Part I: Keep it simple: Selecting and implementing an offensive system
June 2nd-June 8th
Part II: Basic Motion Offense (pass and screen away)
June 9th-June 15th
Part III: The "Flex" Offense
June 18th-June 22nd
Part IV: Princeton "Back Door" Offense
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POST COMMENTS WITH ANY QUESTIONS!
Just under 4 minutes remain in the 4th quarter and you are pacing up and down the sideline trying to figure out the right play to call. Sweat is pouring down the side of your face because you know every possession matters. The game is tied and you are playing your cross town rival for bragging rights. Do you feel the pressure?
What play should you call? The sweat keeps pouring down your face as you watch your team turn the ball over, take a bad shot, and then your opponent comes down and gets an easy lay up. 2 minutes are left in the game and your team is struggling to score, but still only down 2 points. You know that you can't keep getting stops on defense and throwing up bad shots or turning the ball over to your opponent on offense.
Your team sits down in front of you and is waiting for you to draw something on the white board. The only thing you are drawing is a blank because you can't think of the right play to diagram! WHY?
WHAT DO I RECOMMEND IN THIS SITUATION?
I would run the offensive system I have implemented from the 1st day of practice and might even try one of the options off of it. In a crucial spot it usually helps to run something the players are comfortable with and have practiced over and over again. I will demonstrate this in the 4th part of this blog series when I breakdown the Princeton offense. Princeton used the back door cut to devastating effectiveness in the crunch time of games.
Whenever you see a team run a play at the end of a game It is important for you to understand that they have practiced it many times before executing the play in a game. Very rarely, if ever, is a winning play drawn off the cuff. Coaches definitely make adjustments, but this is different from drawing a play in the sand. This is something I can discuss in a later blog.
WHAT SYSTEM IS RIGHT FOR YOUR TEAM?
You have to make that decision as a coach. I say keep it simple. As in, select an offense, or at least an offensive philosophy, and stick to it. I personally recommend having a system, but that is your choice and not mine. Your players will become familiar with your system and nearly perfect it by the end of the season. If you are a high school coach, then by the 2nd or 3rd year of implementation it will get easier and easier to teach. You can have the freshman, JV, and varsity teams all running the same system. We do this at Hamilton-Wenham.
WHAT ARE SOME POPULAR SYSTEMS YOU CAN RUN WITH YOUR TEAM?
I will talk about a few of the offenses in my next three blog posts. Below I gave a brief description of the offense followed by the dates it will be posted. Make sure you check back for each of the parts. Here are the offenses that will be discussed:
- Basic Motion Offense (pass and screen away) First, I will describe the basic pass and screen away motion offense. Don't laugh, I have seen teams run it with success in high school. It is all about execution and using screens properly. This can be great for youth teams. Week of June 2nd-8th
- Flex Offense Second, I will discuss the "Flex" offense and some of the benefits of running it. The flex is used by high schools and even some college teams. It is predicated on the "flex" cut and having constant motion. This can also be used at the youth level, but probably for upper level teams. Week of June 9th-15th
- Princeton "Back Door" Offense Finally, the Princeton offense, (thanks Pete Carril) which has been a staple in basketball for many years will be discussed. The Princeton offense is used by some high schools, but mostly at the college level. In fact, several new offenses, including Dribble Drive, have aspects of the Princeton offense incorporated into their sets. You can teach youth players to back door cut, but the "read and react" parts of the offense are best for high school and college teams. Week of June 16th-22nd
To be honest, I do not currently run any of these offenses, but have seen teams run them with success at either the youth, high school, college, or at all levels. Recently, a boys program in Mass went to the state finals running the flex offense. Trust me, they all work, if implemented properly, but that is up to you coach!
HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS SYSTEM WORK?
One word: PRACTICE!
Any system you want to implement requires practice. I will go over some of the details of each system and provide you with suggestions on how to break each down in practice. We make sure to break our offense down into drills in practice every day. Sometimes the drills are with 2, 3, or even 4 players before we work the offense in with all 5 on the court at the same time. You have to perfect the nuances of the offense before you can run it at full speed. I'll talk more about this in my next couple of posts.
WHAT DO WE RUN AT HAMILTON-WENHAM?
I won't go into any specific details on our offense at Hamilton-Wenham. However, I can tell you that it is a hybrid of a very popular offense. We shoot a lot of 3's, love to attack the basket, and we do a lot of dribble driving! If you want to see it in action, then come to a game next year!
I figure I have to keep some of my secrets, otherwise YOU might take my job!
Remember, Hard work beats talent, if talent fails to work hard!