By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
In the latest edition of All-Access, we travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for a glimpse inside a Xavier University men’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Chris Mack leads his squad through a variety of team drills, including “Vegas Closeouts” and “Triangle Blockouts.”
In “Vegas Closeouts”, players close out in a 1-on-1 format. The drill starts in the low block with a pass from the defense to the offense. From here, the defender makes two big steps while closing out towards the offensive player. As Coach Mack says, “Keep the dude in front of you!” In other words, guard the ball tight.
Next, the offensive player (or coach) makes a move or two toward the baseline or middle of the floor and the defense must close out and guard the ball well. This involves quick movement and fast reps. Whatever you do, don’t let the opposition get to the elbow. Hold your ground when you have position.
This particular blockout drill features a 3-on-3 set up. Two players are on the post while the other is up top. The key is getting into a good position down low when the shot goes up. It’s a lot easier said than done. And as you’ll hear Coach Mack say often throughout, it’s a war down there. This drill is perfect to work on these grind-it-out situations in the paint.
If you get the rebound and you are a post guy, look to outlet. If you are a guard and secure the board, you can bust out on the dribble as well. Rotate between offense and defense and then new players.