Motion Offense – Implementing Post Play

By Randy Sherman

In the series-concluding Vol. 8 of the FastModel Motion Offense Forum we provide tips to implement post play into the four-out/one-in motion offense.

The final piece of implementing a four-out motion offense is integrating post play. There are many ways a coach can involve his post players and most of them are dependent upon the talent level of that player.

These are some general tips to help involve post play into the offense and still maintain spacing a floor balance. Some are borrowed from motion offense greats such as Don Meyer and Rich Majerus and others are from my own experiences and observations.

Screening Rules For Posts

In our previous entry detailing four player drills, we laid out two simple screening rules:

  • Screeners screen for cutters
  • Cutters can screen for one another

To involve a post, add this screening rule:

  • Post can screen for cutters, but only a cutter can screen for a post

Below we see an example from Vanderbilt of a guard setting a cross screen for a post.


The two most common screens your post will set are pin screens and back screens. When setting a pin screen the screener’s back is to the near sideline. Most often the pin screen occurs on the lane line and when cutters are crossing and a player is exiting the lane.

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One “automatic” to implement is for the post to set a pin screen then look to bury or seal their man in the post. Virginia is one of the best teams in the nation at setting pin screens along the lane line and then burying their men in the post.


Back screens can be set for cutters by post players. The screener’s back should be pointed toward the rim. One of the best times for a post to back screen for a cutter is right after the cutter passes the ball. One teaching point for posts is to back screen off of the block and pin screen your way back to the block.

Page 008Post Entry

One problem players often have in motion offense is ignoring the post. So much time is spent on teaching cutting and screening that post entries are often under taught. One mantra to press upon your team is “Rim. Post. Action.”

Perimeter players, when they catch the ball, should first check the rim. This allows them the opportunity for a drive or a shot.

Second, check the post. See if the post has his/her man shaped up and is numbers to numbers with you. If so, give them the ball!

Third, check the action. Take the ball with the dribble to any screening action being set. Players that cannot follow this mantra are hurting the team’s motion offense.

Learn the talents of your post players. Chances are they are much better on one side of the lane than the other. Instead of allowing your post to expend tons of energy posting and chasing on both sides of the lane, teach them to remain on their strong side of the lane and allow the ball to come to them.

Former Utah Utes coach Rick Majerus had so much disdain for post flashes and ball chasing that he would not allow freshmen or sophomores to flash more than once per possession and only after three or four ball reversals.

By staying on one side you allow the post defender to move to help side when the ball is away and as it swings your post player can seal deeper into the lane. The best movement post players can make is to “get more” of the defender.

Post Construction

Consider adding these automatic cuts when the ball goes into the post. Rip cut a non-shooter to the back side block, fill the high elbows and the opposite corner. Encourage the post to “look middle to explore, and baseline to score.”

Below, Wisconsin beautifully demonstrates this post construction. Any double team can be easily read and combated with a pass out of the post from this set up.


More Tips On Post Play In Four-Out Motion Offense

Below are some additional teaching points for post play in motion offense.

  • Don’t chase the ball, the ball will find you
  • Perimeter players that can’t see, won’t see or will not deliver the ball to the post should not play. (Don Meyer)
  • Work to get a baseline passing angle to the post (“baseline to score”)
  • Maintain spacing around the post man, don’t crowd them! Everyone at or above the motion line except post player
  • Through entry angle and positioning, post players can score without dribble moves
  • You slow down the ball by looking at the post (Don Meyer)
  • Try to post up in the paint
  • Feeding the post is much easier if other players are involved in screening action
  • Post at the first marker rather than the block
  • Stay on the weakside lane line with toes facing the lane, as your man moves to midline to help stay there and wait. When ball swings to your side, seal defender in the lane with strong post up

Post play is not to be ignored in four-out motion offense. The spacing it can provide allows for room to operate for post players. Easy baskets can be created for post players when guards attack with the dribble and force post defenders to help up.

Implementing posts into the screening game adds more variety and allowing them to receive cross screens helps post players get touches.

Avoiding some pitfalls such as ball chasing and ignoring the post will help this offense be more effective.

Continue the motion offense conversation: 

That brings to a conclusion this series on motion offense. Special thanks to Coach Jim Boone of Delta State University and Justin Scanson of FastModel for promoting and organizing the series. To catch up on the entire series follow the link below:

Explore and use the Twitter hashtag #MotionOffenseTips as well!

Any questions: Happy to talk hoops any time day or night! If you would like to be added to the motion offense mailing list, email and let me know!






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Randy Sherman is the owner and founder of Radius Athletics - a basketball coaching consulting firm - where he consults with basketball coaches at all levels on coaching philosophy, practice planning, Xs & Os and teaching a conceptual style of basketball. While a head basketball coach at the the interscholastic level, Sherman's teams won 197 games in nine seasons.

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