Follow along as Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight breaks down seven different screening techniques in a 2-on-2 setting. The screening drills are also effective at teaching players how to read defenses and execute proper picks. Look for ways to incorporate these excellent drills into your practices this season.
Coach Knight begins this session by detailing one of his teaching philosophies: The Part-Method Manor of Teaching. Through this philosophy, teams work on the parts or certain skills and get the players to learn the parts of the offense, and then put it all together in the whole of the offense. The same goes with the defense.
For Coach Knight, he’d have a breakdown period with his teams where they’d work on parts of their offense and parts of their defense. For drills that involved individuals, he would run them for five minutes. When it involved the team, he’d go for 10 minutes.
Also, Coach Knight loves to get into something, work hard at it, get out of it, and move on to something else. Players have the tendency to get bored or lack focus if they are doing the same things over and over again. Plus, basketball is a game that changes quicker than any team sport that we have, so look to practice that way.
The following drills are a great example of how Coach Knight breaks down screening and later fits them into the overall offensive scheme.
Set-Up: Get into a 2-on-2 man situation, with the ball carrier at the top of the key. Get an assistant coach on the side. The ball will get passed to the coach. That passer now sets a down screen for his teammate. From here, you now have five options. Coaches won’t say a particular option. Instead, players must read the defense. Below are five options from this set-up.
1 – Make a down screen and have your teammate come over the top.
2 – Start with a screen up high and alter your screening position to try and get behind the picked player. Now your teammate makes a back cut off of that screen.
3 – Start in a bit tighter this time. Make your screen a little bit further down towards the paint. Have your teammate pop back off the pick.
4 – Come down and set your screen. This time your teammate comes underneath and the original screener now pops out.
5 – This is perhaps the most effective option. Set the screen. Your teammate comes up. Meanwhile, the screener slips to the basket.
Align one player on the wing and the other just outside the low block. Start by reversing the ball to the coach. Step out with a back screen and set up the cut. Read it and look to go.
Start with the ball on top and in the middle of the floor. Pass to your coach and then have your teammate make a flare screen. The coach can bring the ball to the cutter or the screener (who is coming off of pick and heading to the bucket).
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Practice Planning and Drills for Mental Toughness.” To check out more videos focusing on practice planning and organization, visit our DVD library.
Northern Iowa head men’s basketball coach Ben Jacobson is a big believer in constantly working on fundamental drills throughout the year. This 3-on-3 Defensive Shell Drill is one of Coach Jacobson’s favorite and most effective overall drills, a tool he uses every day to help build his team’s defense.
The Set-Up: Get a player guarding the ball. The other two defensive players are just off the opposite elbows and playing in a help position. Meanwhile, the two other offensive players are on the wings to begin. Start things off by passing the ball to the wing. Next, as the ball is moved to the wing, the guy at the point will set up just off that elbow. The opposite defender will set up just below that midline in the paint with his ballside foot slightly forward.
Start the drill with all three defenders inside the lane line and facing a coach with the ball under the basket. The coach will throw the ball out to any of the three offensive players. Make sure that players yell out BALL as they approach their opponent. Other players should get into their help positions. Next, make 4 or 5 passes and then rotate. Be sure to move fast between reps. Also, there should be no dribbling for the offense to start.
Angle of Approach: When the ball gets thrown from the top to the wing, it’s important to maintain a proper angle of approach to get to the basketball. In other words, we must get underneath the ball and approach head on. Therefore, players should first step down the floor. Now, they will be able to approach so they go head on with their weight back and both hands high and yelling “Ball.” The angle is something players must really work at. Also, don’t approach on the high side or else you can easily get beat baseline.
When it comes to guarding the dribble, the goal for the offense is to look to drive and get two feet in the paint with the basketball. As for wing players, their job is to beat defenders baseline or turn to the middle and get into the paint. If you do drive it, you must return to where you started and stay there. There should be no screening or moving.
Look to go 12 seconds and have the defense keep the ball out of the paint and guard the baseline. Rotate after the 12 seconds. The overall amount of seconds that the offense gets into the paint determines how many sprints the defense must do after the drill.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Ben Jacobson: Fundamental Drills for Basketball Practice.” To check out more basketball DVDs featuring drills for both offense and defense, head over to our basketball library.
With Rutgers head men’s basketball coach Mike Rice as your guide, pick up two helpful passing drills to prepare for zone defenses this season. The following drills can improve overall decision-making, passing technique, player confidence, and moving without the ball. Also, Coach Rice details an effective baseline out-of-bounds play designed to beat zone defenses under the basket.
Zone defenses rely heavily on trapping and double teams in order to be effective. This first passing drill will teach your offensive players to be strong with the ball and make accurate passes when double teamed.
Start with a ball handler up top. Have them dribble as hard as they can inside the arc. Meanwhile, two defenders will set up on the elbows and then close in for the double team. Now the offensive player has three options (three players to pass to), two on wings and one down low. This player must pass out of the double team without turning it over. Don’t let the defenders deflect the ball.
Drill Tips: Remember, players can ball fake, fake high throw low, and step through to get out of the trap. Remind them of all of their options. Be strong with the ball. Don’t pass until the coach tells you to.
Also, you can practice this in a 1-3-1 zone defense set up where the wing and top players meet to double the ball.
This is a terrific drill to run with your bigs. It’s great for improving footwork and making passing instinctive out there.
Start with an outside pivot. When players get the ball, have them pivot, and then pass to a teammate. Get players to chase the ball. Players will receive it right back, pivot properly, and then pass to another teammate. Repeat. Be sure that players are really moving around the lane. Start in the high post, move to mid-post, and flash.
Now go with an inside pivot. Have players look down the floor. Give a pass fake to practice this concept. Then pass opposite.
Coach Rice is a big fan of this baseline out of bounds, especially against a 2-3 zone. This play really teaches your players how to read the defense. It also gives you four or five options out of one set.
Get players 2 through 5 in a stack, but have the first two separated a little bit from the back two. Have all players lined up on the ballside laneline. The first player in the stack breaks hard to the ballside corner. The second player breaks to the opposite low block and screens that nearest defender. The back two players will now attack the middle man in the defense, creating a 2-on-1 scenario.
Have the unit play things out from here, read the defense, and find ways to create mismatches in order to get high-percentage looks at the basket.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Drills and Concepts for Zone Offense Attacks” with Mike Rice. To check out our entire catalog of DVDs focusing on zone concepts, click here.