In the previous post, we went over Ball Screens as a new layer in the Read & React Offense. Well, here’s the final new layer: Corners.

Corners gives cutters a reaction when they’ve lost the basket cut. Let me explain.

Sometimes when you Pass & Cut, your defender wins the battle, stands you up, and prevents you from finishing your basket cut. This “chest to chest” position not only prevents you from scoring, but if you continue to struggle, it will slow up the offense, and clog up the lane – preventing your teammates from getting to the basket. You want to forget this battle and clear the chute for your teammates.

So, I’m stealing a motion read from Coach Knight. (I’m sure this is not the only thing that I’ve stolen from Coach Knight – but you know the basketball coaching rule, if you use it three times, you can call it your own!) Coach Knight would say if you find yourself sternum-to-sternum with your defender, just make a Corner and screen for a teammate. Well, this dovetails nicely into one of two layers in the Read & React. If you’ve only covered Pass & Cut, then make your corner and fill out to an empty spot. If you have the Back-Screen Layer under your belt, then make a corner and set a back-screen for a teammate.

Regardless of which one you choose, making a corner will insert your action directly into either Pass & Cut or Back-Screens. The problem is solved and the action continues from a familiar Layer.

Don’t let your players cop out with this layer, though. This should only be used when they meet a defender “sternum to sternum”. The last thing we want is for every cut (or even a significant percentage of them) to be a Corner.

11 Responses

  1. Ringy! I think making a corner means that you move in the shape of a corner. There’s two lines attached to a corner so your first line of movement, the basket cut, is some what a straight north/south line to the basket, and then you turn and follow a line east/west to fill out to an open spot or backscreen your way out. or your change of direction could look like the shape of a V (or an upside down V). I think this layer is quite useful because when I have played myself in my basketballclub, one of my teammates at practice who has guarded me on defense has started to anticipate my basket cuts. He knows I always cuts after I make my passes so he makes it hard for me to cut through, so making a corner and filliing out or backscreening would be very useful for me. I don’t want to fight him too much.

  2. I guess I don’t see the difference between this corner move and the basics that are taught at the cutting layer where the cutter will fill opposite of his pass. This often puts him in the corner oppostie of the pass he made. For example, if I’m at the top of the key and pass to the player to my right, I make a basket cut but if the wing doesn’t pass the ball to me, I would fill out to the left side baseline position. Yes, it is similar to Knight’s concept of one of his options dovetailing nicely into another motion option but it’s been a part of the Read & React all along.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Brian,

      The way the cutter fills out after the corner is no different than in the standard Pass & Cut or Backscreen layers.

      The difference is the cut itself: without the Corners layer, a player shouldn’t fill out or backscreen out until he has finished his cut under the basket. Corners just gives a cutter the option (not every time) of making a corner if a defender stands him up and he can no longer finish the cut as planned. Instead of fighting with the defender, wasting energy, and clogging the lane, he can exit his cut early by making a corner and then following the same fill or backscreen rules as before.

      Again, I want to stress that “sternum to sternum” is not “the defender touched me”. If a player gets bumped or touched or pushed, etc, I still want him to finish the cut. But, if he is locked in a battle of position, it is easier (and better for the other players) to simply abandon the cut and open the lane for teammates.

  3. I was a little confused as well. I took it to mean that if the defender completely blocks the cut to the basket by going going chest to chest, the cutter should make a v-cut back to the perimeter and either fill an open spot (same side corner should always be open) or to back screen for a teammate.

  4. Is it fair to say this layer should not be taught in the beginning stages of teaching pass and cut. Only when layers have pass cut and fill as a habit should you first, have live defence and second, give them another read to think about.

    All in all i like this layer as it will give me something else to counteract different defences!

  5. Hey Rich,

    You are right. This is not a “Foundation” layer – it is a layer that you would add (if you so choose) once Pass & Cut has been solidified. I imagine that this layer probably isn’t necessary for a youth team since defenses at that level will not usually body up.

    For higher level teams, it may be a layer that you do just fine without in the early stages of your season until defenders start to notice that your players are cutting to the basket a lot. Once, the body up defense starts, then it would be easy to add this layer as a counter.

    Personally, though, I wouldn’t waste practice time with it until I noticed that it was necessary.

  6. First let me say, I love the offense. That said, I have been doing most of the stuff in it, along with the layers for about 10 years. However, I understand that most of it is a new concept to most so OK.

    But when we take something that has existed forever, re-name it and then pretend it is our own, we lose credibility. For instance, taking a simple Back Cut (which we all know has been around since before Pete Carill) and re-naming it a “Rear Cut” doesn’t make it our own. It’s still a back cut, always been a back cut and always will be a back cut.

    That brings me to this “Make a Corner” thing. I hate to tell you guys this, but this maneuver has been called an “L” cut forever. Don’t act like someone’s come up with something new or re-invented the wheel here. Its a simple, basic L cut so just call it that, an L cut please. Sorry for my rant but this stuff drives me nuts.

    1. Hey Coach LeClaire,

      I appreciate the kind words about the R&R and I don’t disagree with your comments about re-naming something and claiming it as your own. But, your assumptions are a bit wrong and I have to stick up for Rick, at least for the benefit of those who don’t know him very well.

      “Making a Corner” is a term created by Bobby Knight (as indicated in the article) and “Rear Cut” is a term used for the Back Cut in Europe (where Rick spent a lot of time developing the Offense). Neither is a marketing construct nor an attempt to pretend we invented those concepts.

      In fact, we’ve always said that the Read & React is made up of fundamentals – we didn’t invent Pin & Skips, Passing, Power Dribbles or any of the other fundamentals that make up the R&R. What Rick did, however, was put them together in an integrated system with a clear teaching methodology.

      Coaches from all over the world have different names for things – that’s just how it is. If your players respond to want to L cut or Back Cut, then that works for you. No worries.

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