High Post Set Offense

What to Discover or Recall . . .

The High Post Offense has been a staple ever since the game was invented.
It's simplicity makes it a great offense from the youth to profession level.
It is comprised of quick hitting high post splits, down screens and back cuts making it hard to guard.
In addition, the High Post Offense lends itself readily to various entries to take specific advantage of individual player skills and strengths.

High Post Offense

High POst Offense Play Diagram

At first glance the High Post Offense may look simple, but it is its execution that has made it so devastating over the years. Because of its simplicity, it affords the offensive players the luxury of concentrating entirely on its execution. With its 2-3 high player alignment, it frees up the baseline providing for quick basket cuts and back cuts against any defensive overplay.

Since the High Post Offense affords scoring opportunities for all five players on the court, it prevents the defense from concentrating on stopping one or two offensive players. With this constant threat of all of the players without the ball, it also eliminates any weakside defensive help. In addition, the High Post Offense provides for extremely, strong offensive rebounding and second efforts. As a result, the High Post Offense is an offense that players love to play and coaches love to coach.

| Post Split | Down Screens | HP Isolation | Post Ups | Variations | Rebounding | Installing | Case for Defense |

Schematic Sequence

High Post Schematic Sequence

Offensive Fundamentals Required

Learn More  Creating Leads - Proven Techniques to Get Open

Learn More Setting and Using Down Screens

Learn More Basic Low Post Moves


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Phase 1: High Post Split

High Post Split

| Split | Fake Split | Back Cut | Two Same Side |

The basic option is for one of the guards to hit the high post and split the post. The guard making the pass to the high post cutting first, the other guard cuts tight off the first guard's moving screen. The high post has the option of feeding either guard. Wings O3 and O4 set up for down screens.

Split Reads & Counters

High Post Split

Read: Defenders play tight and do not switch.

Counter: Handoff on Split

Basic option is for the high post to feed either guard cutting to the basket.

Fake High POst Split

Read: Defenders drop off anticipating split and switch.

Counter: Fake Split

Guards have option of faking the high post split and cutting same side to the basket.

Back Cut Option

Read: Defenders anticipate the split and sag off on post or watch the ball.

Counter: Direct Basket Cut

Any time the defenders anticipate the post split and collapse on the post, the guards have the "Green Light" to back cut directly to the basket for shot.

High POst Split Two Same Side

Read: Defenders anticipate and automatically switch.

Counter: Two Same Side

When the defenders drop off and automatically switch, both cutters can go same side creating a two-on-one situation on X1.

 


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Phase 2: Down Screens

Down Screens

When the high post does not feed either splitting guards, wings O3 and O4 set down screens for guards O1 and O2. Post O5 looks to pass to O1 or O2 coming off the down screens or to feed screener O3 or O4 rolling to the basket off their down screens, if the defense switches. Post O5, isolated, also has the option on shooting or driving to the basket one-on-one.

Available Down Screen Options

Down Screen Option

Read: Defenders defend high post split.

Counter: Down Screen

When a shot is not available off the high post split, the wings O3 and O4 set down screens for the guards. If the defenders switch on the down screens, post O5 looks to feed the screeners rolling to the basket on mismatches.

 

Base Cross Option

Read: Defenders anticipate the down screens.

Counter: Double Split

Guards cross under the basket (touching right hands) and pop out opposite off the down screens.

 

Back Screen Option

Read: Defenders anticipate the down screens.

Counter: Back Screen

After the guards split the post, they have the option of stepping out and setting back screens for the wings. Post O5 looks to feed wings on back cuts or if the defense switches, posting up against smaller defenders.

Successfully Executing Down Screens

Although during a game, a team will only deploy one or two methods of defending down screens, players need to possess a working knowledge of all the defensive various reads and counters. However, coaches must stay active and alert to any defensive changes that the opponent may make during a game.

Basic Reads and Counters. What if the defender . . . .

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Click on desired read below to view illustrated counter option.

  1. What if the defender CHASES & TRAILS the receiver? Curl

  2. What if the defender CHASES OUT LATE & TRAILS the receiver? Basket Curl

  3. What if the defender goes CHEATS OVER the screen? Fade

  4. What if the defender goes CHEATS OVER the screen EARLY? Back Cut

  5. What if the defenders SWITCH against the screen? Screen & Roll

    Smaller defender is MISMATCHED INSIDE against post.

    Bigger defender MISMATCHED OUTSIDE against quicker ball handler.

  6. What if the defenders SHOW & RECOVER on screen? Slip the Screen


Read: Defender CHASES OUT and trails the receiver.

Counter: Curl

Down Screen Curl

Down ScreenCurl Right

When the defender CHASES OUT, the shooter curls off the screen for a quick open jump shot.

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Read: Defender CHASES OUT LATE and trails the receiver.

Counter: Basket Curl

Down Screen Basket Curl

Down Screen Basket Curl Right

Note: When the defender CHASES OUT late, the shooter can curl all the way to the basket.

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Read: Defender CHEATS OVER the screen.

Counter: Fade

Down Screen Fade Left

Down Screen Fade R

When the defender goes OVER the screen, the shooter should fade to baseline for open jumper.

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Read: Defender CHEATS OVER the screen EARLY.

Counter: Back Cut

Down Screen Back Cut L

Down Screen Back Cut R

When the defender anticipates and CHEATS OVER the screen early, the shooter can change direction and back cut to the basket for shot.

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Read: Defenders SWITCH on the Down-Screen.

Counter: Screen and Roll

Down Screen Roll L

Down Screen Roll R

When the defenders SWITCH on the down screen, the receivers pops out to the wing, and the screener "Seals Off" the defender and rolls to the basket for shot.

Post Iso Left

Post Iso Right

Post Isolation

When defenders Switch, the receiver pops out directly out to the wing allowing post to exploit smaller defender. The high post can either feed post directly or pass to any of the peripheral players for the post feed.

Wing Iso Left

Wing Iso Right

Wing Isolation

When the defensive players switch, the screener can clear out to weakside isolating the shooter one-on-one on the wing against bigger defender X4. If the wing's shot is not available, the post can then dive to the basket to exploit smaller defender X2.

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Read: Defenders SHOW & RECOVER against the down screen.

Counter: Slip the Screen

Down Screen Slip L

Down Screen Slip Right

When the screener's defender SHOWS to help out on the down-screen, the screener immediately breaks off the screen and cuts away to the basket for shot.

^ CLOSE

 


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Phase 3: High Post Isolation

high post isolation

Once the guards split the post, the high post makes a strong pivot and faces the basket assuming a triple threat position. From the triple threat position, they can drive, shoot or pass. Since the ball is located in the middle of the court ("Red Zone") the high post's defender X5 has no defensive help, isolating the high post one-on-one.

Note: High post has "Green" light to shoot or drive any time they have an advantage.

Automatic Post Lob vs Post Overplay

High Post Lob

When the pass to the high post is overplayed, post O5 releases to the basket for an "over the Top" lob pass. Other counters against the high post overplay:

Wing Post Feed

Wing Feeds

If the ballhandling guard cannot feed the post direct, they can pass to either wing, who in turn, can feed the high post rolling to the basket.

Post Exchange

Post Exchange

If the high post releases to the basket, they can empty out to the weakside wing. The weakside wing then breaks into the high post postion.

Diagonal Screen

Screen Exchange

An high post exchange can also be initiated by the high post setting a diagonal down screen for the weakside wing.

Post interchange

Player Interchange

The high post position is not limited to just the post player. It should be occupied by the best triple threat player.

 


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Phase 4 Strong Post Ups

When the defense focus on stopping the shooters, the ball handler O1 looks inside to feed O4 or O5 posting up strong against smaller defenders. All players should be proficient in posting up strong and executing basic post moves.

Learn More  Posting Up One-on-One

 

 


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Entry Variations

High POst Wing Back Cut Option

Many teams have adapted the 2 -3 high post player alignment to take advantage of their specific player personnel. Some of the more frequently used variations include "Flop" or Back Cut Entry, Wing Pass Entry, Wing Double Away Entry and Post Single/Double action. Click below to view their illustrated details:

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Click on desired proven variation below to view illustrated details.

| Flop Entry | Wing Pass Entry | Wing Double Away Entry | Post Single/Double |


Wing Flop (Back Cut) Entry

High Post Offense Back Cut Entry

When the wings get over played by defense they have the option of back cutting to the basket. The guards split the post and down screen for the wings. The high post has the option of feeding either wing on the back cuts.

High POst Offense Back Cut Down Screens

When the high post does not feed either wing on back cut, guards O1 and O2 set down screens for wings O3 and O4. Post O5 looks to pass to O3 or O4 coming off the down screens or to feed screener O1 or O2 rolling to the basket or popping out off their down screens, if the defense switches. Isolated post O5 also has the option on shooting or driving to the basket one-on-one.

Note: When the high post does shoot the ball, the offense has a definite inside rebouding advantage.

Back Cut Option

Read: Defenders overplay wings.

High POst Wing Back Cut Option

Basic option is for the high post to feed either guard cutting to the basket.

Down Screen Option

Read: Defenders defend back cuts.

Wing Down Screens

When a shot is not available off the back cuts, the splitting guards set down screens for the wings. If the defenders switch on the down screens, post O5 looks to feed the screeners rolling to the basket.

Base Cross Option

Read: Defenders trail on the down screens.

Base Cross Option

Wings cross under the basket (touching right hands) and pop out opposite off the down screens.

Pop Option

Read: Defenders drop off to defend back cuts.

Fake back cuts

When the defenders sag off to protect against the back cuts, the wings fake the back cuts and pop out early over the splitting guards down screens for shot.

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Wing Pass Entry

High Post Split Wing Entry

Ballhandler O1 makes an entry pass to wing and then splits the post with O2. Wing O3 looks to feed O2. All reads and counter options are available to O1 and O2 on high post split.

Ball Reversal

Ball Reversal Down Screens

If a good shot is not available off high post split, O3 makes a reversal pass out to O5. O3 and O4 down screen for O1 and O2. If the defense switches O5 looks to feed O3 or O4 rolling to the basket or posting up strong against the smaller defender.

Motion Continuity

Motion Continuity

When O5 passes to a wing, it initiates the motion continuity with O4 and O5 screening across for O3 and O2. Anytime the ball is passed out to the point, down screens are initiated.

 

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Wing Pass - Double Away

Wing pass entry

Ballhandling guard O1 passes to wing O3 and executes a high post split with O2. Wing O3 looks to feed O2 cutting to the basket or posting up strong. Guard O1 and post O5 set a weakside double screen for wing O4.

 

Double Screen Continuity

If O2 is not open off the high post split, wing O3 looks to pass to O4 coming off O1's and O5's double screen or to feed O5 rolling to the basket off O2's baseline back screen.

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Post Single/Double Screen

Single/Double Continuity

When the high post releases to the basket the Single/Double Screen continuity becomes an option. This puts additional pressure on the high post's defender.

Double Screen Option

Double Screen Option

When the high post goes off the double screen, O2 releases and goes opposite off the single screen.

Single Screen Option

Single Screen Option

If the high post goes off the single screen, O2 pops out same side off of screener O4.

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Offensive Rebounding

The importance of offensive rebounding to the outcome of the game cannot be over emphasized. Simply stated, even if you shoot well, it is going to be very difficult to win if you get only one shot. Rather than size and strength that is required for defensive rebounding, offensive rebounding requires anticipation, determination, and hustle. Players must develop an attitude as well as an instinct for the ball. They must be aggressive and determined. Second, Third and Fourth efforts should be common place to offensive rebounding.

offensive rebounding

Anytime the high post shoots the ball, the offense has a definite inside rebounding advantage. However, to capitalize on this advantage, players must assume that all shots will be missed and "Box Out" their defenders.

Learn More Offensive Rebounding Techniques

 


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Teaching & Implementing the High Post Split Offense

"It's not the play, but how you execute it that counts!"

The key to the success of the High Post Split Offense is in its spacing, execution and coordination. Players need to be well prepared to execute high post splits and down screens along with strong post ups. The ballhandler, screener and receiver must think and function as one unit. This requires non-verbal communication, timing, and, most of all, defensive recognition.

Caution: Before undertaking any offense, players must have a solid, working knowledge of all of its components.

Learn More  Whole-Part-Whole Method of Teaching

Learn More  Motor Skills Learning

 

Breakdown Drills:

View/Print  2-on-2 Combination Down Screen, Post Ups and Side Screen

View/Print 3-on-3 Motion - Down Screen, & Screen Away

View/Print Half and Full Court Scrimmaging

 

The Game Within a Game

Individual offensive skill development and improvement should be an integral part of every practice. In addition to early time (before practice) work, each player should, personally, have one or two individual fundamental techniques to work on during the course of a practice. The specific skill or skills will vary from player to player and can be assigned by the coaching staff or determined by the players themselves. As a reminder, it is wise to write the skill(s) down on a 3 X 5 card and give it to each player prior to practice.

 


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The Case for the Defense

Even if you do not plan to use the High Post Offense, you better know how to defend against it.

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Learn More

Continue and learn how to defend the high post split offense.

 

 

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