Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Zone offence
Versoix overload

This is an overload offence used primarily against odd-front zone defences, especially ones that can't match up with all the ballside attackers (Bob Huggins - go where they ain't). There are two guards, a baseline runner, and a high-post/low-post who x-cut on ball reversal (see Steve Bzomowski, and Huggins dive and fill). There are two versions, basic and motion. Weakside rebounding is not as good with a ballside overload.

1) Basic overload

4 and 5 are low behind the defence. 1 dribble pushes 2 (or 3) down, 5 flashes to the high post, or comes out to ballscreen for 1, 4 moves up, giving a four-man ballside overload.

For an initial weakside overload, 1 could pass to 3 then push 2 down, see Versoix overload entries.

When 1 reverses to 3, 4 and 5 x-cut through gaps in the zone (they can use v-cuts), the high post goes first. 2 runs the baseline to the wing or corner. 5 can step out to help reverse the ball (see China and High/low).

Atkins North Carolina T-game - against an odd-front zone, 1 usually reverses the ball by passing to 3.

Bob Huggins - get the ball into the high post, there is no help in the middle of the floor. 4 should get underneath a guard then inside pivot on a catch to keep the guard behind him. 4 should not go any further than he has to go to get the ball, but a shooter can come out behind the arc.

coachesclipboard.ca - posting at the elbow (facing the sideline) is more effective than the middle of the foul line, stop or pause between the top and bottom row of defenders when flashing into the middle from behind the zone.

Option - 2 can run short corner to short corner if he is not a shooter (Huggins dive and fill).


- 4 does not X-cut on reversal, providing weakside rebounding position (see Duke).
- 2 looks for a skip pass then makes a delayed baseline run, optionally using a screen from 5
- 2 can stay for a skip pass from 3.

On a pass to 2, 3 stays in the slot to maintain an overload and help with ball reversal, 2 runs the baseline on a pass back to 3 (see Atkins High). The posts would x-cut when 3 passes to 1.
- 5 gets his back on the baseline on the pass to 2, see Dave Odom rover
- 4 and 5 x-cut on the pass to 3, 4 baseline screens for 2
- 2 does not run the baseline until the ball is reversed to 1.
Real Madrid Zone 3 - overload one side leaving the best player on the weak side.

Here 1 uses a ballscreen from 5 to reverse the ball, 3 spaces away to the wing, the posts x-cut, 2 runs to the ballside corner with 3 on the wing.

Atkins - use a ballscreen to reverse the ball against an even-front or match-up zone. Also see Huggins dive and fill, Kermit Davis four high, and Atkins high.

2 can dribble out of the corner to the wing, looking inside, 3 and 1 space away.

Option (shown) - 2 dribbles out to drag the zone when guarded by a bottom defender, 5 goes short corner, 4 dives to post, see Atkins, Bill Self, Kermit Davis zone motion.

Variation - 2 dribble clears 3 to the weakside as the new baseline runner, or 3 can circle back to the ballside corner, replacing 2 (see Pistons motion).

Action on ball reversal, 2 runs the baseline on the pass to 3, 4 and 5 x-cut on the pass to 1.

Here the ball is reversed through the high post. 3 spaces away on the pass to 5, 1 gets in vision. 2 runs the baseline to the corner. 5 dives on the pass to 3, 4 fills.

Variation - 5 can follow his pass to ballscreen, 4 crosses the lane.

Whenever one post gets the ball, the other looks for a pass (see Bill Self). If 1 passes to 4 at the low post, optionally dive 5.

Bo Ryan X zone attack - if 4 gets the ball, 5 can dive to the basket or hold.

Variation - 4 crosses to the other block on the pass to 5, 2 replaces 4 then keeps going on a pass to 3, the posts do not x-cut. See Huggins dive and fill.

Bill Self, Pitt - posts don't x-cut on a skip pass or ball reversal through the high post, they bleed (come across, follow the ball).

Optionally always use the high post for ball reversal (see China, Wisconsin X), the guards move out to the wings and 2 runs corner to corner.

Here 4 ducks in on the pass to 5, 1 flattens out on the pass to 3 to stretch the defence horizontally (Wisconsin X).

5 can catch with an inside (left) pivot foot, but make a cheat step outside with his right foot for balance and to slow momentum, then forward pivot to face up (see Bill Self high/low motion).

2) Motion overload

1 passes 2 and cuts to the ballside corner (or weakside), 5 flashes to the high post or comes out to ballscreen, 4 moves up.

Option - 1 can cut up the middle and use a screen from 4.

On a pass to the corner, the passer cuts to the weakside to become the baseline runner.

1 dribbles out of the corner to reverse the ball, here with drag action.

1 reverses the ball, 5 and 4 x-cut.

Reversal by ballscreen is more difficult when 5 is at the midpost not high post (Atkins), as is reversal through 5.

On a reversal pass away from the strongside, the passer basket cuts to become the baseline runner (here 3 is not a shooter and goes only to the short corner), the high post dives and the low post fills. 2 comes out to replace 3 after looking for a pass from 1.

Option - to go behind the defence, 3 goes through after 4 and 5 x-cut (see Pitt).

If the ball is reversed through the high post, the posts x-cut on a pass to 1 then 3 basket cuts, or optionally have 3 go through on the pass to the high post, without waiting for reversal to 1 (see Blue, China).

If the ball is reversed by ballscreen, 2 runs the baseline, 3 does not basket cut (basic overload).

Adjustments against a 1-3-1 zone

- a 2-1-2, 2-3, or 2-2-1 entry set can be used
- there is no give and go on a pass to the corner, making it easier to get the ball back out (basic overload)
- if the defence traps the corner, use the low post, high post, ballside wing and weakside wing as safety valves (see Atkins baseline)
- 1 looks for the diagonal skip pass to 3 (see Syracuse vs 1-3-1)
- if 2 is double-teamed, high post 4 steps out to the point position as a safety option
- on the pass from 2 to 3, 1 looks to get a diagonal skip pass then runs the baseline, optionally using a screen from 4 (see Atkins Oregon), or 1 can stay in the corner on ball reversal
- optionally keep both posts low (2-3 set) except when the ball goes to the corner, then the weakside post flashes to the high post (e.g., Syracuse, Atkins baseline).

Alan Lambert - the defence will be shifting in the direction of the ball, so instead of 3 passing to 1 in the ballside corner it is usually better for 3 to pass back to 2 who looks to hit 1 with a diagonal skip pass.

Adjustments against a Box and One - set a baseline screen if the guarded player is in the corner, and ballscreen if he is on a wing. Also see Versoix overload vs box and 1.

This page was made with Basketball playbook from Jes-Soft

2007-13 Eric Johannsen