Two 5-Out Ball Screen Adjustments

5-Out Offense is all the rage these days. With today’s players’ skills and an overall emphasis on spacing, ball movement and player movement, 5-Out Offense provides opportunities for every player on the court to contribute on the offensive end.

Here are two adjustments to make as defenses evolve to take away actions within your normal 5-Out Offense.

Short Roll

A lot of defenses at the college level and especially at the high school level are blitzing and hard hedging ball screens. What’s the offense’s solution? A short roll from the screener has the potential to create a 4-on-3 for the offense. Radius Athletics’ Randy Sherman breaks down how to make the short roll work for your team, and what happens next…

Flip Drag

The 5 screening for your point guard is one of the most common actions within 5-Out. A great way to mix things up is with a consecutive action. The Pistol action (or “Flip Drag) allows you to put different defenders in the ball screen while forcing the defense to talk through back-to-back actions.

Additional Resources

If you’re looking for more 5-Out Offense resources, here are a few…

4 Split Cut Actions off Post Feeds

What happens with the four other players on offense when the ball is passed into the post? Do you avoid throwing the ball into the post altogether? Post feeds are a great way to invert your offense and run actions on the perimeter to open up players for scoring opportunities.

If you’ve watched teams like the Golden State Warriors or the Miami Heat, you’ve seen split actions off post feeds. Once the ball enters the post, the passer moves towards another perimeter player to screen. Sometimes it’s a clear screen. Other times the two players are just moving towards each other to create confusion for the defense. What happens next depends on how the defense plays the split.


Probably the most common action off the Split Screen is the slip. After the feed into the post, the passer sets a screen for the next perimeter player. After using the screen, the screener slips to the front of the rim. If the defense stays, the shooter ends up with a clean 3PA. But even if the defense switches, the screener often finds himself with a window of opportunity to receive that pocket pass from the player in the post.


The “reject” is a great automatic if the defense attempts to blow up your split screen. The defender of the player receiving the screen may attempt to jump the screen in order to take away the screen. Instead of forcing the issue, the intended receiver of the screen cuts back door to the rim while the screener spaces back out to the wing.


The combination of Draymond Green and Steph Curry are masters of the step-up after the split screen. The action starts with a slip off the split action (Frame 1). After the post player passes to the player coming off the screen, the post player immediately sets a step-up screen. Depending on how x5 plays the step-up, you can either get a drive for 3 or a pass back to 5 for a finish in close.

Dribble Hand-off

Similar to the step-up is the DHO. Again, it starts with the slip (Frame 1), but on the pass out of the post, the perimeter player (3) throws it back into 5. 3 chases the pass and receives a hand-off from the post player.

Looking for more? Watch this #HoopsForum as Randy Sherman and I break down each action with video clips and detailed explanations.

Improve Your Team with Postseason Player Evaluations

So, what’s the plan for your team this offseason? Surely it’s more than, “get better,” right?

Ultimately, the improvement of your team lies in the off-season improvement of your individual players. But the plan has to be more specific than just “get better.” Players need to know what skills are needed for them, and your team, to have success this coming season. That all starts with a well thought-out player evaluation plan.

Appalachian State women’s basketball assistant coach, Mark Cascio, joined A Quick Timeout podcast to talk about his process for conducting postseason player evaluations. Check it out then scroll down to the bottom of this post for some additional resources for you to adapt and use with your players.

Player Evaluation Form

Having players take notes or even including them in the off-season planning during your 1-on-1 meetings is a great way to keep them engaged as well as help them take more ownership in the process. This postseason meeting form allows for players to assess their performance and then for coaches to give feedback about players’ performance. They leave with both specific areas for improvement as well as a plan for improving in the offseason.

Player Evaluation Form

Each year, we put our players through an NBA-like combine to test their physical development. This player evaluation form combines those testing numbers with players’ psychological and basketball “makeup” to form a “map” for off-season development. You can make these specific to each player, including specific drills for players to focus on.

Other Resources

ATO Specials: Burn Cuts

Old timers, like myself, would tell you, “You don’t need a play call to back door somebody. When your defender turns his head or overplays the passing lane, back cut.” Even in today’s game, that’s a read every player should be taught to make. However, with many teams today moving away from denial, in-the-passing-lane defensive systems and to gap systems, it can be harder to get “back door” opportunities in the natural flow of your offense… which is why you’re seeing teams use set plays to create burn cuts (i.e., “back doors”).


Final Four Preview: Duke Blue Devils

For years, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski has used a variety of sets to maximize the skill sets of his stars. This year has been no different. And while much of the 2021-22 season saw the Blue Devils primarily playing out of basic concepts (i.e., ball screens, drive and kicks, etc.) in the half court, Krzyzewski has leaned on his Horns playbook in the first four games on this year’s NCAA Tournament. Let’s go inside the XsOs.


Cognitive Biases in Coaching: Action Bias Pitfalls

*Originally posted on the Blog by Radius Athletics’ Randy Sherman.

A tendency toward action bias can at times lead basketball coaches and players astray, undermining short and long term progress.

Coaches are hard workers. One does not ascend the coaching ladder of success without long hours and commitment to the job. There is even a term assigned to this phenomenon – grinding.

But is all of this “grinding” necessary? Or does much of it come from a tendency humans have towards action bias? Coaches and players alike can succumb to the pitfalls of a cognitive bias called action bias, but being aware of them may help.


Cognitive Biases in Coaching: The Impact Of Optimism Bias

*Originally posted on the Blog by Radius Athletics’ Randy Sherman.

Optimism Bias can lead to unrealistic expectations, disappointment and emotional turmoil for coaches who do not guard against it.

There are numerous cognitive biases – or mistakes in reasoning – humans are susceptible to. Coaches can and do fall prey to these biases as well. One such bias is the optimism bias and failure to guard against it can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment.


Cognitive Biases in Coaching: Avoiding Outcome Bias

*Originally posted on the Blog by Radius Athletics’ Randy Sherman.

Cognitive Bias In Coaching: Thoughts on avoiding the pitfalls of Outcome Bias for basketball coaches, teams and players. 

“But Coach, I made it…”

The above phrase is one that many coaches have heard before. The lessons of shot selection are often lost on players after a favorable outcome follows a subpar decision. This is one example of a common cognitive bias called Outcome Bias.


Cognitive Biases in Coaching: Defeating Choice-Supportive Bias

*Originally posted on the Blog by Radius Athletics’ Randy Sherman.

Coaches: Is Choice-Supportive Bias plaguing your ability to make good decisions and move on from bad ones? Here’s how to spot and defeat it.

As coaches, we have all made decisions that we have come to regret. During preseason planning you may be excited about an offense, defense or lineup you have selected. You spend early season practices preparing your team to carry out the strategies you chose.


Contesting Shots Matters and Here’s Why

Earlier this season I listened to Eric Mussleman speak to his team on the importance of contesting shots.  He referenced the 2015-16 NBA season to explain why the distance of your closeout on a shot makes all the difference.  He said that defensive FG% was lower as shots were contested closer.  You can hear him talk to his team in the YouTube video at the end of this post.


Building Your Basketball Playbook: Inverted Offense

Flip the traditional setup – Inverted Offense posts up a guard, running actions above to create huge advantages and tough covers.

While attending the NABC Coaches Convention a few years back, I was intrigued when I saw the session titled, “The Analytical Edge: Underutilized Strategies to Increase Win Percentage,” presented by Frank Dehel of Dribble Handoff.


Building Your Basketball Playbook: Consecutive Actions

String together consecutive actions to creates advantages by forcing the defense to make back-to-back quick decisions.

During my second year as a college assistant coach, we had a Division I point guard transfer into our small program. His skill in the pick and roll was quickly apparent, not just to our staff, but also to our opponents. In just the first few games, the typical high ball screen became less and less effective as teams would adjust their defense to force our ball handler to give up the basketball.


Anatomy of a BLOB with Ido Singer, UNC-G Spartans

Coach Ido Singer is an assistant coach for the UNC Greensboro women’s basketball team. He shares his philosophy on baseline out of bounds plays and what you should consider when it comes to selecting BLOBs for your team. Included are some of his favorite Xs and Os.


Embrace Pace & Space with Matt Driscoll, UNF Ospreys

After spending time as an assistant coach at schools like Baylor, Clemson, and Valparaiso, Coach Matt Driscoll is now the head men’s basketball coach at the University of North Florida. He discusses how they break down conceptual offense, important stats for the offense, and how they generate more 3s and finishes around the basket.


Deconstructing Defense with Chris Caputo, Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes’ Chris Caputo is one of the top assistants at the Division I level. In this episode, the Hurricanes’ associate head coach shares suggestions for defending modern offenses, goals for defensive statistics, and what it takes to be a great defensive coach.


NBA: Inside Look with Tim Capstraw, Brooklyn Nets

Tim Capstraw is a former NCAA D1 head coach and the current radio analyst for the Brooklyn Nets. He discusses Kyrie Irving’s return, the differences in coaching at the NBA level, and what separates stars like Kevin Durant.


Playing with Pace at Duke with Jack Castleberry, Citadel Bulldogs

Jack Castleberry is the associate head coach for the Citadel Bulldogs. After a health issue sidelined Citadel’s Coach Duggar Baucom, Coach Castleberry found himself in the head seat against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium. He talks about the experience, how his team plays with pace, and improving your team over the course of a season.


Attacking Switching Defenses with Francesco Nanni, Scafati Basket

Scafati Basket’s assistant coach, Francesco Nanni, dives deep into the topic of attacking switching defenses. Defenses frequently use switches to neutralize advantage-creating actions in the modern game. Coach Nanni provides tactics for teaching your players how to attack those switches.


Lead Like a Pro with Matthew Raidbard, University of Hartford

Dr. Matthew Raidbard is a former college basketball coach and the author of “Lead Like a Pro: Effective Leadership Styles for Athletic Coaches.” He discusses practical ideas for building the player-coach relationship, the importance of a coach’s personal core values in leadership, and perceived vs. actual leadership for coaches.


Trends in Modern Basketball with Thomas Bridges

Thomas Bridges is an assistant video coordinator in the NBA. He discusses where the current game of basketball is moving, suggestions for succeeding as a player at the next level, and how analytics and video have created an opportunity for a career in basketball.


Be the CEO of Your Program with Mike Leviere, BJU Bruins

Mike Leviere is in his 10th year as the women’s basketball coach at Bob Jones University. He shares what it’s like to start a program from nothing, lessons learned from his experience in running a team, and advice for those who want to coach for more than wins.


What it Takes to “Be a Pro” with CJ Watson, NBA

CJ Watson spent 10 years in the NBA as a member of teams like the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, and Golden State Warriors. He shares insights on what it means to “be a pro” and what it takes to contribute at the highest level.


NBA Draft Preview | Kyle Boone, CBS Sports

CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone is back on the podcast to preview the 2021 NBA Draft. He shares what makes Cade Cunningham so special, first round “sleepers,” and why this draft class is so intriguing. In addition, Kyle breaks down potential 2022 and 2023 draft class stars, Chet Holmgren, Victor Wembanyama, and Paulo Banchero.


Lockdown Defense with Mike Jagacki, Hofstra Pride

Mike Jagacki is an assistant coach for the Hofstra women’s basketball team and the creator of Lockdown Defense. He shares the importance of a defined defensive system, teaching cues for defense, and in-game adjustments to help improve team defense.


Reviving a Program with Abe Woldeslassie, Macalester College

Abe Woldeslassie is the head men’s basketball coach at Minnesota’s Macalester College (NCAA D3). In 2018, he took over a program that had won just 35 games in 10 seasons. In this episode, he shares how he’s changing the program’s culture and how his past experiences as a player and coach have helped him revitalize the program’s culture there at Macalester.


Deep Dive into Small-Sided Games with Joerik Michiels, Elite Academy

Joerik Michiels is the co-founder of Elite Academy in Antwerp, Belgium. As a professional skills trainer, Joerik has experience coaching and presenting at camps and clinics around the world. In this episode, he shares how small-sided games have revolutionized his coaching, from the youth levels through the professional ranks.


Post Player Development with Jackie Carson, Furman Paladins

Jackie Carson is the current coach and a former player for the Furman Paladins. As a player, Carson finished her collegiate career in the Paladins’ top 10 for points (2nd), rebounds (7th) and blocks (2nd). She shares tips for being an effective post player at both the high school and college levels.


Championship Culture with Chris Spatola, ESPN

Chris Spatola is an ESPN college basketball analyst and former member Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils basketball staff. On this episode of “Coffee with Coaches,” we talk leadership, teamwork, building culture, and more.


Self-Scouting and Skill Development with Edniesha Curry, Maine Black Bears

Edniesha Curry is entering her third season as an assistant coach for the Main Black Bears men’s basketball team. She is currently the only woman serving as a full-time assistant coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. In this episode, she talks about two of her areas of expertise, self-scouting and skill development.


Lessons from a Legend with Bobby Cremins, Georgia Tech (ret.)

Bobby Cremins is the former head coach at Georgia Tech, College of Charleston, and Appalachian State. He amassed 579 wins (.607 winning percentage) at the NCAA Division I level, including 3 ACC Coach of the Year awards, 4 Southern Coach of the Year awards, and a Naismith Coach of the Year award (1990). His teams appeared in 11 NCAA Tournaments, including 1 Final Four (1990). In addition, he coached on multiple gold medal USA Basketball teams.


Workout Ideas and Drills with Wesley Brooks, Michigan Wolverines

Wesley Brooks is an assistant coach for the University of Michigan’s women’s basketball team. During his time with the Utah Utes and Michigan Wolverines, Coach Brooks has been instrumental in developing both perimeter and post players into all-conference players. In this episode, he shares some of his best tips for training players in the area of skill development.


Pressure Defense with Richard Westerlund, Great Lakes Christian College

Over the past two seasons, Richard Westerlund’s Great Lakes Christian College team has been in the top two in all of college basketball in steals (826) and forced turnovers (1386). In this episode, Coach Westerlund shares his philosophy for pressure defense, both full court and half court. If you’re looking to improve your team’s defense this season, this episode is a must-listen.


The Art of Shooting with Fletcher Magee, Monbus Obradoiro

Want to improve your shooting mechanics and mindset this off-season? Fletcher Magee, former Wofford Terrier and current professional basketball player, checks in to talk about shooting mechanics, getting yourself out of a shooting slump, and the fundamentals of great shooting.


Designing Your Offense with Jaycob Ammerman, UCF Knights

Looking to up your team’s PPG this season? Evaluating your offense’s effectiveness during the summer months? Jaycob Ammerman, video coordinator for the UCF Knights, provides suggestions for how to best design and select offensive actions for your team.


You Want to Be a College Coach? with Matt Mossman, Oklahoma Sooners

Do you, or someone you know, dream of becoming a college basketball coach? Matt Mossman (Oklahoma Sooners) and Andrew Wingreen (Stetson Hatters) join Tony Miller to discuss their paths to the college ranks and what you should be doing now to prepare for being a valuable member of a college basketball staff.


John Wooden: The Teacher with Ray Lokar, Gold Standard Coaching

Ray Lokar is the Director of Coaching for Gold Standard Coaching. Coach Lokar is a native of California who grew up a UCLA Bruins basketball fan. His dreams came true when he had the chance to work John Wooden’s basketball camps in the summers at UCLA. Coach Lokar shares some of things learned from the then-retired Bruins coach, including what made Wooden such an effective teacher.


John Wooden: The Mentor with Cori Close, UCLA Bruins

Cori Close is the current women’s basketball coach for the UCLA Bruins. While an assistant, Close was introduced to Coach Wooden, and over the next 17 years, she developed a close friendship with Wooden. She shares in this episode how the legendary coach impacted her as both a coach and person.


John Wooden: The Friend with Andy Hill, UCLA Bruins

Andy Hill won three national championships in the early 1970’s as a UCLA Bruins player. Hill later went on to become the president of CBS Productions. He reunited with Coach Wooden after 25 years and became a close friend to Wooden. In this episode, Hill talks about that bond and the lessons learned from his friend.


John Wooden: The Person with Steve Lavin, UCLA Bruins

Steve Lavin is the former head men’s basketball coach for the UCLA Bruins. Lavin met Coach Wooden while an assistant in the early 1990’s. Once promoted to head coach, he drew on Coach Wooden’s wisdom to help guide the Bruins to 6 20-win seasons, including 4 appearances in the Sweet 16 and 1 in the Elite Eight. He gives an inside look into Coach Wooden, the person.


John Wooden: The Coach with Swen Nater, UCLA Bruins

Swen Nater was a member of two of Coach John Wooden’s national championship teams (’72, ’73), backing up Bill Walton at the center position. Although he never started a game at UCLA, Nater was drafted in the first round of the NBA. In this episode, he gives an inside look into Wooden, the coach.


Understanding Your Players with Neal Ring, Athletic DISC Solutions

Do you want to improve your ability to connect with and motivate your players? To help coaches better understand their players, Dr. Neal Ring joins A Quick Timeout podcast to discuss the DISC assessment. Dr. Ring is a certified behavioral consultant and former high school and college basketball coach with over 20 years of experience in athletics. In this episode, he explains the basics of the DISC assessment and how understanding the DISC’s results can be the key to unlocking our players’ full potential.


Breaking Down Skill Development with Mike Shaughnessy, Skills Trainer

Coach Mike Shaughnessy stops by the podcast to break down skills development training. Coach Shaughnessy has experience as a college player and coach and is a proven skills development trainer. In this episode, we talk about designing workouts, essential skills for training, and preparing players for the next level.


Social Media Marketing for Your Program with Mason Waters

Despite the popularity of social media, many college and high school sports programs are failing to take advantage of the marketing and branding opportunities presented by social. In this “Coffee with Coaches,” Coach Tony Miller and Coach Mason Waters share ideas for implementing a social strategy and creating engaging content.


The Film Doesn’t Lie with Jimmy Dykes, ESPN

Long-time college basketball coach and ESPN analyst, Jimmy Dykes, talks about the pandemic’s effect on college basketball, how he’s managing during these difficult times, and his new book, The Film Doesn’t Lie.


Impactful Coaching with Joe Abunassar, Impact Basketball

Joe Abunassar is the founder and president of Impact Basketball. Coach Abunassar has trained thousands of players, including 130 NBA Draft picks, in his 20-years of basketball training. In this episode, Coach Tony Miller and Coach Abunassar focus in on the 5 pillars of basketball training.


Pack Line Defense: The Basics with Andrew Wingreen, Stetson Hatters

In this first episode in our week-long series on the Pack Line Defense, Coach Andrew Wingreen rejoins the show to talk about installing the Pack Line defensive system. Coach Miller and Coach Wingreen discuss the basics of “the Pack,” including the importance of ball pressure, closeout techniques, and post defense.


Raise Your Team’s Game with Alan Stein, Jr.

Alan Stein is no stranger to the sports world. His books, podcasts, and clinics have been a help to basketball coaches across the globe. Most recently, he’s taken his knowledge of leadership and team building to the corporate world. Now, he shares these lessons to help coaches raise their team’s game.


Wisdom from Experienced Coaching with Jon DeMarco, Get Better Basketball

Coaches across the globe have benefited from Coach (Dr.) Jon DeMarco’s weekly #GBetBBChat. On this episode, Coach DeMarco shares some of the things he’s learned from those chats, as well as from his time as a high school basketball and football coach. This one is PACKED with great content for coaches of all ages!


Observations from the Booth with Jay Bilas, ESPN

ESPN’s Jay Bilas joins the show to talk about his prep for calling some of the biggest college basketball games on TV, shared characteristics of some of the top coaches in the country, the Kansas-Kansas State brawl, and the Jay Bilas Skills Camp that he holds for players and coaches each summer.


Press Defenses with Burton Uwarow, Bob Jones University

Before his time with the Bruins, Burton Uwarow coached the varsity boys basketball team at Creekside Christian Academy (GA). In just seven seasons, he transformed the team from a first year program into state champions, winning three Division I-AA State Championships. During his first year at BJU, he was named region coach of the year while leading the team to a regional championship and an appearance in the NCCAA (DII) national championship game.


Creating Leaders with Tony Miller, Bob Jones University

Who are the leaders on your team? What are the characteristics you’re looking for in your team leaders? How do you make more leaders for your team? BJU Bruins Sports Information Director, Jonny Gamet, and I discuss making leaders in your program in this episode of A Quick Timeout.



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