Going through more notes this week, and came across a good explanation for an early offense to use from Oregon's Ernie Kent called the Open Early Offense. The offense is meant to played fast with the purpose of getting easy baskets but also to tire the other team out. It's simple to use and its effectiveness comes from players learning how to read screens and make the right play, here goes:

Introduction to Open

Open is designed to take advantage of skilled, athletic wing players in combination with skilled trailing big men. Open is simply a downscreen in transition but because of floor spacing and the skills of the players involved, that downscreen becomes a very effective scoring weapon

Open begins with O2 and O3 running their lanes on the sideline. Whichever forward is not the one rebounding the ball, runs center and posts up on the ballside post. The first look every single time is, whoever has the ball, O4 or O1 throws over the top for a layup, 3-pointer, or early post-up.

The offense begins with the PG passing ahead to either O2 or O3 on the wing. The wing should stay high and wide for a better passing angle to the weakside after the downscreen action. The PG must sprint to the ballside corner ASAP to clear out room for the pass to the weakside. If you want your PG making the pass, the wing can dribble to the corner and pass back to the PG at the wing instead.

As the ballside action happens, the trailing forward (O4 here) sprints into a downscreen by headhunting the weakside wing's defender. The wing should help setup the screen by moving towards the baseline. The screen should take place facing the corner about 15 feet away from the basket on a 45 degree angle from the basket. This gives room for the cutter to use the screen for a backcut or curl or pop out,

The cutter, screener, and passer must now read the defense and depending on the defense decide on the following 6 reads.

Read 1: Cutter curls or Pops out for 3-pointer

The cutter's defender gets stuck on the screen set by the trailer. If the defense does not switch, and if the cutter's defender trails, then the play is a curl to the basket for the layup. If the cutter's defender goes underneath to protect the basket, then the play is to pop out for the 3-pointer,

Read 2: Screener Pops out for 3-pointer

If the cutter's defender trails, and the screener's defender drops to temporarily cover the cutter. Because the screener is not defended over the top, the screener reads this and pops out to the 3-point line for a 3-pointer,

Read 3: Re-screen for Cutter Popping out for 3-pointer

The cutter's defender anticipates the downscreen and drops down towards the lane. The cutter executes a pocket cut and explodes back out to the 3-point line. As this happens, the screener turns to adjusts his screen to re-screen the defender who should be trying to close out,

Read 4: Overplay, Backdoor Cut

The cutter's defender overplays the initial cut. The cutter takes advantage of getting behind the defender's head and cuts backdoor to receive a lob pass for the score,

Read 5: Overplay and Switch, Screener Pops out for 3-pointer

If the cutter's defender overplays the initial cut, and the screener's defender drops to protect against the lob, then the screener should be undefended to pop out to the 3-point line for an open 3-pointer,

Read 6: The Slip

If at anytime the defense is hedging the screen or stepping out to bump the cutter, the screener can execute a quick screen and slip to the basket for a layup,

Final Thoughts

Open is designed to be a quick hitting play out of transition, for the passer as well as the cutter. The play is named open because the goal is to open up the floor for the ballhandler to drive as well as to hit up the cutter for a score. Therefore, the ballhandler must always be aware of using the dribble if possible to beat their defender. When the first options are not available, the offense can simply flow into your motion, continuity, or set offense.

For more on Oregon's early offense, check out Ernie Kent's DVD on Transition Offense.