Basketball Pattern OffensesBy Dr. James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
- Flex Offense
- Wisconsin Swing Offense
- Misc Patterned Offenses (Shuffle, Triple Post, CMU Wheel, Youth Swing)
- 2-3 Patterned Offenses
Patterned offenses require players to run a specified pattern of movement, screens, cuts, passing, etc. There is continuity, or continuous flow from side to side. The Flex and Shuffle offenses are examples.
Teams that don't have strong inside post players may like these offenses (especially the Shuffle), as the players interchange positions. This can lead to defensive mis-matches and easy baskets. Counters and options are necessary to confuse the defense, as otherwise the offense becomes too predictable.
In running set patterns, young players might not learn to read defenses. In addition, a fair amount of practice time may be needed to learn these offenses.
Flex OffenseThe "Flex" is patterned offense featuring passing, screening, ball-reversal, options and counters. This offense is most effective against man-to-man defenses. Most scoring opportunities come off the "flex cut" inside, or a jump-shot from the elbows.
You can run various options, counters, post plays, etc. Size mis-matches often occur due to the screening and defensive switching. A "High Flex" delay offense, a "5-Out Flex offense", and the "Thunder" offense are variations of the Flex. The Thunder offense can be used with youth teams.
Wisconsin Swing OffenseLegendary former Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan's offense is a 4-out patterned offense that has continuity. All five players are interchangeable, and spacing, screening, cutting and good passing are paramount. The offense is deliberate, often with multiple passes and places value on each possession with high percentage inside shots, or free-throws. It combines elements of the UCLA offense, the flex, and the triangle offense.
Coach Bo Ryan
Misc Patterned Offenses
Coach Dean Smith
- Shuffle Offense
Detailed offense from legendary coach Dean Smith. All 5 players rotate in each of the five shuffle positions. There is continuity, counters and options.
- T-Game Triple-Post Offense
T-game offense also from coach Dean Smith, is a power inside game for a team with good post players. Easy to learn.
- CMU Wheel Offense
This patterned continuity offense gets players moving for lay-ups and good shots. There are counters and options.
- Youth Swing Offense
Good for youth teams, this is a simple pass, cut, and fill offense that offers a variety of counter options.
2-3 Patterned Offenses
- 2-3 High Patterned Offense
This offense takes the opponent's post defenders away from the basket. It looks a little like the Princeton, but with a pattern and continuity. Scoring options come off screens, open cutters, and counters.
- 2-3 Man Offense
A deliberate, tempo-control offense that looks for high-percentage inside shots, post-moves, lay-ups, free-throws, offensive rebounds. Two basic patterns - "2-3 Low" offense and "2-3 High" offense, both with continuity.
- Michigan-Style 2-Guard Offense
From Coach Tom Jicha, this is a read and react, perimeter-based, patterned offense that also allows for free-lance motion. There are three sets ("chin", "motion" and "shuffle"), which easily flow into one another.