In the latest edition of All Access, we take you Syracuse, New York for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at a Syracuse men’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Jim Boeheim and his coaching staff leads the squad through high-intensity zone, rebounding, and ball screen drills.
Learn the effective drills that help put the Orange at the top of the college basketball polls every season. Then look for ways to incorporate these drills and strategies with your own squad this year to encourage development in offensive and defensive skills.
This game-like zone drill starts in transition and designed as a 3-on-2 drill with three offensive players (one PG and two perimeter guys) and two up-top defenders. The defenders are working on defending the perimeter and high post as the ball is worked around the edges. As the ball is moved, they too must move and change positioning based on where the ball is located on the floor.
After several reps, the players switch out. Notice how the hands of the offensive players are always up. These players are also constantly moving. Meanwhile, teammates are communicating nonstop. Eventually, the coaching staff gets into how to play proper angles and how to force the offensive players into a trap versus wide open looks or open drives to the basket.
In this particular rebounding drill, a player starts out in the middle of the lane facing the basket. Next, a coach takes a ball and slams it up against the glass. The player, already in ready position, rebounds the ball strong and makes a power move to the hoop and finishes with a layup or dunk. On the third rep, players then grab the rebound and race the other way as if going from defense to offense on the trasition break.
Players are now working in a 4-on-4 setting. This effective drill all starts with a ball screen up top. The defense must play it right and communicate while the offense must look for balance and a drive to the hoop.
After the man with the ball goes off the pick, he then immediately heads to the basket down the lane. In the lane, two defenders are awaiting must step up and play him. Additional offensive players on the wing are now open for a shot as well.
You’ve got a ton of real game situations occurring at once here. The offense can implement a lot of give and go’s, pick and rolls, and drive and dish plays. Meanwhile, the defense can practice how to defend ball screens and other offensive strategies effectively.
Also, notice how the offensive players not involved in the screen balance the floor and look to get into open spaces. This way, they can always be threats or help for teammates.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Syracuse Basketball Practice with Jim Boeheim.” To check out more videos in our All Access library, click here.
The following shooting drills are designed to improve any player’s ability to score on the basketball court. Overseen by legendary basketball coach Kelvin Sampson, these drills have been used in high school, college, and NBA practices alike and are particularly effective at the youth level as well. In addition to focusing on shooting and layups, each drill places an emphasis on fundamental aspects like passing, communication, and spacing the floor/balance.
Here’s a tremendous continuous drill perfect for warm-ups. Whether at the youth or high school level, you can do this drill for as long as you want. Start by sprinting down to the baseline 3-on-0. The middle player should start his or her pass to the left side before dishing to the right side player for a right-hand layup.
As the right side person attempts his/her layup, the left side person continues to the elbow area for a jumper. Meanwhile, the middle player gets a jumper as well. Altogether, there will be a layup and two jumpers. Remember, two players always remain on the opposite end as passers. They join the drill on the way back as outside players. The middle person continues on (down and back) and doesn’t serve as a baseline passer.
An NBA team should make 110 shots in 4:15. Every shot counts. College teams should make between 105-110. As for the youth level, let’s find out. Attention Coaches: After running this drill, let us know how many shots your players made in 4:15. Comment below and leave your tally to compare with other teams around the country!
Put two minutes on the clock. Start by having your players go to four baskets with two balls at each basket. This is a competitive shooting drill designed to get players a ton of shots in a short period of time. Best of all, players get to compete while doing it.
Shoot two balls at each basket and start off at the elbows. Each basket will go up against the other remaining baskets. Whichever basket has the most made baskets at the end of the two minutes wins the drill. If you lose, the entire losing team hits the baseline for sprints.
Remember: Shoot the ball, get the rebound, throw it to the person behind you, and then go to the same line you came from.
The Magic Elbow Drill works on players curling into shots. One of the best ways to get someone a shot is to come down the floor on transition and a player screens down on the weakside of the floor, opening up a curl, catch, and shoot for a teammate.
Put two players or coaches just inside the elbows (to ensure players always go around the elbow when catching and shooting). Simply, a passer feeds a shooter curling around the elbow for a catch and shoot. Shooters should always get their own rebound. Once you pass, you turn into the shooter and sprint out immediately.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Daily Dozen Shooting Drills for Youth Basketball” featuring Kelvin Sampson. To check out our entire collection of shooting-oriented DVDs, click here.
Add three new plays to your playbook this season designed to effectively attack zone defenses. First, you’ll receive an overview of each play and a full diagram. Then watch the play in action on the court with real players. This week’s collection of plays offer a variety of options for teams, against the zone, including easy lobs at the rim and wide open shots from the outside.
Submitted by Peter Moe, Washburn HS, Washburn, ND
Set-Up: This play starts with a double low post and can be run to either side. Player 1 is up top with the ball, 2 is on the right wing, 3 is on the left wing, 4 is on the opposite low block, and 5 is on the near low block.
Action: 1 enters to 2 and 2 takes a few dribbles to the baseline to force the zone to shift. 3 sets up high on the opposite wing. 2 returns the ball to 1 and immediately cuts across the baseline. As soon as 1 has the ball, 4 flashes into the lane and is working hard for the ball. Aftr pausing in the lane to occupy the backside zone defense, 4 continues to the high post. 2 sets a pick on the backside zone player down low.
Finish: 3 then cuts towards the low block behind 2’s screen for a lob pass and easy layup. Timing is key to prevent a 3-second violation or trigger defensive recognition. Both posts must actively work for positioning during the play. Also, 1 must not give away the lob pass with the eyes.
Submitted by Steve Mergelsberg, Rutgers University-Newark, Newark, NJ
Set-up: 1 drives down and makes a dribble entry to the right side. 2 is on the opposite low block, 3 is on the nearside low block, 4 is on the opposite elbow, and 5 is on the near elbow.
Action: As 1 drives past the free throw line extended, 3 sets a back screen for 5. 5 comes off the screen and rolls to the basket looking for a pass from 1 for a quick and easy layup. If 5 doesn’t get the pass, then he/she posts up on the ball-side low block. On the opposite side, 2 and 4 exchange positions to help create movement. If 5 gets a pass from 1 on the ball side, 4’s defender often slides over to provide defensive help. This could create an opening for 5 to dish to 4 (who’s cutting to the hoop).
Finish: If there’s nothing on the roll or quick post up, then 5 turns and screens away for 4, who breaks to the ball-side low block. Meanwhile, 3 sets a screen in the lane for the defender closest to 2. 2 uses the pick and sprints toward the ball side. 1 can hit 4 or a post up shot down low or pass to 2 for a short jumper at the elbow.
Submitted by Brent Lemond, Vanguard HS, Ocala, FL
Set-up: This play starts off in a 2-1-2 set. Players 1 and 2 start off up top and lane-line extended. 5 is at the free throw line. 4 is in the ballside corner. 3 is on the weakside low block.
Action: 5 steps out and screens for 1 and 2 moves into shooting position on the opposite wing. The defender X2 should be forced to help on 1, leaving 2 open for a shot on the wing. If defender X3 steps out to take the shooter, 2 looks for 3 in the short corner. 3 looks to score or drive and dish. If defender X5 moves to cover the short corner, then 2 can hit 5 after the screen.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 50 Set Plays to Attack Zone Defenses.” Check out our entire offensive collection by clicking here. Got any other effective plays to beat the zone? Tell us below or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.