Open Practice with Pat Skerry
with Pat Skerry,
Towson University Head Coach;
2012 CAA Coach of the Year; Owns the largest single-season turnaround in NCAA Division I men's basketball history (2012-2013 season at Towson)
After taking over a program that had amassed 15 straight losing seasons - and at one point a 41 game losing streak - Pat Skerry lead Towson to an 18-13 record in the 2012-13 season; the biggest turn around in NCAA basketball history.
In this All Access look at a Towson practice, Coach Skerry allows you to see the fundamental skills and drills that he teaches, as well as many of his offensive sets and defensive concepts that have helped turn his program around.
The practice begins with skill development and position-specific breakdown drills. Ball handling and passing drills are emphasized early in the practice session, which gives your players a chance to get loose through multiple touches with the ball. Coach breaks the Posts from the Guards and does some specific work with each.
- The posts spend time on sweeps that lead into attacks of the rim. They also work on catching the ball as they trail and finishing strong at the rim.
- The guards work on penetrating the lane, pivoting and making accurate passes to their teammates. Another important area covered with the guards is attacking the hedge off the ball screen. This skill is extremely important to be able to run a successful ball screen offense.
Coach then runs his players through defensive breakdown drills for the post and perimeter players. The "Wall Drill" teaches the bigs to play solid post defense while not committing fouls. The Guards run a 2-on-2 drill where the emphasis is working the gaps and dealing with cross and down screens. Using these breakdown drills to teach defensive principles allows your players to focus on the important details you wish to emphasize.
In the second series, Coach Skerry runs his players through multiple offensive sets. This is a great look into their Shuffle Offense, which features backscreens and ball screen action. Running different actions into ball screens will prevent a defense from being able to anticipate. With the Option Offense players learn to curl off of screens to get shots, and use the flex cut to get easy looks at the basket. With these different offensive sets you can generate ideas to give your best players shots where they like to shoot from.
In Series Three, the team runs through great drills that focus on transition and defense. In the "Scrabble Drill" one team starts with three players on defense while the offense has four. The players are forced to play great position defense and scramble to the ball. As the possession changes the defense transitions to offense and adds two players while the offense now is at a disadvantage playing with one fewer players. These overloaded drills emphasize important defensive help concepts. In the "Cycle Drill" the offense runs through a set zone offense 5-on-0 and then transitions to offense for two possessions vs. a live defense.
The practice ends with a "6 possessions and 6 Points" competition. The offense gets six possessions to score six points while the defense must stop them from getting those points. This drill really emphasizes the importance of being efficient with each possession.
100 minutes. 2014.Four Phase Skill Development Practice
with Pat Skerry,
Towson University Head Coach;
2012 CAA Coach of the Year; Owns the largest single-season turnaround in NCAA Division I men's basketball history (2011-2012 season at Towson)
After finishing 1-31 in his first season at Towson - a team coming off a 4-26 record the previous season - Pat Skerry orchestrated the biggest turnaround in NCAA history going 18-13 during the 2012-13 season.
In this unique look into the Towson University program, rising star Pat Skerry shares his four phase player development program that will not only enhance player development, but team development as well. Coach Skerry takes you into a live development session where he focuses on skill work for both guard and post. Coach also in 5-0 and live 5-5 play shows you a multitude of offensive sets they use to help with their 18 win season last year.
Coach Skerry starts the session off with a dynamic warm-up and stretch routine. He then transition you into his skill development session where he does a great job of teach and explaining some of the techniques and beliefs they have for their program.
Drill Series One: Individual Skills
Coach Skerry likes to start all practices with ball handling drills that challenge the players as they attack the basket. These drills involve change of direction, finishing with contact at the hoop, and finishing with contact. Nova Passing is a drill that works multiple skills such as communication and using the 1-2 step as they catch the ball. Perimeter players work on footwork while exiting an L-cut, finishing off of a single dribble in order to maximize the dribble, and passing accuracy via the 'on-time, on-target' approach. Post players are taught the 'pump and power' approach to the jump stop and strong finish around the rim.
Drill Series Two: Transition
The Drag Ball Screen drill is orientated more for their perimeter players, as players are instrutcted on how to utilize the drag screen while in a transition-offensive set. Drive and kick aspects to attacking the key are also stressed.The Pick and Roll drill is mainly for their post players. Each of these concepts rely on good spacing and crisp delivery of the passes.
Drill Series Three: Using Screens
Drill Series Three focuses on utilization of various screens within the half-court. Post players are taught how to gain position on a block-to-block rip screen and and are forced to absorb contact (via a pad) while finishing at the block. Post players also are drilled on several catch and shoot opportunities from the elbow and short corner areas, both the primary options in the team's zone offesne. Perimeter players are taught the value of the reverse dribble in order to draw the hedge defender out and to open a driving lane to the key for a drive and kick opportunity.
Drill Series Four: Defense
The last Drill Series works on defensive development. players are instructed on close-out technique, on-ball defensive pressure, forming a 'wall' at the rim, help defense positioning, weakside spacing, and defending the rip screen. Each of the drills in this series focus on being physical without fouling, and also double as a great conditioning drill as the players are force to work extremely hard.
Learn how to combine your skill work with your team concepts to make your practice as efficient and effective as possible. Narrowing the focus of each drill set to the primary elements required of his systems allows for a more rapid player development in terms of both skill and awareness.
56 minutes. 2014.
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