Two Continuity Offenses

Designed for Two Guards and Three Big Players

Contributed by Brett Ayers. Email the author at

I had a high school coach from the state of Missouri ask me to put together a couple of 2 guard three big men continuity offenses for his team. I sat down at lunch and came up with these two offenses for him, and I thought some of you might like to take a gander out them, and maybe offer up some thoughts and or other ideas. I think that often at the college ranks players get pigeon-holed into a position even though they might be 6'4" power forwards who can effectively score at the college level. The first kid that comes to mind was the guy last year from Florida State who had been in the military. He was only about 6'4", but was an effective inside player.

I have heard many coaches comment on Coach Self's two-out three-in continiuty offense designed to utilize three big men, but I will have to confess to being rather in the dark about its particulars. So, if any of what I have put down either greatly resembles or has similarities to Coach Self's offense, it is purely coincidental and I am not trying to steal anything from Coach Self who I have a ton of respect for.

Each one of these offenses can be diagramed by drawing a key as if you are facing the basket from half court.

Offense #1

This offense starts out with your 1 man just off the top of the key towards the right side. 2 is on the left side wing outside the three point line at that free throw line extended position. On the left block, on the top of the block you have your 5 then 3 stacked, but not on top of each other but instead side to side. You have your 5 on the outside of the side by side stack. On the right side, ball side, you have 4 positioned on the block, high on the block with his low foot on the block, facing towards the left sideline, shoulders square to the left sideline ready to set a pick.

As 1 dribbles the ball over towards the right side, 2 runs along the baseline off of what amounts to three picks. First pick comes from 5 who is on the outside of that side by side stack with 3. 5 takes two steps out towards 2 along that 45 degree angle. 3 simply turns and faces 2 who will run his man off of first 5 then three and finally 4 on the right side high block. 2 can take his man over or under the picks, depends upon what he feels is the best and how tight his man is playing him. 2 comes off of these three picks and fills out to the  right side wing a step or two below where he was originally on the left side, but out of the corner and nearer to that free throw line extended wing position and 2 will certainly be outside the three point line.

As soon as 2 comes off of 3, the 3 man will then step out a step towards 5 setting a back pick on 5's defender who will have to either roll over the top of the pick or under the pick from 3. As this is all going on, 4 will immediately bust up to the high post on the ball side, the right side, as soon as 2 comes off his pick. 1 will pass the ball to 2 as he fills out to the right side wing. As soon as 1 passes 2 the ball he floats back along the three point arc in a fade always facing the 2 man with the ball on the right side. 1 will face over not quite out to the left side wing, but between the wing and the point position along the arc. If his man helps on any of the inside stuff, 2 skips it over the top to him for the three.

As 5 is coming off of 3's pick on the left side, 4 is busting up to the right side high post, if 4's man helps down then of course he is open for the free throw line jumper. 1 is now over on the left side. As 4 comes up to the high post he looks at 2 who has both 5 coming to the right side block to post up and 4 at the high post. 4 give it a one thousand one count then heads down diagonally towards 3 who set the pick for 5 about a step off the left high block and 4 sets a down pick on 3 who comes off of 4's pick towards the right side high post at the right corner area of the key looking for the shot from the middle of the key up towards the high post.

If 3 does not get the ball he then pops straight out off of the corner of the right side high post out above the three point arc to get the reversal pass from 2. Once three gets the ball he then passes it over to 1 who has faded over to the left side but not all the way over to the wing position but is positioned more near the left side guard spot outside the three point arc. As 3 passes it over to one, 3 cuts down right behind five who has all ready taken that two steps off to set the pick for 2 to run off along those three baseline picks and 4 after setting the down pick for 3 is right back on what is now the ball side block once again. 2 comes off of those picks again and this time going back towards the left side and the ball is reversed.

Now, if the team defending you tries to stop that entry pass to 2 as he cuts off, 1 can just dribble him through, 2 shallow cuts and comes up and fills in where 1 had been.

Offense #2

This offense starts out with this set; 1 has the ball at the top of the key, 2 is stacked with 3, 3 is on top of the stack, in the middle of the free throw line area, a step above, 5 is on the right side block and 4 is in the left short post which is the position that is straight off the block towards the sideline about five feet out then about two feet down towards the baseline behind the backboard. 1 dribbles the ball towards the right side as he does this 2 pops out to the right wing position outside the arc around the free throw line extended and 1 passes him the ball.

As one dribbles over and 2 pops out, as soon as the ball is passed 5 who is on the right side block comes up and sets a back pick on 3's defender. 3 should be positioned around the middle of half moon shaped area created by the arc of the top of the key and the free throw line. 3 can either roll over or come straight down directly off that pick and this will be 2's first option.

After 3 comes off of that back pick from 5 and if he is not open he cuts through towards 4 who is in the short post on the left side looking for 4's defender and sets a pick on him. Most likely 4's defender will be in the middle of the key and 3 will not have to go far and it will be up to 4 to choose which way he wants to go over the pick but ultimately 4 should end up on block on the right side.

Once 4 comes off that pick and is on the block, 1 should then set a straight down screen for 5 who is now in the middle high post area after setting that back pick to start the offense off on 3's defender. 5 comes off the down pick from 1, popping out to receive the reversal pass from 2 and as soon as 1 sets the down pick for 5 he pops straight out to he left wing position outside the arc on the left side at the free throw line extended and 5 passes him the ball completing the reversal from 2.

As 5 does that 3 will come up and set a back pick on 5's man from that left side block where he ended up after setting the pick for 4 and 5 will come off of this back either over the top or behind and you start the same action all over again with 5 cutting through and setting that pick on 4 who is now on the right side short post away from the ball and 4 comes off that pick either under or over the top depending uponwhat his defender does.

In this offense, 4's moves, cuts and the like remain constant while 3 and 5 will exchange positions and 1 and 2 will exchange positions in the continuity.