Learn from Richmond head men’s basketball coach Chris Mooney as he reveals five shooting drills that are particularly effective for the Princeton Offense. After simulating a three-part cross-court shooting drill, Mooney and company also run through two-foot layups and the full-court drill “And Twos.”
Richmond takes a lot of three-pointers, especially standstill threes or Sunday shots. In this three-part drill, use three balls and divide players among two lines. Be sure to emphasize getting off good shots and not as much on how hard you are moving. Shooters should get their own rebound.
Start off by coming across nice and easy at the top of the key. Catch the pass from your teammate, shoot from the top of the key, and get your own rebound. Shoot for four-and-a-half minutes at three different spots. For the next part, throw cross-court passes and have two coaches stand in the middle as if in a zone defense. Alternate each rep. Try to throw good hard overhead passes. It’s tough to do, so look to do it every day in practice. Then finish with the passing line at the top of the key. Have the guys go down and shoot a corner three. Spend 90 seconds at each spot. The goal is to hit 80 shots (adjust if necessary).
Tips: Try to teach your players to catch and shoot. When you don’t catch and shoot, you really stagnate your offense. Don’t hold onto the ball too long or stare things down. You shouldn’t always be trying to make a play with your dribble.
Richmond basketball has adapted this drill because of the physicality of the game. Sometimes initiating the contact down low almost gets you rewarded. The Spiders like to practice this because they have a lot of flare or drift screens in their offense and this creates a lot of opportunities to drive.
Get coaches down low to create contact for the guys. When forcing the contact, layups can be harder to make. Coaches, don’t be concerned about what hand players shoot the ball with. Coach Mooney has had players go their entire career without making an opposite hand layup, but they’ve made a heck of a lot of layups. But the key here is whether they can get the ball up to the rim and absorb a lot of contact and still make the shot.
Start off with a line of players up on the wing and beyond the three-point arc. Have the players drive against a coach down through the lane and then take it strong to the hoop for a two-foot layup against a low block defender. Look to protect the ball and go strong to the rim.
This is a five-man full-court layup drill that typically starts out in sets of four. It’s also one of Richmond’s favorite drills. You’re looking to get four layups total. It’s called “And Twos” because if there’s a missed layup or dropped ball, or any confusion, add two more layups to it. It’s not uncommon to get up to 12 or 14 layups.
Players must worry about who will get the rebound and who will get the outlet. So when running down the court, encourage your players to talk to each other. This drill is not scripted. The Spiders teach a lot of five-man basketball, so the emphasis is often on picking things up on the fly. There isn’t too much time for diagramming things. Rather, it’s about understanding how things work with four other guys on the floor.
Tips: There should be no dribbling in this drill. You should only focus on passes. Also, you don’t have to re-inbound the ball every time. Plus, the player who shoots the layup CANNOT get the rebound.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Chris Mooney: Team & Individual Drills for the Princeton Offense.” To check out more videos highlighting the Princeton Offense and other offensive sets, head over to our basketball library.