Pick and Roll Offense: Horns

The Horns series offence is characterised by dual on-ball screens that make it a variation of a pick and roll offense. The pick and roll offense is a highly popular style of play currently across the globe with many variations of the basic concept being developed and the Horns series is just one of these examples.


The Horns offense places one screen on each side of the middle driving lane. One option this allows for is the offense to be executed from front on to the basket so the dribbler can go either left or right over one screen or the other. The alternative for executing the pick and roll offense is diagrammed in the example below is to come from one side of the floor allowing for the dribbler to have the choice of using one screen or bother to create an prospect.


As with all pick and roll offenses Horns must be executed with a few key points in mind specific to the alignment. These are:


Dribbler must move the ball to the line of the screens before initiating the starting sequence of the offense across the floor; this pushes the defensive player in line with the screeners which helps make the offense more effective in executing the fundamental movement of a pick and roll offense.


Wing lane runners must start in the long corners; the players on the wings (Two and Three) will lift, push, or pull depending on the read they make concerning the defensive player guarding them and their subsequent positioning. These two players are vital in creating both pressure release passing targets and producing the formation for sideline triangles with interior players.


For the screens to work effectively the dribbler must rub shoulders with each screener; by rubbing shoulders the defensive player guarding the ball handler will not be able to take the shortest route in guarding the offensive player. This will mean the defensive team will need to develop a more complicated tactic to guard the dribbler and this in turn will facilitate a number of possibilities for the offense to exploit.


Heightened development of pick and roll options; to be effective in using the Horns offense the players involved most develop a full suite of scoring possibilities from on-ball screen scenarios. The more effective the team becomes the in converting pick and roll offense opportunities to points, the harder it will be for defensive teams to guard the offense adequately.

Pick and Roll: Offense Horns Diagram 1
Pick and Roll: Offense Horns Diagram 1

The dribbler (One) must have their eyes on the rim as the player dribbles off the screen.


The ball side corner (Two) lifts to the foul line extended as the ball crosses the screeners shoulder to create pressure release pass or angle for reversal and pass to rolling player (Five).


One (1) looks to penetrate into middle lane off first screen.


Five (5) rolls from screen towards basket.


If Three’s (3) defender moves to help in this situation then the offensive player can back cut into a receiver spot and just decrease the distance from the basket for a higher percentage shot if the ball is passed to them.

Pick and Roll: Offense Horns Diagram 2
Pick and Roll: Offense Horns Diagram 2

Second Screen Progression


Four (4) screens for one (1).


One (1) moves off second screen and looks for scoring options off of driving to the basket.


Three (3) continues to makes leads towards the basket looking for back door cut opportunities.


Scoring Options:

    • Five (5) through interior seal on the basket.


  • Three (3) on back door cut to basket.
  • Two man gave between One (1) and Three (3) by One (1) freeze dribbling at Three’s (3) defender.
  • Two (2) on skip pass from One (1).


Pick and Roll: Offense Horns Diagram 3
Pick and Roll: Offense Horns Diagram 3

Terminal Phase of Offense


Four (4) re-screens for One (1).


One (1) aggressively dribbles into middle lane.


Four (4) rolls towards basket. Creating two man game between One (1).


Five (5) relocates to receivers spot in weak side short corner.


Three (3) lifts to strong side foul line extended.


Two (2) moves into pressure release/safety position.

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Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

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