Mercer University head coach, Bob Hoffman, has led the Bears’ basketball program to new heights over the past few years. The “Three Lines, Two Balls” drill is an exercise that Coach Hoffman uses in practice to work on offensive fundamentals in the fast break, as well as breaking defensive pressure in the full court.
Drill Summary: Set up with three even lines at half court (one in the middle and one near each sideline) and a coach standing at each wing. Give a ball to the first two players in the middle line. The players at the front of each line take off toward the basket. The middle line player passes to one of the outside players, who passes to the third player. The third player makes a layup, then immediately takes the ball out of bounds on the baseline. The two players that didn’t shoot the layup must run out to the coaches on the wing and seal them off. The inbounding player passes to one of the players on the wing, who must work on getting up the court on the sideline against pressure.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Play at game speed.
2) Keep the ball high in the lane.
3) Step to the ball and be strong with it.
With this drill from Bucknell University head women’s coach, Randall Goldsborough, your team will learn to push the ball in transition and get a scoring opportunity quickly. Beating the defense down the field before they can get set will give players a higher chance at a goal.
Drill Summary: To set up, start with two opposing players at midfield, offensive and defensive players matched up on both halves of the field, and a goalie in front of each net. The drill starts with a draw at midfield. Whoever wins the draw advances the ball up the field, trying to score via a fast break or slow break on the opposing team’s goal. Play until a shot on goal or until 10 seconds have gone by, then restart at midfield.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Look for the fast break.
2) Look for the slow break.
Frank Allocco was the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game West Squad Head Coach, and he will show you how to get your players to make the most of your fast breaks. For the offensive aspect of the fast break, your players will learn to drive to the basket quickly and work together to score more points.
Drill Setup: This drill involves 4 players, 2 on 2, and starts at halfcourt. One offensive player starts with the ball and their teammate is in the opposite corner close to the baseline. There is a defender on the ball and another defender starting in a trail position.
Athlete Movement: The drill starts with the ball handler driving against the defender with the trailer sprinting to protect the hoop. The other offensive player’s job is to find an open area by the basket for a layup.
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.
A team that controls the transition game will keep opponents on their toes and have a major edge in coming away with victories. In this week’s team development feature, learn different ways to improve your transition game and take your offense to a new level.
Sinclair (OH) head men’s basketball coach Jeff Price breaks down his transition offense for you before showcasing a few drills that emphasize key areas. With an emphasis placed on playing fast-paced basketball, this offense should go a long way towards improving your team’s scoring ability. This versatile system can also be used to transition into any half-court offense.
Here’s how we start out. The point guard gets the ball and pushes it up the floor as hard as he can go. We also have a 2 or 3 in the strongside corner (so we can advance the ball as fast as we can with the pass). Meanwhile, our other 2 or 3 player is in the weakside corner looking to balance the floor. The 1, 2, and 3 players are all interchangeable.
Also, 4 and 5 are interchangeable, but have much different roles. The first person down without the ball is going rim-to-rim (also known as a “rim runner”), looking to go to the strongside and post up. The “trailer” will trail and stay even with the ball as it gets advanced up the floor. Once the point guard passes to the corner, our first look is a shot in the corner and to get a shot as fast as possible. This puts a lot of pressure on the defense.
Our second look is a good post-up above the block and trying to get a 1-on-1 isolation in transition. If we don’t get this, we can reverse the ball back to the point guard. Our trailer is now into the play and the ball goes to him. Next, the big comes to the middle of the floor at the free throw line, our opposite wing player now moves to the weakside block, and the strongside off-guard does a V-cut to get open and pops out. The ball goes to him.
The big man follows the ball and slides to the low block. Once this happens, the weakside guard now moves up and makes a backscreen for the trailer/forward for a lob going right to the rim. If we don’t get that, the screener pops out, we got bigs on both blocks, the ball gets reversed to our point guard, and then we go right into our man-to-man offense.
Note: We’ve only spent seven seconds getting into our offense running transition.
The goal with this offense is that we want to get our guys down the floor as fast as possible and get into scoring position. Here in this drill, we want to use a coach as a passer and simulate the 2 or 3 running the floor and catching the ball and making a shot or making a move.
First, start with jumpers right off the pass. Players will start at mid-court, pass to the coach at the top of the key, get the ball back in the corner, and immediately turn and shoot (right off the pass). This is a great drill to get loose and mimics game situations. Remember to always have shot-ready hands. This drill also simulates staying wide and outside the three-point line. Don’t forget that once you make the pass, you should be sprinting. It shouldn’t be a 3/4 sprint.
Next, to simulate game-type shots even further, let’s have players move into sweep through jump shots to the short corner. Be sure to square up when you shoot.
Finally, set up in a free throw situation. Look to run off a make or miss. If it’s a make, have the 4 or 5 get the ball out of bounds. Take the ball out below the backboard and get the ball out quick. The point guard must make himself available and call for the ball. Meanwhile, 2 and 3 will release to space the floor.
Breakdown: Release the ball to a wing jumper. Be sure to crash the boards. We want either a solid three-point shot or a 15-foot jumper. Then switch to sweep through jumpers with one dribble to the baseline to close out the drill.
Goal: Touch 60 percent of all missed shots. Always look to get to your rebounding spots.
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 videos, simply visit our basketball library.