Clearing up confusion about the NC State offense

Last night on the Wolfpack sports discussion forum, someone posted a thread entitled “Someone Please explain our offense???”

Such a thread is not an unusual sight on that forum (although sometimes it’s better stated). There being demonstrable confusion on the part of my fellow fans to understand our system of offense, permit me to explain it.

The NC State Offense Explained

Herb Sendek’s offense requires five Swingmen: three Regular Swingmen, one Tall Swingman, and one Main Swingman (fn. 1). Having a team with all Swingmen creates Matchup Problems (fn. 2) for the opposing defense (fn. 3). Swingmen are versatile athletes who can all dribble the ball up the court like a shooting guard, as well as take three-point shots and make backdoor cuts.

It is crucial that all five players on the court be Swingmen so that the opposing defense will not know which one will brick the three or go backdoor to miss the layup (fn. 4). At key moments in the game (fn. 5), however, the Main Swingman has sole responsibility for missing the shots. This phase is called Taking the Game Over (fn. 6). Sometimes, however, a Regular or Tall Swingman will become Undisciplined and attempt to Take the Game Over himself by making consecutive baskets, at which point that Swingman will be benched for lacking Teamwork and replaced with another Swingman.


1. A Regular Swingman is a player between 6’4″ and 6’6″ in height; a Tall Swingman is a player between 6’7″ and 6’8″ in height, but listed as 6’10”; and a Main Swingman is a marquee Regular Swingman.

2. It also presents matchup problems for NC State players when they are on defense, but that is a topic for “Can someone explain our defense?” [Answer: “Man-to-man always, even if (a) the team has the flu and could reserve its strength by playing a zone or (b) an opposing team or player starts shooting well, which would cause other coaches to switch defenses to try to disrupt.”]

3. So long as the opposing defense stays in the man-to-man as the playbook requires. Should, however, the defense reject our playbook and choose to play zone, then our offense switches into the patented “Standing Around the Perimeter” (SAP) offense. It is similar in concept to Dean Smith’s famous “Four Corners” offense in that it allows several minutes to elapse without scoring a basket. The only difference between SAP and the Four Corners is that SAP allows the other team numerous possessions.

4. Nor do the other Swingmen know, or they would be positioning themselves for the rebound.

5. Designated in the playbook as “Scoring Drought.”

6. Or “Game Over” for short.

General NCS Basketball

4 Responses to Clearing up confusion about the NC State offense

  1. BJD95 01/27/2005 at 2:38 PM #

    Last night’s benched Tall Swingman – Ced Simmons. The nerve of him, converting a CONVENTIONAL 3-point play. Off with his head, I say!

  2. Fish 01/27/2005 at 6:27 PM #

    That is great. Could not have said it better.

  3. free slots 06/27/2005 at 6:01 PM #

    The stuff on this web site is really witty and cool wise

  4. pharmacy 06/28/2005 at 3:54 AM #

    Exstremely lovely site. Very impressed about all the lesson there are to learn and to know how much help is there also. Keep up the great work

Leave a Reply