Tom Izzo: The Numbered Fastbreak

Tom Izzo: The Numbered Fastbreak
with Tom Izzo, Michigan State University Head Coach; 2000 NCAA Champs, 3X National "Coach of the Year".

- Learn the numbered fast break from three-time National Coach of the Year, Tom Izzo
- Tactics for having a successful fast break
- Two- and three-man drills are first step in building a productive fast break

Coach Tom Izzo believes in scoring quickly by pushing the ball up the floor. The numbered break puts each player in a position to score. Izzo stresses that this fastbreak limits turnover and confusion by players. Two- and three-man drills are the first step in building a productive fast break. These drills can serve as a warm-up and are good for conditioning. Other drills... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now

Secrets of the North Carolina Secondary Break

Secrets of the North Carolina Secondary Break
By Roy Williams, University of North Carolina Head Coach, 2005 National Champions, 4X Time National "Coach of the Year," Winningest Active Coach in College Basketball. After 17 years as a head coach, Roy Williams unveils the secrets to the North Carolina Secondary Break! It all started with legendary coach Dean Smith at North Carolina and was "passed down" to Coach Williams... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now

Larry Brown: Secondary Break into Half Court Offense

Larry Brown: Secondary Break into Half Court Offense
with Larry Brown, SMU Head Coach; distinguished member of the Basketball Hall of Fame (2002); the sixth-winningest coach in NBA history (1,098 career victories); former head coach at University of Kansas, Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Bobcats; only head coach to win both an NCAA title (Kansas - 1998) and an NBA Championship (Detroit - 2004)

Hall of Fame Coach Larry Brown reveals the specifics of his fast break and half court ball screen offense in the 5-Star Coaches Clinic Series. Coach Brown reveals three warm-up drills that help build secondary break scoring options and habits your players need to be successful. Brown demonstrates eight secondary break scoring options that the University of North Carolina still uses in its offensive attack. With each scoring option, you will learn how to counter your opponent if they stop your primary scoring option.

Coach Brown extends his half court offensive instruction when he demonstrates how to take your secondary break actions right into your primary offense... (more info)

Price: $39.99
Buy Now

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