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March 26 – Read & React Pet Peeves

Cow Looking at a New Gate

Misunderstood Spacing of the Read & React
by Rick Torbett

Cow Looking at a New Gate

Whenever I find myself in a conversation about my favorite subject: the Read & React (Are you surprised?), I will invariably talk about the 3 possible formations: 5 OUT, 4 OUT 1 IN, and 3 OUT 2 IN.

My listeners will make some telling comments like:

  • “5 OUT does not have an inside threat…”
  • “I’m worried about SPACING when using 5 OUT, etc,…”
  • “How do you rebound out of a 5 OUT formation?”
  • etc…

These are good questions, nothing wrong with them, but as I said, they’re “telling”. They tell me that we need to look closer at the Read & React. Perhaps my listeners just don’t understand some basics about how it’s engineered.

Anyone who has been on our website or read some threads in our forum knows at least ONE aspect of the Read & React that separates it from all other offenses: If you pass, then you MUST basket cut. Let’s look at what that does to our formations and spacing:

When your formation is 5 OUT, the first pass will change the formation to 4 OUT 1 IN. From that moment on, there will be one player cutting with 4 players left on the perimeter. In other words, even if you’re initial formation is 5 OUT, the spacing on the perimeter is occupied by only 4 players. 5 OUT in the Read & React is actually a 4 OUT 1 IN offense with a constantly changing inside player (whoever is cutting).

When a shot goes up, there’s always one cutter caught in the act of cutting the lane – that’s one interior rebounder – and it changes with each pass. When someone says that there’s no inside threat when you’re playing 5 OUT, it tells me that they don’t understand how the Read & React is engineered.

Similarly, when your formation is 4 OUT, it’s actually 3 OUT with 1 permanent post player and 1 “constantly changing” post player (the cutters). 4 OUT equates to two inside threats. The spacing on the perimeter needs only to accommodate 3 outside players at any one time.

The Read & React 3 OUT formation consists of 3 inside threats: the two permanent inside players with a third inside threat that’s constantly changing with every pass. There’s LOTS perimeter space because once a pass is made, there’s only two perimeter players.

5 OUT is only 5 OUT when you first draw it up. The same with 4 OUT and 3 OUT.


Full Time-Out with Rick – Filling the Laker Cut – Part 1

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about rick torbett

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

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