Part IV: The Basics

This entry is part 4 of 12 in the series R&R Intro

Let’s talk about some of the basics of this offensive style of play. Players can start in a 5-out, 4-out 1-in, or 3-out 2-in alignments.  The 3-out and 5-out alignments use the same spots for player landmarks.  The spots in a 4 out are very similar except that the top spot is split into two. As a result, in a traditional 4-out set, there are 6 possible spots in the offense. The adjustment to the 4 out spots from a 5 out alignment is not difficult with proper repetition. Some coaches use the 5 out spots in a 4 out alignment to simplify the teaching. There are advantages to both methods. I prefer using the traditional 4 out spots.

Each of these perimeter spots is at least 1 step and at most 3 steps behind the college 3-point line. Successful execution of all of the layers of the offense requires that players work from these areas.

In order to streamline the implementation of the Read & React Offense, the teaching progression and all drills assume a 5 out configuration initially. Your team may use a 3 out 2 in or 4 out 1 in as its primary set. Once players understand the offense from a 5 out configuration, the adjustments to a 4 out 1 in or 3 out 2 in set are fairly minor.

The layers of the offense have been organized into 5 groups.

  1. Dribbling Layers
    1. Attack Dribble (Circle Movement and Baseline Drive)
    2. Post Slides Basic
    3. Dribble At
    4. Power Dribble**
    5. Circle Reverse**
    6. Post Slides Advanced (Circle Movement)**
  2. Passing Layers
    1. Pass, Cut & Fill (One Pass Away, Read Line, Skip Pass)
    2. Post Pass Basic (Laker Cuts)
    3. Zone Adjustment (Hook & Look)*
    4. Post Pass Advanced (Relocate, X-Cut)**
  3. Next Best Actions
    1. Posting Up
    2. Back Screens*
    3. Multiple Screens**
    4. Corners**
    5. Pin & Skip*
  4. Post Screening Actions
    1. Ball Screens*
    2. Weak Side Off Ball Screens (Pin Screens)*
    3. Ball Side Off Ball Screens*
  5. Team Concepts
    1. Transition**
    2. Press Break**
    3. Changing Alignments**

The asterisks (*) denote “advanced layers.” The double asterisks (**) are high level layers. The basic dribbling and passing layers must be taught to all players. They must also be taught before the other layers are taught.

Some of the layers apply only to perimeter players.  These are colored in GREEN Other layers require a combination of post and perimeter player interaction. These are colored in BLUE. The last group of actions is team concepts that integrate each of the other layers.

Perimeter players are players who are on the perimeter when an action occurs, not just “guards.”  Post players are players who are in the lane when the action occurs, not just “post players.”

Any player could be on the perimeter or in the post at any given time.  A player’s role can change from one to the other in a matter of a couple seconds. It is important that all players are able to react from either position. Players will be taught to react properly from perimeter positions first. Then they will be taught how to react from the post.

Foundational layers are layers that are necessary to execute offense. Each of them is predicated on the action of the ball handler.  While some of the supplemental layers are dictated by the action of the ball handler, players without the ball initiate some of the supplemental layers. The fundamental layers will be taught in the following order.

  1. Attack Dribble (Circle Movement & Baseline Drive Adjustment)
  2. Post Slides (Basic)
  3. Dribble-At
  4. Pass, Cut, & Fill (One Pass Away, Read Line, Skip Pass)
  5. Post Pass Basic (Laker Cuts)

From here, the Next Best Action layers can be implemented in any order the coach desires.  If the team is going to play with at least 1 post, the post screening actions can be introduced now as well.

The basic layers are required for a complete workable offense.  Youth teams may not get very far past those layers. However, once those layers are mastered, they will be able to progress to other layers. The advanced layers and high level layers are not requirements, but they should be added as the basic layers have been mastered.

The team concepts are not required either. There are numerous ways for teams to get into movement of the offense. Teams can start with very basic strategies.  The configuration of the offense may change from possession to possession or even within a single possession without the team even realizing it.  Regardless of the configuration, it is critical that players maintain good spacing. Initially, players should strive to play from the predetermined spots, so that proper spacing will be achieved. As players become more accustomed to proper spacing, operating from each of the “spots” is less critical as long as proper spacing is maintained.

You got the WHOLE. Time for a few of the PARTS. “The Breakdown” is next.

Series Navigation<< Part III: Importance of FundamentalsPart V: The Breakdown >>

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