Alabama 5-out Offense

Alabama was the 3rd highest scoring team in the country last season right behind Gonzaga and Duke. Nate Oat’s has established himself as one of the best offensive coaches in college basketball with his success at Buffalo and now Alabama. The game is changing to a position-less spread out game and they have a great blue-print to follow. I highly recommend these Nate Oat’s videos on his offense

Alabama assistant coach Charlie Henry does a great job describing their 5-out spread flow offense in this community coaches clinic. Notes on the clinic are below.

  • Keys to their flow offense.
    • Goal of their offense is to play fast, get two’s at the rim and manufacture catch & shoot 3s.
    • NBA is moving to a 5-out position-less game where. College is still more traditional.
    • Simplicity is key to teach their guys how to play
      • 1 punch 1,000 times is scarier than 1,000 punches 1 time – Van Gundy
  • 5 out spacing
    • Are you 1-4 position-less? 1-5?Who do you want taking out the ball? Trailing the play? Depends on personnel
    • Rim run at appropriate times. Only rim run if you have an advantage (numbers).
    • Benefit of 5 out is 5 men defending are so used to running to the paint it creates closeouts when they have to close out to the big
  • They want paint touches and spray outs
    • Reshape the floor. Once you kick it get out to your spacing
      • Messina – when you are in the paint after a kick you are under water and you need to get out to catch your breath.
    •  Eliminate catch & hold
      • Have your decision made in 0.5 seconds
  • Drag ball-screens in flow
    • They want to make the defense use their ballscreen defense within the first 6 seconds
    • They want to force a “chase over” in the ballscreen. Big needs to screen low side of defender (bottom third) to do this
    • Create an advantage, play off that advantage
    • It’s a 5 out spread ballscreen but the “Houston spot” on the opposite wing needs to be high and wide where the defender does not feel comfortable on the nail
    • When there is an open side ballscreen. On loaded side they want someone to slash.
    • Guards need to be creative and unpredictable in the pick & roll. Reject (sneak)     1/3 ballscreens
    • Vs aggressive coverage
      • slip or ghost it
      • 2.5 it – make two quick passes to beat the coverage (euro)
    • Vs ice
      • Bigs read the feet and find the pocket. Guards stretch the big out
    • Vs switch –
      • the 3 R’s – these work if you have DUDES
        • Re-screen – If they switch the 4, rescreen with the 5.
        • Retreat & attack
        • Reload (boomerang)
      • Don’t let them switch properly
        • Slip, ghost, pop
        • Live catch slip outs
  • Wide screens in flow
    • 5 trails and sets a wide away screen for shooter in “Houston spot”
    • PG needs to understand if it’s a shooter opposite him for that away screen. Otherwise just drag

Notes from other 5-out offenses (not from Charlie’s clinic)

Here are the 5 keys to laying the foundation of a flow and concept based 5-out offense. To start here is a video by Marcin Klozinski of the Nugget’s simple 5-out motion. Their guys are just playing and reacting in their structure which creates a ton of space.

5 keys to 5-out offense

  • Flow
    • There should be no break between transition and half-court offense. In a 5 out offense there is no constant inside presence putting pressure on the defense. The rim pressure comes from drives, cuts, and screens. Those actions need to come early and often. Don’t let the defense load up while we get our offense set.
  • Pace & space
    • You have to sprint to screens and sprint to spots. If our spacing isn’t correct the defense can help guard two with one.
      • Corner x2, Gaggle x2, top
  • Terminology & simplicity
    • You can have your sets, but try to limit them to just ATO and FT. The whole idea of flowing is that guys don’t need to think. You still need to be able to communicate on the fly, and that’s where the terminology of different actions is important.
    • While flowing do you have terminology so your guys know how to get into:
      • Ballscreens & DHO
        • Spread ballscreen with shooter in lift spot
        • Naked side ballscreens
        • Down-screen handoff
        • 2-man game from elbow / corner
        • Middle ballscreen
        • Naked side pop
        • Pop into 2 man game
        • Slip pop
      • Iso
        • Wing iso
        • Top iso
        • Elbow iso
      • Post ups
        • Hi low
        • Cross-screen
        • Shuffle screen
        • Duck-in
      • Off-ball screens
        • Pin-downs
        • Flares
        • Staggers
        • Back-screen
  • IQ of situations
    • Do your guys know how to attack a defense on the fly? You need to rep the crap out of these situations so your guys know what to do. I love 3v3 and 4v4 all spring and summer. Going back to the book culture code, they talk about how the Brazilians got so good at soccer because of the massive amount of reps in small spaces they got in futsal. Breakdown drills are the best…
    • Within your offense how do you attack the following:
      • Ballscreens
        • Hedge
        • Veer
        • Plug
        • switch
      • Pressure
        • Pressuring your guards
        • Pressuring your bigs
      • Denying
        • Middle pass
        • Wing pass
      • Off-ball screens
        • Switch
        • top
  • Interchangeability
    • Matchups change game by game. Understand how to play each spot, and how to play to your strengths in each spot. For example:
      • Non-shooters coming off a pin-down should back-door or curl every time to put pressure on the rim and get the screener open on the wing where he is a threat.

Goals of our offense

  • 30-23 seconds – Push the ball in transition with pace
    • Can we get a GREAT shot in the first 7 seconds or create a rotation and play out of drive & kick & extra passes?
    • Can we cause a mismatch and pick on it in the half-court?
  • 23-10 seconds – find an advantage
    • can we get a paint touch? Drive & kick, post up a mismatch, off-ball screen
  • 10 seconds – make a play out of a ball-screen

Everything in this article on 5-out offense is backed up by the analytics, read more about that in sprawlball.

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