Small lineup man-to-man offense creates tough defensive match-ups From Glenn Flannigan, Head Coach 8th Grade Boys Travel Team Methuen, Mass.

Many coaches feel that having an undersized team is a curse that can’t be overcome. This philosophy couldn’t be more wrong.

The following is a terrific man-to-man offense for a team that’s small up front. This offense is versatile and can be used by a team at any level of competition.

Running the offense


DIAGRAM 1: In the initial set up of the offense, 1 has the ball on top while 2 sets up at the middle of the foul line. 4 sets up wide on the left wing, while 5 and 3 position themselves on the low blocks on each side.

DIAGRAM 2: 2 steps down into the foul lane and sets a screen for 5, who cuts diagonally across the lane and to the wing on the right side. After setting the screen, 2 settles to the left low block. 4 replaces 2 at the foul line as 2 makes a pass to 5 on the wing.

Flannigan-3-4.pngDIAGRAM 3: 4 steps up and sets a screen for 1, who cuts hard to the basket looking for a pass from 5. 5 tries to hit 1 for a layup on the cut down the lane. While 1 is making their cut, 3 breaks to the right corner behind the 3-point line. If the layup option isn’t open, 1 sets up on the ball-side low block.

DIAGRAM 4: 5 passes to 3 in the corner. While the pass is being made, 4 breaks to the ball-side elbow. 3 looks to take a quick 3-pointer if left unguarded.

Flannigan-5-6.pngDIAGRAM 5: 4 breaks out and sets a screen for 5. 5 uses the screen and cuts to the basket. As 5 makes the cut, 2 curls up to the middle of the free-throw lane. 3 now has the option to hit 5 on the cut to the basket, 1 in the low post, or pass to 2 for a foul-line jump shot.

DIAGRAM 6: If nothing is open on that option, 3 passes to 4, who quickly reverses the ball to 2 at the top of the key. As the reversal is made, 1 steps out and sets a cross screen on the baseline for 3. 3 uses the screen and cuts hard to the basket. 2 looks to hit 3 on the cut to the basket for a layup.

If that option doesn’t work, 1 comes back to the top and receives the ball back from 2. You’re now back into a reset of the offense only with 4 on the opposite wing.