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The Wheels On The Bus Go Round & Round

by Ed Riley

I've had so many e-mails from you readers asking me for a simple offense against a m-2-m defense that I guess it's time to give you a simplified version of The Wheel. Remember, it is to be used against m-2-m defenses only, not against a zone. The purpose of this offense, and most offenses, is to spread out the defense.

Space all 5 of your players outside the 3 point line, and space them equally apart. This should end up looking like a half circle surrounding the basket. Here are the rules:

  1. Every time you pass the ball, you cut to the basket looking for a pass.
  2. Every time you get passed the ball, look to see if you can drive to the basket, or if the cutter is open to pass to.
  3. If you or the cutter are not open, then pass to the person on either side of you, and now you cut to the basket looking for a pass. The process begins all over again.
  4. If you the cutter does not get passed to, then when they finished with their cut, have them go to the baseline positions outside the 3 point range.

Timeout, I just lost you, right? OK, draw a 1/2 court and include the 3 point arc. Now draw circles for your players.

  1. Draw a small circle to the right and left of the basket outside the 3 point arc. If you connected these 2 circles, it would form a line parellel to the baseline. Make the circles about 5 feet away from the baseline. Number this position on the left 1, and the one on the right 5.
  2. Now draw a circle at the top of the key, outside the 3 point arc. It should be in the middle of the court so the player is staring straight at the basket. Now # this position 3.
  3. Draw a small circle 1/2 way between players 1 and 3, this is position number 2.
  4. Draw another small circle between players 3 and 5, and this is position number 4.

So now you have a semi-circle of players in positions 1-5, all outside of the 3 point line.

So here's how it works.

If 3 has the ball and passes to 2, then 3 runs to the basket looking for a pass. In the meantime, number 4 runs over and takes 3's original position. Then 5 moves up and takes 4's position. If the original 3 doesn't get passed to, then they move over to 5's original position. This gives you a new 1-5 set up. Now you can go back up to the original rules, re-read them and they should make sense.

How do you teach this offense? First they learn their position, so never have the player with the ball pass to the cutter. Just have them pass and cut, and learn how to rotate to the empty spot. Once they learn this, then start having them pass to the cutter whenever you blow your whistle. If you don't blow the whistle, they don't pass.

A simple rule? The person cutting to the basket should look to the passer for the pass. I have actually seen an open cutter, but not looking for the pass. The passer is trained to look for the open cutter, so if the cutter is open, they pass the ball. I've seen passes bounce off of the back of cutter's heads before, because they weren't looking for the pass. And, THAT HURTS!

Another simple rule? If you are a cutter, don't yell for the ball unless you are really open.

Want another one? Don't pass to the cutter unless they are open.

The major disadvantage to this offense is rebounding. You have absolutely no one in position to get a rebound when a player does shoot. You have to teach your players that every time a teammate shoots, they need to crash the boards quickly to get the rebound. A word of caution, always have a player in position 2,3, or 4 stay back around the top of the key on a rebound. This way you have a person back to help stop the other team's fast break, should the other team get the rebound.

Sounds complicated? It's not. If it was too complicated I wouldn't be able to do it, because I am no rocket scientist. Play with your diagrams and use coins as your players . Move the coins as a player would move. All of a sudden, the light bulb will come on and you'll understand it.

Copyright 2001 by Ed Riley, Steve Jordan, Darrell Garrison and Steve MacKinney. All rights reserved

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