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Spacing & Rebounding

Basketball Rebound from Above

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.

Many of my coaching friends will respond with 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?”

These are good questions, nothing wrong with them, but as I said, they’re “telling”. They tell me that my friends don’t understand the basics of how Read & React is engineered. In fact, I only need to look at ONE fundamental of the Read & React to answer these concerns and it’s the one RULE that separates Read & React from all other offenses: If you pass, then you MUST basket cut. Let’s look at how this one fundamental rule will change your perspective on the three formations and on Offensive Rebounding.

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.

Now, what does that have to do with Offensive Rebounding? In 5 OUT there will one player on the move, through the lane, when a shot goes up. Their momentum is toward the goal and being on the move has made them difficult to block out. Just HOW effective your offensive rebounding can be depends solely on your ability to sell this action as an OPPORTUNITY to ALL of your players. This is not simply a REBOUNDING opportunity; it’s a SCORING opportunity! Every cutter needs to be aware that their ROLE changes the moment the shot goes up. Their ROLE changes from whatever decision they were going to make without the ball (see the free video “WHAT IS THE READ & REACT?”) to an OFFENSIVE OPPORTUNITY REBOUNDER!

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. AND besides your Post Player, you still have the OFFENSIVE OPPORTUNITY REBOUND (the cutter) on the move through the lane. 4 OUT 1 IN actually works out to 3 OUT and 2 REBOUNDERS inside!

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. Again, if a shot goes up, there’s 2 post players and a third “Wild Card” offensive rebounder cutting through the lane!

5 OUT is only 5 OUT when you first draw it up; when the ball first comes across the half-line. The same is true with 4 OUT and 3 OUT. If you sell the cutters with your EXPECTATIONS of offensive rebounding, you should see your “Put-Back” points go up!


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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

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