I found this play from one of the plays that the Russian Women's National Team uses. They play mostly a 3-out 2-in hi-lo offense, but I found this 1-4 set that looked very interesting. It is a handoff play with several options. I think it would work really well against a team that is playing very aggressive pressure man-to-man defense.


It's a 1-4 high set. There are many options out of this set and you have to be patient, but I believe it will allow your guards and forwards some great penetration lanes.

So O1 passes to the right wing O2 who does a v-cut to the ball to get open. O4 will step out and set an upscreen for O1 who will do a UCLA cut to the basket. O1 is looking for the quick hitting pass back from O2 if it's there. If not, he rolls out to the weak-side corner.

Setting up the Handoff:

After O4 sets the high screen, O2 should pass the ball back up to the top of the key to O4. It's important that once the defense has adjusted a little to the play, that O4 works hard to seal the defender to get the ball up top. I don't like the v-cut here because I think it can lead to turnovers if O2 and O4 don't communicate properly.

O1 goes to the corner and O3 starts coming up to the top of the key towards O4 but at least 5 steps away.

The Handoff:

This part is the heart and soul of this play. Once O4 gets the ball, pivots to face away from the basket. O3 comes over the top looking for the handoff from O4.

Now what's happening here is a couple of things. First, how is the M2M defense playing screens, are they fighting through or switching? If the defense is playing through screens, you must read how X3 is defending the handoff, is X3 following or coming under anticipating the drive to the net. If X3 is trailing O3, O3 should receive the handoff and cut around O4 immediately attacking the rim.

Regardless of how the defense is playing, O2 should come and set the blind pick. Now if X3 decides to play under, O2 will need to split out. O2 will set the pick on X3 and O3 can either attack the rim if there is no help, or dribble out towards the wing and hit an open 3-pointer or mid-range jumper.

Against M2M Switching:

Against a team that is switching everything, you'll find that X2 will be told to anticipate O3 getting the handoff and to switch to defend O3.

This is a great counter for a defense switching on all screens. What's going to happen is O4 will fake the handoff, and will instead pivot and attack the rim. O2 will come of the blind pick and upscreen for O4. If the defense is switching everything, most likely they'll get confused with all the screens and O4 will have that brief opening to exploit, worst case is X3 steps out and defends the lane. Also, O5 will roll to the basket after O4 has passed the free-throw line looking for a pass back or an offensive rebound.


I like this play because there are many options and counters you can run. For example, after the handoff to O3, O3 can dribble to the wing and O4 can still use O2's upscreen and cut to the hoop, O3 can try to hit O4 cutting to the hoop. Or on the weakside, you can have O5 set a flex screen for O1 coming underneath the hoop for a quick backdoor cut.

The 1-4 set is an offense that Arizona uses sometimes as well. Lute Olson's DVD on the 1-4 offense is one that you might want to check out if you're looking for a set to run against aggressive ball pressure. Check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum for more notes and downloads.