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Offensive Philosophy

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

If you were asked by an interviewer could you explain what your offensive philosophy is?

During the last few offseasons I have worked on creating a graphic that illustrates our offensive philosophy. This graphic would include our Pillars, Transition Principles, and Half Court Offensive approach. This Offensive Philosophy is not going to include set plays or some obscure offensive action that we use from time to time, but is a description of an offensive philosophy that is recognizable to players and coaches.

I am a strong believer in the idea that an Offensive Philosophy is not not something that we create on a graphic in preseason and never consult again.What we are listing as our Offensive Philosophy is going to be the guiding force for our practice plans and day to day habits.


Our offensive philosophy graphic begins with our pillars. The pillars are the things that our entire philosophy is built around. They are the most recognizable things about your program and the things that you build you consistently build your practice plans around.

If you're looking for more on this subject:

For our program we will attempt to place heavy emphasis on our four pillars:

1. Run - The concept that we are always looking to run after misses & makes.

2. Flow - We would like to seamlessly flow into our half court offense. No "Setting it Up".

3. Attack - We are looking to use to the first advantage to create a score.

4. Crash - We are going to attack the glass and achieve a 40% ORB Target

If we are going to list these aspects as pillars then it is essential that we are going to invest the practice time to truly make them a recognizable feature of our program.


Based on our own self study data, nearly 1/3 of your offense will most likely come in your transition offense. Given that frequency of those opportunities, becoming efficient in that area has become a high priority area in our philosophy. Over the past 4-5 months I have written extensively about our transition philosophy and desire to flow directly into our half court offense. I will simply leave the relevant links to previous blog posts on this subject below.

Phase #1: Pitch Aheads

Phase #2: Attacking the Middle Third

Phase #3: Playing Through the Trailer

Half Court Action

In the half court we want to very clear about the spacing we want to achieve and the roles we expect each player to play. In an effort to connect our transition game to our half court action we would like these two aspects of the game to flow together seamlessly.

Some things change...

Many of you who have followed over the past few seasons know that we have been a DDM team in recent years. Emphasizing guard play, creating double gaps, and driving those gaps has been the focal point of our offensive philosophy in the half court. Although we will be maintaining our spacing philosophy, due to changing personnel we will be making a few changes this year:

- Using Screening Action as our Main Create Action

- Reading Screens as Cutters

- "Second Cutting" as Screeners

- Attacking the Offensive Glass vs. "Getting Back"

These are some of the philosophical adjustments being made this season, but they are ones that have been deeply thought out & will be highly emphasized this season.

Some things stay the same....

There are also aspects of our offensive philosophy that will remain unchanged even despite the previously mentioned changes.

- Developing a "Catch to Shoot" Mentality

- Overriding "Shoot it, Drive it, or Move it" Philosophy on the Catch

These aspects will continue to be key elements of our offensive philosophy even despite some structural changes.

Concluding Thoughts

Developing your own offensive philosophy as a graphic or simply in a notebook is a fantastic exercise in trying to narrow your thinking. Can you whittle your thought process down to a few Pillars, transition principles, and some half court action principles to explain in a job interview or to your own players? If you can do this you will undoubtedly instill confidence in the players that are executing your system.

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