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Sunday, April 19, 2009


I am obviously a big believer in motion offense and one of the reasons is the flexibility. You can be flexible in terms of players strength and weaknesses, substitutions, type of attack and a variety of other reasons. One of the great advantages of motion offense is that it does not have to be “set up” or “reset” at any time during a possession. In fact, we can get directly into our motion offense from any of the following:

Jump ball
Side out of bounds
Inbounds plays
From opponent’s missed field goal
From opponent’s made field goal
From opponent’s missed free throw
From opponent’s made free throw
From a turnover
Coming out of a press offense
Coming from any part of your transition (primary or secondary)
From any dead ball situation

The advantages of flowing directly into motion are important. First and foremost, it allows our offense to continually attack the defense. In both transition and especially against presses, defenses generally relax after that phase. At times, they are scrambling to find the player they were originally schedule to defend. Of course there is also the advantage of clock usage. In the women's game we have a 30 second shot clock and we don't have to waste time going from one of the above situations to backing the ball out and setting something up.

However, while we can move directly into our motion offense from these situations, we also feel there is merit in having some entries. An ENTRY is where we give our players a predetermined spot to set up and then go into our motion from that set. The advantage to this is that we can make sure that we attack something particular at the very beginning of the possession before going into our motion principles.

Entries can be used to create the following:

Isolate a certain player (off screens or with clearouts)
Attack a certain defender
Distort the defense
Create combination screening opportunities
Utilize patterns to initiate motion

A perfect example of utilizing a pattern to initiate motion comes the beginning of my coaching stint at LSU under Sue Gunter. When we first talked of installing motion offense, there was a little hesitancy in Coach Gunter and rightfully so. They had been successful before I joined the staff and had done so with the UCLA High Post Offense. Coach Gunter liked the floor balance as well as the post feeding options. My suggestion was to keep the UCLA High Post as an entry. What we would do occasionally, either from a dead ball situation or coming out of a timeout is call “Blue” which was the verbal for UCLA High Post.

It is important to note that "entries" are not "plays." By that I mean we will utilize an entry but not be married to it. The example above of the UCLA High Post would be that for that to work at a play, you generally need to start with a guard to wing entry. If in calling out "Blue" and the wing is denied, we simply flow into motion. An example would be to step the high post out for a pass and begin following motion principles.

Coach Bob Knight ran extremely simple entries that were based on spacing, and personnel. He would often put an entry or two in for each opponent based on an area of the defense he thought he could best attack.

For a sample of entries that we've used through the years at LSU along with reasoning of usage and execution, email me at: