Quick Hitting Basketball Offense: the 1-4 High Set

By: Coach DeForest

Quick Hitting Basketball Offense: The 1-4 High Set

What is a "Quick Hitter"?
A "quick hitter," as coaches commonly describe it, is simply a set play designed to score quickly using a team's best players. The most popular "quick hitters" come from either a box set or a 1-4 high set. A 1-4 set has the PG in the middle of the court with the other 4 players placed free throw line extended on both wings and on both elbows. This is why it is called a 1-4 high set.

The Advantages of a 1-4 High Set?
&bullSpacing - weakside help is eliminated because all players are starting away from the basket
&bullSpace is created under the basket area because the players are moved off the baseline
&bullAllows a quick UCLA cut to the rim for quick scoring by the PG
&bullAllows for easy implementation into special situations
&bullMany different sets can disguised from this initial alignment
&bullThe point guard has immediate pressure relief at either high post
&bullDistorts zone defenses
&bullVery good to run on dead ball situations
&bullThe coach has control of the attack (ie. Ball screen, post up, 3 point shot, etc.)
&bullAllows for easy wing pick and roll action with built-in screening angles from the players on the elbows

The Disadvantages of a 1-4 High Set?
&bullCan be pressured out of this set if wing denial and high post denials are good
&bullCan be forced right or left and weakside help created by forcing the point guard to one side of the court
&bullEven though the set starts in a 1-4 high set, it rarely stays that way
&bullPlayers have to remember the different play calls
&bullEliminates space for the point guard to create an entry pass
&bullPractice spent on teaching substitutes the patterns of the 1-4 high set and their role
&bullVery difficult to transition into from a fast break (tough to get to spots)
&bullEasier to run and jump from the weakside wing because of limited operational space for the point guard

As a coach, you must decide on your offensive philosophy. There are many programs that run exclusively set offensive plays and there are others that run pure motion offense. In high school, it can generally be a good idea to have set plays because the talent pool can be thin. As Hubie Brown would argue, are you getting enough shots for your two best players in the best shooting area? Set plays such as the 1-4 high, are the easiest way to do that. However, there are other coaches, such as Don Meyer, that ask the question, "Would you rather have a better player in March, or a new play?" While this is a great philosophy question, we have to try and do what is best for our program and its talent base. Regardless of what you choose to do, make sure you believe in it.

For more information about any aspect of basketball, join our online coaches club at Basketball Coaches Club (www.basketballcoachesclub.blogspot.com) or email me at coachdeforest@gmail.com.

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