Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Zone offence
Duke runner basics

See Zone offence - Duke.

Three-guard front, a shooter runs the baseline, look to get full ball reversal (corner to corner).

Here 1 dribble pushes shooter 2 to the corner, 4 steps out top from the high post for ball reversal, 1 will be on the wing (Duke push).


- 4 fills the top from a trailer position
- 4 ballscreens for 1 (see Gator below)
- use a 1-4 entry, see Geno Auriemma, Cuba (with 1 at the top).

Joe Raso - a drag dribble against zone takes a man with you. If you drag the ball to one side, the corner on that side has to be filled, occupying a man (it could be someone running from the other side), and drag the ball so you can reverse it. The high post steps out, reverse it to 3, creating a close-out.

Can be used against most zones, see Atkins Iowa, 5star Iowa, Maryland Women.

Here 1 dribbles to fill the top, 4 pushes shooter 2 down to a corner, and will be on the wing (4-push).
Option - start with a 1-3 dummy pass, 3 squares up, passes back to 1 (see Away and back).
Kirby Schepp - instead of bringing players to the ball, overload one side
then bring the ball to it, the defence doesn't have time to react.

Variation - 4 screens the top of the zone for 1 (with a shooter in the corner), see Duke, Larry Brown ballscreen, Monroe.

1 can use a shallow cut entry, which sets up ball reversal (shown), a ballscreen, or a flash into the middle, see Duke, Geno Auriemma, Shallow cut to ballscreen, Blind, Tactics - Schepp ballscreens.

Here 1 pushed 2 to the corner, and has three short pass options (an overload). Pass fake to the corner, look to pass inside to 5.

2 runs the baseline if 1 passes to 4, or if 2 gets the ball, has no play, and passes back to 1.

Low-post 5 flashes middle if 4 passes to 3 (Randy Sherman).

Against an aggressive zone, optionally 5 can cut high then low as the ball is reversed to 3 (Maryland Women), or stay in the high post until a corner pass (1-3-1 rotation, Clock, 5star high-low), see below.


- 5 stays and crosses the lane only if 3 passes to 2 in the corner (Atkins Iowa, 5star Iowa)
- 5 screens for 2 running the baseline (1-3-1 rotation)
- 1 cuts to the opposite corner, 2 replaces 1 on the wing (China)
- 4 and 5 exchange on ball reversal (Wisconsin X, China).

If 4 passes back to 1, look for a skip pass to 2.

Atkins Iowa - 3 screens the back of the zone.

Lawrence Frank - with the ball in the corner defenders are all in the paint, he likes to get the ball back up top.

On any low-post entry, dive the high post (especially with 4, shown), or have 2 cut to the basket, then keep going.

Mads Olesen - 4 dives on a pass to 5.

Wisconsin - 4 can dive to the basket or hold.

See Wisconsin X, China, Maryland Women.

If overplayed, 4 can ballscreen to help reverse the ball, then get back out top.

See below (Gator, 4-high), also Florida ballscreen 3s, Kermit Davis four high, Geno Auriemma, Atkins high.
Variation - 5 ballscreens, 4 and 3 space away, see below.

4 can move out, opening up a middle drive by 1, or 3 can flash to the high post, and 4 can come ballside.

Option - 3 can flash when 1 or 2 has the ball (wing or corner).

See Overload, Atkins Iowa, Offence - Triangle basics.

On a pass to 4, attack the weakside wing (shown), and 3 can replace 4 out top, or 3 breaks back out to the wing, into the offence (see below).

See Blind, Princeton, Atkins Iowa, also Huggins dive and fill, Larry Brown ballscreen (3 ballscreens for 4).

On a pass to 3, 2 runs the baseline, 5 ducks in then crosses the lane, 1 drops.

Variation - 2 replaces 5.

Option (shown) - 4 spaces weakside, 3 can replace 4 out top.

See Princeton, UConn 13, Dave Odom 1-3-1, Geno Auriemma, Hurley rotation, Huggins dive and fill.

5 can ballscreen on the perimeter, and roll looking for an offensive rebound.

Here 5 screens for 3 on ball reversal, look for 2 filling behind the ballscreen.

This can be a call
Option - 5 pin screens the defender covering the high post, see Izzo arm chop.

Optionally have 5 play in the high post then dive on a corner touch, especially against a 2-3 or attacking zone. Against a passive 1-2-2 zone, keep 5 low, overload the baseline.

Here 4 is the baseline runner, a 3-out 2-in entry set can be used, or just run the trailer through to a corner. 4 can go corner to corner, or stop in the short corners.

See Clock, 1-3-1 rotation, 5star high-low.

Other entries

1) 1-3-1 set

a) Gator

1 dribble clears 2, 4 ballscreens from the high post, look to swing the ball to 2 in the corner.
1 can reject the screen, shoot from behind, split it, turn the corner, 4 can pop.

1 or 4 can fill the top.

See Florida ballscreen 3s, Calipari.

b) Reverse

1 passes to 2, gets a return pass, 2 clears to the opposite corner, 1 passes to 3, creating a 5-player overload (see above).
- 5 screens for 2
- 5 and 4 both start low (3-out 2-in)
- 1 passes directly to 3, 2 cuts to the ballside corner
- 1 passes to 3 and cuts to the ballside corner, 2 replaces 1.
Coach Mac - Overload - 1 passes to 3 and cuts to the ballside corner, 2 replaces 1, 5 and 4 get (or are) ballside. 3's best option is a pass into the high post (put your best passer there).

See Reverse, UConn West Point corner, Overload, Auriemma vs. 1-2-2, Bill Self basic and motion.

Here 4 breaks to the wing on a pass to 1, into the offence.

Variation - use a 1-4 set, see Cuba.

c) Four high

A pass entry to Gator, 1 passes to 3 and pushes 2 to the corner, 4 ballscreens.


- 1 cuts to the weakside corner as the shooter
- use a 1-4 entry set.

See Kermit Davis four high, Geno Auriemma, also Defence - 2-3 Syracuse.

d) Away and back

Bill Self - if the point guard is the best post feeder, have him pass and cut, the high post steps out to reverse the ball then get it back to the point guard in the corner (take the ball away from a shooter, bring it back).


- 1 pushes 2 into the corner
- 1 cuts to the ballside corner.

See Bill Self basic and motion.

2) 4-out 1-in

See Fast breaks - Early dribble-drive screens, Offence - Dribble-drive basics, Fast break - Dribble-drive 5-on-0.

a) Dribble-push

1 waves through 2 on the dribble, reverse the ball.

Mads Olesen - Fresno 4-out push - 1 dribbles right at 2 (dragging the top defender of a 2-3 zone), 2 goes backdoor, 5 ducks in on a pass to 4, swing the ball to 2 for a 3-point shot (or pass inside to 5), or 3 pass fakes to the corner and passes to 5, who is usually open. 4 dives on a pass to 5.

See Florida ballscreen 3s, Kermit Davis 4-high.

b) Gator

Dribble-push, 4 ballscreens from a trail position.

Olesen - Push fist entry - 4 comes over as if to swing the ball but instead ballscreens for 1.

c) Quick

1 passes to 2 and runs through, 2 passes to 4.

(Quick-drag - 4 follows to ballscreen)

Olesen - Push pass entry - run 1 through as the shooter, swing the ball through 4. Reverse the play if 4 is a great shooter.

Billy Donovan - never pass and go away against a zone, it's too easy to match up.

d) Ravens

Dribble-push, 5 picks and rolls.

"Wave" option - 3 screens the bottom of the zone for a pass to 2 (shown).

See Wave sidescreen (5 starts ballside), Pitt 3-out 2-in, Mavs, also Larry Brown dive.

e) Quick-fist

1-2 pass and cut, 5 ballscreens.

Option - 1 can cut to the ballside corner.

See Wave sidescreen (pass entry).up

This page was made with Basketball playbook from Jes-Soft

2007-19 Eric Johannsen coacheric53@gmail.com