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Understanding the Stack Offense


Areas of Strength
The stack offense provides every man on the team with a chance to handle the ball. It is designed so that it doesn't matter which player is in the guard position or who is playing the forward position when the offense is initiated. With the exception of the post player every position is interchangable and equal ball handling opportunities are created for the four outside players.

The stack offense creates good movement without the ball, it provides good defensive balance and offensive rebounding and it is extremely simple to learn. The stack offense also creates opportunities for individual creativity and the use of individual skills.

Movement without the ball created by the stack offense
Good movement creates scoring opportunities for the player doing the moving and it makes it hard for the defender to play help defense.

Basic positions in the stack offense
Basic positions of the stack offense are illustrated in fig 2-1. O1 and O2, are the width of the lane apart. They will penatrate as far as the defense allows. O3 and O4 are even with the extended foul line about three or four feet from the sideline. O5 maintains a position in the high post on a straight line with the ball when it is being handled by O1. Figure 2-2 shows the positioning when O2 has the ball.

Fig 2-1
Fig 2-2


Simple Movement
Basic movement without the ball occurs while the ball is controlled in the guard position. Once the ball enters the front court teach your players that if they are standing still they are doing something wrong. This does not include the post player who should be aligning with the ball. (figure 2-3). Once the ball enters the front court, O3 should begin moving slowly towards O1 to meet any pass that might be thrown, at the same time O2 moves down to screen for O4, who runs to the spot vacated by O2. O5 should move up and back and from side to side to create a passing lane between O5 and O1. This movement also makes the defender of O5 play a little tighter.

The basic pattern continues in figure 2-4. O1 must follow the rule of not standing still and exchanges with O3. O2 moves forward to meet a possible pass from O4 while O5 crosses over in order to follow the rule of staying even with the ball. These movements are used primarily to make the defense have to constantly adjust to the changing of the location of the ball. This also helps to free the forwards for a penetrating pass to start the offense

Fig 2-3
Fig 2-4

Figure 2-5 shows what happens when O4 begins to come to the guard position and finds that the defender X4 has closed the passing lane. As shown, O4 reverses to the hoop for a possible pass. The sequence of movements continues in figure 2-6. O4 having not received the pass from O1, hooks back to the original starting position. At the same time, O2 returns to the guard position. Of course, O1 could have passed the ball to O4 on the cut to the hoop or to O2 on the move to the guard spot.

Fig 2-5
Fig 2-6


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