Advanced Plays for the 3-Out Motion Offense

By Dr. James Gels, From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
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First read "Motion Offense Principles" and 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense. Here are several plays to use with the 3-2 motion offense. Also see these simple 3-2 plays for youth teams. Like most plays, these plays can also be adapted to other set offenses. Below are links with more plays that can be run with the 3-2 offense.

3-out, 2-In Motion Plays


"Kentucky-2" and "Kentucky-3" are the same play with the K-2 run to the right and K-3 run to the left.


This play usually gets our best shooter O2 an open 3-pointer. The play starts with a weave screen with O1 dribbling toward O2 (diagram A), handing off and screening for O2. Meanwhile, O5 cuts up to the weakside arc. O3 initially slides toward the corner (for spacing) but eventually moves back outside.

O2 dribbles toward the point (diagram B) and passes to O5. To get good spacing, it is important for O2 to dribble high to the top, even with the lane line. O4 back-screens for O1 who cuts around the screen, eventually out to the opposite corner. O5 could pass to O1 inside as our first option. After screening for O1, O4 flare-screens for O2.

basketball play Kentucky-2 basketball play Kentucky-2 basketball play Kentucky-2

O2 cuts over the flare-screen to the wing-corner area (diagram C). O5 skip-passes (usually a two-handed overhead pass) "over the top" to O2. After screening for O2, O4 rolls to the ball-side low post. O2 has the option of shooting the 3-pointer, or passing inside to O4 posting up. If the pass to O2 is denied, then O4 posts up inside and O5 looks for the "hi-lo" pass to O4. Notice the weakside rotation after O5 passes to O2. O5 drops to the elbow, O3 rotates to the point and O1 fills the left wing.

Another option is the "slip". After O2 makes a couple of 3's, the defense may switch the O4-on-O2 flare-screen. When the defense switches, O4 slips the screen, and cuts hard to the hoop for the pass from O5.


This is the same as "Kentucky-2" except to the left side. O1 dribbles left (diagram D), hands off to and screens for O3. O3 dribbles toward the top and passes to O4 who has moved out on top. O5 back-screens for O1 and flare-screens for O3 (diagram E). O4 looks for O1 cutting inside, or for the over-the-top pass to O3. After screening for O3, O5 cuts to the ballside block. O5 could get the pass from either O3, or directly from O4 ("slip" option) if the defense switches the O5-on-O3 flare-screen (diagram F).

basketball play Kentucky-3 basketball play Kentucky-3 basketball play Kentucky-3


O1 starts a little left of center (lane line extended) and O2 goes to the corner (diagram A). O4 cuts up the lane line to the arc. O1 passes to O4 and then O1 down-screens for O5. O5 curls around O1's screen, and O4 looks to pass to O5 for the lay-up as our first option (diagram B). O5 tries to score, but if the X2 helpside defender drops inside, O5 passes out to O2 in the corner for a 3-pointer.

Let's back up... if the pass to O5 is not there, O3 down-screens for O1 and O4 passes to O1. O1 could shoot the 3-pointer, or look for O5 posting up. Notice in diagram D that O3, after screening for O1, next screens for O5. O5 cuts to the ball-side block to post-up.

basketball play, MSU basketball play, MSU basketball play, MSU

After O5 cuts around O3's screen, O4 down-screens for O3 and goes to the right block (diagram E). O3 cuts around O4's screen to the point for the pass from O1 and the 3-point shot.

Alternately, if you have an athletic O4, instead of O4 down-screening for O3, have O3 back-screen for O4 (diagram F). O4 cuts around the back-screen for the lob pass ("alley-oop") from O1. After screening, O3 pops out to the point. When running this last option, O5 moves to the short corner, which takes the X5 defender outside. This keeps the inside from getting clogged with defenders. In either case, notice that we are back in our 3-out, 2-in set (but with O3 on top).

basketball play, MSU basketball play, MSU basketball play, MSU


Here's a play to get your left wing O3 involved with ball-screening action. This play starts like a "Weave-Screen" play with a dribble hand-off screen from O1 to O3 (diagram A). O2 goes to the corner for spacing and a possible kick-out pass. O5 and O4 move up and set a staggered double-screen for O3.

In diagram B, once O3 dribbles around O4's screen, we have a pick and roll with O4 sealing and rolling to the hoop. If the defense switches the pick and roll (diagram C), O3 passes back out to O5. O4 will probably have a small defender on him/her. O5 makes the "hi-lo" pass to O4.

As another option, if the X2 defender drops inside to help, O3 could pass to O2 in the corner for a 3-pointer.

Basketball play diagrams - Texas Basketball play diagrams - Texas Basketball play diagrams - Texas


This play starts off as a simple screen-the-screener play with a "slip" option... (more)


This play gives us several options... an open shot for O2 or O4, or a post up with O5... (more)


This is a good play with several options. We run this play against teams that full-front our low post. It also works well when the opponent does not come off our best shooter, O2, to give help... (more)


We run this play from the high-post. O4 cuts up to the free-throw line and receives the pass from O1... (more in the members section)

See the complete article in the members section.

The complete article also includes:
  • Slip
  • Wisconsin
  • OSU
  • Tiger
  • and links to a number of additional Coach's Clipboard plays that can be used with the 3-out, 2-in motion offense.