BASKETBALL : MY OFFENSIVE/DEFENSIVE SYSTEM
by Kevin Veit
St. Dismas Girls Coach
The offensive and defensive system I use is a man-to-man defense and a
1-2-2 offense. I believe this is a good, simple system for a young
team for these reasons:
It's Different - Most teams will play a 2-1-2 zone defense and
possibly a 2-1-2 offense. This system presents a different look and
will confuse the other team.
Simplicity - Each position is given a number (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) and
has well-defined responsibilities on both defense and offense. Once
the players learn the system, you only have to tell them what number
they are playing, and they will know where to go.
Defense - Man-to-man defense requires each player to learn defensive
skills such as proper stance, guarding a player while watching the
ball, help and recover, and more. Defense is not a place to rest, but
a placer to work hard.
Offense - The offense will work equally well against a zone or a
The system is defined by the numbered positions, which do not
correspond exactly to the standard guard/forward/center criteria. I
always refer to the positions by their numbers. This makes it simpler
for the players to remember. The positions are:
NOTE: Left-handed players will work best at positions #3 and #5.
#1 - Point Guard - This player plays the point guard on both defense
and offense. This should be an agressive defensive player and a
#2 - Shooting Guard - This should be your best shooter. The offense
is designed to get the ball to this player, especially on the fast
break. This player plays on the right wing on offense, and guards an
off-guard or small forward on defense.
#3 - Small Forward - This player plays the left corner on offense and
normally guards the other team's shooting guard. This player should
be able to shoot from the baseline on either side.
#4 - Power Forward - This should be a tall player that can run fast.
This position has to cover the most ground. This player should also be
your best rebounder. This player plays the
right forward on offense and guards the other teams second tallest
player (either at the high post or low post on the weak side).
#5 - Swing Forward - This should be a good ball-handler and a fairly
tall player and agressive defender. This player always throws the
ball in, no matter where it is on the court. This player gaurds the
other teams tallest player, or dominant low post. This player will be
the trailer on the fast break and will be at the left wing on the half
court set offense.
The basic defense is an agressive man-to-man. The responsibilities on
defense are as follows:
#1 - Point Guard - Pick up the dribbler as soon as she crosses the
half-court line. Overplay the dribbler to force her to dribble to her
left. NOTE: This is the most important part of the defense. If you
can force the other team to go to their left side, you will normally
disrupt their entire offensive system, as most players are
right-handed, and the other team's best shooter will normally play on
the right side.
#2 - Right Wing - Guard the off-guard or small forward that plays on
your right side. Play in the passing lane to intercept a pass or help
out if the other teams point guard penetrates the middle.
#3 - Left Wing - Guard the other teams shooting guard. Do not let this
player receive a pass. Cover her like glue.
#4 - Right Forward - Guard the other team's second forward, or the center
if the center is not a scoring threat. Play off your player slightly so
that you are in good rebounding position and are prepared to help if the
other team's power forward/center gets past #5.
#5 - Left Forward - Guard the other team's dominant big player. Deny the
pass. Use your body to keep her from the basket. When she shoots, get
your hands straight up to distract the shot. Be prepared to inbound
the ball quickly on any made baskets.
The transition from defense to offense is the key to the success of
this system. The objective is to get as many fast break baskets as
possible. The responsibilities on the transition are as follows:
NOTE: The fast break should also be done after an opponent's score. #5
should get the ball as soon as possible and throw it in to #1, while
the other players hustle down the court.
Rebounder - Grab the ball, pivot away from the defender, and pass it
to #1 without dribbling.
#1 - Always gets the release pass and brings the ball up court.
#2 - Runs as fast as possible down the right side. Looks for a pass
from #1 once you are past the halfcourt line and headed to the free
throw line extended. Shoots or makes a layup after receiving the pass
(may pass to #3 if covered by defense).
#3 - Runs as fast as possible down the left side, all the way down to
the left block. Is ready to get a pass from #2 or get the rebound
when #2 shoots.
#4 - Runs as fast as possible down the right side, all the way down to
the right block. Trys to get ahead of #2 so can receive a pass or get
#5 - Trail the play to help if #1 is covered, then head to position on
The basic offensive play is very simple:
Responsibilities for each position are:
#1 dribbles toward the middle, then makes a bounce pass to the wing
(#2 or #5). The wing either shoots, drives to the basket, or passes
to the forward (#4 on the right side, #3 on the left side).
#1 - Make safe passes to the wings, or look for #4 coming up from the
block to the free-throw line. After making a pass to the side, go
down the middle of the lane to look for a return pass or to get the
rebound (just don't stay in the lane for three seconds).
#2 - Try to catch the pass in a position where you can shoot. Shoot,
make a move, or pass the ball to the forward. This player should
shoot every time she has an open shot.
#4 - Start down at the right block. If the middle is open, cut into
the lane to get a pass from #1. If the ball is passed to #2, either
look for a pass while still by the block, or move out to the corner to
get a pass. If the ball is passed to the left side, look to cut
across the lane to get a pass.
#5 - Take all throw-ins, no matter where it is on the court. When you
get a pass from #1, look to drive toward the basket, or pass to #3.
#3 - Start down at the left block. If the ball is passed to #5, cut
out to the corner to catch a pass. When the ball is on the right
side, look for the rebounds. Most of the rebounds from #2's shots
will fall into this area. If the ball is passed to #2, you can cut
around #4 to get a pass on the right baseline.