Championship Productions Blog

Archives by Tag 'Duke Basketball'

Mike Krzyzewski: 5 Essential Principles for Attacking the Zone

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In this week’s team concepts feature, we’ll highlight key offensive principles when attacking the zone. With his Duke team on hand to simulate key coaching points, legendary basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski provides simple solutions to running a highly effective zone offense. Follow along with Coach K as he explains the five major components of his offense before letting his players demonstrate on the floor.

Zone Offense Principles: An Overview

When it comes to attacking regular half-court zone defenses, Coach K prefers to attack in a simple manor. Many people feel like they must run a different offense based on the zone defense. At Duke, however, the team runs just one offense against all zone defenses.

A familiar offense against multiple defenses keeps your players more instinctive. If you keep changing things back and forth, the team gets out of rhythm and that’s exactly what a zone defense is looking to do against you.


On the Court: The First Three Principles

Against a two-man front, the first thing we want to do is have intelligent use of the dribble (i.e. gap penetration, step back dribbles, and getting 2 on 1 scenarios). Look for gap penetration to force two defenders to play one. Also, we can have angle penetration. By getting angle penetration, this creates movement and forces the zone to move.

Second, ball reversal is also important. When you have the ball, look to create 2 on 1 matchups you can exploit. You can then use ball reversal and a chance to hit an easy shot.

Next, another key principle is flashing to the middle in the middle of the zone. This can be done in a number of ways. When you flash into the middle, it doesn’t have to be for a shot. As you get the ball in the middle, the easiest thing to do is a hit a guy up top and he’s got a shot. You can also turn and reverse to the other side for a shot. But if you got a shot, take it.

Players can also flash to the middle of the zone from the wing, not just with the big men down low.


On the Court: The Final Two Principles

Next, it’s key to keep the big guys behind the zone. If a shooter takes a shot, who has inside positioning for a rebound? The bigs do. Also, you can look at posting the zone.

By being behind the zone, your players can see everything. If you can tell that a defensive player isn’t looking at me, you can come up and post the zone and you’re ready for a good shot opportunity. If you stand right next to the defense, they know you are right there. Also, if they come down to meet me, it creates a bigger gap on the floor.

Also, bigs should post up the middle of the zone if the bottom defender comes out to play the wing player. The big men must be able to make the read, but be sure that you make the play before the wing guy even receives the ball. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

KEY: Staying behind the zone allows you to post, flash, and rebound.

The next principle is screening the zone. An easy way is to screen (whether picking the top man or bottom man) when using angle penetration.

Attacking the 2-1-2 Zone Full-Speed

Any time we get the ball inside, perimeter players must be ready to shoot. Don’t toe the line. Get behind the line so if a player gets the ball, he can step into it and have momentum. The zone gives you an opportunity to get your feet set and ready to shoot it. Make sure you are reacting at all time and creating your passing lane if a teammate needs to kick it out, he can.

Tip: The jump stop is a great move when penetrating the middle.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball – Attacking the Zone.” To check out more videos featuring zone principles, click here.

New All-Access Duke Basketball Practice Featuring Mike Krzyzewski

By nate.landas - Last updated: Friday, October 21, 2011

We have recently released four Basketball DVDs featuring Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Coaching Staff.  Mike Krzyzewski is a 4x NCAA Champion.  This new All-Access Basketball DVD is titled:

All Access Duke Basketball Practice (2010-11) 

  • Learn how Mike Krzyzewski trains his players to get better throughout the season
  • See how Duke builds their team using the strengths of their personnel on both sides of the ball
  • Implement the philosophy that Coach K emphasizes to pick up the tempo with intense defensive pressure
  • Over 6 hours of on-court instruction and a bonus Q&A session!

View more DVDs from Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Coaching Staff below:

All Access Duke Basketball Practice: National Championship Season (2009-10)
All Access Duke Basketball Practice with Mike Krzyzewski
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball – Attacking the Zone
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball – Developmental Drills for Post Players
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball – Breaking the Press
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball – Agility & Conditioning Drills for Defense
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball – Developmental Drills for Point Guards
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball – Developmental Drills for Perimeter Players

All-Access Duke Basketball: Full-Court and Shooting Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In this week’s edition of All-Access, we take you to Durham, North Carolina for another exclusive look inside a Duke men’s basketball practice. This time, head coach Mike Krzyzewski leads his squad through full-court and team shooting drills.

With the full-court drills, players run through a 3-man weave to a 2-on-1 break and even a 5-man weave to a 3-on-2. Coach K also gives explanation on why the team chooses certain drills and then highlights specific techniques, tips and roles for each.

Finally, with shooting drills, Coach K explains why basketball teams should simulate offensive sets to practice game-like movement and shooting. He also reveals the shooting drill used by Team USA at the Summer Olympics that proved to be quite popular among the players.

Full-Court Drills

Coach K frequently caters Duke’s full-court drills to simulate the different ways you can come down on a fast break. For instance, there’s the conventional way, where you come down the court and just fill a lane. And then there’s the 3-man wide, which is a different look. Here, one player will go ahead, and then there might be a quick screen. But the goal is still to net that easy layup. Also, the key when coming down the court is to get different looks than just the conventional layup.


3-Man Weave to a 2-on-1

The first time down the court, it’s a standard full-court 3-man weave. Then on the way back, the last player to pass to the layup guy moves back the opposite way and acts as the defender. The two other players streak down the court to finish the 2-on-1 fast break.

5-Man Weave to a 3-on-2

Once again we are working on different game situations. Remember to keep good spacing here. Players will go down the court on a five-man weave. Then, two players will step back and play defense on the other end. It’s key here to make quick decisions. Look to swing the ball fast on offense.

Remember, it’s important that the corner man is ready to shoot the ball at all times. If not, the near defender can close out and shut down the play.


Shooting Drills

According to Coach K, there are never enough shooting drills. He makes an emphasis to have his staff make up a number of different drills that will personalize the drill for the offense. In other words, don’t just have shooting drills. Instead, have shooting drills that will simulate the kind of shots that will be taken in your offense. Plus, put your players in a variety of different game situations.

It’s common for Duke’s shooting drills to go 3-on-0, but all three guys will get shots. It’s something that the US Olympic Team did a few years ago and it simulated the speed and type of shots when the team actually ran its offense. The key is for everyone to get involved and moving. If there’s ever a lull in a practice, this is the perfect “pick me up.”

Here’s a tip when simulating a wide move, which is a wing ball screen. Many times, the point guard will end up in the corner and we get a lot of corner shots. A versatile on the ball screener can slip, roll, post and pop. He’s a threat from all of those. One way to get your best player shots is to make him a screener. This forces the defense to defend the screen and then the screener gets open looks.

Plus, Duke makes an emphasis on always throwing the ball high. Also, it’s key for a big guy to keep his hands up all the time. A big man will be a great player if his hands never go below his waist. Look to try that with your own big guys. Go an entire game or practice looking to implement this technique. This way, he will stay tall and wide and can be ultimately more effective.


The following clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All-Access Duke Basketball Practice with Mike Krzyzewski.” Check out more All-Access videos in our extensive basketball library.

Exclusive All-Access Pass: Duke Men’s Basketball Practice

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In this week’s edition of All-Access, we take you to Durham, North Carolina for an exclusive look at a Duke men’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Mike Krzyzewski leads his squad through two-man drills, a consistent and instrumental part of Blue Devil basketball practices.

Two-man drills are typically used at the onset of a Duke basketball practice and are aimed at getting players moving around the floor and warmed up before more demanding elements of practice are implemented.

The workouts being performed — which include a variety of fastbreak and transition break segments like baseball passes and stop & dish plays — are influential in developing game-like communication and “real situations” between teammates as well. They are also helpful in sparking player communication and awareness during practices set at odd hours, such as early morning sessions that may find athletes rather groggy.

It’s also a good time for the coaches to talk with the training staff to see if there are any new injuries, updates or other developments with particular athletes. For instance, at this time, Coach K can observe a player early on in the practice who may have a lingering injury and will be able to deduce whether they may be restricted from any upcoming drills or particular activity.


This video is featured in Championship Productions’ DVD “All-Access Duke Basketball Practice with Mike Krzyzewski.” To view more videos featuring Duke men’s basketball and Coach K, click here.


Drake University Continuing Education Gold Medal Guarantee Sign Up for our Newsletter Request a Catalog Testimonials Career Opportunities
SecurityWorry-Free Shopping
Championship Productions, Inc. Follow danbergan on Twitter