Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

5-out youth motion

This is a summary of a step-wise 5-out youth motion offence, for more detail, see open-post offences Perkins, Petitgoue, Huggins, Passing game, and Youth. The essence of motion is pass then move. Steps are:

1) dribble penetration
2) basket cut
3) backdoor cut
4) dribble-at
5) screen away
6) ballscreen
7) handback
8) post-up

For spacing, player positions are outside the 3-point line at the point (top of the key), wings, and corners (or short corners, halfway between the basket and each sideline).

Players are basically interchangeable after the first pass. When you get the ball, square to the basket in triple threat and hold for at least a one-count to read the action.

Open-post offence can start with a traditional fast break where 2 and 3 run wide and 5 (or the first big) runs to the rim.

Two players should be designated to inbound and bring up the ball after the other team scores, e.g., 4 and 1. They can alternate roles.

Another option to share the point-guard position (with the right players) is that any defensive rebounder brings the ball up, 4 (or 1) fills the open spot.

Variation - 1-2-3 can bring the ball up on a defensive rebound, 4 and 5 outlet to 1 if they rebound.

David Faucher - you can change positions to give everyone a chance to handle the ball. If everyone can handle the ball reasonably well, whoever rebounds the ball is the point guard.

2 bounces off the baseline to the right wing, 5 replaces 2 in the corner, optionally trailer 4 sets a wide pin-down screen for 3 to pop to the left wing (shown).

Instead of running to the rim then to the corner, optionally 5 could run upcourt and pin-down for 2 (e.g., if he did not get ahead on the fast break), see Offence - Perkins open-post.

1) Dribble penetration

Good spacing with an open post leads to dribble penetration, especially if the defence gets in the passing lanes to deny passes. Teammates of a driver should move on penetration to create passing angles and make it hard for off-ball defenders to help and recover. See Tactics - 5-out youth drive and kick for ways to give young players short passing options, including a bail-out pass behind.

A cut that is made toward the basket creates space for another cut or a drive. Here a quick drive by 2 takes away 1's ability to be a cutter after passing, he should see that.

Dave Leitao - if you are in the middle of a cut, try to get to spots on a drive, if two guys are going to the same spot, just talk.

Rick Torbett - if you are in the lane when the ball is being driven to the basket, go to a short corner if the ball enters the lane above you, or to an elbow if the ball is below you.

Faucher - if the other team is denying or intercepting passes, encourage ballhandlers to drive to the basket.

Jerry Petitgoue - anytime you can drive to the basket, do it.

Hal Wissel - draw and kick is best used from the wing after the ball has been swung from the other side. You can swing the ball more easily if you keep it off the baseline.

Patrick Hunt - ball reversal forces close-outs to contest shots and stop penetration, which is hard to do at the same time.

John Tauer - the only way to get defenders closing out (so you can play advantage basketball) is by drive and kick or reversing the ball. Drive baseline (death valley) only if there is a lane to the hoop.up

2) Basket cut

After you make a pass, speed cut to the basket (give-and-go), then space out and up. Players fill vacated spots, starting with the spot closest to the ball. You can dribble to shorten a pass.

On a pass from the top to a wing, basket cut and go out the other side.

Here 1 makes a backcut or face cut (if his defender doesn't jump to the ball), showing a target hand, then spaces out weakside, always seeing the ball  (drop step at the rim and back out).

3 fill cuts across the foul line, then pops out top for a pass, 4 fills behind 3, and 1 replaces 4 in the corner.

3 goes backdoor if denied, following behind 1 (a double cut, see Petitgoue open-post Revolve).

Lason Perkins - 3 cuts to the "read spot" at the middle of the foul line and pops out towards the ball (not to the top of the key), shortening the pass. You can adopt a cutter rule for a poor ballhandler, he always cuts to the basket from the read spot.
Tauer - look at the cutter, if he's open first pass fake to the fill guy, if he's not open, pass fake to him, hit the fill guy. Catch and pass fake (or shot fake) every time (or it's a turnover in practice). Never jump pass or one-hand pass. Players can't stand after passing, they can take one hard step and self-replace.

On a pass from a wing to the corner, basket cut and go out the other side.

Here 2 cuts through and is replaced by 3, 4 and 1 fill behind.

Because 3 is filling the spot closest to the ball, he combines his fill cut with a lead for the ball (a v-cut).

Progression - corner player 5 can immediately dribble out to the wing and be replaced by cutter 2.

Bob Huggins - use the corner every once in a while, drag a defender out.

On a pass from a corner to the wing, basket cut and replace yourself (the only open spot).

Perkins - 1 and 2 exchange on the weakside.

On a pass from a wing to the top, basket cut and come out the same side.

3 basket cuts, 5 fills the wing, 3 replaces 5 in the corner.

3) Backdoor cut

Backdoor cut any time you are denied and the ballhandler is looking at you. Other players fill cut as needed.

Progression - backcut if the ballhandler makes a pass fake at you.

Here 1 backcuts, 2 fills, 1 replaces 2 in the corner (the pattern is the same if 1 passes to 4 then basket cuts).

Huggins - if a big can't handle the ball outside, you don't have to pass to him, pass fake to backcut.

Here both 1 and 4 backcut on denial.up

4) Dribble-at

If the ballhandler dribbles towards your defender, get a handoff (shown), or go backdoor if your defender takes away the handoff. The player who makes a handoff can then pop or roll to the basket.

Hunt - the player making the handoff should have one hand on top of the ball and the other hand on the bottom.

John Carrier - the dribbler can set a Euro screen, jump stop and pivot 180 degrees to set a butt screen for the player getting the hand-off.

5) Screen away

Except on a pass out of the corner, screen away after passing, instead of cutting to the basket. The cutter curls to the basket, the screener comes back where he started.

Here 1 passes to 2 and screens away for 3, who curls the screen to the basket. 1 comes back to the ball, 4 fills behind 3, 3 replaces 4 in the corner.


- take what the defence gives you, 1 screens away if his defender jumps to the ball to take away a basket cut
- the cutter can reject the screen and backcut to the basket if his defender goes over the screen early.

Huggins - the cutter always goes to the basket (curl or backcut), the screener comes back to the ball, 2 has to have someone to pass to. Have shooters screen for non-shooters, non-shooters backcut [or basket cut], they don't screen.

Wissel - the elbow curl (shown here) is best used when a smaller player sets a screen for a bigger player.

Petitgoue, Perkins - pass and cut against pressure defence, pass and screen away against sagging defence.
Tauer - the cutter goes opposite his defender (curl if he trails, flare if he goes under, backcut if he denies), the screener goes opposite the cutter. Read your defender before looking for the ball.

From the wing, screen for the corner or the top.

Here 2 passes to 1 and screens for 5, who curls then pops back to the corner, 2 comes back to the ball.

Wissel - at the baseline position, look to set up your defender to use a downscreen.

Faucher - give and go (or ballscreen) from point to wing or wing to corner.
Ian MacKinnon - horseshoe offence - give and go on a pass towards the basket (point to wing or wing to corner), screen for the corner on a wing to point pass (away from the basket)..

Here 2 passes to 5, screens for 1, and steps back to the ball. 1 curls the screen, 4 and 3 fill cut, 1 goes to the corner.

If defenders switch on screens, the screener will be open coming back to the ball, or he can slip to the basket before screening, or set a screen on his own defender to free up the cutter (see Huggins open-post for another option, a switch cut).

See Offence - 4-out 1-in motion for more on screening tactics.

On a pass out of the corner, the passer basket cuts and self replaces, there is no screening action.

Option - to set up using a downscreen, don't basket cut on a pass out of the corner.up

6) Ballscreen

Pass and follow to pick and roll (or pop, if you can shoot).

Here 4 passes to 3 and follows his pass to pick and roll (avoid a weak-hand dribble situation), 1 fills behind the screen.

If there is no play, 4 replaces 1 in the corner.

Huggins - use a designated ballscreener (e.g. 4), or ballscreen with anybody. Don't ballscreen for bigs.

Petitgoue - ballscreen on a pass to the corner.

7) Handback

Pass and follow for a handback (or cut around your teammate to the basket, looking for a pass). The player making the handback can pop or roll to the basket, it's like a ballscreen.

If you pass the ball to someone who can't handle pressure, you can go get the ball back.

Huggins - after passing, a player can basket cut, screen away, ballscreen, or go to the ball for a handback or a rub cut off the ballhandler. Do not pass and stand. 1-2-3 go to the ball for a handback, 4 and 5 ballscreen for 1-2-3.

Pete Newell - a reverse pivot on the inside pivot foot allows you to screen with your back for a handoff on the perimeter.

8) Post-up

After a basket or backdoor cut, any good post player(s) can be allowed to post for a couple of seconds before spacing out.

Here 5 basket cuts, 4 fill cuts, gets a pass from 1, and makes a high-low pass to 5 at the rim.

Any cut to the basket commits two defenders, collapses the defence, puts pressure on the rim, creates space behind for another cut or a drive, and creates post-up opportunities. An open post allows players to cut into the lane/post area rather than play with their back to the basket.

Hunt - drop step at the rim, this will help you decide to post or cut to open space. Here 5 can stay and post if fronted, 4 pops for the reversal pass to relay the ball into the post.

Huggins - run the offence until you get 5 in the post on a basket cut or backcut, then he can post before spacing out. It's good when bigs are in the corner, they can pass out, cut and post.

See Offence - Petitgoue open-post (Big inside), and Huggins open-post for more options using 5 (e.g., flex screens).

This page was made with Basketball playbook from Jes-Soft

2007-16 Eric Johannsen