Newsletter #257

January 18, 2023


Today's Quote:   "I always mean what I say, but I don’t always say what I’m thinking." - Dean Smith

Today's Theme... the Flexible "Runner" Offense

Our "Runner" offense can be used against zone defenses that feature a one-guard defensive front (1-2-2, 1-3-1 zones). We have also successfully used it against the 2-3 zone, the box and 1 defense, packline defenses, and even man-to-man defense. There are a number of good options and counters.

Use this if you have a good shooting guard who can get open using inside, baseline screens.  O4 and O5 are on the blocks (or just above), and O1 and O3 are on top in a two-guard front. O2 runs the baseline, usually to the ballside, using screens from O5 and O4, cutting out to either corner. He/she could also start the baseline cut, and quickly V-cut back to the original corner for a skip-pass from the opposite guard. 

O1 and O3 look to pass to O2 for a corner 3-point shot. The defense might get caught up in watching O2 and forget O4 and O5. After O2 runs off a screen, the screener (either O4 or O5) "shapes-up" to the ball for a quick hi-lo pass from the top. This is often open after O2 makes a couple from the corner.

Runner offense

If the defense denies the top pass from O1 to O3 or vice-versa, counter with a dribble over and shallow cut (diagram 22).

Runner shallow

O2 could also pass to O4 posting up, or to O5 who has flashed to the ballside elbow. If O4 is being fronted by the defender, he/she seals the defender and should be open for a quick pass from O5.

Runner flash high

If O4 gets the pass from O2, O5 dives to the opposite block for a quick pass from O4. Optionally, O5 could stay at the weakside block, get a cross-screen from O4, and then cut to the ballside block for the pass from O2 and shot.

Another pointer - the middle of the paint is often open when the ball is on the top. The opposite low post player can "flash and go back". If O1 has the ball, O5 flashes into the middle of the paint for the pass from O1, and the shot. If not there, O5 retreats back to the opposite block.

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