Stanford Women Princeton Offense

Breakdown of the 2021 Women's National Champions Stanford and their Princeton motion offense.

I will be the first to admit that I do not know all of the ins and outs of the Princeton offense, and I was not even close to familiar with most of the terms, calls, and reads that specific Princeton offensive coaches will be experts in. For this breakdown, I researched and watched some Princeton breakdowns to help get familiar with some of the concepts for my own knowledge and growth as a coach, and then applied my own terms to the concepts and actions that I noticed when breaking down film on Stanford Women’s Princeton Offense. I have listed the videos below if you want to study up for yourself and see what I dove into in order to learn more about the Princeton offense as well as some of the other edits I already had from teams like Nebraska-Wesleyan and Richmond.

David Blatt Playing Without Plays

Princeton Offense in today’s basketball - Jordan Sperber

Richmond Princeton Offense

The Complete Princeton Offensive System

NCAA Women Chin Motion (2019 NCAA Tournament Edit)

Princeton Offense Breakdown - Zak Boisvert

Nebraska-Wesleyan Point Series

Richmond Point Series

San Francisco Point Series

Video Breakdown:


Elbow Flash






Stanford gets into their split cut action with two different locations, high splits and low splits. The high splits will be near the opposite slot away from the ball, with low splits going to the strongside corner lower for split cuts in the corner.

High Splits

Low Splits

Elbow Attacks

The split cut actions both high and low will occupy the defense and allow the players at the elbows to attack 1 on 1 when they have the advantage. One of the cool ways to attack defenses is to put your best player as the elbow flash player and allow them to make plays or attack with little or no help defense.

Away (Reject the Elbow)

In a perfect world, Stanford would hit the elbow and then play off of their high and low split action - but teams are not going to allow the offense to just play the way they want. Stanford counters this with their away action, or refusing the elbow entry and pushing the wing backdoor to dive for a post up. The option after the ball is passed to the wing is to look for the post, then a flare up top that will flow into 5-Out.

Skips vs Sag

If teams decide they are going to sag in the lane and prevent backdoor and baskets cuts, Stanford will skip the ball to the corners for open shots, as well as attacks off the catch.

Thru - Elbow

Another entry that Stanford will use to get the ball to the elbow is to have the point guard pass to the wing and then cut through to the opposite corner. The opposite wing fills to the slot and the player from the post flashes to the elbow and they go into their split actions.

Thru - Double Backdoor

When the reversal is denied out of their normal Thru action the wing pushes the slot backdoor and that triggers the dive action that would normally flow out of their away action.

Thru - Wide Flare

A special that I really like is when they go to their thru action and then reverse the ball to the middle of the floor, the low post will set a wide flare screen for the guard on the wing.

Hope you enjoyed this breakdown!

Coach Pyper