Key Teaching Points and Drills for Transition Offense

A team that controls the transition game will keep opponents on their toes and have a major edge in coming away with victories. In this week’s team development feature, learn different ways to improve your transition game and take your offense to a new level.

Sinclair (OH) head men’s basketball coach Jeff Price breaks down his transition offense for you before showcasing a few drills that emphasize key areas. With an emphasis placed on playing fast-paced basketball, this offense should go a long way towards improving your team’s scoring ability. This versatile system can also be used to transition into any half-court offense.

Overview of the Transition Offense

Here’s how we start out. The point guard gets the ball and pushes it up the floor as hard as he can go. We also have a 2 or 3 in the strongside corner (so we can advance the ball as fast as we can with the pass). Meanwhile, our other 2 or 3 player is in the weakside corner looking to balance the floor. The 1, 2, and 3 players are all interchangeable.

Also, 4 and 5 are interchangeable, but have much different roles. The first person down without the ball is going rim-to-rim (also known as a “rim runner”), looking to go to the strongside and post up. The “trailer” will trail and stay even with the ball as it gets advanced up the floor. Once the point guard passes to the corner, our first look is a shot in the corner and to get a shot as fast as possible. This puts a lot of pressure on the defense.

Our second look is a good post-up above the block and trying to get a 1-on-1 isolation in transition. If we don’t get this, we can reverse the ball back to the point guard. Our trailer is now into the play and the ball goes to him.  Next, the big comes to the middle of the floor at the free throw line, our opposite wing player now moves to the weakside block, and the strongside off-guard does a V-cut to get open and pops out. The ball goes to him.

The big man follows the ball and slides to the low block. Once this happens, the weakside guard now moves up and makes a backscreen for the trailer/forward for a lob going right to the rim. If we don’t get that, the screener pops out, we got bigs on both blocks, the ball gets reversed to our point guard, and then we go right into our man-to-man offense.

Note: We’ve only spent seven seconds getting into our offense running transition.


Wing Jumpers

The goal with this offense is that we want to get our guys down the floor as fast as possible and get into scoring position. Here in this drill, we want to use a coach as a passer and simulate the 2 or 3 running the floor and catching the ball and making a shot or making a move.

First, start with jumpers right off the pass. Players will start at mid-court, pass to the coach at the top of the key, get the ball back in the corner, and immediately turn and shoot (right off the pass). This is a great drill to get loose and mimics game situations. Remember to always have shot-ready hands. This drill also simulates staying wide and outside the three-point line. Don’t forget that once you make the pass, you should be sprinting. It shouldn’t be a 3/4 sprint.


Next, to simulate game-type shots even further, let’s have players move into sweep through jump shots to the short corner. Be sure to square up when you shoot.

Free Throw Transition

Finally, set up in a free throw situation. Look to run off a make or miss. If it’s a make, have the 4 or 5 get the ball out of bounds. Take the ball out below the backboard and get the ball out quick. The point guard must make himself available and call for the ball. Meanwhile, 2 and 3 will release to space the floor.

Breakdown: Release the ball to a wing jumper. Be sure to crash the boards. We want either a solid three-point shot or a 15-foot jumper. Then switch to sweep through jumpers with one dribble to the baseline to close out the drill.

Goal: Touch 60 percent of all missed shots. Always look to get to your rebounding spots.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Comprehensive Guide to Transition Offense” featuring Jeff Price. To check out  more transition offense and fast break videos, simply visit our basketball library.


I see the value on putting pressure on the defense but.. how do you transition back into defense.. responsibilities. Am concerned because those long shots make long rebounds and guards are deep in the corner. In our league, They will fly guards and no one will be back except perhaps the top guard.

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