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Mike Brey: Motion Offense

Mike Brey: Motion Offense

The following clinic article from University of Notre Dame coach Mike Brey appears in the Summer 2019 edition of NABC Time-Out Magazine. To view the entire Sumer 2019 issue, click here.

The goal of our Motion and Full Court Motion offense is to be “really hard to guard.” Below are our offensive principles:


Great Spacing

We like our players to be spaced 12-15 feet apart to help stretch the defense.  If guys are too close then you allow one defender to guard two.  Putting the defenders in uncomfortable positions is a key to good offense.


Willing Passers

We stress every day to our players the ability to make the next pass when your teammate has a better shot.  We tell our guys it is easy to do it in November and December.  The real challenge to become a championship level team is when are you ready to make that extra pass in February and March.  A lot of teams can’t sustain that towards the end of the year. 



Screening has become a little bit of a lost art in basketball today.  But in order to play good offensive basketball and get the best shot available, you have to be ready to sacrifice your body legally to help a teammate.  That would include screening on and off the ball.



We really emphasize to our players to have the confidence to go without the ball when you are not open.  Trust is a key word in our program and you have to have the trust that the ball will come back around.  One of my favorite quotes to our players is, “When in doubt, cut!”  If you catch yourself standing too much, a good cut can really help the group flow.


Flatten the Defense

In order to be the most efficient offensive team that you can be, we really believe you have to flatten the defense to loosen them up.  Some of the ways we accomplish this are post feeds, hard rolls after ball screens, and short corner touches.  This is a great principle to attack zones and man-to-man defenses.


Changing Speeds/Tempos

A phrase we use all the time is, “Be quick but don’t hurry!”.  The essence of this game is deception and setting your man up.  We teach our guys to take a few walking steps into your man and then explode out to be a greedy receiver.


How do we build these principles into our Motion?

Our 3-0/4-0 routine is something we have had in our program since 2002, and we have added to it every single year to see if we can find different ways of attacking defenses.  The one thing that it has really done is to teach our guys how we want to move offensively.  It is through these movements that we lay the foundation for our motion attack.  The following diagrams demonstrate a few of the 3-0 movements we do every day in practice.