Coach John Saintignon is a former division-I assistant coach from Oregon State University, a former high school head coach from the state of Arizona and one of the all-time leading scorers at USC. Coach Saintignon also currently coaches and trains professional players overseas and will lead the Coach's Corner series on Arizona Preps.
Secondary Break: I have always tried to learn from the best in the business and have asked them for information, guidance, and tried to do what they do. I have tons of information, but Coach Wooden told me, "It's not what you know, it's what you can teach." I have always remembered that.
We as coaches have a tendency to want to try lots of things, and here is a time and place for that - off season, pre-season, experimenting with what works best for you and your players. But when it's the crunch time and you are needing your players, coaches, etc., to know who you are, well that will come down to what you know how to teach.
I loved watching teams that could run and score lots of points when I was an up-and-coming HS coach, so I did things that got us going, like the break that LMU used to run; it did give us lots of points, but I wasn't all that comfortable not having more than that. So I saw what Roy Williams did each and every time down the floor - a Secondary Break.
The Primary break is the initial push down the floor in my opinion - when the PG, has decided to give the ball ahead to one of the wings, or the post, who has run to the rim and what comes of that - with either a shot, drop into the post, or drives. But if the PG keeps the ball past half court, that is the Secondary Break - without stopping to call a set play. What drove me crazy was stopping momentum. Momentum is a huge thing. When you have a team running back each time, and you can flatten the defense out vertically and horizontally, then you will see what that coach has been able to teach to his team in terms of help-side defense. Do they play behind the post, or front, cut the court in 1/2 etc. Many things.
I as a coach pay attention to that game within the game. I learned from a master in the business and hall of famer, Tex Winter. He was so gracious to accept my invitation to come to Oregon State University when I was there to help further my career and help the coaching staff. I had ideas of running the secondary break into the triangle, because I loved 2 things. One, never stopping momentum when I had it running down the floor, thus the Secondary Break concept. And two, having all 5 players work together, touch the ball and options that were offense friendly.
By that I mean, many coaches say we want the ball entered on the wing and the PG. If he/she can't enter it, there is no alternative, thus we force it, get mad, tell the wing to get open, etc. So I have 4 options for the PG to get us into the Secondary Break. I will share my entire diagrams with you, if you email me back and of course, you can purchase on Championship Videos: http://www.championshipproductions.com/cgi-bin/champ/p/Basketball/On-the-Attack-Mastering-the-Secondary-Break_BD-03332.html
I hope this helps you in your quest to always keep momentum on your side offensively. It really helped my teams in HS, NCAA and Professionally.