Winning with the Princeton Offense: “5 Out”

Back in October, we ran through the basics of the Princeton Offense, focusing on key concepts of the popular offense, proper spacing, and a basic Princeton formation “Chin.” This week, with coach Lee DeForest leading the way, we’re going to build off of that Chin concept and highlight the 5 Out formation, yet another effective set that will give your opponents fits this season.

5 Out Overview

The 5 Out set is initiated through Chin. For a full breakdown of Chin, be sure to read through our feature from last month. To start, the pivot player should be on the same side as the basketball. The play is initiated with a dribble weave before an interchange on the weak side.

Now, we have the forwards up and the guards down. As we are doing that, the pivot is moving to the high-post area. Next, we make the forward-to-forward pass up top and then get the ball to the opposite wing guard. After this, the opposite forward cuts through and to the near corner (closest to the ball). Next, the pivot screens for the forward up top just above the three-point line, and the forward sprints to the opposite (or right) corner.

Here’s where the adjustment comes into play. After the pivot makes the screen up top, he will then step out to the top of the key and the guard with the ball will hit him with the pass up top. Now, we’re in the 5 out set.


Check out all of the options now. When the pivot has the basketball, he has the option to dribble to the weak side (i.e. the right side in this case) at the wing guard before the wing guard cuts backdoor. As he backdoors, the corner forward takes the guard’s place on the wing. Next, the pivot can pass to the wing forward. We now want the pivot to get back to the post, so we have the backdoor guard set a “UCLA screen” at the foul line elbow for the pivot, and he cuts to the post.

When the wing forward has the ball, we can also look to post up the low post guard. The pivot will set a fake screen at the left top of key area and the opposite wing guard will act like he’s coming off of it before cutting backdoor. The corner forward will take his spot. Now, the guard — who was initially on the wing — is the new pivot.

5 Out – On-Court Demonstration

Follow along as Coach DeForest dishes out more tips and strategies – this time from the hardwood. This play is another way to get the backdoor look from the top to the wing out of Chin. Remember, once we are in the set, the pivot with the ball should dribble to the opposite side he received it from. Key: Hold the ball at the top of the key for a second. This gives the other team a chance to deny.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Winning with the Princeton Style Offense.” Check out more videos focusing on basketball offensive systems by visiting our extensive library.

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