A “quick hitter,” as coaches commonly describe it, is simply a set play designed to score quickly using a team’s best players. The most popular “quick hitters” come from either a box set or a 1-4 high set. A high 1-4 set has the PG in the middle of the court with the other 4 players placed free throw line extended on both wings and on both elbows. This is why it is called a 1 4 high set.
[Related: High School Basketball Playbook]
The Advantages of a High 1-4 Basketball Set?
Spacing weakside help is eliminated because all players are starting away from the basket
Space is created under the basket area because the players are moved off the baseline
Allows a quick UCLA cut to the rim for quick scoring by the PG
Allows for easy implementation into special situations
Many different sets can disguised from this initial alignment
The point guard has immediate pressure relief at either high post
Distorts zone defenses (2-3 zone, 3-2 zone, 1-2-2 zone, and 1-3-1 zone)
Very good to run on dead ball situations
The coach has control of the attack (ie. Ball screen, post up, 3 point shot, etc.)
Allows for easy wing pick and roll action with built-in basketball screening angles from the players on the elbows
The Disadvantages of a High 1-4 Offensive Set?
Can be pressured out of this set if wing denial and high post denials are good
Can be forced right or left and weakside help created by forcing the point guard to one side of the court
Even though the set starts in a 1-4 high set, it rarely stays that way
Players have to remember the different play calls
Eliminates space for the point guard to create an entry pass
Basketball practice time spent on teaching substitutes the patterns of the 1-4 high set and their role
Very difficult to transition into from a fast break (tough to get to spots)
Easier to run and jump from the weakside wing because of limited operational space for the point guard
As a coach, you must decide on your offensive philosophy. There are many programs that run exclusively set offensive plays and there are others that run pure motion offense. In high school, it can generally be a good idea to have set plays because the talent pool can be thin. As Hubie Brown would argue, are you getting enough shots for your two best players in the best shooting area? Set plays such as the 1-4 high, are the easiest way to do that. However, there are other coaches, such as Don Meyer, that ask the question, “Would you rather have a better player in March, or a new play?” While this is a great philosophy question, we have to try and do what is best for our program and its talent base. Regardless of what you choose to do, make sure you believe in it.