As I sit here and write my first post on this topic, Memphis is the pre-season #2 in the country with practices set to start in three days. Across the country, there is a new basketball philosophy that I feel will take the country and the world by storm (if it hasn't already done so). It has many names, dribble drive motion, AASAA (Attack, Attack, Skip, Attack, Attack), the Walberg offense, Memphis attack, they all essentially mean the same thing. In fact, if you were watching the NBA Playoffs last year, one couldn't help but notice the resemblance of the Golden State Warriors new offense as none other than the dribble drive motion.

Now any revolution has it's pioneers and while John Calipari is one of the innovators, he can't take credit for it's birth, that goes to Vance Walberg, second year head coach of Pepperdine. While Walberg may be the originator, Calipari is the one that will make it famous and will be remembered for it.

So what exactly is the dribble drive motion and why would anyone use it? To break it down to its most fundamental level, the dribble drive motion is basically penetration and kick. Walberg's motto is "Key or Three". It's spreading the defense to create gaps where a dribbler can go one-on-one, beat their man and attack the rim. If the defense helps, the ball is kicked out to the perimeter for a 3-pointer.

I won't pretend to be an expert as I've never ran it, and I'm still learning more about it. But what I will diagram below is one set out of the base motion of the system. The most interesting part of the system is that the more you learn, the more you realize the potential and possibilities. By no means is this just a simple cut and dry offense, there are many permutations out of the basic principles.


This is small ball. So if you're talking personnel, the ideal setup would be 4 x Steve Nash and 1 post. You need guards that can break their man down off the dribble one-on-one and can shoot long-range. Walberg states they never shoot mid-range, everything is to the rim or 3-pointer. The post must be a finisher.

Start from a basic 4-out 1-in set. You'll notice off the bat that P2 is way down in the corner. This promotes spacing and allows P1 to attack off the dribble for hopefully will be an easy layup every single time. P5 motions to the other block as soon as P1 makes his move.

Penetrate and Kick:

The heart of the offense is the penetrate and kick. Walberg uses zones (drop, drag) to define the rules of the kick out. It's easy enough to see what to do once players come to help.

Now once P1 beats X1, the best play is to just take it up all the way to the hoop. You'll either score, get fouled or score and get fouled. Now, the defense will adjust to bring help. So if X2 helps, it's an easy kick-out to P2 who stays in the corner on help defense for the 3-pointer. If X2 doesn't help, P2 goes to fill P1's old spot. If X5 comes to help, P1 can do an easy drop-off to P5 for an easy dunk. If X1 is able to stop P1 on the penetration, P1 should jump-stop pivot and get the ball back to P2 at the wing.

Penetrate Again:

If you're not successful the first time, try again. P2 gets the ball on the wing. Now most likely they defense has rotated, but nevertheless P2 will look to attack (this time across the middle) again.

Before P2 attacks, P1 is to find the nearest corner (can be either but most prefer strong side). Once P2 beats the defender, again you want to attack the rim as the first option. Most probably X5 will help, so P5 is to come across the key and look for the dump off this time on the right side. P3 and P4 are rotating across. P2 is to a jump stop in the key and if unable to finish or drop off, find P3 to reset the motion.


P3 will get the ball and pass back to P4 at the top right side to reset the play and start the dribble drive motion all over again.

P4 will attack this time, P1 will look for the corner 3-pointer on the kick-out and P5 will clear again to the other side of the key.


As you'll quickly gather, spacing is key to the offense. This will allow bigger gaps to penetrate through. This offense uses very little screens. It's all off the dribble. It promotes a lot of one-on-one matchups. Watch this year as Calipari uses his guard-heavy lineup to exploit the one-on-ones with Douglas-Roberts, Kemp and incoming freshman Rose.

If the Tigers win the NCAA Tournament this year, you can bet every high school team in the nation will be running to the next Calipari clinic to learn more about this system.

I hope to bring more plays featuring the different options of this exciting offense. Like I said before, I think it's going to change the way we coach the game going forward.

Now, as far as I know, neither Walberg or Calipari have made a DVD yet with the system. But you can check out Phil Martelli's DVD on becoming a better 1-on-1 player. Many of the drills taught in the DVD are the same ones that Walberg and Calipari use to drill their perimeter players. There are also plenty of notes from coaching clinics each has done over the past year or so which can be found by heading to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum.