Xavier University head coach, Chris Mack, runs through a drill that works on improving closeouts and guarding cutters. Players will crank up the pressure as they follow the ball around the perimeter, becoming more energetic and better suited to guard within the pack line defense.
Drill Summary: Set up with one player or coach at each wing, a line of players at the top of the key and a defensive player pressuring the player at the front of the line (who has the ball). Pass the ball back and forth between the wing players and the player at the top of the key. As the ball is being passed around, the defensive player works on jumping toward the ball and swiping after each pass. Eventually, once the ball has been passed from the top of the key to the wing, the player at the top of the key cuts to the basket, and the defender must work to guard him down past the free throw line. Once that motion is completed, the ball gets passed to the next player in the line at the top of the key, and the defender must close out to guard them.
At any time, a coach can yell “live!” and the offensive player with the ball gets two dribbles to try to score against the defender.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Pressure the ball.
2) Jump and swipe on each pass.
3) Good closeouts.
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Do you want to get your players to run the full court better on a make to score in transition? Xavier Head Coach, Chris Mack, provides the “Run the Circuit” drill to help create an up-tempo mentality for your squad. You will also see how adding the step up screen in transition will get the defense off balance to create high percentage shots on the run.
Player Movements: The drill begins with a quick outlet from the four player to the one player. Every possession you must begin with the quick outlet to the one guard. The 2 and 3 guard run on split sides up the sideline, with the 5 player executing a rim run.
Teaching Points: This drill continues for five possessions with each player touching the ball for a quick lay in each time. All possessions must be completed in a combined 28 seconds.
2009-10 Basketball Times Rookie Coach of the Year, Chris Mack, shows you a Run the Circuit Drill which focuses on a fast tempo running of the floor while adding a screen. This is a great option to use in transition to create a quick, effective shot and get the defense off balance.
Player Movements: Coach Mack talks about the the implementation of the “Step Up” screen in order to create mismatches and gaps in the defense. Coach also explains the role of the trailer when the step up screen is initiated by the “5” player, or rim runner.
Drill Essentials: Anytime the trailer sees a screen coming in this situation, they need to go the opposite direction and create 15 to 17 feet of spacing.
Drill Tips: Make sure the post player who is setting the screen goes as deep as possible into the defense before cutting back and setting the step up screen.
Are you looking to build your team’s style of play to a more up-tempo style? Do you want to get your players to play at this relentless pace in transition to the offensive end? Then listen to Xavier University Head Coach, Chris Mack, as he takes you on an inside look at the responsibilities and rules he puts in place for his point guards to create a structured and up-tempo transition.
Player Movements: He explains various situations that may occur and adjustments for his point guard and two and three guard players.
Drill Essentials: The point guard has the following responsibilities discussed in this clip.
1) Receives all outlet passes
2) Catches it on the run
3) After advancing the ball, cut to the opposite corner
4) Keep the ball in the middle third of the floor
Drill Tips: Don’t pass the ball to the first player you see when inbounding the ball before going upcourt. Make sure to look for the point guard.
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.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Xavier Basketball Practice with Chris Mack.” To check out more videos in our All-Acess lineup, including new additions featuring Roy Williams and Tim Floyd, click here.