In our previous post, we talked about the option of going deeper into certain layers of the Read & React rather than constantly pushing to add more layers. At the same time, a team who has established themselves in the R&R can continue to build nuances into their offense to make it more dynamic (and ultimately harder to guard).

To illustrate this point, I put together some clips from the NCAA Division 1 University of Iowa Women’s team. This kind of depth exists in almost every layer of the Read & React. Many of you are already aware of this “Simple, yet Complex” aspect of the Read & React. But for those who aren’t, especially youth coaches, I hope you can see how to squeeze even more out of Layer 1 than just the most basic actions.

Once you’ve mastered the basic front and rear cut, you can start to go a little deeper…

When filling an empty spot, if your defender follows you, or “puppy-dogs” you, then immediately front cut.

Another step deeper…

Use the basic Pass & Cut action to distort the defense, then drive off the tail of the cutter. We call this, the Draft Drive.

And deeper still…

If help comes, then combo the Draft Drive with another layer. So, if help comes from the post, you’re looking for the Basic Post Slide.

14 Responses

  1. Great article and video. Good to have a name for this drive off the tail of the cutter, draft drive. The draft drive and draft drive with brush screen should have their own 3-player drills. I’ve thought about this draft drive for awhile and will point it out or drill it for my team soon.

    1. Blue – My first Draft Drive Drill came about by tweaking the 3-player Pass & Rear Cut Drill. I told the defense to jump to denial position (after the pass) and then go with the cutter, i.e., guard the cutter all the way to the goal. The receiver of the pass is to drive behind the cutter all the way for a lay-up.

      My reason for doing it this way is simple: If the cutter is open, I want the ball passed to the cutter. Only when the cutter is covered do I want the receiver to think about driving.

  2. Hi Rick,

    it is so fascinating to read every day the tribe and the new articles and there is every day something new which I can learn from you and the other coaches. THX for that!!!

    Maybe it is possible to hear your voice explaining what you see on the tape.
    It will helps me and maybe the other coaches too.


  3. Caoch Torbett:
    Good day! This concept makes so much sense especially when you know defenders tend to turn their head from the ball and due to player movement it can slow the ability to provide help as needed.The draft drive is a powerful weapon!

  4. Hey Rick

    quick question regarding the draft drive. It’s about the player supposed to fill the spot where the draft drive instead ends up coming:

    do you tell the players anything about delaying the fill up too see if the ballhandler draft drives? Or do you tell the players to always fill up quickly and then just use some extra, extra, extra time on the circle movement so their reaction becomes instant??

    of course you use a lot of time on the circle drills – you have to – but i’m just curious if this makes you drill that part to an even further extent!?

    happy new years,

    1. Hey J,
      Blue has a good answer for you. I’d like to add to it.

      I don’t tell the players filling to do anything out of the ordinary. Late fills will occur naturally as the ball and players begin to move. I’m more concerned with teaching those with the ball what to look for: gaps, late fills, out of position defenders, and even brush screen opportunities.

      Speaking of what to drill: A great 5 on 0 exercise is to let the players Pass & Cut until someone randomly Draft Drives. However, the Draft Driver cannot finish; he/she must pass to a teammate who takes the shot. This forces the team to concentrate on “Changing Channels” from Pass & Cut & Fill to Circle Move in the direction of the Draft Drive. This creates such difficulties for the defense, that is should be a part of every Read & React team’s daily practice!

  5. I’d like to answer this. I think in the case of a player on his way to fill an open spot next to the ballhandler this player should interrupt his open-spot-filling with circle movement if the ballhandler draft drives – remember read and react to the ballhandler, keep your eyes on him. An important detail: if the ballhandler decides to draft drive he should do it well before his next closest teammate fill the open spot next to him or else help defense might stop his drive – but then again this is not a problem since post slides and circle movement will give him someone to pass to. But if you want good space to drive and make a layup or mid-range shot you better do it before someone fills the open spot next to you.

  6. In a scrimmage last week, one of my kids dribbled-at the wing, and then immediately did a draft drive right behind him for a layup. I had never even considered this option before since I thought the lane would be too cluttered. It turns out that the cutter’s defender is so preoccupied with chasing him through the lane, he doesn’t even realize their is an offensive guy dribbling right on his tail for a layup. Very cool action! (We had never even practiced this before, by the way.)

    1. Magic – When something like that happens, set it up and point it out the next day in practice. Explain why it worked and praise the innovative player. Now go one step further: Make a drill out it and let everyone experience it! This is how you collectively raise the I.Q. level of all the players. And what better way is there to demonstrate the “shared control” and team aspect of the Read & React? Fun stuff isn’t it!

  7. I noticed the puppy dog/fill front cut in the video and it’s an interesting addition to the offense. The defender followed the filler and was below the read line and in front of the offensive player, and the filler made a front cut. Is this an alternative to just filling out the open spot? What if another player next to the ballhandler has his defender over the read line? Will this mess up spacing if a puppy dog front cut occurs? And another question regarding when to cut on the puppy dog: do you do it when the defender is following you from behind and/or is moving with you and in front of you below the read line?

    1. Blue – Regarding the Puppydog-Fill-Front-Cut: If I were describing the situation to a player it would sound like this: If you are filling an empty spot and you notice that your defender is trailing behind the IMAGINARY LINE FROM YOU TO THE GOAL, then Front Cut them. (If you don’t get the ball, don’t worry; someone else will fill your spot on the perimeter.)

      On the other hand, if you are filling an empty spot and your defender is ON or IN FRONT of your imaginary line to the goal (I’m also assuming he/she is inside the Read Line), then don’t basket cut; you’re open to receive the pass and let your teammate cut.

      Does that help?

  8. Hi Blue,
    I am not sure if I understand your question right, I make an example maybe it will helps a little bit.
    Offense 5 Out #1 top of key, #2 & #3 on the Wing, #4 & #5 in the corner.
    #1 pass to # 2 (right wing) cut to the basket
    #3 and #5 want to fill the spot
    x3 is puppy doging #3 so he decides to cut to to the basket
    #5 is filling up the top spot

    so only x4 can be usually over the readline because all other players without the ball are in movement.
    When #4 decides to cut to the basket too than #4 and #3 are cutting at the same time.

    #2 has the Option to pass to both of them or to #5 filling the top of the key.

    If both are cutting same time I would see that #3 fills the corner spot where’s #4 comes from and #4 continues his cut along the baseline and fill the opposite corner.

    I would prefer that #3 cuts hard to the basket if his defender is following him and is not in front of him below the readline but it always depends on the situation & the skills of your players and if the defender is on the wrong foot why not try the front cut when he is below the readline?

    I think the hardest reactions for the offense are if #2 circle moves to the right corner or the short corner. It would be easier for the kids if he circle moves left or to the elbow.

    If you like to mail me, you are welcome 😉


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