I was talking online with a coaching friend from Washington State the other day and we got into a debate about the pros and cons of the shot clock. My personal opinion is that shot clocks in general are a good thing because they encourage more flow in a game. But I can see my friend's point in that the use of a shot clock gives the advantage to teams that have superior athleticism, teams like his can run a delay offense to dictate tempo and offset the athletic gap with superior passing, patience, and shot selection.

I went through some more notes today and came across some notes on the offense used by the University of Tennessee Women's team, coached by Pat Summitt. I don't know if Coach Summitt has used it in the past few years, but I've seen some older footage where they did use it. It's a 5-out continuity offense which you could definitely adapt to use as a delay offense. It is slow developing and you probably would run it 3 or 4 iterations before getting a good defensive breakdown to take advantage of.


It's a basic 5-out set. Since it is a continuity, numbering is not all that important and all players are interchangeable. It really doesn't matter who is where, so long as they run the pattern correctly. The point guard, O1, dribbles into the middle of the floor at the top of the key. O2 and O5 are spread at the wings and O3 and O4 are at the corners to start. O1 passes to the right wing and cuts to the wing while O5 replaces,

O2 reverses the ball through O5 to O1 on the other wing. This is to create initial movement and to setup the cuts to follow,

Basket Cut and Downscreen

2 really basic basketball plays. First, the weakside wing, O2 here, does a straight basket cut. If open, O1 hits O2 going to the basket for a layup. If not, O2 begins to clear out to the same side. As O2 makes the basket cut, O5 begins to move towards the lane, O3 starts to move up,

O2 clears to the corner. O5 sets a basic downscreen on air, O3 sets up the cut going to the basket but then coming over top of the screen. O5 reads the play, if the defense hedges, O5 can roll to the basket for a quick hit. If the defense is underneath, pops back out. O3 comes to the top of the screen looking to receive a pass from O1. O3 can then reverse to O5 up top or down to O5 posting up or going to the hoop,

Repeat On Other Side

The action repeats on the other side. This time, O5 is the passer and O1 is the cutter,

O3 goes to set the downscreen this time for O4. Same as above, just different players and different side. If nothing is open, the action repeats back to the right side of the court,

A very simple 5-out continuity, but I think it is good because if executed properly and patiently, it can result in high quality shot opportunities. If you want to learn more about the Tennessee way, then check out Pat Summitt's DVD on Game Preparation.


  1. JP  

    October 27, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    If a shot clock increases the ability of an athlete to use his athleticism, how is this a bad thing?