Fred Hoiberg's Transition to Early Offense Actions

By Dr. James Gels, From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
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Fred Hoiberg is the Head Men's Coach at the University of Nebraska. He formerly coached at Iowa State University and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA. He had a great playing career with Iowa State, and played for ten years in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Coach Fred Hoiberg

Coach Hoiberg likes to run this basic "drag-screen" action in transition, as an "early offense" attack. This is described in more detail in his DVD "Open Practice: Offensive System".

In diagram 1, after securing the rebound, the wings O2 and O3 run wide to the corners. O4 (or the post who does not get the rebound), "rim runs" to the hoop and eventually to the left block area. O1 receives the outlet pass from O5. Coach Hoiberg wants O1 to have his "butt to the sideline", above the free-throw line extended, when looking for that outlet pass. O1 speed dribbles up the left side, as O5 sprints up as the trailer.

In diagram 2, O5 then sets the "drag-screen" for O1. This screen is set at, or just inside, the 3-point arc.

Fred Hoiberg's Transition offense Fred Hoiberg's Transition offense with drag screen

Diagram 3 shows the drag-screen action. O5 screens for O1 who dribbles around the screen. O4 cuts across the lane, mirroring O1's dribble across. O5 rolls after screening. O3 moves up to the wing. O1 looks to score, or to pass to O4 inside, or to O5 on the roll. If the pass goes to O5 just inside the left elbow (a "pocket pass"), we might have a 2-on-1 situation with O5 and O4 vs one defender inside.

Fred Hoiberg's drag-screen options Fred Hoiberg's drag-screen wing pass Fred Hoiberg's hi-lo options

If the initial screen and roll action is stopped, O1 looks to pass to O3 (diagram 4). O3 could shoot the open shot, or pass to O5 posting up above the block. If O5 is being full-fronted (diagram 5), O4 flashes to the ball-side elbow for the pass from O3. O1 has to move off to the right for spacing. We now have a hi-lo situation, and O4 might be able to hit O5 sealing inside for the lay-up.

Although not actually discussed by Hoiberg, diagram 6 shows a good option if you have a very athletic O4. O4 could pass-fake or shot-fake and dribble-drive for a lay-up, or a kick-out pass to O2 for a 3-point shot.

Fred Hoiberg's drag-screen options Fred Hoiberg's drag-screen wing pass Fred Hoiberg's hi-lo options

Diagram 7 shows the next high-post option, a dribble hand-off, which is difficult to defend. O4 dribbles toward O1 and hands-off to O1. O4 then rolls after the hand-off screen (diagram 8). O2 moves up to the wing. O1 again looks to score, or to pass to O4 on the roll, or to O2 on the wing. Notice that we have continuity here with the same options that we initially had on the left side. O2 could shoot or pass to O4 posting up, or to O5 flashing to the right elbow for the hi-lo option.

Coach Hoiberg likes this very simple drag-screen, early offensive attack with lots of hard to defend options.

See the complete article in the members section.

The complete article also includes:
  • "Hold"
  • "Double Drag Screen"
  • "Double Pin-Down"

See this video clip from Coach Hoiberg's DVD: