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Linking Layers Together: Shorter University

Here are some Read & React clips from Shorter University men (from the 2010 season). This is Shorter’s first year with the offense, but these clips will demonstrate how linking just the first 6 layers can be effective, even at the collegiate level.

Clips 1 & 2: Here you can see Pass & Cut followed by the Draft Drive (for more info about the Draft Drive, see this earlier post). Basically, after a few passes and cuts, the ball handler drives off the tail of the previous cutter. You can see how the cutter drags his defender out of help-side position, opening up a seam for the penetration to get to the rim.

Even in Clip 2, when the penetration comes late, the help-side defender is so preoccupied with the filling cutter that he doesn’t even notice the drive until it is too late.

Clip 3: This clip combines the actions of Pass & Cut with a Post Feed Laker Cut. After the post feed, the wing Laker Cuts high and receives the pass back around the Free Throw line where he can easily attack the lane.

Clip 4: Now, following Pass & Cut, a Draft Drive is attempted but stopped early by help defense. The Post Player performs his Basic Post Slide to the Short Corner behind the defense and… yep! By the way, the dunk is not a layer – it’s just nice.

Clips 5, 6, & 7: In these three clips you can see the players combo several layers into one possession; Pass & Cut, Dribble-At, Post Feed Laker Cut, Post Slides, and at the very end of Clip 7, a Baseline Drive.

Watch this video a few times (it’s only 3 minutes) – each time you’ll notice something you didn’t before like back screens, brush screens, and some of those small details that don’t get focused on.

You’ll also notice that the players still don’t run the Read & React perfectly – they make mistakes. You’ll easily find instances when a defender is over the Read Line, but rather than instantly cutting, the guard just keeps sliding back until he can get the pass. There are also a few times a player doesn’t cut after the pass or Circle Move correctly. And, yes, there are passers who miss wide open cutters.

Those things will get better with time (it is part of the learning curve), but they still scored in every clip off of Read & React specific actions.

And, by the way, for those who are unsure that the offense will work with a shot clock – each of these possessions includes multiple layers and multiple actions (just look at how much the defense is forced to move) and yet, these guys never take a shot with less than 15 seconds left on the shot clock. Check it out for yourself. The clock is right there on the wall.


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Rick Torbett has taught thousands of coaches to win more games through his innovative approach to the game. He has created powerful training for coaches at any level so they can coach their best and win more games.

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Read & React 5-Player Coordination Drills

Enter your email address to get an inside look at teaching the Read & React Offense with the drills in this free video.