Many players in a game are so focused on what they are doing that they do not listen (and react) to what team mates are saying. This is especially the case if a team has a particular rule that is usually applied (e.g. going “over” screens) where a teammate may communicate that they are doing something else, but the first teammate simply continues to play as if the rule is being followed.

The best way to develop “listening” skills is to ensure that players are communicating at training, and from time to time to give some team members one instruction and the rest of the team a different instruction.

There are four main ways of defending a turn-out cut:

  1. “Over”
  2. “Trail”
  3. “Through”
  4. “Under



Here x2 (defending the cutter) will go “over” the screen, at the same time as the cutter. x2 should move into the hip of the cutter to force them wide so that x2 can avoid the screen.

x5 can extend their hand in the passing lane, and take a step towards the sideline, to help to make a pass to the cutter difficult.

(English) However, x5 must be careful not to step too far toward the sideline, as this would give the screener an opportunity to establish position on the “basket” side.



x2 will follow hard and aggressively in the footsteps of the cutter, whether they cut toward the sideline (“straight cut”) or “curl cut” back into the key.

x5 should step into the path of the cutter if they try to “curl”, forcing them to go higher and giving x2 more time to get around the screen and establish defensive position.



x5 (guarding the screener) steps towards the passer, allowing room for x2 to cut “through” the gap and aggressively deny a pass to the cutter.


If x2 is to go “under”, x5 may move close to 5 and x2 would move past the screen moving between x5 and the ball.

(English) x2 may choose to stay inside the key, particularly if 2 is not a good perimeter shooter but prefers to curl cut.

x5 guarding the screen steps closer to the screener (and may step “up the line” toward the ball). x2 cuts inside the key, “under” their teammate.

This can be particularly effective if the cutter looks to curl either tightly (into the keyway) or towards the free throw line. If 2 does cut to the corner, x5 may move out to defend 2, and x2 will defend the post player.

Defend Turn Out Cuts Over
Defend Turn Out Cuts Through
Defend Turn Out Cuts Under
Defend Turn Out Cuts Switch
Defend Turn Out Cut Over
Defend Turn Out Cut Trail
Defend Turn Out Cut Through
Defend Turn Out Cut Under
Defend Turn Out Cut Stay Inside