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How to coach and teach the 1-3-1 basketball offense

After the big players maneuver as shown on the previous page, we go into a 1-3-1 formation. This is accomplished no matter which of the three big players the basketball is passed.

1-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 18To achieve this formation we send one guard through and off a screen by the player in the middle as illustrated in Diagram 18. The guard, without the ball, in most cases, is the guard that goes through. That is to say, the guard opposite the ball.

If the ball is passed from guard to guard, as in Diagram 19, the guard going through is the guard without the ball. The guard, that goes through, cuts on the ball side of the floor and flashes momentarily in a wide stance with arms raised high looking for a pass at the goal. If he doesn't get the ball, he must get out of the three-second lane and stand just outside its restrictions. The cutting player always cuts to the side of the goal opposite the side he was in his normal perimeter guard spot.

1-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 19Please note that the guard always goes in the backdoor (weak-side) when the pass is made directly to a forward with no interchange of passes between the guards as in Diagram 18. The cutting guard always goes over the top on ball side of the post player when there is an interchange of passes between the guards as shown in Diagram 20. In any event we are in a 1-3-1 (Diagram 21) after completion of this tactic by the cutting guard.

1-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 201-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 21

1-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 22We will follow this up with an interchange between the passer and the weak-side forward (see Diagram 22), but still in a 1-3-1 formation, offset slightly to one side of the free throw lane.

On this particular maneuver, there is an exchange of the ball between the guards. This means that (1), the guard through will go over the top of the screener and that (3), the forward becomes the weak-side forward and steps up closer to the free throw lane in case a pass is made to the high post. Note that we are in a 1-3-1 formation even before the interchange between the passer #2 and the weak-side forward #5. These same maneuvers will, and do, occur when the ball is passed directly into a forward with no interchange between the guards and when the ball is put into play on the other side of the floor.

Here is the direct pass to the right forward and the same two types of initiation on the left side of the floor. (See Diagrams 23a and 23b, Diagrams 24a and 24b, and 25a and 25b. Read each column of diagrams from top to bottom. Each stack of two diagrams illustrates a way of initiating the Opportunity Offense.

1-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 23a

1-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 23b

1-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 24a

1-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 24b

1-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 25a

1-3-1 basketball half-court offense - Diagram 25b

To be continued next: "More about the 1-3-1 basketball offense."

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