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How to coach and teach the basketball secondary break - Part 1

Before getting into offensive sets, I want to point out that my basketball offensive theory. In the past several years the basic offense has been the sideline fast-break. In fact, it proved so successful, there was little need to set up a half-court offense.

My teams have always tried to get at least two-thirds of their scores off the fast-break and secondary offense leading into our set offense; however, as much as you would like, we all know you can't run a fast break down the court with every possession.

My theory is that if a team walks the ball up the court it plays right into the hands of the defensive team and is headed for a long night. The point I'd like to make is you should push the ball up the sidelines quickly as possible every time and be prepared to set up an offense should no easy shot develop.

The secondary break actually begins with either the Big Dog's or Safety's hustle, depending upon who happens to be the rebounder or in-bounder of the ball. This illustration shows the secondary break beginning when the offense has failed when the defense has done the job of getting enough players back in time to stop the first scoring opportunity.

This play is triggered when either "Big Dog", #5 or #4, post up after beating their defensive opponent down-court. The first option is for the "Fly" to get the ball into #5 or #4 at the low post position where they can take advantage of a smaller defender with a drop step, turn-around-jumper, hook shot, or duck-under move to the basket.

Coaching the basketball secondary break attackDiagram #1 - Secondary Break
Coaching the basketball secondary break attackDiagram #2 - Secondary Break Play Option #1 - In this diagram, Player 2, "Outlet", has followed his pass up-court to player 1, the "Fly" and player 4, the "Safety" and designated in-bounder, trails the play and delays in the back-court to defend in case of a sudden turnover.

"Big Dog" uses his body to seal his defender behind and calls for the ball. In the meantime "Fly" dribbles the ball into a better passing angle for getting the ball into "Big Dog".

Other options that develop from this secondary break include "Fly" hitting teammate 4 at the free throw line for a jumper, skip passing to player 3 for a three-pointer attempt, or reversing the ball to teammate 5.

Coaching the basketball secondary break attackDiagram #3 - Secondary Break Option #2 - In this diagram "Big Dog's" defender has prevented a pass into the low post by fronting.

Here, again, is our position at the conclusion of an unsuccessful sideline fast-break. Here we go into our secondary attack mode with our "Fly" (#1) with the ball in the corner and unable to feed the "Big Dog" (#5) at the low-post position.

The "Wing" (#3), always, must observe how the defensive player guarding "Big Dog" is playing him. In this case, he is fronting and the "Wing" should cut to the high post ball side and call for the ball.

At the same time "Big Dog", sealing his man on his hips motions "Fly" to pass to the high post or skip pass to "Safety" (#4) in the backcourt.

Coaching the basketball secondary break attackDiagram #4 - Secondary Break Option #2 - This diagram shows "Wing" #3 receiving the ball at the high post position..

If "Big Dog" does his job and keeps defensive player #1 on his hip, "Wing" can pass him the ball for an easy lay-up as shown in Diagram #3.

Continued on next page

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