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1-3-1 Man-To-Man Continuity Offense Serves Multiple Purposes

By Robert Knight, Assistant Basketball Coach, Preston High School, Kingwood, W.Va

A CONTINUITY OFFENSE is a multi-purpose offense, which can help eliminate any helter-skelter movement of your players.

This 1-3-1 continuity offense can be used to control the tempo of the game or be used at strategic points, such as going for the last shot in a quarter or half.

Against superior opponents, this offense will enable your team to work for high-percentage shots.

Structure, Flow

A common misconception in regard to continuity offenses is that they're designed to freeze the ball. This is far from the truth. As with any offense, the main purpose of the 1-3-1 man-to-man continuity offense is to get a good shot and establish position to rebound missed shots.

This offense is structured for discipline, but also allows for some free-lance play.


Diagram 1

DIAGRAM 1: The Initial Set. Player 1 is your point guard and should remain somewhere close to a 45-degree angle with 2 and 3. This allows 1 a better passing angle. 1 should also attempt to remain near the center of the court in order to start the offense to either side.

The initial position of 2 and 3 should be 8 to 10 feet at the foul line extended. 4's position should be at the foul line high, with his or her positioning somewhat flexible between the foul line and the top of the key.

Initially, 5 can be positioned on either side of the lane 5 to 7 feet from the lane and opposite the lower box. He or she can vary this initial position throughout the game.

Continuity Begins

The offensive pattern begins with a pass to the weak side. 2 and 3 take a jab-step inside and come outside. On the jab-step inside, if either 2 or 3 break open, they should go to the basket and look for a pass from 1.

Diagram 2

DIAGRAM 2: Initial Movements. 1 passes to 3, with 1 following the pass. If 1's defender overplays toward 3, 1 should break for the basket looking for a return pass.

If 1 isn't overplayed by the defender, 1 sets a screen for 3 and rolls to the basket. If 1 is unable to break free to the hoop, he or she returns to the foul-line area and screens for 4.

When 4 sees 1 roll from his or her screen, 4 should occupy the defender by moving away from 1's break. 4 then moves back to swing over 1's screen at the foul line and rolls to the side of the first pass.

Diagram 3

DIAGRAM 3: Continuation Of Offensive Pattern. 4 sets a back screen for 5 coming across the lane. It's 5's responsibility to use 4's screen and he or she can break either high or low. 3 dribbles toward the top of the key and passes to 2 who has rotated outside. 3 makes a move after 5 breaks off 4's screen.

If 3 is pressured, he or she can pass to 2 and they can exchange positions. After passing to 2, 3 breaks for the basket cutting off 1's screen at the foul line.

Diagram 4

DIAGRAM 4: Offense Is Reset. If an opening has not developed, the offense will be reset.

Diagram 5

DIAGRAM 5: Entire Offense With Weak-Side Pass. This diagram shows the complete offense with the weak-side pass.

Strong-Side Continuity

If 1's pass goes to the strong side, a slight variation in the low post player's (5) move will enable you to run the same basic offense. The pattern is the same as for the initial weak-side pass, except 5 moves toward the corner on the pass to 2.

Diagram 6

DIAGRAM 6: Short-Corner Jump Shot, Rebounding Triangle. If 5 is open, 2 hits him or her with a pass for an open 10- to 15-foot jump shot (short corner). A three-player rebounding triangle is set up by 1, 2 and 4.

Diagram 7

DIAGRAM 7: 5 Tries To Shake Defender. If 5's defender follows him or her toward the corner, 5 should stop, reverse and break across the lane.

At this point, 5 can continue across the lane and reverse using 4's screen or stop in the lane and reverse off 4's screen. 4 continues to set multiple screens in an effort to free up 5.

Diagram 8

DIAGRAM 8: Entire Offense With Strong-Side Pass. This diagram shows the entire continuity of the offense as it's run with an initial pass to the strong side.

The only difference in resetting the offense in the strong-side pass from the weak-side pass is when the initial pass goes to the strong-side. A low-post player ends up on the same side of the lane as he or she was in the beginning of the offense.

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Posted from: Kevin, 11/26/10 at 9:19 AM CST
Poor graphics! Man are they confusing!
Posted from: rjl, 11/25/10 at 12:43 PM CST

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