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Basketball Set Offenses

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

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Set offenses start in a predefined formation, or set. From the starting set, plays, options, and patterns can be run.


1-4 Stack Offense

The 1-4 stack offense is set high at the free-throw line extended with both post players at the elbows. This opens up the space underneath the basket for back-cuts and dribble-penetration.

1-4 offense

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Horns Offense/Set

The Horns offense/set features double high post players ("horns") and 2 perimeter players in the corners. Discussed are the basics of the offense with many set plays.

Horns Offense

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Tom Izzo
Coach Tom Izzo

More Set Offenses

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Box-Set Offense

This offense starts in a box set with 2 players at the blocks and 2 at the elbows.



1-3-1 Offense

A simple easy set to learn with good spacing, a high post and low post presence, and a good choice for youth and middle school teams.

For attacking man-to-man defense, several simple motion patterns are presented below, and a few simple plays are referenced. Additionally, the 1-3-1 set works well against the most common zone you will see, the 2-3 zone defense.

1-3-1 motion offense, Motion 1

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