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Basketball Plays - Selecting Plays

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


Tip: How to use this basketball playbook

After you have established your half-court offense, you will want to add several basketball plays that you can call in a time-out or from the sideline. First a word... most of these plays can be adapted to other sets. So look at all of them. For example, a 3-2 play could be adapted to the 4-out offense and vice-versa.

Additionally, you need a couple baseline out-of-bounds plays ("BLOB's") and a sideline out-of-bounds play ("SLOB") or two. All of the Coach's Clipboard's basketball plays are listed below with a brief description for many of them.


Basketball Plays - General Man-to-Man Plays


1-Series (plays for your point guard) (Take the seam off the break, "Loyola", "51", "41", and the "Out-Over-Up" series)
Plays designed to get shots for your point guard O1. Including links to many other point guard plays.

2-Series (plays for your shooting guard) ("Kansas", "Jayhawk", "Louisville", "Arizona", "Arizona and Back", "42 and 52", "Illinois", "Virginia", and "Elevator")
A number of plays designed to get shots for your shooting guard O2, including links to many other plays for O2.

Big Series ("Big", "15", "Big-Left", "Big-Down", "Big-43", and "Big-Double")
A series of several plays vs man-to-man defense, run out of the 4-out offense. These plays mainly are designed to get your good post players the ball inside.

90-Series ("91", "91-Slip", "92", "93", "94", and "95")
A series of several plays that you can run against man-to-man or zones. Especially good if you have a good point guard, but O2 and your post players will get shots too.

50-Series ("51", "52", "53", and "54")
A series of several plays that uses your post player as a screener and scorer.

Stockton and Malone pick and roll
Stockton and Malone pick and roll

High Pick and Roll Set/Plays
A high pick and roll set that you can run with any man-to-man offense.

3-2 Hi-Lo Plays (Hi-Lo Motion, "41", "High-2", and "High-3")
Simple post to post motion and plays vs man-to-man defense, run out of the 3-out, 2-in motion offense. These plays are also designed to get your good post players the ball inside, even when the low post is being fronted ("High-2" and "High-3").

3-Point Plays
Several plays designed to get you an open 3-point shot. Included are man-to-man quick hitters, zone plays, sideline and baseline out-of-bounds plays.

Simple 3-2 Motion Plays for Youth Teams ("53", "43", "Double-Curl", "Red", "Blue", and "32-Reverse")
Plays vs man-to-man defense, to run out of the 3-out, 2-in motion offense. Including links to several other 3-2 motion plays.

Basketball Plays for the 3-2 Motion Offense - (more advanced)
Plays vs man-to-man defense, to run out of the 3-out, 2-in motion offense.

Michigan State's Sets/Plays
28 of Michigan State's (Coach Tom Izzo) sets and plays, including man-to-man and zone plays, and baseline and sideline out-of-bounds plays.

Tom Izzo
Coach Tom Izzo

BYU Cougars Plays
BYU Cougars offensive actions from Lason Perkins.

Dribble-Drive Set Plays
Set plays that you can run with the dribble-drive offense.

Princeton Offense Plays
Set plays with multiple options that you can run with the Princeton offense.

"Heat"
A play used by coach Steve Fisher at San Diego State University

America's Play
A popular play to use against man-to-man defense that features O2 curling around the staggered double down-screen.

Kentucky ("Kentucky-2" and "Kentucky-3")
Run this out of your 3-out, 2-in offense against man-to-man defense. These plays feature several options including 3-point shots for O2 or O3, , a pass to O1 cutting inside, a pass into the post, and a "slip" option. You can run it right or left.

Loyola ("Loyola" and "Loyola-2")
Great play if you have an O1 who can dribble left and penetrate, or if your O3 is a good outside shooter. Run this vs man-to-man defenses and you can run it out of the 4-out set, the 3-out 2-in set, or a 1-3-1 set. "Loyola-2" gets O4 open for a lay-up.

Wisconsin
Run this out of your 3-out, 2-in offense. With this play, you can get a shot for O2 or O4, or a post up inside for O3.

Redhawk ("Redhawk-1" and "Redhawk-2")
The "Redhawk" plays feature two double-screens and gets players moving and cutting, each with several options, and shots for O2.

MSU
Run this out of your 3-out, 2-in offense. Inside (O5) and outside (O3) options, and an "alley-oop" option to O4.

Michigan
Run this out of your 3-out, 2-in offense against man-to-man defense. Usually a lay-up for O5 or O1.

Texas
Also run this out of the 3-out, 2-in offense. This is good play to get O3 (left wing) involved with dribble-penetration and a pick and roll. But you could end up with a big-little inside post advantage.

Miami
Also run this out of the 3-out, 2-in offense vs man-to-man or zone defenses.

OSU
Run out of the 3-2 set, a good play with several options for O4 and O2.

Ohio
A good play to run when O1 is getting a lot of outside pressure. A back-screen and often a lay-up for O4.

Buckeye
A good play starting with a box set, with a number of options, and often a lay-up for O4 or O5.

Tiger
This play starts in the high post, with a back-cut, staggered screens, a hand-off, and a flex-cut.

Demon
If you've got a guy who can dunk... this is a back-side, alley-oop, high-lob pass and dunk.

Blazer
Run this against man-to-man defense. A back-door screen, cut and lay-up for O1.

Weave-Screen Plays ("W2", "W3", "Back" option, "W4", and "Weave")
These plays can be run out of any motion offense. You get either a 3-point shot or a shot from the free-throw line for either O2 or O3. Or you may get a lay-up with the "Back" option.

Slip Play
A simple screen-the-screener play with a slip option.

32 Option Series ("Option" and "Fist")
Start with a double low-stack, a pass to O2, a hand-off to O1, and a low post ("Fist") option.


Basketball Plays - 4-Out Set Plays

Quick Hitters for the 4-Out Offense ("45", "Wing Entry Ball-screen", "Wing Entry - Left", "Gator", "High", "Runner", "Duke", "Curl and Flare Option", "Flex Option", and "Back-Screen Lob Option")
Start these right out of transition into the 4-out motion offense.

4-Out High Plays ("Topside" and "Counter", "Flash", "Slip", "Swing", "Fist", and weave-screen plays "W2", "W2-back", "W3", "W4")
For these plays, start with the 4-out motion offense with your post player at the high post.
These plays work well against teams that full-front our high post player.

Villanova Coach Jay Wright
Coach Jay Wright

4-Out Low Plays (Big, Big-15, Big-Left, Big-Down, Big-43, Big-Double, Loyola, Loyola-2, 53, 34, 13 and 24, Black, 52-Curl, 14, and Weave-Screen Plays (W2, W2-back, W3, W4), Purdue, Penn, Florida, Double, and Scissors).
For these plays, start with the 4-out motion offense with your post player at the low post.

50-Series ("51", "52", "53", and "54")
A series of several plays that uses your post player as a screener and scorer.

Slice Offense Quick Hitters and BLOBs
Several quick hitter and BLOB plays for the (4-out) slice offense.


Basketball Plays - Horns Plays

Lason Perkins Horns Offense for a very detailed look at the Horns offense with many set plays.

Horns Set Plays ("Bucks", "Loop", "Lynx", "Michigan", "Horns-3", "Horns-5", "Horns-Flare", "Horns Re-screen", "Suns", "Elevator", "Horns-Flex")


Basketball Plays - Swing Offense Plays

Bo Ryan's Swing offense set plays... eight plays for the swing offense.


Basketball Plays - Box-set Plays



Basketball Plays - Double Stack Offense/Plays

Double Stack Offense/Plays ("Double-Stack", "Hi-Lo", "Triple", "Iso-4, Bob Hurley's Stack Options, Bob Hurley's Stack Options, Double-stack Options vs Zone Defense, and Double-stack Baseline Out-of-Bounds Plays)
Run these plays using the low double stack set. M2M, zone and OB plays are included.


Basketball Plays - 1-4 Set Plays

West Coast 1-4 Stack Offense for a very detailed look at the 1-4 offense, including three entries, and 20 set plays.
Run these plays using the 1-4 set offense.

1-4 Set Plays (Geno Auriemma's "Elbow Series", "Bulldog", "Georgetown", "G-town and Back", "Hoyas", "Hoyas-21", "42", "93-Low", "45 Pick and Roll", "41 Pick and Roll", "4-Up", "Lobo", "Aggie", "Illini", "Zip-Loop-Hammer")
Run these plays using the 1-4 set offense.

1-4 Low Set Plays ("Pinball", "Double-Cross", "Scissors", and "Spurs")
Run these plays using the 1-4 low set offense.


Basketball Plays - 1-3-1 Set Plays

1-3-1 Offense Plays ("Motion-1", "Motion-3", "Motion-3", and "Baseline-3")
Run these plays using the 1-3-1 set offense. Good for youth teams.


Basketball Plays - Zone Plays

Having a few plays to counter zone defenses will be helpful.
2-3 Zone Offense Plays ("Carolina", "Zone-1X", "Iowa", "21 and 31", "Indiana", "91", "Corners-52", "45 and 54", "UConn", "Chicago", "Miami", "Vermont", "Special", "Special-Down", "West", X-Screen Lob", "UCLA", "UCLA-22", "Raptors", "Hornets", "Wolf", and "Pacers")
Run these plays against the 2-3 zone defense.

Kansas Zone Plays
Bill Self's zone plays.

Coach Bill Self
Coach Bill Self

4-Out Zone Offense Plays ("Corners-52", "Stack", "Star", "Weak" & "Wing Flash")
Run these plays against against the 2-3 zone defense.

Michigan State Tom Izzo's "Fist-Down" Zone Play
For attacking 2-3 and 3-2 zone defenses.

Gap Attack Zone Play
For attacking 2-3 zone defenses.

Zone-2 offense and plays ("45 and 54", "Zone-2 Back", "Middle cut", "Back with skip pass", "Flex cut")
Run these plays against any 1-guard zone defense (1-2-2, 1-3-1, 3-2), a tightly packed 2-3 zone defense, or the box and 1 defense.

Zone plays for attacking the 1-3-1 zone defense ("4", "45", "22", "24" & "34", "24-Wide" & "34-Wide", and "35")
Run these plays against against the 1-3-1 zone defense.


Basketball Plays - Last-Second Buzzer-Beaters

Having a buzzer-beater play may win you a close game as the clock is running out. Several full-court and half-court plays are included in the links below.
Full-Court Buzzer Beaters ("Maryland", "Split", "Hail Mary" and "Duke")
Only a few seconds left, and you have to go the full length of the court.

Half-Court Buzzer-Beaters ("Warrior-1", Warrior-2" "DePaul", "Chicago", "Pairs", "Stack", "Stack-2","Line-1", "Fran", and "Pistons".)
Seconds left and you are inbounding the ball at half-court.

Last Second Situations by Coach Joao Costa
More last second half-court and full-court baseline and sideline plays.



Basketball Plays - Out-of-Bounds Plays

Have a couple baseline plays that you can run against man-to-man defense and a play or two to run against zone defense. Also, a sideline play comes in handy.

baseline out-of-bounds

Baseline OB Plays vs 2-3 Zone ("Splitter", "23 Stack", "23 Box", "Indiana", "Middle", "Offset", "Missouri", "Kansas-1", "Kansas-2", "Iowa")
Several baseline inbounds plays that you can run against the 2-3 zone defense.

Baseline Stack Plays (Stack 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Stack-Opposite, and Stack-6)
Six stack (or line) inbounds plays vs man-to-man are presented.

Baseline Box Plays ("Box-1", "Box-2", "Box-3", "Box-54", "Box-Wide". "Box-Wide 2", and "Box-Around")
"Box" formation inbounds plays to run against man-to-man defense.

Baseline 4-Low Plays ("Flat", "4-Down", "Wildcat", "Bearcat", "40-3", 40-2", and "Flat-2")
Run these inbounds plays against man-to-man defense, using a 4-across low-stack.

More Pretty Good Baseline Plays ("Wheel", "Wheel and Back", "3-Down", "Down and Back", "Pinball", "3-Across", "Gator", "Hokie", "Cross", "Utah", "Tap Head Series", "Baylor, and "Dallas").
Several other good baseline out-of-bounds plays.

Sideline Plays ("Triangle", "Box-1", "Box-2", "Circle", "Pairs", "Stack", "Kansas", "Line-1", "Line-2", "35", "Runner", "Side-Low", "Side-Box", and "Celtics")
Pick one or two of these sideline plays.



Basketball Plays - Miscellaneous Plays

Tip-Off Play
If you can get the opening tip, run this for a quick score.

3-on-3 Plays
These simple 3-on-3 plays work well not only for your 3-man team (Macker), but are basic things that coaches can incorporate in any motion offense.




  Copyright © 2001 - 2020, James A. Gels, all rights reserved.

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