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How to coach and teach the wheel half-court patterned offense using two of the eight fundamental plays of basketball

Using two of the 8 fundamental plays as outlined earlier, here is a description of the old-time wheel offense. This pattern consists of two of the eight plays, play #5 (scissor-cut), followed by play #4 (pick-opposite). If a high percentage shot does not present itself, play #5 is repeated on the other side of the floor. If this pattern is appropriate for your talent, read how to teach or drill the scissor-cut and pick-opposite plays.

#545 The Wheel Offense

This is the daddy of them all and was used when there was a center-jump after every successful score. Despite its age, the Wheel Offense is another popular offense. It features constant movement, cuts toward and away from the ball by all five players, and double screens away from the ball. Like the shuffle, the wheel is an excellent ball-control offense, particularly small teams, teams with balanced scoring and rebounding strength, and players who do not excel at one-on-one and free-lance play. Like the shuffle, the wheel is not a good offense for teams with weak overall ball-handling skills or teams that rely heavily on the scoring or rebounding skills of a single player.

Unlike the shuffle, the wheel can be run from any of several alignments and can be started as easily from the left side as the right without altering the positions of any of the players. The two-one-two alignment shown below is highly productive because it features two double screens.

Wheel basketball offense diagram 1#545 Play Wheel Offense (1st & 2nd option)

Player 1 passes to 3 who using the two-step rule cuts to the outside. If the ball were on the other side of the floor, the pass would go to 4. players 1 and 2 scissor the post, with 1 being the first cutter and 2 using 1's pick and 5's screen to brush his man. If the defenders do not switch, 2 is likely to have an open lay-up, if 3 can get him the ball. 1 continues low and sets a pick on 4's defender and 2 sets up at the low post and 5 opens toward the ball and slides down from the high to low post, forming a double screen with 2. Meanwhile, 4 using 1's screen cuts into the free throw lane; however, if he doesn't get the ball here, he cuts beyond the to of the circle to receive a reverse pass from 3.

Wheel basketball offense diagram 2#545 Play Wheel Offense (Third option)

3 passes to 4 and cuts behind, or top of the double screen as 4 reverses the ball to 1 who has cut to the wing. Upon making the pass, 4 moves down the lane to set a screen for 2 who cuts around both 5 and 1, moving to the ball-side low post position by the side of 3. 5 opens toward 1 and if he doesn't receive the ball, he cuts outside as the outlet man.

Wheel basketball offense diagram 3#545 Play Wheel Offense (Ball Reversal)

Ball reversal begins again with a #5 (first cutter) where 1 might get open under the basket, followed by a #2 (give and go), followed by another #5.

Anyone who saw the movie, "Hoosiers" should recognize this "picket-fence" play. This is nothing new and as old as the hills and it still works.

In my lifetime, along with the old "figure 8", this is the best offense anyone ever devised.

To be continued....


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