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REVERSE ACTION OFFENSE
In 1959, Pete Newell was able to upset West Virginia and their great player
Jerry West with an offense in the NCAA Championship Game that was a hybrid of
the Triangle offense and the Shuffle offense. This offense would later be
run by Bob Knight at the United States Military Academy with great success in
part because of a point guard named Mike Krzyzewski. This offense is known
as the Reverse Action offense.
Advantages of the Reverse Action Offense
The Reverse Action can lend itself to post-ups and lay-ups thanks to the basic
movement. The parts of the offense from the Triangle offense will allow
the offense to enter the ball into the post for a post move and a
high-percentage shot. The parts of the offense that come from the Shuffle
offense will lead to lay-ups off of back screens.
With many offense like it, the Reverse Action offense has several counters that
will catch a defense if they try to take away certain aspects of the offense.
This can include sideline pick-and-roll plays and backdoors in the basic
movement. The guards can also take advantage with the handoffs by either
attacking the basket or shooting perimeter jump shots off of the handoff.
Finally, the Reverse Action offense is a great offense when a team has three
post players capable of posting up and handling the ball on the perimeter.
Post players in the offense need to be capable of making solid cuts off of back
screens, shooting perimeter jump shots, and posting up against the defense.
Disadvantages of the Reverse Action Offense
Because the Reverse Action offense is a patterned offense, the defense can
easily scout the offense and start taking away the basic movement in the
offense. If this happens, the players running the offense must be able to
run the counters successfully.
In addition, the players may become so narrowed on running the basic continuity
of the offense that the players may not realize the options available to them.
If this happens, mistakes can be made and turnovers will develop. It might
also result in ill-advised shots in the offense.
Also, the Reverse Action offense requires that the three post players be capable
of handling the ball on the perimeter, being capable of making the shuffle cut,
and posting up in the low post area. It is very difficult to put together
a team running this offense if you have players who are not capable of doing all
Basic Movement of the Reverse Action Offense
In starting the basic movement in the offense, we start the offense from a 2-1-2
look (Diagram 1). The ball-side forward will pop to the wing to catch the
pass from the point guard. When this happens, we will look to run a
dribble handoff and get the post up ready with the center and the opposite guard
at the point (Diagram 2).
Diagrams 3-8 illustrate the basic movement in the
Reverse Action offense when the ball is swung from one side of the
floor to the other. Whenever the ball is passed from the point
to the forward at the wing opposite the side of the ball's origin,
the handoff is set up with the passer and the receiver.
Meanwhile, the action on the help-side takes place with the low post
stepping out to set a back screen for the forward at the help-side
wing to get the action of the shuffle cut. The other guard
will cut along the three-point line from the corner to the point to
look for the basketball if the forward cannot enter the ball on the
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