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Be Your Own Outlet

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

One way to jumpstart your transition offense is to let your 4 or 5 men get out and start the break.

With a traditional Center or Power Forward, we are typically asking them to outlet the basketball to a guard before they begin their Rim Run. Ideally, we want to get the ball in the hands of our best decision-makers as soon as possible, and in most cases that is one of the guards. Every now and then we have a big man who is skilled with the basketball in his hands. When that happens we really want to emphasize the principle of BYOO or Be Your Own Outlet. Being your own outlet is a simple concept that eliminates the need for an outlet pass, and hopefully adds an element of speed to your transition offense.

This concept of avoiding the outlet pass is certainly not limited to your 4/5 Men. Simply eliminating the outlet pass for all players can be a great way to increase the speed of your transition break. In our transition scheme when the 5 Man does not rebound the basketball he is Rim Running and is hunting a deep paint touch. The other players are sprinting to fill the corners first, and the slots second. When the 5 Man does rebound we are encouraging him to skip the outlet pass and push the basketball up the floor himself. This concept does not affect the other players at all, but it provides a unique opportunity for the center to attack the rim and create an early advantage.

Executing the BYOO -

The concept of being your own outlet is a simple one that relies on spreading the floor and allowing the player with the ball to attack the middle of the floor. Since the majority of our clips are featuring our 4 or 5 men leading the break it will often feature an open painted area that we are looking to attack with the dribble. What the basketball does once they reach this point of the floor is a topic for another post, but from a strategic point getting a good ball-handler with a head-of-steam attacking the paint is what we want.

Be Your Own Outlet -

The basic concept is that we are asking our rebounder to be the automatic outlet.

Fill the Corners:

If you are one of the first two players to cross half court then you need to fill the corners. This stretches the half defense horizontally as they retreat.


If you are crossing the half-court line late then your job is to complete the spacing template by filling the opposite slot and point.

The Basketball:

The BYOO player, aka the guy with the ball in his hands, then you are taking the path of least resistance to the rim. Your job is to attack the rim with the intent to score, and if that gets taken away you should make the appropriate pass.

Practice Idea -

One practice concept I like to use is called 1.0 Trips - Backboard Toss. This is a variation of the 1.0 Trips that we do to work on our transition flow offense. With this version, the idea is to find a way to work on the Be Your Own Outlet concept specifically. This gives the players a chance to also work on leading the break themselves and finding running lanes quickly. Players will have to adjust their spacing according to who has the ball and where they are attacking from.

Drill Progression -

I typically split the team into two groups before we start the drill. The players need to determine who is in each possession, but I will remind them to sub in every once in a while.

Backboard Toss:

To begin the drill players line up in a straight line facing the backboard and toss the ball off it to each other. When the coach yells, "Go" the next phase begins.

Be Your Own Outlet:

Whoever rebounds the ball after I yell "Go!" must be the person who initiates the break. The other players need to fill the perimeter spots from the corners up. The first two players always fill the corners and the subsequent players fill the slots. If you have a Rim Runner and he is not the "BYOO" player then he should be running directly to the Rim.

  • I encourage the BYOO Player to attack the rim or hunt a pitch ahead pass.

  • If you have a Rim Runner ahead of the pack - I would make him a focal point

Run it Back:

After the offense scores the ball they are immediately taking the ball out of the basket and heading back to where they started. As this is taking place a new defense enters the floor and prepares for a 5/5 possession. This now gives us a chance to work on our flow offense as there will most likely not be an immediate advantage.

Concluding Thoughts -

There is certainly nothing wrong with demanding that your post players outlet the basketball to your point guard. The organization and spacing that ensue with that concept have their own distinct advantages. That being said, the BYOO concept allows you to take advantage of your playerss' skills and let your transition break create advantages that might not be present otherwise. If you are interested in other transition offense concepts I would advise you to check out our deep dives pages.

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