Basketball 4-Out Motion Offense "High" Plays

From the Coach's Clipboard Basketball Playbook
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First read 4-Out, 1-In Motion Offense. The 4-out offense can be as complicated or as simple as you want. We do not use all of these plays in one season. We pick plays that best suit our current team's personnel. Next season, as our players change, we may select other plays and options. Don't overload your players by teaching too much at once. Also see the 4-Out Low plays and Quick Hitters for the 4-Out Offense.

Jesse Shaw (from "The Jet 4-Out High Post Offense")

See "Jet-Back" play below.

The following plays are used with the 4-Out "High" set, with our post player at the high-post (free-throw line area). In teaching the 4-Out system, we first teach the basic offense, and then add a few plays as the season progresses. Here are several set plays for the 4-Out "High" offense: Topside and Counter, Flash, Jet-Back, Slip, Swing, Fist, Pitt, and the Weave-Screen Plays.

"Topside" and "Counter"

These two plays may work well against teams that full-front our post player. Both plays can be run out of the basic 4-out motion offense, without being called a specific name. They could be taught in the context of simply learning how to read the defense.

"Topside" is a very simple play. Oftentimes simple plays work the best. Our post player O5 is at the high post, and if full-fronted, seals the defender, and cuts to the hoop for the over-the-top lob pass and lay-up (diagram A). Notice that O4 back-screens for O2 to occupy the weak-side, helpside defenders.

4-out, 1-in motion offense plays - Topside and Counter 4-out, 1-in motion offense plays - Topside and Counter 4-out, 1-in motion offense plays - Topside and Counter

In diagram B, O5 is being full-fronted at the high post. Instead of the lob pass, pass to the corner. O5 seals the defender and then cuts to the hoop and receives the pass from the corner for the lay-up.

If O5 is being half-fronted, start the play with the ball at the top, opposite O5. As the ball is passed around the perimeter (eventually to the corner), O5 seals and rolls to the hoop for the pass and lay-up. The diagram shows two perimeter passes, but O2 could skip-pass directly to O3 in the corner if that pass is open.

If the perimeter passes are being denied, have O3 back-screen for O1. O1 then flares to the corner for the skip-pass from O2. Again, notice that O4 back-screens for O2 to occupy the weak-side, helpside defenders.


Start in the 4-out, 1-in offense with O5 low on the opposite low block. O5 flash cuts to the free throw line and receives the pass from O1. As O5 receives the pass, O4 fakes out and back-cuts to the hoop. O5 passes to O4 for the lay-up (diagram A). If O4 is covered and doesn't get the pass from O5, he/she continues through and back-screens for O3. O3 cuts around the screen and gets the pass from O5 for the lay-up (diagram B).

4-out motion offense Flash play 4-out motion offense Flash play 4-out motion offense Flash play

If the defense switches the screen, O4 should have inside position (after sealing the defender). O3 clears to the opposite side and O4 rolls to the hoop for the pass from O5 (Diagram C). O5 could take the shot from the free throw line, or dribble-drive to the hoop as additional options.

"Weave-Screen Plays"

The weave screen (or "W") plays are simple hand-off plays that can free up a perimeter player for either an outside shot, or a dibble-drive to the hoop. The diagrams below show a 3-out, 2-in set, but these plays can also be run with the 4-Out and 5-Out sets. Below we see "W2", where O1 dribbles at O2 (diagram A), hands the ball off to O2 and screens the X2 defender. O2 comes around the screen for a 3-point shot, or a dribble-drive to the lane (diagram B).

Weave-Screen Plays Weave-Screen Plays Weave-Screen Plays

After running this a couple times, the X2 defender will often cheat out over O1 and try to jam the hand-off - here we run the "back" counter option, where O2 reads this and simply back-cuts for the pass from O1 and the lay-up.

"W3" is the same play, but run at O3. O1 dribbles at O3, and O3 gets the hand-off and shot. "W4" is the same play as "34".

Counter Play - "Jet-Back"

This play comes from coach Jesse Shaw. It is a great "counter" play for when the defense hedges or jumps out over the ball-screen. Use the 4-out set with O1 starting on the left (diagram 1). O1 passes to O3. O5 back-screens for O1 and O1 cuts to the weakside block and out to the left corner, as O4 rotates up.

O2 slides up to the ballside free-throw line extended spot. After O1 cuts, O5 ball-screens for O3 (diagram 2). Notice in diagram 3 that the X5 defender jumps out over the screen to prevent O3's dribble-drive. Instead, O3 passes to O2 and O5 slips the screen and cuts to the hoop for the pass from O2 and a lay-up or dunk. This pass is usually an over the top "air-pass" or slight lob.

JetBack basketball play JetBack basketball play JetBack basketball play

See the complete article in the members section.

The complete article also includes:
  • Slip - This is a "screen-the-screener" play, with a "slip" option... (more)
  • Swing - Set up in the 4-out, 1-in high set... (more)
  • Fist - Here's a simple but effective pick-and-roll play to run out of the 4-out, 1-in motion offense set... (more)
  • Pitt - Several options with a give and go and a hi-lo situation... (more)

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