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The latest edition of All Access provides readers with an exclusive glimpse at a Montverde Academy (FL) boys basketball practice. During this recent session, head coach Kevin Boyle leads his team through pivoting techniques in a half-court setting before getting into rapid fire fast break drills.
Although these are basic drills, they go a long way to help lessen turnovers, especially traveling. It’s key that players work on their triple threat positioning and being strong with the ball at all times.
Jump Stop and Pivot: First, the team gets into four lines on the baseline and four players go at a time. Players will dribble up to the free throw line, make a jump stop, turn, pivot, and make a chest pass to a teammate behind. Look to get your feet wide and then turn, pivot, step, and pass.
Tips: Make sure you get your feet spread (about shoulder width apart) and when you turn, keep that same distance. Maintain a strong, wide base.
Reverse Pivot: Through this pivot, you can clear some space against a strong defense and be a threat with the ball. This drill helps with ensuring you have room to pass, dribble, or shoot.
Tips: Watch as the players reverse pivot by using that right foot to swing around. This is where footwork and fundamentals become so important.
Step Over and Sweep: This next pivot move is great for those situations when you go chest to chest with a defender in a game. The motion here is to dribble up, jump stop, get the ball on hip, ball to shoulder, step over, and then sweep.
Drill 1 – Start with a three-man weave. Do this for at least two minutes. Make sure that players get to the sidelines, run the court, and make an effective jump stop at the opposite foul line before delivering a bounce pass in stride for a layup. After the layup, have players immediately make the outlet with a chest pass and head down court (the same way as before) to close out the rep.
Drill 2 – This next fast break drill works on getting ahead of the ball in a game. Start with three lines like before and have three players go at once. Next, the man in the middle will dribble the ball all the way down court and get a layup. Now have the outside guys work hard at getting ahead of the ball. Once the basket is made, the middle player rebounds it immediately and throws a long outlet pass as the outside players get wide and eventually go in strong for a fast break layup.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Basketball Practice with Kevin Boyle.” To browse more videos in our extensive All Access lineup, simply head over to our basketball library. Recent All Access sessions feature Herb Magee, John Calipari, and Gregg Marshall.
By adding these three effective plays to your playbook this season, you’ll be equipped with a full arsenal for any type of pressure situation. This week’s plays — which derive from high school coaches in Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Arkansas — offer several different options for teams as well.
Submitted by Mike Limbaugh, Clarksburg High School, Clarksburg, TN
The Set-up: This is a great play when you need a three-pointer at the end of the game. 1 starts with the ball up top. 2 begins in the ballside corner, just between the far corner and wing area. Meanwhile, 5 is at the ballside elbow, 4 is on the weakside block, and 3 is opposite of 2 on the weakside wing/corner area.
The Action: 1 dribbles hard at 2 and 2 makes a v-cut. 3, 4, and 5 all set staggered screens toward the ballside. 1 reverses the dribble and now looks to pass to 2, who is coming off the screens by 3, 4, and 5 down low. 2 ends up on the opposite side of the floor for an open look at a three-pointer.
Submitted by Don Maynard, Oyster River High School, Durham, NH
Overview: This triangle set is run from an under-the-basket position against a man-to-man defense and ensures many scoring options at the end of a game.
The Set-up: While 1 has the ball under the basket, 2 starts out at the top of the key. 3 begins just inside the top of the key, 4 is on the ballside laneline between the block and elbow, and 5 is on the opposite side of 4.
The Action: 3 v-cuts and uses a screen set by 5. 3 ends up on the weakside block and is the first option if open. 4 then screens for 5 just above the free throw line. 5 ends up at the ballside block after cutting off the screen. Next, 4 rolls back to the weakside box after screening. The rollback from 4 is open against a team that switches on screens. Player 2 is your safety and clears to the ballside sideline.
Submitted by Becky Brown, Star City Senior High School, Star City, AR
Overview: A key double screen nearly makes this play unstoppable when you need a three-pointer late in the game.
The Set-up: 1 takes the ball out of bounds on the sideline. 4 and 2 are just about stacked together above the three-point line and closer to the sideline than the rimline. Player 2 is close to the free throw line extended and 4 is closer to the inbounder. Player 3 is at the nearside low block while 5 is in the nearside corner to start.
The Action: 3 curls around (the inside) a double screen set by 4 and 2. Set the screen towards the basket, not away. 5 replaces 3 on the ballside block. Player 1 passes to 3 for an open three-pointer. 1 flashes to the low wing as another option for 3 if he/she is covered.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 50 Game-Winning Last-Second Plays” by Winning Hoops. To learn about more effective last-second plays, check out our entire Winning Hoops DVD lineup.
The 1-2-1-1 Diamond Press is an effective full-court pressure system geared towards disrupting your opponent’s offense no matter the personnel on the floor. Follow along as renowned head basketball coach Don Showalter walks through player set-up, movements, and tips for the press. Then, learn about Coach Showalter’s 10 Rules of Pressure Defense so you can begin implementing this tremendous system right away with your own squad.
Coach Showalter’s teams start out every game through this “Diamond Press”, though they may adjust it a little bit along the way.
The 4-man on the ball needs to be the most aggressive big guy. Simply, player 4 is the key to the press. Whoever is on the ball must be effective, meaning his hands are straight up and he’s being overall active. Don’t jump up and down, but shade the inside of the floor. You don’t want that pass to go across the lane if you can help it. Look for this player to get into an open position and be facing the ball to start.
Next, the two guys together in the formation are up around the middle of the lane. The player behind them can start anywhere between the top of the key to the half-court line. Meanwhile, the 5-man starts just behind the half-court line.
As soon as the ball comes out of the net, player 4 (at the top of the formation) runs right over and is immediately on the ball. If he’s late, that’s tough, because the offense can get into their press break easier. This player must be aggressive and have his hands up right away to shade to the inside.
As for the 5-man, he should back up if the inbounder starts up with a baseball pass motion. Otherwise, he should move up a bit into the half-court area. He’s got to adjust to the pass so he can now cover any pass thrown in far.
Next, player 1 (who’s in the middle of this formation) must read the eyes of the inbounder. Most of the time, the inbounder will tell you exactly where he’s going to pass the ball. Therefore, your 1 man should be pretty quick, have good anticipation, and excellent awareness of what’s going on.
When the offense has all five players on the near side of the court, this is great for you. It’s really the best thing that can happen. Therefore, encourage that first pass to the corner. It’s kind of an interception technique.
You are not going to trap if the ball is thrown behind the volleyball line unless a special call is on. So look to force that pass above the volleyball line and into the corner. In the two-man formation, the right player is playing in the middle of the lane, taking that cross pass away.
This is also called our “Read Defense.” We will find out exactly how the opposition will break. If the pass goes to the man in the near corner, that nearest defender in the two-man formation MUST take the sideline away. The man on the inbounder now sprints over and traps. Remember to sprint to the trap and crowd this guy with your hands straight up.
Next, the 3-man comes across on the ballside of the lane-line. Here he must read the ballcarrier’s eyes and shoulders.
In review, read and trap that first pass. From here, many teams will try to skip the ball across court. But if your hands are up, it will be hard to skip it. So what makes it so effective? The hands of the defenders are ALWAYS up. Also, be sure to get the middle-of-lane player moving up to prevent that cross-lane pass.
*Stay tuned in the coming weeks for Part II of our Full-Court Pressure feature as we go further into the 1-2-1-1 Diamond Press and highlight some key drills to run in practice.*
Coach Showalter’s teams start out and press regardless of personnel. Here are some ideas, rules, and tips for how you can implement this system effectively with your team.
Deflections Are Huge – Chart deflections in practices and games. It doesn’t have to be a steal, just a deflection (even if it’s with a fingernail). Aim for 20 deflections or more in a game. This number will tell you whether or not the press is working pretty well. For Coach Showalter, deflections are more important than steals. While your team may not have a ton of steals one game, they may get a lot of deflections. This tells you that the other team has been thrown off a bit.
Ball Pressure is Crucial – “Press” means ball pressure.
Be Patient – The press may work for long or short spurts, but it will work. You must be patient with it and if you are, kids will understand that they won’t get out of it. If your team thinks they will be getting out of a press as soon as a basket is given up, then they are done. You can’t press with that team. Coach Showalter’s teams are going to press regardless of what happens. Overall, they will play harder and adjust.
Stay With It – If ball pressure is constant all game long, you’ll have many intangibles in your favor if you stick with it. For instance, the constant pressure forces your kids to play hard. So how exactly do you get them to play hard? Well, they are pressing, and if they don’t play hard, they will get embarrassed.
Set Good Traps and Don’t Reach – Remember, you aren’t going to steal the ball on the trap, but rather out of your trap. The players who are trapping are often not the ones going to steal it. Also, keep in mind that fouling negates hustle. Therefore, keep your hands up and don’t reach. Always run to your teammate when trapping and sprint to the trap (hands up, hands off).
You Must Sprint Out of Traps – Turn the shoulders and hips to the area where you want to run to. It’s not as simple as it sounds, so coaches must watch their players to ensure they are doing this effectively.
Look to Tip From Behind – You can get 3 or 4 baskets a game just from doing this.
Anticipate the Next Move of the Opponent - Don’t let the offensive team break the press the same way two times in a row. This should be your mindset. Keep the opposition off balance and uncomfortable.
Be Aware – This is said a ton in practice. Be aware of where your man is and what’s going to happen.
Make Opponents Take Jump Shots – Be there when they shoot it and be there when they miss it.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for Part II of our Full-Court Pressure feature highlighting the 1-2-1-1 Diamond Press. To check out more videos in our basketball library focusing on pressure systems and defensive strategies, click here. Go any press tips to share with fellow coaches? Tell us below or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.