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'Spread' baseline inbound series sizzles

By Clayton Ellis, Aurora Central High School, Aurora, Colorado

The "Spread" inbound series is a set of plays designed for each player on the floor to have an opportunity to score. Each of the following inbounds plays is designed to score a layup or get a good, open jump shot. Each play easily flows into any 3-out, 2-in set offense if the shot is not available. The plays are named for the player who should be taking the shot.

The initial alignment for the Spread series begins with 2 positioned in the middle of the lane, 1 at the top of the key, 5 in the ballside corner and 4 behind the ballside 3-point line between 1 and 5.

The coach or the inbounder (3) can call the play before the referee hands the inbounder the ball. By mixing up the plays, the potential for good shots increase. The players need to hustle to their positions to get set up.

“Spread One”

Diagram 1

DIAGRAM 1: Spread One (A).

2 sprints to the top of the key to set a backscreen for 1, who uses the screen and breaks to the basket. 5 screens for 4, who breaks to the ballside corner. After setting the screen for 1, 2 rolls back toward the inbound passer. 3 looks in a progression of: hitting 1 for a layup, 2 rolling toward the ball screen, and then 4 in the corner.


 Diagram 2

DIAGRAM 2: Spread One (B). If 3 can’t get the ball into 1, 2 or 4, then 4 screens for 2 at the ballside block. 2 cuts to the ballside corner and 4 tries to seal his or her defender on the block in front of 3. 1 clears out to the opposite side.


 Diagram 3

DIAGRAM 3: Spread One (C). If 3 throws the ball to 2 in the corner, then 2 quickly passes to 5, who dribbles to the top of the key to get a better passing angle to hit 3 cutting off 1’s screen on the weak-side block.

 Diagram 4

DIAGRAM 4: Spread One (D). After passing to 3, 5 downscreens for 1, who cuts to the top of the key. If 3 can’t shoot, he or she looks inside for 5 or passes to the top to 1. 1 can shoot or set up an offense, since the players are now positioned in a 3-out, 2-in alignment.

“Spread Two”


Diagram 5 

DIAGRAM 5: Spread Two (A).

2 fakes setting a backscreen for 1 and rolls down the weak side of the lane, looking for a pass from the inbounder and an easy layup. 5 screens for 4 who cuts to the ballside corner. 1 cuts off 2’s fake and fades out high as a safety release. 3 looks to pass to 2 for a layup or 4 in the ballside corner.


 Diagram 6

DIAGRAM 6: Spread Two (B). If 4 doesn’t receive a pass from 3, he or she screens for 2 at the ballside block and seals the defender for a chance at receiving a pass and high-percentage shot. 2 cuts to the ballside corner. 5 swings wide after screening for 4 to replace 2 on the weak side. 3 looks for 4 sealing down low, and then 5 for a layup.

 Diagram 7

DIAGRAM 7: Spread Two (C). If nothing is open, 3 can pass to 2 in the corner or over the top to 1. 1 can dribble to the top, while 3 cuts off 5’s screen on the opposite block. 1 can pass to 3 for the shot or set up in the 3-out, 2-in offense.

“Spread Three” (Vs. Zones)


Diagram 8 

DIAGRAM 8: Spread Three (A). This play is great against zone defense. The players are set up the same as on the previous plays. 2 fakes setting a screen for 1 and rolls to the weak side. 1 and 4 both cut to the outside on the ballside and act as safeties. 5 breaks to the ball and screens for 3 on the ballside.


 Diagram 9

DIAGRAM 9: Spread Three (B). 3 looks first to pass to 2 cutting toward the basket, and then lobs to 4 or 1. 3 cuts in either direction off either 5’s screen on the ballside or 2’s screen on the weak side. 3 looks to receive the return pass for a shot after he or she cuts off the screen.

“Spread Four”


 Diagram 10

DIAGRAM 10: Spread Four (A).

2 backscreens for 4, who cuts to the weak side, looking for a quick pass from 3 and a layup.


Diagram 11 

DIAGRAM 11: Spread Four (B).

5 screens for 2, and rolls to the ballside block. 2 cuts off 5’s screen to the corner. 3 looks to pass to 4 first, then to 5.

If neither option is open, 3 passes

to 2 in the corner or 1 who is playing safety out top. 3 then cuts off 4’s screen on the weak side. 1 can pass

to 3 for the shot or set up the 3-out,

2-in offense.

“Spread Five”


 Diagram 12

DIAGRAM 12: Spread Five (A).

5 screens for 4, while 2 screens for the screener. 4 cuts off 5’s screen to the ballside corner. 5 cuts off 2’s screen and rolls to the weak side looking for a quick pass and layup. After setting the screen, 2 rolls off to the ballside block. 1 fades out top and acts as the safety outlet.

3 first looks to pass to 5 for a layup, then looks to 2 coming toward the ball or 4 in the corner. If 3 has trouble getting it in, he or she lobs the ball over the top to 1. After 3 throws the ball in, he or she cuts to the weak side to get into the set offense.

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Posted from: David McLain, 10/5/10 at 7:26 AM CDT
I will add this to my playbook. It gives a different look and keeps the same competition honest.
Spread Out of Bounds Series
Posted from: OZ, 9/30/10 at 11:45 PM CDT
Many thanks!! I am adding them to my playbook.

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