Newsletter #225

October 27, 2021

Today's Quote:   "Basketball is like war in that offensive weapons are developed first, and it always takes a while for the defense to catch up." - Red Auerbach



Today's Theme:  the Horns Set and Plays

The Horns set is widely used at all levels - NBA/WNBA, collegiate, and high school.  The basic set (below) has both post players lifted up near the 3-point arc (the "horns"), with the point guard on top and two shooters deep in the corners. This allows for good spacing, and takes the defense's big shot blockers away from the hoop. Screening, cutting, dribble-drive, pick and roll, etc are all options.  You get shots for your best shooters, and your best post player. Horns works well from transition, and is easy to get into right off an inbounds situation.

Horns set

Refer to these pages for details and many plays:
The Horns Offense
Plays That Use the Horns Set

Here are a few Horns plays.


Diagram R. Starting in the Horns set, both posts O4 and O5 down-screen for the guards O2 and O3. The guards read their defenders and either cut over the screen, curl inside (defender trailing), or fade outside (defender goes under the screen). In diagram R, O2 curls around the screen inside as the X2 defender is trailing around the screen. O3's defender (X3) goes under the screen, so O3 fades to the outside for a 3-point shot.

Horns Floppy

Floppy Slip

The screeners O4 and O5 also have to read the defenders. In diagram S, the X5 defender jumps out and denies O3's cut over the screen. O5 reads this switch and slips the screen, cutting to the hoop for the pass from O1, and the lay-up.

Horns Floppy Slip

Floppy Cross

Diagram T. Here the guards O2 and O3 cross underneath, and cut around the screens from the post players O5 and O4. It's important for the post players to set their screens "up the lane and off the lane" at a good angle for the cutters, and also so that either O4 or O5 can slip the screen for the inside pass. O1 could pass to either cutter O2 or O3, or to either post player slipping inside.

Horns Floppy Cross


This play is for your post player O5.  Starting in the Horns set (diagram PP8), O1 dribbles toward the right sideline. O5 down-screens for O3, and O3 cuts to the top and gets the pass from O1. Meanwhile O2 and O4 move inside, and then set a double screen for O5 (diagram PP9). O3 dribbles left for a better passing angle and passes to O5 cutting under the inside double screen.

Horns Floppy Double

Horns Floppy Double


Coach's Clipboard Premium Membership - join today! Immediate online access, comprehensive downloadable playbook included with offenses, defenses, plays, drills, coaching and player tips, animated diagrams, video clips, mobile-ready, pdfs for print-outs, and more! More info...
Coaches... get a group membership (deeply discounted) for all your coaches!

Coach's Clipboard Premium Membership

Put in a new offense or defense this season.
Run a special inbounds or buzzer-beater play and look like a genius!
Use a special defense to shutdown a star player.
Teach your team how to break a press.

Email your comments or suggestions.

Coach's Clipboard, US copyright, 2021, James A. Gels

Coach's Clipboard, Box 126, Charlevoix, MI 49720

facebook linkedIn linkedIn