Watch the back door, watch the back door, watch the back door!!!!! Oh man, they just got us again on a back door cut. How does this keep happening? Let's just lay off them and take away the back door cuts and then they will be stuck. Now they are hitting 3-pointers too! I never want to play against that Princeton Offense again.
Pretty sure a lot of college coaches had these thoughts going through their heads against this offense. Just ask Jim Harrick after his 1996 defending National Champion UCLA Bruins team lost in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament to Princeton.
Don't believe me?
click here--> to watch Prineton back door to beat UCLA this just shows the end of the game cut
click here--> to watch Princeton upsets UCLA quick documentary on the back door cut to beat UCLA.
Go to 2:25. "They know what was coming. It was either going to be a back door cut or a 3-point shot. They just didn't know where it was coming from. Then all of a sudden, Boom!" They just couldn't stop it!
Check below to see a back door cut sequence from a 2011 Northwestern vs. Indiana game and then a break down of the Princeton Offense. I hope this provides you with some good ideas!
I believe the back door cut is something you can start teaching at the youth level. It is teaching kids to play basketball and is a fundamental part of the game. Sort of like the pick and roll or man to man defense.
1. Put the players into two lines. One line on the wing and one line at half court in the middle of the floor. The ball will start at half court.
2. Have the player at half court dribble at the wing player. The wing player should take a couple of steps to the ball and yell "ball" (believe it or not this does help sell the back door), then they should quickly cut to the basket receiving a BOUNCE pass from the ball handler.
3. It is important to make a bounce pass so you can fit the pass in between players. Also, it is more difficult to steal a good bounce pass on this cut. Lob passes are definitely out and a chest pass will give the defense an opportunity to get their hands on the ball.
As you become more advanced you can add in back screens and other types of back door cuts.
What if the back door cut is not there?
This is the difficult part about a read and react offense at the youth level. Players would have to adjust if the defender is laying back to take away the back door.
In most cases the offensive player would actually come around to receive a dribble hand off from the ball handler. Once receiving the dribble hand off they can either drive to the basket, look for another player on a back door cut, or most likely shoot a 3-pointer off the hand off.
The difficult part is the fact that you are putting a lot of ownership on the players to make the right decisions. It takes a lot of repetitions to get it correct. This is something you have to work on every single day in practice. Running a read and react offense (Princeton Offense, Dribble Drive, etc.....) is similar to a zone read offense in football (hope we have some football coaches reading). The Princeton offense can be a very effective, because the decisions are made based on the defense. However, the players have to make good choices. Oh yeah, you probably want to have a good zone offense too since teams may start to play zone against you.
I am not going to dive into the read and react offense like I did with the basic motion or the flex offense due to its complexities, but feel free to contact me if you would like to know more information. We run this type of offense at Hamilton-Wenham. Can't give away too many of our secrets.....
The Princeton offense is a read and react offense that has a lot of intricate details. The offense we run at Hamilton-Wenham is a hybrid version of this offense and has worked great for our team. There are several good books and videos if you would like to learn more about this offense. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
I hope everyone had a good summer......
Always remember......Hard work beats talent, if talent fails to work hard!