November 4, 2018
TO: Reed Kohberger
From: Dan Davis (Dan 72, danh72)
RE: Flex Offense for dummies
First, let me say that none of the POV are dummies, especially in basketball knowledge, but the title was an easy “get”. Second, in my 16 years of coaching basketball (5 at HS level) I’ve never run the Flex Offense but I sure have coached against it many times.
I saw Capel running a version of this vs Pitt Johnstown last week.
To understand the Flex, one has to understand the 1-4 offense that JD ran at Pitt. It is a patterned offense where the 1 is your point guard and the 2 your off guard, 3 shooting guard 4 small forward and 5 is your center. It lines up just as it sounds with the 1 out in front and the four others in a horizontal line across the foul line (high position). It can also be run with the four players “flat” below the baseline or the low position.
This offense can be run as a continuous motion offense or have set plays off of it. While the players move around in a pattern, for the most part, the center and small forward stay near the paint and the 1 and 2 guard stay back beyond the foul line. Many times on POV, I knew every set play that Jamie ran off this look. Unfortunately….so did the opposition. He truly was the puppeteer.
The Flex Offense was invented in 1967 by Rene Herrerias. It was originally called the “Cha Cha” and was invented to lure Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabaar for you yountsters) 7’3” UCLA center away from the basket.
Duke switched to the Flex many years ago and runs it almost exclusively in the ACC. It is used a lot in the NBA because it gets every player involved. Think of it in terms of creating many 3 man triangles on the floor.
The Flex Offense, much like the 1-4 is a Continuity Motion Offense which means it is patterned. Unlike the 1-4, all players get to play all 5 positions which fits at team like Pitt to a tee, since Pitt has little height (6’7” tallest). It is called the Flex because it is usually initiated by two players standing on the lower two blocks (Those blocks are called Flex lines) of the paint crossing off of each others hips.. It features constant passing, cutting, flex screens, down screens, screen the screener (JDixons fave play).
While it is mostly used against man to man defenses, it can be used against some Zone offenses. A Zone offense is where 5 defenders do NOT move with the players but guard a specific area without vacating. If run properly, the Flex creates mismatches and can be a defenders nightmare.
I hope this helps as we all begin a new Pitt Basketball Era. We are so fortunate to have Jeff as our HC (thank you Heather). His recruiting has been nothing short of miraculous in the short time he’s been here. I predict this Pitt team overachieves and surprises even the most cynical of POV fans (UPitt?). I believe they will actually finish mid pack in the ACC and may even make the NCAA’s.
You will fall in love with Pitt’s new point guard.
As we go along in this new era of Pitt Basketball, I will gladly answer and update you on Capel’s version of the Flex.
Hope this helps.
Dan 72 (danh72)