The Power of a Spread Offense

The Power of a Spread Offense


The Duke Blue Devils are a love or hate basketball team. As a UConn fan, I spend most of the season anticipating Duke losses to scrappy, underrated opponents. These moments rarely materialize because of Duke’s intelligent approach to offense.

Most college basketball teams rely on a key player or style to win games. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to win a national championship as a one-hit wonder. Consider the following scenarios:

  • Scenario 1 – Team A relies on a key player to win games.
    Smart opposing teams develop a plan to annoy and neutralize key player.
    The result: Key player has a bad game, and team A loses.
  • Team B relies on a signature style to win games.
    Take a fast-paced offense for example. Opponent forces the team to play a slow, half-court offense.
    The result: Team B looks uncomfortable and awkward the entire game. This may result in a painful loss or an ugly win.

Duke avoids both scenarios by utilizing a powerful spread offense. I refer to this as the “Daoism offense.” It’s all about balance, and balance works. Unless the entire team has a bad night, Duke is very difficult to stop.

Bob Knight highlights Duke’s offensive spacing in the video below.

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