Can you have an “Inside-Out” philosophy and yet play primarily from a 5 OUT formation?

Does your formation have anything to do with having an “Inside-Out” philosophy?

I don’t think that many will disagree with me when I say that the team that gets the most shots in the lane usually wins over the long haul. But most coaches interpret “Going Inside” as planting Post Players inside for the entire possession until the team gets them the ball and they can go one-on-one.  I want to reinterpret what it means to have an “Inside-Out” philosophy. Scoring inside is not limited to a Power Shot by your biggest player. Scoring inside is scoring inside, whether it’s a lay-up by your smallest player, or a putback from an offensive rebound.

My “Inside-Out” philosophy can be summed up pretty easily: I don’t care HOW or WHO scores in the lane, I simply want someone threatening to score in the lane at all times.

The READ & REACT Offense reflects this philosophy two ways:

  1. It gives ALL players a chance to score in the lane.
  2. It’s usually someone different every time the ball moves.

I intentionally designed EVERY action (or Layer) in the Read & React to send someone to the rim, i.e., a scoring threat IN THE LANE. In other words, the Read & React is DESIGNED with an “Inside-Out” philosophy. There’s no other offense or offensive system that sends more players to the rim with each movement of the ball than the Read & React. There’s no other offense that will DEMAND the defense to guard the lane more than the Read & React.

Let me make this point a Layer at a time:

Layer 1 PASS & CUT: When a pass is made, what happens? The passer must basket cut – Inside Threat.

Layer 2 FEED POST & CUT: When you feed the post, what happens? The passer Laker Cuts to the rim (that includes the X-cut as well.)

Layer 3 EAST-WEST DRIBBLE-AT: When dribbled at, that player must cut to the rim – Inside Threat.

Layer 4, DRIBBLE PENETRATION CIRCLE MOVEMENT: When someone drives, the driver becomes the Inside Threat.

Layer 5 PIN & SKIP: The Pin Screener is now INSIDE (threatening the rim).

Layer 6 POST SCREENS: When a Post player screens for a cutter, Layer 6 teaches them to “Shape Up” into the lane and call for the ball – an Inside Threat.

Layer 7 CUTTER SCREENS: When a Back Screen is set, the user of the screen cuts to the basket – an Inside Threat. Multiple Screens have multiple INSIDE threats – cutters AND screeners.

Layer 8 BALL SCREENS: After the ball screen is set, there are TWO players threatening INSIDE: the ball handler (trying to get to the rim) and the screener who rolls to the basket.

Layer 8 BALL SCREENS (POWER DRIBBLE): When the Power Dribbler hands off the ball, they roll to the basket – an Inside Threat.

Layers 10 FULL COURT: involves Read & React in the Full-Court: fast break lay-ups, early offense, threatening to score INSIDE.

Now that I’ve beaten that point to death, consider what will hinder the Inside Threats of each action above. Is it weakside defense? No, I’m not worried about helping defenders because we have an answer for that (Pin & Skip) that leads to another threat INSIDE.

The one thing that that is guaranteed to inhibit all of the “Inside-Threat-Actions” that I listed above is post players who play on the ball-side-mid-post FOR THE ENTIRE POSSESSION.

Instead of “hogging the lane” ALL of the time, Post Players (or anyone who tries to score in the post) can be more effective by doing the following:

  1. Use all three posting spots: High post, Mid-post, Short Corner. Not only do the High Post and Short Corner leave the lane open, but simply switching between the positions will leave the rim open for other players.
  2. Set screens for cutters (Layer 6) – this allows both the cutter and the post to threaten inside. The Post uses the screen to get open inside.
  3. Occasionally step out and set a back screen, then roll back into the post. (Layer 7)
  4. Don’t always follow the ball. Remain on the weak-side occasionally and set a Pin Screen. This opens the lane up on ball-side and if the Skip pass is thrown, your Pin Screen will set you up to receive the ball where you want it – INSIDE!

Till Next Time… Rick



2 Responses

  1. I am the girls JV coach at Potterville High school. I came across your videos and started to implement this offense. It works! Do you have a complete system for sale along with the floor spots?

  2. Thanks for the Christmas gift. In my opinion the Read & React concepts are the best way to teach players offensive movement in basketball. I truly be-leave that once the movement is in place a coach can adopt any sets or isolation strategies they want. It all works. I my opinion, one of the most important factors is that the players can use their imagination which make this game so fun — if the players are having fun they play relaxed and consequently play better.

    Thanks Again,


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