Two Game-Winning Plays to Add to Your Playbook This Season

In this week’s Playbook Series, we break down a pair of game-winning quick hitters submitted by two top Division I basketball programs. These plays have proven to be effective and can be used for special situations at the end of a quarter or at the conclusion of the game. For each play, be sure to follow the overview before seeing them simulated live on the basketball floor.

1-4 High Special

Submitted by Jim Shaw, University of Texas-El Paso

Set-up: This play is run from the 1-4 high set. 2 and 3 start on the outside wings and will be beyond the arc. 4 and 5 start out on opposite elbows, with 4 on the right side.

The Action: 1 enters the ball into 4 on the right elbow. As soon as 4 receives the pass, 2 breaks to the basket on the backdoor cut. 4 turns and looks to 2 backdoor. If 2 isn’t open, then 1 pops over to the ballside wing area (the same area 2 had just vacated).

Next, 2 goes down to the low block and 5 slides down the lane line and into the weakside post (block). Meanwhile, 3 V-cuts toward the basket and then breaks toward the top of the key. 4 dribbles toward the opposite elbow and makes a handoff with 3. At the same time, 2 sets a cross screen for 5 in the lane. Now, 5 breaks to the opposite low post area.

The Finish: After the handoff, 4 slides down the lane and sets a down screen for 2. 3 can now shoot a jumper from the elbow, make a low post entry into 5, or kick the ball out to 1 or 2 for a three pointer.


Slant 1-3-1 Quick Hitter

Submitted by Gene Keady, Former Head Coach at Purdue University

The Set-up: This play is run out of a 1-3-1 set with 1 bringing the ball up the floor. 3 and 2 are lined up wide on each wing. 5 is positioned on the left elbow and 4 is set up on the left low block.

The Action: 3 V-cuts toward the basket and then pops back out and receives a pass from 1 up top. After 1 passes, he cuts to the ballside corner. As this happens, 5 breaks hard and sets a down screen for 4. 4 then cuts around the screen and goes up top to receive the pass from 3. 3 runs directly by 4 and takes a handoff from him/her.

The Finish: After the handoff, 3 curls around and drives hard down the lane. 3 can either shoot a layup, dish to 5 ceiling on the low block, or kick the ball out to 1 or 2 for a three-point shot.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 50 Game-Winning Quick Hitters” by Winning Hoops. To check out more videos in our extensive Winning Hoops library, click here.

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