All Access Syracuse Basketball: Zone, Rebounding, and Screening Drills

In the latest edition of All Access, we take you Syracuse, New York for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at a Syracuse men’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Jim Boeheim and his coaching staff leads the squad through high-intensity zone, rebounding, and ball screen drills.

Learn the effective drills that help put the Orange at the top of the college basketball polls every season. Then look for ways to incorporate these drills and strategies with your own squad this year to encourage development in offensive and defensive skills.

2-3 Zone – Guarding the Perimeter and High Post

This game-like zone drill starts in transition and designed as a 3-on-2 drill with three offensive players (one PG and two perimeter guys) and two up-top defenders. The defenders are working on defending the perimeter and high post as the ball is worked around the edges. As the ball is moved, they too must move and change positioning based on where the ball is located on the floor.

After several reps, the players switch out. Notice how the hands of the offensive players are always up. These players are also constantly moving. Meanwhile, teammates are communicating nonstop. Eventually, the coaching staff gets into how to play proper angles and how to force the offensive players into a trap versus wide open looks or open drives to the basket.


Rebounding Drill

In this particular rebounding drill, a player starts out in the middle of the lane facing the basket. Next, a coach takes a ball and slams it up against the glass. The player, already in ready position, rebounds the ball strong and makes a power move to the hoop and finishes with a layup or dunk. On the third rep, players then grab the rebound and race the other way as if going from defense to offense on the trasition break.


Ball Screen Drill

Players are now working in a 4-on-4 setting. This effective drill all starts with a ball screen up top. The defense must play it right and communicate while the offense must look for balance and a drive to the hoop.

After the man with the ball goes off the pick, he then immediately heads to the basket down the lane. In the lane, two defenders are awaiting must step up and play him. Additional offensive players on the wing are now open for a shot as well.

You’ve got a ton of real game situations occurring at once here. The offense can implement a lot of give and go’s, pick and rolls, and drive and dish plays. Meanwhile, the defense can practice how to defend ball screens and other offensive strategies effectively.

Also, notice how the offensive players not involved in the screen balance the floor and look to get into open spaces. This way, they can always be threats or help for teammates.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD  “All Access Syracuse Basketball Practice with Jim Boeheim.” To check out more videos in our All Access library, click here


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