Bobby Knight developed his motion offense through research and development. When he was coaching at West Point, they ran reverse action which is reversing the ball from one side of the floor to the other and screening along with it. Pete Newell created it and he was one of Bobby Knight’s closest friends.
Reverse Action was an offense that had more focus on the forward and center, but he put more cutting into the offense which helped the transition to motion offense. Coach Knight would watch the Princeton Offense when they played Princeton and he came up with a couple new ideas to add to his motion offense.
After the Olympic trials in 1972, he spent more time tweaking his motion offense. Knight and Newell would sit in Newell’s living room and come up with diagrams for what they could do in a 3-2 offense. They came up with 74 diagrams on different things tht could be done. Once they had the diagrams then they developed a set of rules to go with them. The first rule was spacing. Everyone had to be 15 to 18 feet away from the next guy.
Knight turned the rules into a booklet that involved passing, cutting, and screening. He said that there are seven things that you can do after you pass the ball. You can go behind and get it back. I can go screen or make an inside cut. I can cut to the basket. I can screen away. I can cut and replace myself or just stand there.
Coach Knight believed that you could take some options away from the motion offense, but not all the options. The offense is designed to react according to the defense. He really never like set plays. He really never liked the 3 point line, but it did help his offense. It made spacing a lot easier. Knight’s motion offense is all relying on a two count. Post players have a two count in the paint and if they don’t get the ball then they go screen. Everything is a count of two.
If the defense starts switching then we slip the screen to the basket for a layup. His motion offense is always in flux and developing. I think that you will enjoy these basketball coaching clinic notes on motion offense of driving and passing. Jim Ponchak is one of our basketball coaching contributors and I know that you will really like the work that he does for our fellow basketball coaches.
Click on the pdf link to download the basketball coaching clinic notes on Bobby Knight’s Motion Offense – Passing:
Click the pdf link to download the basketball coaching clinic notes for the Bobby Knight Motion Offense – Driving: