All Access DeMatha Basketball: Transition Defense & Half-Court Shooting Drills

In the latest edition of All-Access, we take you back to Hyattsville, Maryland for an inside look at a DeMatha Catholic High School boys’ basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Mike Jones leads his team through a number of warm-ups and drills focusing on transition defense.

Hit the Floor

Five players at a time start out facing the baseline. On the coach’s whistle, all five players smack the floor to commence the drill and work on defensive slides all the way down the court. Once the players get down to the mid-court line, they sprint to the opposing baseline. Once at the other end, players close out toward the three-point line shouting, “Ball, Ball, Ball” before sprinting back to the baseline. As soon as each group has finished, the first group starts all over again and heads down the opposite end repeating the movements.


This is DeMatha’s take on the standard “Shell Drill.” The team divides into four white team players and four blue team players. The squad is simply working on perimeter ball movement, defensive adjustments, and overall technique. There is constant ball movement and defensive movement going on in this drill. The coach may yell out “Drive” or Shot” at any time and players must be ready to rebound and box out.


Transition Defense

The squad sets up a line of players at the midway point of the sideline. A coach has a ball in the paint. One at a time, players sprint toward the basket, receive a quick bounce pass, and then finish strong at the rim. That same player then immediately sprints down the court to get ready for defensive responsibilities in a transition setting.

Players finish the rep when they reach the opposite foulline, plant, turn forward (open up), get into a good defensive stance, and then slide toward the sideline and off the court.

After moving through a number of layup reps, there’s a switch to short seven-foot jumpers using the glass. Next, players work on lob plays and finishing up high and in tight. The coaches make some contact as well so players must finish in traffic and with defensive pressure.


Oklahoma Shooting

To wrap things up, DeMatha runs Oklahoma Shooting on both ends of the court at once. Down at each end, players form two lines total, one on each side of the sideline and around the top of the key extended. One player has a ball and passes to his opposite teammate, who is cutting hard to around the free-throw line area (the squad places a chair right in front of the line to mark the exact spot). Next, he catches the ball right on the side of the chair and shoots immediately.

The drill is simply catching the pass, taking two steps to the side, and then letting the shot go with a quick release. Be sure to work on your footwork, elevating, and knocking down your shots.

Next, move the chair towards the wing and have guys shoot off the elbow and in the corner. Use similar passing techniques and movements like before. Then switch the chair to opposite side of the court and continue shooting directly off the pass.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access DeMatha High School Basketball Practice.” To check out more videos in our exclusive All Access collection, simply head over to our basketball library.


Good drills i can used more of these great dedactical help, i live in gadalagara mexico and we don’t have enogh material to help my b_ball team.

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