The Fundamentals of the Basketball V-Cut

This basketball move is one of the more common cuts. The V-Cut can help players get open for a pass.

February 20, 2019

As a defender is breathing down your neck, you try to get open to receive a pass from your teammate. But no matter which way you go, the defender is there.


That’s when you need the right moves to get free. An effective way to get open on the wing or on the perimeter against a pressure defense is the V-Cut.




To properly V-Cut:

  • Start by walking toward the basket. The defender that is pressuring you should stay close and move in the same direction.
  • After taking a few steps toward the basket, quickly cut back to the wing or perimeter. This can help gain some separation.
  • You want to slow your defender down to a walk and then catch them off-guard with your quick cut back out. If viewed from above, this motion is generally in the shape of a V.

As you get open, look for the pass. Square your body to the basket in your athletic, triple-threat position.


Remember to walk toward the basket with your hands high. If you make contact with the defender, you can avoid pushing off and being called for a foul.




To practice the V-Cut, set up cones in the shape of a “V” starting and ending at the perimeter.

  • Start at one cone at the top of the “V” and walk in to the bottom point of the V before quickly popping back out to the final point.
  • If you have a teammate or coach who can assist, have them throw you a pass as you get to the end of the V-Cut so you can also practice catching and squaring your body to the rim quickly in your triple-threat position.

Never let pressure defense stop you from getting open on the perimeter. Utilizing the V-Cut can help to create space so you can receive the pass.


Once you receive the pass, it can be crucial to have the right moves to finish near the basket. The X-Out Layup drill can help players learn to finish strong underneath the hoop.