Box & One Offense



Combination defenses can be very devastating to any team not prepared to attack them. The Box & One is the most common combination defense and is primarily used to stop or neutralize an outstanding offensive player. However, like all defenses, the Box & One has its strengths and weakness. One of the biggest problem in attacking a Box & One defense is that most coaches just do not take the time to sufficiently prepare their team. To be effective and successful, offenses against combination defenses need to be practiced and refined.

Iso/Base Screens

| Isolation | Base Screens | Post Flash | Basic Reads | Print |

Since a Box & one offense(s) is a secondary offense, it is important to keep it simple and easy for players to learn. It may just require practicing a current offense against a Box & One defense. It is also helpful, if the offense being used is similar to an already used offense. Since the Box & defense is primarly deployed to deny and limit the "touched" of an outstanding, any offensive attack must be designed to counter this overplay and free up the scorer.

Post Isolation


One of the easiest and most effective ways to attack the Box & One defense, is to isolate the star player one on one in the middle. Normally, the chaser of the Box & one defense is very skilled in pass denial but ill prepared for post defense. In addition, it is very tough for even the best post defenders to defend against four outside feeders.

Offensive Fundamentals Required

Learn More   Creating Leads - Proven Techniques to Get Open

Learn More Setting and Using Base Screens

Learn More  Setting and Using Down Screens

Learn More Basic Low Post Moves


Schematic Sequence

Base Cross Offense Schematic


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Phase 1. Entry

Various teams have adapted the Base Cross screen action to take advantage of their specific player personnel. Most of these variations are actually just variations as to which player sets the baseline screen.

Basic Entries:

Base Screens Option

Base Left Option

At any time, Star player has the option of dropping to the basket and going off either O4's or O5's base screens. If the defender is positioned on the right side, the Star takes the defender right and then breaks left off of O5's screen. Since defender X5 is zoning, it actually creates a double screen.

Base Right Option

If the defender is positioned on the left side, the Star takes the defender left and then breaks right off of O4's screen.

Base Screen Left
Baseline Screen

When the Star player goes off the baseline screen, the screen then goes off the basescreen on opposite side. O1 fakes a pass to the Star player and makes a reversable pass to O2 who in turn feeds the open player.

Pass & Cut
Pass and Cut

With the Star player coming off O4's basescreen, passer O1 makes a reversal pass to O2 and then cuts to the basket and off of O5's basescreen.

Post Flash Continuity

Post Flash

Any time a good shot or one-on-one move is not available, the star player makes a reversal pass out to guard O1 and cuts to the basket. O1 passes to O2. O2 passes to O5 stepping out who looks to feed the Star player cutting to the basket or posting up.

Post Isolation

If O5 cannot feed the Star player, O5 makes a reversal pass out to O2. O2 passes to O1 who looks to feed the Star player isolated in the post or passes to O4 for the feed.


Basic Defensive Reads and Counters

Read: Defender chases out

Counter: Curl

Defense Chases Out

When the Star's defender chases out, the Star player curls looking for a quick jumper or cut all the way to the basket.

Read: Defender goes OVER the screen.

Counter: Fade or V Cut


If the defender goes over the screen, the Star player fades looking for a shot on the baseline.

Read: Defender cheats out over the screen early.

Counter: Back Cut

Back Cut

When the Star's defender cheats out over the screen, the Star player back cuts and goes off the base screen on opposite side. In this case, the screen should step up the lane in setting the screen.

Read: Base defender Switches or "Shows"

Counter: Post Slips the Screen

Post Slip

If the baseline defender goes switches on screen or steps out and shows, the screen rolls to the basket looking for a pass.


Teaching & Implementing the Base Cross Offense

The key to the success of theBase Cross Offense is in its execution and coordination. Players need to be well prepared to execute base screens, posting up strong, and down screens. In addition, players have to think and function as one unit. This requires proper defensive recognition, non-verbal communication, timing and experience.

Caution: Before undertaking any offense, players must have a solid, working knowledge of all of its components.

Learn More  Whole-Part-Whole Method of Teaching

Learn More Motor Skills Learning


Mid Screen Breakdown Drills:

View/Print  Two Player Entries Drill (2-on-2)

View/Print  3-on-3 Base Cross Screen Combination Drill (Entry, Base Screen, & Ball Reversals)

View/Print  Half and Full Court Scrimmaging


The Game Within a Game

Individual offensive skill development and improvement should be an integral part of every practice. In addition to early time (before practice) work, each player should, personally, have one or two individual fundamental techniques to work on during the course of a practice. The specific skill or skills will vary from player to player and can be assigned by the coaching staff or determined by the players themselves. As a reminder, the skill(s) should be written down on a 3 X 5 card and give it to each player prior to practice.

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Game Strategies

Scout your opponent. Players need to know what reads to expect during the game. Opponents will generally use only a primary and secondary defense technique in defending screens and post ups. Educate and explain the anticipated reads and their counters. When scouting is not possible, scout your opponent during the game.

Don't be a spectator and watch the ball during the game. Be conscience and alert to any defensive changes or adjustments, especially after substitutions and timeouts. Don't hesitate in deploying various alignments and entries during the game so that defenders cannot focus on defending just one set. Move players around and attack the weakest defenders.


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No Basket Logo

Box & One Defense

The most commonly used combination defense is the "Box and One." In this particular defense four defensive players play a box zone guarding areas while one player (the "Chaser") assumes an aggressive, full out pass denial position, and does not allow their opponent to receive a pass or grab a rebound. The chaser's sole responsibility is to deny their opponent the ball.

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