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How to Coach and Teach the Wheel Man-to-Man Basketball Offense

When it comes to coaching basketball fundamentals, you must consider continuity offenses. For example, most basketball zone offenses involve continuity, floor balance by rotating the ball rapidly from one side of the court to the other while filling the perimeter passing lanes as cutters penetrate into or through the zone defense.  It's all about winning hoops, folks!

To the best of my knowledge, the Wheel Offense is the Daddy of all continuous pattern offenses. It was followed by the "Auburn Shuffle" and then, the "Flex Offense" used much, today.

I've have had experience teaching all three basketball offenses in my days of coaching youth basketball. Sometimes they were successful and sometimes not. The biggest fault that I can see with their use is that players get so engrossed in going from point "A" to point "B" they often pass up good scoring opportunities. Many times I've expressed the opinion, "This is for coaches who don't know how to coach." However, this was always in jest. You can take any 2 or 3 of the fundamental eight plays and build your own continuous pattern basketball offense.

By this I mean, they either don't have enough knowledge, nor the time it takes to teach all the fundamentals. Also, some coaches seem possessed in controlling every player's movement each moment of every game. As a result, his players may win a few games, but never rise to their fullest potential.

The wheel man-to-man offense features constant movement. Cuts are made toward and away from the ball by every player with double screens away from the ball.

If you need a good ball control offense, the "Wheel" may be for you. Especially for small teams with balanced scoring and rebounding. It might work, too, with players who do not fare too well at free-lance play.

It certainly is not an offense for teams with poor ball-handling skills, or teams who rely on the scoring or rebounding skills of a single player.

The wheel can be run from many different alignments and is easily started from either the left or right side without altering positions of players. For illustration purposes, a two-guard-front alignment is used; but once set in motion, it becomes a one-guard-front.

The Wheel Continuity Offense

This is probably the daddy of all continuity patterned offenses. Actually it consists of three consecutive plays ran first on one side of the floor, then the other.

Diagram Wheel 1 shows the point initiating the play with a pass to 4 at the wing. Teammate 2 cuts off 5's screen at the high post, looking for a pass from player 4 for the layup.

#5 the high pivot should always open-up toward the ball as he will often be open for a pass and uncontested high percentage shot.

Wheel basketball offense

Wheel basketball offense

The Wheel Continuity Offense

The second play is shown on Wheel Diagram 2, which is a screen opposite the ball. The point guard, #1 fakes a give and go and cuts off teammate #5 to set a pick on #3's defender.

#3 is open on the outside for #4's pass back to the top.

The Wheel Continuity Offense

Wheel Diagram 3 illustrates the third play, which is another shuffle, or flex, cut to the basket. Again, the screener which is #2 in this case, always opens-up toward the ball. Often, the screener becomes the open man. Today, you often see the concept of the wheel being woven into the more modern motion offenses.

Wheel basketball offense

Wheel basketball offense

The Wheel Continuity Offense

Wheel Diagram 4 shows #3 executing the shuffle cut on the left side of the floor. If a scoring opportunity doesn't present itself, player #3 continues on to set a screen for teammate #2.

The Wheel Continuity Offense

Wheel Diagram 5 shows the beginning of the same sequence of plays run on the opposite side of the floor, or #1 could reverse the ball to #2 and run the plays on the right side, again.

Wheel basketball offense

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  3. One-on-one basketball moves

  4. Basketball Coach's toolbox

  5. How to Teach the 8 Basic Fundamental Plays in Basketball

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  7. How to coach and teach the basketball pick-and-roll play

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  9. How to Coach the 1-3-1 Basketball Zone Pressure Defenses

  10. How to Coach and Teach the Wheel Man-to-Man Basketball Offense

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