A small schedule last night in college basketball action, catching some great games today. The University of South Florida beat number eight Marquette last night. I saw most of the second half. Most people will say it was slow boring ball, and the final score in the 50s reflected that, but as a coach, I enjoyed watching both teams play hard defense and execute a slow methodical motion offense.

I wasn't able to capture enough video, but I was able to gather enough about USF's offense to recognize that it was a form of a blocker-mover motion offense. It is predicated around setting screens for the movers, and screen the screener action for the forwards. Here are a few sequences,

Blocker-Mover Motion Offense:

This is a slow developing, patient offense, predicated on constant motion, no set pattern, and screen the screener action. As such, there really isn't any point to diagram it because it is a true motion, free-flowing offense. Depending on your personnel, most blocker mover teams use 3 blockers and 2 movers. It looks like USF uses 2 blockers and 3 movers. All movement is positioned around one of the forwards, whether he is at the high or the low post. The offense must read the defense and try to work for open shots for the best shooter on the floor, often coming off of double screens.

The blockers are usually divided up as free blockers and lane-to-lane blockers. They have the freedom to go and set a screen for a mover, set a stagger, or a blur screen.

Rules for blockers after setting a screen are: screen and re-screen; or cut the basket; or another blocker can come and set a lane-to-lane screen for the screener. The blocker should always wait for a 2-second count after screening before choosing the next option, to allow for the play to develop.


As you can imagine, this kind of offense takes a lot of practice, and a lot of basketball intuition to play effectively. It is slow developing, and the criticism is that most players usually get lazy and jack up 3-pointers. On the plus side, if players really buy into the system, move with a purpose and pass the ball around, it can result in great shot opportunities both inside and outside. The other plus side of this kind of offense is that your team should be competitive in every game, because it emphasizes ball possession, and keeps the tempo of the game low, thereby reducing the overall number of possessions in a game. It can frustrate a team that wants to run all the time, and force them to play half-court defense for the whole 35 seconds.

There are many variations of the blocker-mover motion. Coach Bobby Knight uses one version. The "orthodox" blocker mover offense is Dick Bennett's Blocker-Mover Motion Offense which he used at Washington State and his son still uses there at WSU. As always, be sure to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.

BTW, I had to switch up the ads on the site, you know to pay the bills. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this has caused you faithful readers.