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In the latest edition of All-Access, we return to Lexington, Kentucky for an exclusive look inside a University of Kentucky men’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach John Calipari walks through a number of team defensive drills focusing on charges, stunts, and lunges.
Charges and Loose Balls
First, we’re going to teach players how to dive and take charges. According to Coach Calipari, if players think that if they dive they will get hurt, they will never dive for a ball. Therefore at Kentucky, the coaching staff teaches players to grab the ball like a football player and roll to your back. They now understand that it doesn’t hurt to dive. Plus, the fans go crazy when you do this in games.
It’s essential that players know how to dive and take a charge. In terms of stance, you need to get down and get back. You should be landing on your back and butt with your hands up. If you put your hands down, it’s easier to injure your wrists.
The drill starts with a coach driving to the basket and a player stepping up and taking a charge in the lane. Then this player gets up and dives for a loose ball on his back. You should not hit any elbows. Also, don’t get your hands underneath you. There’s where you can get injured. That’s also why it’s important to practice this stuff.
With this drill, players head down to the corner and are guarding an offensive guy. A coach will drive and as he drives, the defensive player must time his stunt. As the player stunts, the coach throws that pass and the player will look to intercept it. It’s important for players to time this. Also, you need to have an act and let the opponent think you are coming. Stab at him and then go. Do this drill on both sides of the court.
Coach Calipari’s teams will do this lunge drill from the beginning of practice until March or April. It’s vital to teach our players how to guard the basketball. The other stuff is easy because it’s team-oriented. But guarding the ball is about you. When a player drives, look to lunge out whichever way he goes. Follow along below as Kentucky works through sets of single, double, and triple lunges.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Kentucky Basketball Practice 2010-2011” with John Calipari. To check out more college teams in our All Access lineup, visit our basketball DVD library.
Back in May we broke down the basic principles, rules, and player roles for the 1-3-1 Zone Defense, an effective system used brilliantly by coach Steve Klaas at Adams Friendship (WI) High School. This week, we’re going to take the defense one step further by implementing basic half-court slides and traps. Follow along as Coach Klaas walks through proper player movements before running through sets at full speed.
Overview: Start in a 5-on-5 half court setting with the ball up high. We will begin in “13” where 1 and 5 are back protecting the basket. Meanwhile, the wings are just off of the foul line and ready to explode if necessarily.
The Basics of “13”: If the ball comes across half court, the 1 would have great ball pressure. The baseline runner (aka player 4) is a step off the baseline and ready to explode to the corner. The wings on each side are ready “to be like pistons.” Player 5 has one rule. He must stay between the ball and basket at all times. Never vary this rule. Also, player 1 has one rule. He must stop ball reversal, if he can.
Teaching Point: If you are playing good defense in this set, you are always going to have four people ballside, The 5, 1, 4, and wing player will always be ballside.
Tips: Adjustments always need to be made. If you can force the ball to one side and keep it there, then you will be far more successful. Also, remember that the rule for the wing is to make ball reversal difficult.
Let’s say there’s a cross-court pass to the corner. In this case, player 4 must sprint corner to corner. He doesn’t stop. Meanwhile, the high wing player comes down and pressures on his upper hip. If the opponent drives baseline, the 4 is coming to help and the wing is there to make a natural trap. The key here is to get aggressive pressure defense that has great team help. Also, if the ball skips to the corner, the help is there to take care of inside and outside threats.
Tips: Always be looking to deflect the ball. During the live simulations below, notice how this defense forces the ball around the perimeter and limits inside looks.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Dominating 1-3-1 Zone Defense.” To check out additional videos highlighting defensive drills and systems, simply visit our basketball library.
In the latest team development feature, pick up two highly valuable drills to help improve your squad’s overall transition game. With Sinclair (OH) head men’s basketball coach Jeff Price as your guide, you’ll learn how to utilize post entry passes and weakside curls to beat the defense while playing fast-paced basketball.
Drill Overview: Start at half court with two players. The ball handler will first pass the ball to a coach and then sprint to the corner. The dribbler will then get the ball back in the corner and make a post entry to a teammate on the block. Next, the guard will sprint baseline and the post player will pass to him on the baseline during the cut. This must be a bounce pass.
Full Court: Now watch this drill (below) live in action going 5 on 0 from a free throw transition. As for a little wrinkle, throw in a skip pass to the baseline cutter. It’s essentially the same as before except now the guard will pass cross-court to the opposite wing for the baseline cut and layup.
Tips: For this drill, keep your bigs high on the block. Make sure that they stay high so they don’t come down and stop our baseline cut. It also gives them a chance to make a good post move and be a threat and not one dimensional.
Drill Overview: Now let’s incorporate our trailer. This is perfect for those situations when we want to go with the hot hand and we can use the trailer to get a good clean look on transition. The drill starts with a quick pass to the coach by the guard and then a down screen. The guard on the wing being screened for will then curl for the jumper.
Tips: Come off screen shoulder to shoulder. Also, be sure to open up after the screen. Good fundamentals are key here. Elevate in the lane as you are coming off screen to simulate game-type shots.
We finish up with a full-court simulation starting with a typical free throw transition break.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Comprehensive Guide to Transition Offense” featuring Jeff Price. To check out more transition offense and fast break basketball videos, visit our basketball library.
In need of a few proven last-second sets for your playbook this season? Read on to learn about three highly-effective plays used by elite coaches at the high school and college levels.
Submitted by Brad McGhee, Liberty High School, Mountain View, MO
Setup: Players are lined up in a box formation with 4 and 5 at the elbows and 2 and 3 on the low blocks. 1 has the ball at the top.
Action: Player 1 dribbles off a screen set by either 4 or 5. Player 5 then immediately screens down for 2, who comes off the screen and pops to the top. If 2 is open, 1 passes to 2 for an open three-point shot.
Options: If 2 is not open, 1 keeps the ball. After the screen by player 5, player 3 then screens across for 5, who cuts across the baseline/lane and sets up on the ballside block. Player 1 then looks for 5 on a post-up shot. If 5 isn’t open on the post-up, 3 comes to the top thanks to a double screen set by 2 and 4 just inside the free throw line area. 1 passes to 3 or looks to get the ball into 5 on the low block.
Submitted by Gary Williams, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Setup: This play is run out of the flex set, with 2 and 3 down low on opposite blocks, 4 up high behind the three-point line near the wing, and 5 on the elbow and the same side as 3. 1 has the ball up top.
Action: Player 5 makes a V-cut toward basket and sets an on-ball screen for 1, who dribbles to the right side wing area. Players 5 and 1 run a pick and roll game on the right side, while 2 and 4 set staggered screens for 3 on the ballside low block and the weakside elbow. Player 3 will then cut hard along the baseline and up towards the weakside elbow.
Finish: If no shot is available on the pick and roll between 1 and 5, 1 quickly passes to 3 on weakside elbow for a quick jumper.
Submitted by Gary Barnes, Calhoun HS, Calhoun, GA
Setup: This is a simple set that Coach Barnes has had a ton of success with. Player 1 brings up the ball on the left side of the floor. Player 4 starts in the corner and on the same side as 1. 2 is in the opposite corner. Players 3 and 5 line up in the middle of the court, with 5 at the top of the key, and 3 just inside the three-point line (and both in a stack). Player 3 should be your best shooter.
Action: Player 1 dribbles off a double screen up at the top of the key set by 3 and 5. As 1 comes off the shoulder of player 5, 5 rolls to the hoop on the ball side. As player 5 establishes his position in the post, player 3 then makes an inside pivot and pops to the top of the key. 1 can look to hit player 3 for a three-point shot.
Options: At this point, 1 has four options coming off the ball screen. A) Drive and kick to player 2; B) Drive to basket for a score; C) Play a pick and roll game with player 5; or D) Pass to player 3 for a three-point shot.
Tips: Timing is the key. As 5 rolls, 3 must wait a half second before popping to the top. Most times, 3 will be open for that shot because player 3’s defender often gets caught playing help defense on the pick and roll between 1 and 5.
Coaches: Do you have a favorite quick hitter that has worked for your team?
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “”Over 50 Game-Winning Quick Hitters” produced by Winning Hoops. To pick up more plays for your playbook, head over to our basketball library by clicking here.
In the latest edition of All Access, we take you back to Storrs, Connecticut for an inside glimpse at a UConn men’s basketball practice. Follow along as former head coach Jim Calhoun leads his squad through a variety of team shooting and fast break drills.
The legendary basketball coach announced his retirement on September 13 after 40 seasons. Calhoun has racked up 873 wins and three national titles during his illustrious career. In 2005, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The team starts off by shooting 10 two-shot fouls against a partner and the winners move on. Players shoot two one-handed shots in the middle of lane, two one-handed shots at foul line, and then two foul shots with both hands. Coach Calhoun reminds players to get under the ball and use their legs. Players keep track of their makes. One-handers don’t count, but regular foul shots do.
For this full court fast break drill, offensive players will attack wide (in a 2-on-1 format) down the court while the big guy in the middle is trying to block shots and break up the play.
The team starts with three lines at the baseline. The bigs in the middle line start with the ball and throw it out in front. Meanwhile, the big man sprints down court and looks to stop the 2-on-1 break. One of the two offensive players will pick up the ball, pass ahead to his wing teammate, and look to finish. The bigs should look to defend and block shots.
This next drill starts with a coach shooting and missing. The defense then gets the rebound and sprints down court the opposite direction. Meanwhile, a team of two defenders is already set up and waiting for the offense. The simulation plays out from here. After the play ends, the two defenders now head down court and go up against one defender in 2-on-1 situation.
This final 2-on-2 drill focuses on boxing out and crashing the boards in a half-court setting. The coach begins by passing to one offensive player. This player will immediately shoot it. Next, defenders box out and look to get the rebound. The offensive players work on crashing the boards looking for the offensive rebound. Once you box out, you need to sprint to the ball and beat your man.