Pick up four essential defensive drills that have become staples for Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse men’s basketball program. The following drills focus exclusively on the 2-3 zone and place a particular emphasis on the footwork, movements, and techniques of the top two guards in the alignment based on different offensive schemes.
This is a great drill for the guards to learn how to play the wing players and not give them easy access to the high post. The drill will have three offensive players going against two defensive players. The ball comes all the way down the court and the players must get into their typical positions in this defense.
The emphasis here is square on the top two defenders making the right reads and adjustments based on the schemes of the offensive guys. The high post offensive player is often played by a coach and he’s just there to make it realistic. The ball does not get entered to the post player yet.
Now every play is going to end with a shot. The defensive players must work on positioning and boxing out based on where the shot takes place. For instance, one player must bust it across the lane to the other side while his teammate must get to the middle. Positioning is very important and players must run to their spots.
Next, the players must react and move based on the high post player receiving the ball. Eventually a shot will go up. This is basically combining the two drills above.
Finally, the defenders work on how to defend a backscreen set at the foul line by the offense. Players must anticipate this and get over the top. To help, look to get a hand in on top. Coaches, be sure to place a major emphasis on footwork and technique.
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.
In the latest team development feature, pick up two highly valuable drills to help improve your squad’s overall transition game. With Sinclair (OH) head men’s basketball coach Jeff Price as your guide, you’ll learn how to utilize post entry passes and weakside curls to beat the defense while playing fast-paced basketball.
Drill Overview: Start at half court with two players. The ball handler will first pass the ball to a coach and then sprint to the corner. The dribbler will then get the ball back in the corner and make a post entry to a teammate on the block. Next, the guard will sprint baseline and the post player will pass to him on the baseline during the cut. This must be a bounce pass.
Full Court: Now watch this drill (below) live in action going 5 on 0 from a free throw transition. As for a little wrinkle, throw in a skip pass to the baseline cutter. It’s essentially the same as before except now the guard will pass cross-court to the opposite wing for the baseline cut and layup.
Tips: For this drill, keep your bigs high on the block. Make sure that they stay high so they don’t come down and stop our baseline cut. It also gives them a chance to make a good post move and be a threat and not one dimensional.
Drill Overview: Now let’s incorporate our trailer. This is perfect for those situations when we want to go with the hot hand and we can use the trailer to get a good clean look on transition. The drill starts with a quick pass to the coach by the guard and then a down screen. The guard on the wing being screened for will then curl for the jumper.
Tips: Come off screen shoulder to shoulder. Also, be sure to open up after the screen. Good fundamentals are key here. Elevate in the lane as you are coming off screen to simulate game-type shots.
We finish up with a full-court simulation starting with a typical free throw transition break.
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 basketball videos, visit our basketball library.
In need of a few proven last-second sets for your playbook this season? Read on to learn about three highly-effective plays used by elite coaches at the high school and college levels.
Submitted by Brad McGhee, Liberty High School, Mountain View, MO
Setup: Players are lined up in a box formation with 4 and 5 at the elbows and 2 and 3 on the low blocks. 1 has the ball at the top.
Action: Player 1 dribbles off a screen set by either 4 or 5. Player 5 then immediately screens down for 2, who comes off the screen and pops to the top. If 2 is open, 1 passes to 2 for an open three-point shot.
Options: If 2 is not open, 1 keeps the ball. After the screen by player 5, player 3 then screens across for 5, who cuts across the baseline/lane and sets up on the ballside block. Player 1 then looks for 5 on a post-up shot. If 5 isn’t open on the post-up, 3 comes to the top thanks to a double screen set by 2 and 4 just inside the free throw line area. 1 passes to 3 or looks to get the ball into 5 on the low block.
Submitted by Gary Williams, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Setup: This play is run out of the flex set, with 2 and 3 down low on opposite blocks, 4 up high behind the three-point line near the wing, and 5 on the elbow and the same side as 3. 1 has the ball up top.
Action: Player 5 makes a V-cut toward basket and sets an on-ball screen for 1, who dribbles to the right side wing area. Players 5 and 1 run a pick and roll game on the right side, while 2 and 4 set staggered screens for 3 on the ballside low block and the weakside elbow. Player 3 will then cut hard along the baseline and up towards the weakside elbow.
Finish: If no shot is available on the pick and roll between 1 and 5, 1 quickly passes to 3 on weakside elbow for a quick jumper.
Submitted by Gary Barnes, Calhoun HS, Calhoun, GA
Setup: This is a simple set that Coach Barnes has had a ton of success with. Player 1 brings up the ball on the left side of the floor. Player 4 starts in the corner and on the same side as 1. 2 is in the opposite corner. Players 3 and 5 line up in the middle of the court, with 5 at the top of the key, and 3 just inside the three-point line (and both in a stack). Player 3 should be your best shooter.
Action: Player 1 dribbles off a double screen up at the top of the key set by 3 and 5. As 1 comes off the shoulder of player 5, 5 rolls to the hoop on the ball side. As player 5 establishes his position in the post, player 3 then makes an inside pivot and pops to the top of the key. 1 can look to hit player 3 for a three-point shot.
Options: At this point, 1 has four options coming off the ball screen. A) Drive and kick to player 2; B) Drive to basket for a score; C) Play a pick and roll game with player 5; or D) Pass to player 3 for a three-point shot.
Tips: Timing is the key. As 5 rolls, 3 must wait a half second before popping to the top. Most times, 3 will be open for that shot because player 3’s defender often gets caught playing help defense on the pick and roll between 1 and 5.
Coaches: Do you have a favorite quick hitter that has worked for your team?
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “”Over 50 Game-Winning Quick Hitters” produced by Winning Hoops. To pick up more plays for your playbook, head over to our basketball library by clicking here.