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In this behind-the-scenes look, we visit Cincinnati, Ohio for a glimpse inside a recent Xavier University men’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Chris Mack leads his squad though a competitive team full-court transition drill called “War Rebounding.”
War Rebounding – Overview
For this drill, we’ll go 4 on 4. All four guys on offense must start beyond the three-point line. Meanwhile, all four defenders must be inside the lane with both feet.
To initiate the drill, the coach shoots the ball. If you’re an offensive rebounder, you can crash the boards. If you get the rebound, play it out at that basket. If the offensive team can convert quickly and easily, do it. Otherwise, set things up, get spacing, and look for a good shot.
However, if the shot goes up and the defense gets the rebound, they are allowed to push the ball down court. From here, play it out until there is a score, turnover, change of possession. If the (new) offense gets the offensive rebound and scores, stay right there.
Scoring: Keep track of scoring throughout for both teams. If you get an offensive rebound, it’s + 2. A three-pointer is + 3, a two-pointer is +2, and if you get fouled, it’s +1.
Overall Drill Goals: The entire goal for the defense is to not allow the offensive guy anywhere near the paint. If you’re an offensive rebounder, do what you have to do to get the offensive rebound.
Now watch as Xavier goes 4 on 4 at full speed. Notice that the team changes up the lineups after each down and back. Try to make your transitions as seamless as possible.
Coaching Tips: You must stay balanced to get the respect of the officials. Also, if you get the ball down low, especially after an offensive rebound, don’t put the ball back on the floor.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”All Access Xavier Basketball Practice with Chris Mack.” To check out the latest videos in our All-Access lineup, click here.
Learn four daily practice drills from one of college basketball’s top coaches. With Stanford women’s head coach Tara Vanderveer leading the way, you’ll pick up effective drills for boxing out, closing out, layups, and jab steps. Before each simulation goes live at full speed, Coach Vanderveer describes and demonstrates how the drill is run and how the team incorporates it into their offensive system.
Close-Out and Box Out Drills
Every practice, Stanford implements a series of partner drills: Passing, closing out, and boxing out. Also, the team will run through these before games as a helpful warmup. You can really get a feeling if repetition, doing things over and over in order to get better.
Close-Out Drill: Players work in pairs and start by standing apart and facing each other. One player will roll out the ball to the other player. The player now with the ball will look to dribble, drive, or shoot. The defender must close out effectively, getting a hand up in their face before getting into proper positioning to cover ground. Players must be aggressive in their first step and move the correct foot.
Box Out Drill: Like before, players will face each other, but now when the coach yells out “Shot”, the defensive players must also yell out “Shot.” After this, they will turn and a get a body on the offensive player and box out. The offensive players must make a move one way or the other to simulate going after their shot for the rebound.
Layups & Jab Sweeps
Layup Drills: This is something that Coach Vanderveer’s team does every day. The squad also tries to partner this series with their pick ‘n roll. Players will go at three baskets and get into groups of (at least) three.
The drill begins with simple layups, one player at a time. Start on the right and then switch to the left side. Players make a crossover dribble before going in for a layup. Next, the drill moves into reverse layups. Players should keep their eyes on the rim when going up to the basket. After this, the drill moves into jump shots from about 10-15 feet out. Look to use the glass to your advantage.
Jab Series: To begin, one at a time, players must work to get open. When they receive the ball, the must make an effective jab step before taking the ball to the rim aggressively. Be sure to use proper footwork and make a strong move.
Next, players move into a jab & cross, incorporating a crossover move and then an aggressive drive to the bucket. After this, it’s on to jab & shoot with no dribble. Essentially, it’s a jab step and then jump shot. Make sure you move to the opposite side of the court and do the same reps. Look to freeze the defender with that jab step every time.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Tara Vanderveer: 30 Practice Drills for Building Champions.” To check out more videos focusing on key practice drills, click here.
The pick ‘n roll can be a very effective offensive technique with the right personnel and match-ups. It can also be a go-to option during critical moments and must-score situations. Look to add these proven pick ‘n roll plays to your offensive arsenal this season. Both have been used with great success at the college level.
Pick ‘n Roll Quick Hitter
Submitted by Rick Berger, Former head coach at Westfield State College, Westfield, MA
Player 1 starts with the ball up top. Players 2 and 3 are on opposite wings while players 5 and 4 are on opposite low blocks.
Option A: Player 5 starts by breaking to the top of the key and sets a pick for 1. Player 1 then passes to 2 and uses 5’s pick to break towards the hoop. Player 2 looks to hit 1 cutting through the lane. If the pass isn’t there, player 1 flashes back to the weakside wing area and 3 replaces 1’s spot up at the top of the key.
Option B: Player 1 passes to 2 on the wing. Player 4 breaks up and sets a screen for 2. 2 dribbles around the screen and drives to the hoop. 2 and 4 should look for a nice give and go on the pick ‘n roll.
Submitted by Bill Agronin, Niagara University, Niagara, NY
The Set-Up: Start in a 1-4 high set, with 1 up top, 2 and 3 on opposite wings, and 4 and 5 on opposite elbows.
The Action: Player 1 dribbles right and then throws a pass left to 5, who is popping out to the top of the key. Meanwhile, player 2 breaks hard to the low block on the weak side. Player 5 passes back to 1 along the right wing area. On the pass, player 2 breaks up high across the lane and sets a screen for 5. Player 5 then uses player 2’s screen and rolls hard to the basket. 4 slides down and screens for 2 who uses the screen and rolls to the top of the key.
The Finish: Player 1 looks to hit 5 rolling to the hoop or hits 2 for a three-point shot. If neither shot is available, player 1 passes to 2, where 2 and 4 will run a pick and roll move.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Over 50 Game-Winning Quick Hitters” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out more videos featuring effective team plays and sets, click here.