4 High Zone Offense – X Series

4 High Zone Offense – X Series

A look at some of the concepts of the 4 High Zone Offense X series.

This particular series can be used against any type of zone defense. The main goal of the series is to create multiple scoring opportunities through the use of fill and replace concepts and passing to move the zone.


X Series – Part 1 – Initial Set Up

X Series - Part 1 - Initial Set Up | 4 High Zone Offense

1 starts at the top.

2 is on the right wing foul line extended.

3 is on the other wing foul line extended.

4 and 5 are above the elbow near the three point line.

1 can pass to the wing or high post.

1 can also dribble to either side and movement starts from there.


X Series – Part 2 – Pass To Wing

X Series - Part 2 - Pass To Wing | 4 High Zone Offense

1 passes to 2 and on that pass, 4 runs to the low post on ball side.

Coach Brown said it is important that the player moving to the low post is not standing directly on the low post block. If the player receives the pass and turns baseline, he or she would be effectively under the basket and couldn’t score from that angle.

5 also leaves and replaces the previous spot held by 4.

Likewise, 1 fills and replaces the spot held by 5 above the left elbow.

Additionally, 3 moves towards the corner but must stay behind the three point line.


X Series – Part 3 – 1st Option, High Post X Cut

X Series - Part 3 - 1st Option, High Post X Cut | 4 High Zone Offense

2 passes in to 4, then 5 immediately rim cuts.

As that action is happening, 1 replaces the spot from 5.

3 also replaces 1’s previous spot above the left elbow. As the play is developing in real time, 3 can step back behind the three as long as 3 is positioned near the elbow.

4 hits 5 for the layup. This is called the shortpass.

4 can also kick the ball out to 3 for the jump shot. This is called the long pass.


X Series – Part 4 – 2nd Option, High Low Action

X Series - Part 4 - 2nd Option, High Low Action | 4 High Zone Offense

1 passes to 4 in the high post.

Immediately, 5 rim cuts and ducks in while sealing the zone defender.

Coach Brown said that 5 should be near the dotted line in the lane because the defenders play behind the post player 99% of the time.

1 fills and replaces the spot previously held by 5.

3 also cuts down to the weak side corner.

4 delivers the high low pass to 5.


X Series – Part 5 – 3rd Option, Skip Pass

X Series - Part 5 - 3rd Option, Skip Pass | 4 High Zone Offense

1 passes to 4 at the high post.

5 cuts to the rim sealing the defender.

1 replaces the previous spot by 5 while 3 goes to the weak side corner as before.

In this instance, 5 is not open so 5 moves near the right side post block.

4 makes a skip pass to 3 in the corner and x-cuts to the previous spot held by 5.

3 can take the shot if open.


X Series – Part 6 – 4th Option, Weak Side Flash

X Series - Part 6 - 4th Option, Weak Side Flash | 4 High Zone Offense

If 3 doesn’t have the open shot, 5 will flash across the lane looking for the high post pass.

At the same time, 1 gets out to the opposite slot.

3 makes the pass to 5 and on that pass, 4 cuts in sealing the zone defender.

5 makes the high low pass to 4 who scores near the rim.

5 can also take the quick jump shot if the zone defenders don’t guard the ball at that time.


X Series – Part 7 – 5th Option, Backdoor Lob

X Series - Part 7 - 5th Option, Backdoor Lob | 4 High Zone Offense

If 5 doesn’t receive the pass from 3, 5 steps out of the lane near the elbow.

3 reverses the ball to 5 and 4 ducks in as if looking for the high low pass.

Immediately, as 4 ducks into the lane, 3 makes a backdoor cut.

1 lobs the ball over the top of the zone to 3 who dunks or makes a layup.


The X Series was taught by Coach Hubie Brown. A video of the concepts can be seen here.

Also, more zone offense resources can be found here.

Thank you and have a great day.


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