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According to Duke associate head coach Chris Collins, it’s critical that basketball players can score in the paint with proficiency — and that goes for guards just as much as centers and forwards.
To work on your offensive efficiency down low, add this highly effective “Scoring in the Paint” drill to your practice plan. Coach Collins first walks through the drill for you before having his players run through it at full speed.
Scoring in the Paint – Overview
All basketball players need to be able to score in the paint. This is a huge skill to be able to do this, especially for guards. While it’s easy to make an uncontested layup, it’s far more difficult to make layups from different angles with defensive pressure or floaters in the lane over helping defenders. These are the kinds of shots that players need to work on consistently.
Drill Set-up: Start out with groups of three players and two balls at each basket. The first player up starts in the paint. Everything in this drill will be in the paint. The lane player should start by shooting any kind of different shot, like a running hook, spin shot, floater, shot with the left hand, a reverse layup, etc. Use your imagination. After one player shoots, the next player is under the basket to get to rebound. From here, a third player will go immediately into his shot. The flow continues like this. As a group, look to make 20 finishes.
Drill in Action
By implementing this drill consistently, players get a feel for where the basket is. You also learn how to make layups and other shots form a variety of different angles. In short, it’s a very realistic, practical drill.
Finally, look to make a competition out of it. This will help with getting your players to work at game speed/game intensity. Remember, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
Take advantage of jump balls this season to attack and keep your opponent off balance. Follow along as Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reveals three jump ball plays used frequently by the Spartans. By consistently winning the battle of deadball situations, Coach Izzo believes programs can add three or four victories to their win total each season.
Jump Ball Play 1
This first jump ball play is one that Coach Izzo looks to use every game. It’s a play to implement if you’re almost certain to win the tip.
Put your second biggest player facing the jumper. Meanwhile, your best athlete should be parallel to the jumper and the point guard is on the opposite side from your best athlete. Your remaining player will get back deep just in case of a lost jump and transition the other way.
This play is as basic as it gets, but the mentality is to score in every dead ball situation. Every time the clock is stopped, you want to attack right out of it. In this scenario, as the ball is tossed, your best athlete will branch out towards the near sideline, the point guard will branch out toward his near sideline, and the back defender will hold down the fort in the back.
When the second biggest player gets possession of the tip, he will turn and pass it hard with two hands to one of the streaking athletic players. From here, they can look to do a lob play on the fast break for a layup. The minute the ball is tossed, you are gone. As for the lob itself, throw the ball to the block, not to the rim. This really helps with timing.
This is a play to use when you believe you’re not going to win the tip. This time put your best shooter parallel to the jumper when starting. The point guard will start way back and hold down the fort.
Now, tip BACKWARDS. In this scenario, you’ll be aiming for a three-pointer or post up right off the tip. The two sideline players will branch out like before. The point guard will get possession off the tip and take it to the left side of the court while the two bigs sprint down to the right side and set a double screen for the best shooter. The shooter will come off of it, one screener will slip, and the other will move to space. From here, the shooter comes around to catch the pass and release a shot.
Play 2 Plus
Once in a while your opponent will start reading what you do. If that happens, start by tipping it backwards. Everything is the same as Play 2 from the onset. However, when the shooter comes off the double screen and it’s not there, he should continue to curl around. Meanwhile, the other shooter moves down to the low block now and the bigs screen down for him. From here, he comes off the double screen and has a variety of options to choose from.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Tom Izzo: Winning Dead Ball Situations.” To check out more videos featuring special situations and inbound plays, simply visit our basketball library.
In this behind-the-scenes look, we visit Cincinnati, Ohio for a glimpse inside a recent Xavier University men’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Chris Mack leads his squad though a competitive team full-court transition drill called “War Rebounding.”
War Rebounding – Overview
For this drill, we’ll go 4 on 4. All four guys on offense must start beyond the three-point line. Meanwhile, all four defenders must be inside the lane with both feet.
To initiate the drill, the coach shoots the ball. If you’re an offensive rebounder, you can crash the boards. If you get the rebound, play it out at that basket. If the offensive team can convert quickly and easily, do it. Otherwise, set things up, get spacing, and look for a good shot.
However, if the shot goes up and the defense gets the rebound, they are allowed to push the ball down court. From here, play it out until there is a score, turnover, change of possession. If the (new) offense gets the offensive rebound and scores, stay right there.
Scoring: Keep track of scoring throughout for both teams. If you get an offensive rebound, it’s + 2. A three-pointer is + 3, a two-pointer is +2, and if you get fouled, it’s +1.
Overall Drill Goals: The entire goal for the defense is to not allow the offensive guy anywhere near the paint. If you’re an offensive rebounder, do what you have to do to get the offensive rebound.
Now watch as Xavier goes 4 on 4 at full speed. Notice that the team changes up the lineups after each down and back. Try to make your transitions as seamless as possible.
Coaching Tips: You must stay balanced to get the respect of the officials. Also, if you get the ball down low, especially after an offensive rebound, don’t put the ball back on the floor.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”All Access Xavier Basketball Practice with Chris Mack.” To check out the latest videos in our All-Access lineup, click here.
Learn four daily practice drills from one of college basketball’s top coaches. With Stanford women’s head coach Tara Vanderveer leading the way, you’ll pick up effective drills for boxing out, closing out, layups, and jab steps. Before each simulation goes live at full speed, Coach Vanderveer describes and demonstrates how the drill is run and how the team incorporates it into their offensive system.
Close-Out and Box Out Drills
Every practice, Stanford implements a series of partner drills: Passing, closing out, and boxing out. Also, the team will run through these before games as a helpful warmup. You can really get a feeling if repetition, doing things over and over in order to get better.
Close-Out Drill: Players work in pairs and start by standing apart and facing each other. One player will roll out the ball to the other player. The player now with the ball will look to dribble, drive, or shoot. The defender must close out effectively, getting a hand up in their face before getting into proper positioning to cover ground. Players must be aggressive in their first step and move the correct foot.
Box Out Drill: Like before, players will face each other, but now when the coach yells out “Shot”, the defensive players must also yell out “Shot.” After this, they will turn and a get a body on the offensive player and box out. The offensive players must make a move one way or the other to simulate going after their shot for the rebound.
Layups & Jab Sweeps
Layup Drills: This is something that Coach Vanderveer’s team does every day. The squad also tries to partner this series with their pick ‘n roll. Players will go at three baskets and get into groups of (at least) three.
The drill begins with simple layups, one player at a time. Start on the right and then switch to the left side. Players make a crossover dribble before going in for a layup. Next, the drill moves into reverse layups. Players should keep their eyes on the rim when going up to the basket. After this, the drill moves into jump shots from about 10-15 feet out. Look to use the glass to your advantage.
Jab Series: To begin, one at a time, players must work to get open. When they receive the ball, the must make an effective jab step before taking the ball to the rim aggressively. Be sure to use proper footwork and make a strong move.
Next, players move into a jab & cross, incorporating a crossover move and then an aggressive drive to the bucket. After this, it’s on to jab & shoot with no dribble. Essentially, it’s a jab step and then jump shot. Make sure you move to the opposite side of the court and do the same reps. Look to freeze the defender with that jab step every time.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Tara Vanderveer: 30 Practice Drills for Building Champions.” To check out more videos focusing on key practice drills, click here.
The pick ‘n roll can be a very effective offensive technique with the right personnel and match-ups. It can also be a go-to option during critical moments and must-score situations. Look to add these proven pick ‘n roll plays to your offensive arsenal this season. Both have been used with great success at the college level.
Pick ‘n Roll Quick Hitter
Submitted by Rick Berger, Former head coach at Westfield State College, Westfield, MA
Player 1 starts with the ball up top. Players 2 and 3 are on opposite wings while players 5 and 4 are on opposite low blocks.
Option A: Player 5 starts by breaking to the top of the key and sets a pick for 1. Player 1 then passes to 2 and uses 5’s pick to break towards the hoop. Player 2 looks to hit 1 cutting through the lane. If the pass isn’t there, player 1 flashes back to the weakside wing area and 3 replaces 1’s spot up at the top of the key.
Option B: Player 1 passes to 2 on the wing. Player 4 breaks up and sets a screen for 2. 2 dribbles around the screen and drives to the hoop. 2 and 4 should look for a nice give and go on the pick ‘n roll.
Submitted by Bill Agronin, Niagara University, Niagara, NY
The Set-Up: Start in a 1-4 high set, with 1 up top, 2 and 3 on opposite wings, and 4 and 5 on opposite elbows.
The Action: Player 1 dribbles right and then throws a pass left to 5, who is popping out to the top of the key. Meanwhile, player 2 breaks hard to the low block on the weak side. Player 5 passes back to 1 along the right wing area. On the pass, player 2 breaks up high across the lane and sets a screen for 5. Player 5 then uses player 2’s screen and rolls hard to the basket. 4 slides down and screens for 2 who uses the screen and rolls to the top of the key.
The Finish: Player 1 looks to hit 5 rolling to the hoop or hits 2 for a three-point shot. If neither shot is available, player 1 passes to 2, where 2 and 4 will run a pick and roll move.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Over 50 Game-Winning Quick Hitters” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out more videos featuring effective team plays and sets, click here.