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DVD formatChampionship Instant Video

Transition Offense System: Sprint, Space, Share

(See more by John Brannen)

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Item Number: BD-05773

Transition Offense System: Sprint, Space, Share

Transition Offense System: Sprint, Space, Share

Uncover the three keys John Brannen uses to run an effective transition offense!

  • Sprint the floor to beat the defense, ensure they can't get set, and score easy buckets
  • Space the floor in order to put defenders in stressful situations that your team can exploit
  • Share the basketball to get more of your players involved on offense and get the defense out of position

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˙with John Brannen,
University of Cincinnati Head Men's Basketball Coach from 2019 to 2021;
2020 AAC Regular Season Champions;
Northern Kentucky University Head Coach from 2015 to 2019;
2017 Horizon League Coach of the Year;
2x Horizon League Regular Season Champions;
2x Horizon League Tournament Champions;
led Northern Kentucky to the NCAA Tournament in their first year of eligibility;
the first school to do this since 1970!

Transition offense creates opportunities for teams to play with pace. In this on-court presentation, John Brannen discusses how he creates pace with his transition offense. This system gave Coach Brannen's teams at Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati an advantage that has resulted in regular season conference titles at both schools.

To develop his transition offense, Brannen uses a whole-part-whole approach to demonstrate and teach his system. Behind this teaching are three important things that lead to an effective transition offense: "sprint, space, and share."


Coach Brannen uses a push rate metric designed to get the ball across the half-court line in very short order. The approach to sprinting the floor requires that the tempo goes fast, but more so on made shots. As a goal, Brannen wants his players to get the ball across the court within four seconds of gaining possession on a missed shot or a steal. On a made shot, the ball should be across the half-court line within three seconds. All players should be across half-court within six seconds.

If there is one standard that Coach Brannen holds his team to, it is to sprint every cut. This is emphasized and demanded every day in practice and in every game. The first three steps are important in getting up the floor to create the speed and pace necessary to develop an effective transition game.


The second point of emphasis that Brannen wants from his players is to space the floor. To combine the sprinting and spacing necessary, the term of "beat up the X's" is used. Four perimeter spots must be filled immediately while a rim-runner makes their way to the basket as quickly as possible. The first big down the floor is the rim runner. The big who is more perimeter-oriented will fill a corner spot, while a post-oriented big will fill one of the "line-up" spots.

The first perimeter spots that must be filled are in the corners, while the secondary spots that must be filled are the slots. Any time the perimeter spots on one side are filled, the point guard can "go across Main Street" and change sides of the floor.


Finally, Coach Brannen emphasizes that his teams must share the basketball. To achieve this, the push rate is used again to determine how long it takes for the ball to change sides of the floor within a given possession. His teams time how long it takes to get to a third, fourth, and fifth side within an offensive possession.

Roles are determined among "bust out" and "non-bust out" guys. These roles determine whether a player who gets a steal or a rebound must get the ball to a "bust out" guy or can bring the ball up the floor themselves. Each outlet pass must get momentum up the court so that the "bust out" guys can get the ball up the floor quickly.

Within the first 7-8 seconds of the shot clock, Brannen likes to play as much drive and kick as possible and get "a piece of the paint" whenever his players can. When the offense breaks down, his team goes into "Cook It", a perimeter-oriented attack designed to make players "violent on the catch" and to attack downhill. "System Passing" is presented as a way to teach perimeter and post players how to create movement and share the basketball in half-court offense.

This video from Coach Brannen shows the best way to play basketball: with speed, spacing, and sharing amongst teammates! If you want your team to pick up the pace and sore

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