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In the latest edition of All-Access, we travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for a glimpse inside a Xavier University men’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Chris Mack leads his squad through a variety of team drills, including “Vegas Closeouts” and “Triangle Blockouts.”
In “Vegas Closeouts”, players close out in a 1-on-1 format. The drill starts in the low block with a pass from the defense to the offense. From here, the defender makes two big steps while closing out towards the offensive player. As Coach Mack says, “Keep the dude in front of you!” In other words, guard the ball tight.
Next, the offensive player (or coach) makes a move or two toward the baseline or middle of the floor and the defense must close out and guard the ball well. This involves quick movement and fast reps. Whatever you do, don’t let the opposition get to the elbow. Hold your ground when you have position.
This particular blockout drill features a 3-on-3 set up. Two players are on the post while the other is up top. The key is getting into a good position down low when the shot goes up. It’s a lot easier said than done. And as you’ll hear Coach Mack say often throughout, it’s a war down there. This drill is perfect to work on these grind-it-out situations in the paint.
If you get the rebound and you are a post guy, look to outlet. If you are a guard and secure the board, you can bust out on the dribble as well. Rotate between offense and defense and then new players.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”All Access Xavier Basketball Practice with Chris Mack.” To check out more videos in our All-Acess lineup, including new additions featuring Roy Williams and Tim Floyd, click here.
In the latest team development feature, learn a pair of proven offensive techniques that will improve your team’s overall transition game. Follow along with Sinclair (OH) head men’s basketball coach Jeff Price as he reveals ways to use back screens and post entry passes to net easy baskets while on the move.
Two Man Transition Shooting
While often a second option on transition, this is a terrific technique to get off high percentage shots down low. Begin by setting up two lines of players. Players will fly in from half court. One line will go straight to the corner and the other will go to the low block. Next, there’s a post entry from the corner to the low block. Immediately after, there’s a strong post move and shot attempt.
Also, you can also use both sides of the court at the same time to get more reps and different looks at the basket.
Keys: Really have your players work on post moves during their individual drill time. Be sure they stay high on the block as well. Meanwhile, it’s also important to maintain proper spacing. Otherwise, the techniques won’t be as effective.
Back Screen Jumper
Moving forward with the transition offense, lets now simulate moving the ball in reversal. We can also incorporate trailers and back screens. The goal here is to get a back screen for an alley oop chance. Second, we will look for a step-back jumper.
By getting the ball to the corner, we have flattened out the defense. Now it should be an advantage for us. Once the ball is reversed, we want to go down and sit on the block before coming up and setting a back screen at the top of the key. The trailer will cut off of it and head straight to the rim. After setting the screen, the screener will pop out, receive a pass, and hit a jump shot.
Coaching Points: Don’t have your players up top always be in a hurry. Make sure to wait for the player to get set up prior to passing the ball. Also, be shot ready once you have made the screen. As we mentioned previously, maintain good spacing.
A first-rate transition drill can be one of the most beneficial tools that a coach can have at his or her disposal. By being proficient in the transition game, a basketball team can maintain a major advantage over its opponent during the course of a game. With the following drills, read through each description first before watching them get played out live on the court.
Carolina Fast Break Drill
Submitted by Greg Miller, Armstrong HS, Minneapolis, Minnesota
This is a terrific conditioning and transition drill often referred to as the old “Dean Smith drill.”
Get two teams of five. A jump ball starts a normal game of 5-on-5. If a team scores, a coach at that end of the floor will throw an outlet pass to a player on the team that scored. Immediately, they will run a fast break going the other way down court. The outlet must be received inside the three-point line.
However, if a shot is missed, play continues just as in a normal game and the team that secured the rebound transitions down court.
Play to a pre determined score or set a time limit. Also, you easily can add in a no dribbling rule to emphasize good passes and efficient ball movement.
The Daily Dozen Drill
Submitted by Dr. Gregg Williams, North Hall High School, Gainesville, Georgia
Overview: This is a perfect drill to begin or finish practice with each day. The goal here is to make 12 consecutive layups without the ball ever touching the floor or without making a turnover.
The Set-Up: Split up the post players into two groups and put them in a line under each basket. Do the same thing with the guards and wings, but have them in two groups at the half-court line by the sideline. Put two minutes on the clock.
The Action: Start the drill by having a coach bounce the ball off the backboard. The first post player grabs the rebound and throws an outlet pass to the nearest guard at the half-court line who is breaking to a proper outlet position. The next pass is to the other guard who is streaking on an angle towards the far foul line area for a layup.
Notes: Players must make 12 layups in a row before two minutes expires. If any player misses, makes a turnover, or dribbles, the layup count starts back over at zero. However, the clock continues to run.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”25 Aggressive Transition and Conditioning Drills” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out more videos featuring transition drills and concepts, click here.