All-Access UConn Men’s Basketball: First Practice

In this week’s edition of All-Access, we take you to Storrs, Connecticut for a behind-the-scenes look inside a University of Connecticut men’s basketball practice. Watch as legendary head coach Jim Calhoun leads his squad through an early pep talk plus a variety of team drills during one of the first practices of the season.

This All-Access look is a terrific way for coaches, players and parents to see exactly how one of the nation’s most renowned basketball programs conducts practice. In this particular instance, Connecticut runs through several team drills that include three-man weaves and 3-on-3 half-court simulations.

Be sure to pick up some tips, insights and new drills from this exclusive look and look for ways to incorporate them with your own program.

Inside the Huddle – Practice – Day 1

Coach Calhoun emphasizes three areas for these early-season practices: Get out and run, play with intensity, and use tempo to create an advantage. Next, Calhoun sets expectations for his team and gives them a short and long-term game plan. As for the very near term, it’s all about having a positive practice – one in which the team gets stuff done and everyone improves.


3-on-3 Half-Court Drill

Using just one section of the court in a half-court setting, the team moves into a 3-on-3 offense/defense drill. While the post man is looking to establish positioning on the block, the guards are looking to use screens to get open and then get the ball down low (and not far away from the hoop).

Meanwhile, the drill works on offense and defense at the same time in the half-court setting. As soon as the wingman passes to the man in the post, he should immediately set a screen for the opposite guard. If a defender overplays you, reverse the ball. Eventually after a few reps, the players switch to the left side of the court.


3-on-0 and 5-on-0 Drills

First in the 3-on-0 drill, players look to get the ball up the court quickly. It’s a two-pass drill with layups to start. Eventually, the drill moves into quick off-ball screens and splitting the post.

In 5-on-0 action, the goal is to move the ball quickly up the court in an effort to beat the defense. As Coach Calhoun reiterates, 5-on-0 means you run it like there is five guys against you. Use your imagination. Calhoun also talks about positioning frequently, such as where you want to post up exactly, where to play depending on a defender’s positioning, etc. Players should stay wide and go full speed at all times.


The previous clips can be seen on the Championship Productions’ DVD  titled “All-Access Basketball Practice with Jim Calhoun.” To check out more exclusive videos featuring Coach Calhoun and the Huskies, click here.

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