Inbounding the ball against any type of defense From Dietrick Carr, retired basketball coach, Benicia, California

Your out-of-bounds play should be effective against zone or man-to-man defenses without changing assignments or basic movements. Plus, it should be effective in all time situations — when you have ample time to get a shot in the air or just a few seconds.

The diagrammed out-of-bounds play in this article doesn’t use multiple screens or passes, so your players can get the shot off in less than three seconds. To understand the play, keep in mind what to expect of each player on the court.

1 is your best passer and has good peripheral vision. 5 is your center. 3 is your best shooter. 4 is a good screening forward. 2 is the safety man who makes quick decisions and goes to the open areas. Have players know everyone’s responsibilities.

By learning one all-purpose play, you save precious practice time. It works well all the time because it is predicated on the defense’s reaction.

For example, every time your team inbounds the ball, the inbounder calls out a number between 1-5. Early in the game, maybe the inbounder calls out “4” and the defensive adjustment dictates a pass to your 5 player.

Later in the game, the inbounder calls out “4” and the defense overplays your 5 player, allowing someone else to get open. Always run the basic pattern according to how the defense reacts. Stress to 1 always to fake passes on all covered options, which freezes the defense and opens up other options.

Carr1DIAGRAM 1: Underneath (A). This basic set puts 5 on the ball-side low block. 3 is spaced behind 5 and and slightly to 5’s right. 4 is behind 3 and slight to 3’s right. 2 waits at the top.


Carr2DIAGRAM 2: Underneath (B). 5 crosses the lane to the opposite block. 4 screens so 3 moves freely to the ball-side corner.


Carr3DIAGRAM 3: Underneath (C). After 4 screens for 3, 4 goes to the basket, which is very effective against a man-to-man defense. If 4 is open, the pass goes to 4. But, normally 3 is open the majority of the time. 1 passes to 3 and goes in the opposite direction of the pass. 1 4, and 5 now form the perfect rebounding triangle.


Carr4DIAGRAM 4: Underneath (D). If 3 is covered, 1 looks to 5 who tries to clear space at the opposite block. 2, who sees all the action due to starting at the top of the key, fills the open area and is the final option. Many times, 2 fills the lane for an easy lay-up.


Carr5DIAGRAM 5: Sideline play (A). The sideline out-of-bounds play mirrors the baseline play. The same rules apply. 5 goes to the basket and 4 screens for 3.


Carr6DIAGRAM 6: Sideline play (B). After setting the screen, 4 flashes toward the ball and 2 is the safety player once again, moving to the open space to receive a pass as the final option.


Running one out-of-bounds play with solid options to all players makes this situation much less stressful and easier for players.




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