My Read & React Offense Experience
I am coaching at a large school girls basketball program in Iowa. I am a varsity assistant and the entire coaching staff is new this year. We knew we wanted to run an attacking offense and narrowed it down to Read & React and Dribble Drive. I had previously run Read & React at an AAU club with high level players. After watching videos on both offenses, talking with other coaches, using personal experience, and checking coaching message boards we decided to go with the Dribble Drive Offense instead of Read & React. Here is why.
Read & React Offense Circle Movement
In doing our research and from past experience, the verdict seemed to be that developing the habit of circle movement in Read & React would just take too much time to build as a habit and that coaches typically could run dribble drive in a few days. Not master it but have some good semblance of the offense. Bottom line was that circle movement was going to take a long time and dribble drive could be up an running within a week or so. Now we have been practicing about a week and the girls are getting the basics of it and we will have to continue to work on it.
In my past experience with the circle movement in Read & React at the AAU club, the girls somewhat got it but never did we have true coordination of the 4 players. We ran a 4 out 1 in version of Read & React. Now in fairness, we practiced twice a week and we did not always get a chance to work on it as practices were ran by the director or lead trainer working on fundamental skills. We were the only group out of all grades (4-12) that were running Read & React. We tended to be a pass & cut heavy team on offense. The pass & cut is easier for kids to learn but simply doesn't create the attack of the drive.
My thoughts to this point (2nd week in) is that I think we've made the right decision to use Dribble Drive instead of the Read & React circle movement. The reason is that in Dribble Drive we will get more drives to the middle of the floor and more multiple drives to the middle of the floor. Circle movement always pushes players away from the ball which would result in more baseline drives I believe.
Dribble Drive Has Better 3 Point Shot & Drive Opportunities
I also believe we will get more shots from the wing vs. the corner. In a 4 out set for example, the top player on the right drives to their right. In Read & React the wing player who is driven at would slide to the corner for the shot. In Dribble Drive the wing player (who starts in the corner) would lift up to the wing and get a shot from the wing. The wing shot is scientifically the best shot you can take in basketball. So we would rather have the majority of our 3 pointers be taken from the place we have the best odds of making it from. The corner is the worst spot to take a shot from.
Now Read & React will allow you to start a player in the corner as well which will increase the gaps between offensive players allowing for more drives. The problem in Read & React is that in the same drive above, the player in the corner would have to cut through along the baseline instead of lifting up like in Dribble Drive. This would likely bring the help defense to the drive. Rick Torbett, the creator of Read & React, will tell you that you must drill this so that that wing player will get through before that is a problem. I just think that it would take an incredible amount of time in practice to make this one movement a habit. I look at the fact that the Iowa Hawkeye women's team has run Read & React but NEVER does a player in the corner cut through on a drive towards them. They stay put. This tells me that if a high level Division 1 program can't accomplish this, no high school team, probably girls or boys will be able to accomplish this reaction.
I mentioned the gaps before. The natural starting points in Dribble Drive create great space for drives, single, double, and occasionally triple gaps. Read & React typically only has single gaps in its typical 4 out 1 in set. Since you have circle movement the wing would go to the corner on a drive towards them so you likely wouldn't want to have to deal with starting in the corner and then having to cut through.
So in my opinion Dribble Drive seems to be the better choice vs. Read & React circle movement. I would also factor in the fact that you see Dribble Drive run at major college programs through youth and Read & React at smaller colleges to youth. Dribble Drive seems to be the choice over Read & React circle movement. The Read & React is a great offensive system but I believe the Dribble Drive will suit our team better. I will keep you posted on our dribble drive development throughout the year and see how we progress.