What is a “turn out” cut?

A “turn out” cut is used off a screen that is set at the side of the keyway, with the screener having their back facing the sideline, away from the keyway. This screen is also called a “Pin Down” screen.

The cut may go towards the perimeter.

If the defender “trails” (running behind the cutter) then the cutter should curl back into the keyway.

Footwork – Forward Pivot

Players need to be able to execute different types of footwork, coming off the “turn out” cut.

First, they must be able to do a “forward” pivot as they catch the ball to face the basket. They land and pivot on the foot closest to the basket (black) and then turn to face. This footwork is very effective for an immediate shot.

Footwork – Reverse Pivot

Players must also be able to “reverse pivot” as they catch the ball. They pivot on the foot closest to the sideline (red) and “rip” the ball quickly toward the baseline as they reverse pivot. This footwork is effective when the defender has moved over the top of the screen, and the offence is catching the ball and looking to drive along the baseline.

“Reading” the Defence – Different cuts

“Straight Cut”

The initial cut is a “straight” cut, where the defender is “caught” on the screen and the cutter moves into the “shadow” of the screen – directly behind the screen.

The screener must be in a low, balanced stance and the cutter cuts close to the screener, making sure that there is no gap which the defender can move through.

“Curl Cut”

The curl cut is used if the defender is “trailing” the cutter (i.e. staying behind them in order to avoid running into the screen).

The cutter may curl tightly into the middle of the key or curl towards the elbow.

“Flare Cut”

If the defender moves to go over the top of the screen or stays inside the key anticipating a curl cut then the cutter should “flare” to the corner.

The screener can turn and “re-screen” so that their back faces the baseline corner – creating a “shadow” where the cutter moved to.

Incorporating turn out cuts in Offence

The “turn out” cut can be used in a variety of circumstances, such as:

“4 Out, 1 In” – “Swing the Wings”

Players 3 and 4 cut across the key, swapping positions. This movement is also called “Swing the Wings”.

Player 3 makes a “turn out” cut of the screen by Player 5. Player 5 could also set a back screen for Player 4.

“3 Out, 2 In” – “Swing the Wings”

Again, this involves perimeter players swapping positions by cutting across the key (“swing the wings”).

Both of the cutters makes a “turn out” cut. Player 3, cutting off a screen by Player 5 and Player 2 cutting off a screen by Player 4.

“3 Out, 2 In” – Staggered High / Low Posts

Player 1 dribbles away from Player 3, who cuts across the key towards the ball.

Activity to Practice “Turn Out” Cuts

This shooting activity is a great way to practice “turn out” cuts, and in particular the footwork. The first player cuts to the basket, and then does a “turn out” cut to one side. They receive a pass and then the passer cuts to the basket, and does a “turn out” cut to the other side.

The coach can designate whether to use a forward or reverse pivot. Defence (either passive or aggressive) can be added to make the cuts “more realistic” and / or make the activity contested.