Basketball Play - Carolina
Secondary Break Set Play – Carolina

Today we’re going to talk about a basketball play that you can practice with your players in order to get them ready for gametime.

For this set play, you’ll need five guys. Even though it’s quick hitters, I believe that fast break quick hitters are the best. Because in half court, if you call a set play, the other team knows exactly what you’re going to do. And they’re screaming and they’re switching and they’re doubling and they’re taking that away from you because they know what you want.

In the full court, it’s much tougher because we’re flying. We’re trying to get it up quick so the defense has to get back in transition first. Now they’ve got to remember a set play. I think that’s hard for the opponents to do. Part of our philosophy is we try to be a difficult preparation.

If your opponent’s team has better players than you, they’re going to beat you. Maybe. But what you can do is keep your opponents off balance by changing defenses.

If your opposing team prepares for all your defenses, then how are they going to prepare for all the sets?

The first thing that you want to teach on the break is that you run the five guy right to the rim. Get your point guard in the position marked “PG” in he diagram. Once your guy runs right to the rim, the other guys are going to naturally drift over to the side of the court that your five guy is on.

And then what happens is the defense pushes them towards the opposite sideline. They have enough trouble scoring in their first positions much less where they end up at this point. So we tell our first post defender to run get a piece of the paint and go right to the rim.

Tell your two guy to run to the right corner, and your three guy should be the trailer.

As your post defender is coming down, if your post guard is back first, how is he going to guard him as he comes down the middle of the floor? So you want to tell your point guard to read it on the miss. Guard him any way you want. If you read it, a lot of defensive guys’ll pick a side.

If they pick a side, it’s easy. If you see that, you cross the line and really try to seal. You run right to the rim–make him decide how he’s going to play you and then play off of it.

We’re going to try to get as deep as we can because they are going to push you out. And eventually, if he crosses, you keep following. If he stays, you follow the ball.

Our two is not involved in press offense at all–he runs to the corner and waits to shoot.

Basketball Play - Staggers
Secondary Break Set Play – Staggers

Our three’s our secondary handler.

This system works best with a two that can really shoot. It’s not hard to recruit guys if you tell them, “You’re going to get to shoot it every time you’re open.”

This system works best with a four guy that’s skilled. He can be undersized–he’s just got to be skilled for this to work really well. So if you have four guards or you have to play small, it’ll work.

From here, we do one of two things. We either do the Carolina, or we do staggers.

The Carolina

The UNC back pick is coming to the foul line, spacing out, free throw lining it, extended point guard. Going right to the rim.

If he doesn’t get it, pop. And if you don’t get it, you don’t even slow down, you come straight and screen across. So you’re looking lob, you’re right into a screen across to try to see if they’re going to switch.


We either run that or we run staggers, which is throwing it, following the ball, and posting up.

And this is what we tell our big guy: “You will be one on one right now.” Set a screen, step down deep, and then clean it up. Then post up and we’ll throw.

The other teaching point off the staggers is if they start switching this, he can reject it for us. If he rejects it for us, you’re dribbling out, he’s flying to the corner, going right to the rim.

If the three guy sees him reject it, he knows he’s got to dribble to get space. We back screen, throw it for the lob, and it’s a great post up.

This is just two version of one basketball play that you can get your players used to so they can kill it during gametime. Did you love this play, or not so much?