Before deciding on a primary or secondary fast break, coaches need to decide on which players, if any, are interchangeable after a made basket (inbounds situation) and on a defensive rebound.
- Billy Donovan - they don't really play out of a secondary break, they flow right into offence without stopping.
A "numbered" fast break is simplest, make or miss, every player has an assigned role all the time - point guard 1, inbounder/trailer 4, right and left wing 2-3, and rim runner 5. On a miss, 1 gets his butt to the ballside sideline for an outlet pass, 2-3-5 run their lanes even if they rebound then outlet, 4 trails.
- Jerry Petitgoue - if 1 rebounds he pushes it.
- Grinnell - the rebounder becomes the point guard until it's comfortable to get the ball to the point guard.
The first adjustment is that 4-5 are interchangeable if 5 gets a defensive rebound, i.e., 4 rim runs and 5 trails.
- Petitgoue - if 5 gets a defensive rebound, 4 runs.
- Andy Enfield - 5 runs to the basket every time, even if he gets the rebound; if 4 is the first big, he exits to either side on the baseline.
After that, there is a range of options for interchangeable players.
After a Made Basket
- Besides 4, who can inbound the ball?
- either 4 or 1 (Mads Olesen, with dribble-drive)
- the closest big (Larry Brown, Memphis, North Carolina)
- the closest player, it could be the point guard (Phoenix Suns)
- the closest player inbounds, to the point guard for youth teams, to any player for older teams (Coach Mac).
- The wings are interchangeable (Memphis, Phoenix).
- There is no first big, use 5-out spacing (Away).
- John Leonzo (two-side break) - 5 inbounds and trails for 5-out spacing, keeping the paint open for 1.
On a Defensive Rebound
- 4 and 5 are interchangeable (Mike Brown, Memphis, Petitgoue)
- if a big rebounds the other big rim runs (5star)
- 4 and 5 are interchangeable except after a made basket (Petitgoue)
- pre-designate with 4 and 5 who is rim runner and trailer if a wing gets a defensive rebound (Bradley)
- North Carolina - 4 and 5 rebound, the rebounder will outlet or inbound, the other big runs the floor. If one big is a good shooter and the other a great low-post guy, they run but
- the shooter can slow and the other big runs right past him, they go to their comfort zones, or
- the shooter runs and posts, then the other big comes down and screens for him to switch spots.
- if 5 rebounds and first-post 4 is not a post-up guy, 5 runs into a pick and roll with 1, 4 replaces (Donovan)
- dive the post matchup, the first post can backscreen him into the post (Carleton Ravens)
- Leonzo - if 5 rebounds there is no early rim run.
- 2 and 3 are interchangeable (New Jersey Nets, Bradley, Enfield)
- 1-2-3 are interchangeable (Spurs, North Carolina, Mike Brown)
- 1-2-3 can get an outlet pass (Mavericks)
- if a perimeter player rebounds he pushes it upcourt (5star)
- Bradley has a three-guard system, so if 2 or 3 gets a defensive rebound, he pushes the ball and 1 takes his spot
- if 2 or 3 rebounds, 4 takes the 2 or 3 spot (Petitgoue).
- if 2 or 3 is a handler and rebounds, act as the primary ballhandler (be your own outlet), 1 takes their place (Matt Hackenberg)
- 1-2-3-4 are interchangeable
- start the break with 1 through 4, it doesn't matter who brings the ball up the floor (Donovan).
- Leonzo - two point guards are interchangeable, either can get an outlet or rebound and push the ball.
- Jeff Haefner - he doesn't assign youth players to positions, when they get possession of the ball, whoever is closest to each position fills that role. Players are assigned positions for the high-school varsity team.
- David Faucher - if everyone can handle the ball reasonably well, whoever rebounds the ball is the point guard.
Some teams like to cross-grain the ball in the backcourt (New Jersey Nets, North Carolina) or as the ball crosses halfcourt (Enfield), with the point guard and trailer changing sides.