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Archives by Tag 'John Calipari'

All Access Kentucky Basketball: Press Attack and 3-Man Shooting

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Interested in seeing how a championship basketball program typically practices behind closed doors? In the latest edition of All Access, we take you back to Lexington, Kentucky for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at a University of Kentucky men’s basketball practice.

Watch as head coach John Calipari walks through several team drills for you and reveals overall strategies, general tips, and specific player guidance. This particular session revolves around press attack schemes, three-man shooting drills, and 5-on-5 blockout simulations.

The exclusive look derives from the first few days of practice during the 2010-2011 basketball campaign.

Press Attack

Drive it up one side and then drive it up the other. The team works on their press attack against the coaching staff defense. Working on driving at defense, going the other way, playing to space. Don’t go through the motions. If you can do something in 2 dribbles, don’t do 3 dribbles. There’s chance for an error. Then the team is going “Hash.”


Three-Man Shooting

The following three-man shooting series involves three different sets: Pistol, Drop 5, and Drop Loop Kick it Back.

Pistol – This particular drill is used in a half-court setting. The action starts with one player driving down the center of the court from the half-court line. He then drives to the right side, hands off to a corner teammate, and then takes the ball into the lane and either makes a lob pass at the rim for his opposite teammate or a shot. Calipari reinforces to his players about getting in the lane and making the pass or having the option to shoot the ball coming out of the corner. Get in that lane!

Drop 5– Next, Drop 5 features a pass to the low block teammate and then a pass right back at the rim for the original passer. Then switch it up and hit the backdoor man who passes a lob pass at the rim for the opposite low block player.

Drop Loop and Kick it back – Here, the point guard dribbles down to the foul line area, stops, and passes to a teammate on the wing. The wing player moves up and the original PG replaces him and moves into the corner. He gets a pass back and then dumps it down low to the low block player for a strong move and layup.


5-on-5 Blockouts

In 5-on-5 blockouts, the action starts out with a shot and 5-on-5 battle for the rebound and block outs. There’s a quick transition the other way down the court and the two teams play things out from there. Says Calipari, still hammering home his point from earlier in the drill, “Get in the lane. I gotta find guys that can get inside the lane.”


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Kentucky Basketball Practice 2010-2011” with John Calipari. To check out more college teams in our All Access lineup, visit our basketball DVD library.

All Access Kentucky Basketball Practice: Transition Defense and Closeout Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ever wanted to see a top college basketball team go through a typical midweek practice session? In this week’s edition of All Access, we take you to Lexington, Kentucky for an exclusive look at a University of Kentucky men’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach John Calipari walks through several team defensive drills for you and dishes out overall strategies, general tips, and player guidance.

This behind-the-scenes glimpse comes from the first few days of practice during the 2010-2011 basketball season with the focus being squarely on defense. According to Coach Calipari, while many people may talk about the program’s effective dribble drive offensive approach, defense has really been the key for years. In this feature, you’ll see exactly how Kentucky teaches defense and hopefully this will give you some insight into what the Wildcats do, the intensity they play with, and the key pieces of defense the program works on in order to be successful.

Transition Defense

This drill starts with an offensive set — “Money” — in the half court (and involves a ball screen first). As soon as the ball goes in the basket, the unit must sprint back on defense. Says Calipari, “If we are going to be good defensively, we gotta get back on defense.” As the team gets back, a pass up court is intercepted, and the squad finishes the play offensively on transition. The goal is to get from defense and back to offense as quickly as possible.

Many people will want to run back to the opposite paint, but the problem with this is that they throw the ball, suck your defense down, and all of a sudden you have problems. For Calipari’s teams, the key is trying to run back, cover both wings, cover the basket, and shadow the ball. For this drill, the one big man who rebounded is behind the ball.

It’s also crucial to get the players to communicate. According to Calipari, at that moment, the team doesn’t talk much and they won’t be good if they continue to not talk. When the squad hits the road, it’s very difficult to hear each other. Therefore, it’s imperative that the players communicate effectively. This drill works on building team communication extensively.

The team works on the following offensive sets while practicing its transition defense: Crunch, Motion, and X.


Box Closeout

Calipari’s teams will typically run this drill for the first three weeks of practice before incorporating it into more game-like situations. It’s not quite game-like enough, but it’s simple and very effective. If you’ve got 15 guys and want to work them, this is a perfect defensive drill.

One at a time, players will sprint from the middle baseline with both hands out/up and proceed to close out on a coach with the ball at the elbow. Players will then slide diagonally across the lane to the baseline and then will immediately close out again, this time towards another coach standing on the opposite elbow area. The player will finish by sliding to the far corner of the court and return back to the end of the line. Once the first player makes his first diagonal shuffle, a second player should commence.


Impossible Close

The Wildcats typically go through this drill early on in practices. The bottom line here is that you must closeout to the wing and be the weakside help. This is called the “Impossible Close.” It’s key that your team can do this well.

If the defender’s hands are not up, the offensive guy should be shooting. If his hands are up, the guy is driving. Players end with a rebound in this drill. With the closeout, you don’t have to stop the offensive player from going anywhere, you just have to make him go wide because your help will come if he’s wide. However, on a straight drive, there’s no help, so you better hope for a charge.

The drill can play out on both ends of the floor. It starts with the defender in the middle of the paint. Next, there’s a pass across to the wing and the defender must closeout on the wing player. Players finish the play (and always with a rebound) with a 1-on-1. Remember, the goal for the defender is to make it as hard as he can for the offensive guy to score.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Kentucky Basketball Practice 2010-2011” with John Calipari. To check out more college teams in our All Access lineup, visit our basketball DVD library.

12 Dynamic Ball Handling Drills Designed to Build Quickness

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If you want to develop into an elite guard, it’s imperative that you work on your hand-eye coordination and hand/ball quickness. Watch as University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari and former NBA standout Rod Strickland lead you through 12 useful ball handling drills that focus on improving ball quickness. Coaches can then look to implement these simple, effective drills into their own practices this fall.

Front to Back Dribbling

While there are hundreds of drills we could cover to work on ball handling, we’re going to start with the basics and build from there. Remember, the more that you work with the ball, the better off you’ll be. Ultimately, you want your right hand and left hand to be the exact same.

First, start with these dribbling drills:

1)    Front to Back Dribbling – Right Hand

2)    Side to Side – Right Hand

3)    Side to Side – Left Hand

4)    Front to Back – Left Hand

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Start slow and then build up speed. The reason you go fast is that it’s not about making a mistake. You want to make yourself uncomfortable. The goal is get faster and faster every day. Keep in mind that this is not just a drill for drill sake. You must be able to move the ball.

Remember at all times to keep your head and eyes up. Bend your body down and get low during the drills, as well.


Carry Drills

Instead of dribbling, now we’ll move to carry drills (where the ball is kept off the floor). Consider running a clock for 30 seconds and counting the number of carries you can make in 30 seconds, then improve upon it.

1)    Single Leg Carry (Start slow and then build up faster)

2)    Carry Drill Double Leg

3)    Carry Drill Waist (Get those hands moving fast)

4)    Carry Drill Figure Eight (Do the drill front and back)

Two-Ball Drills

Get a feel for using both basketballs at once. Start by standing in place and pounding both basketballs at the same time. Then, transition into one high and one low before moving into alternating dribbles.

1)    2-Ball Dribble, Pound Together

2)    2-Ball Dribble, 1 High, 1 Low

3)    2-Ball Dribble, Alternating (Really move those shoulders)

4)    2-Ball Dribble, Circle


The previous clips can be found on Championship Productions’ DVD “MVP Training: Basic Point Guard Skills & Drills with Derrick Rose and John Calipari.” Also, check out the companion video entitled, “MVP Training: Advanced Point Guard Skills and Drills.”

New All Access Kentucky & Dematha High School Basketball DVDs!

By mike.oconnell - Last updated: Thursday, July 14, 2011

New All Access Basketball DVDs featuring John Calipari and Mike Jones!

All Access Kentucky Basketball Practice (2010-11) with John Calipari

Watch as John Calipari prepares his young team for the 2010-11 season which included a run into the NCAA Final Four. In this All Access DVD, Coach Calipari reveals everything he teaches and drills to get the Wildcats into an aggressive, attacking mindset on both the defensive and offensive ends of the floor. With this video set, Coach Calipari breaks down every drill in more detail than ever before to teach his team how to play the right way!

All Access DeMatha Catholic High School Basketball Practice

Mike Jones and Alan Stein bring to you an all access look at the DeMatha basketball program. Coach Jones, a former DeMatha player and assistant coach under basketball Hall of Famer Morgan Wootten, shows why DeMatha is one of the top high school basketball programs in the nation. Learn DeMatha’s entire system- offense, defense, drills, warm-ups, and conditioning – all in one DVD series (3-discs that include over 5 hours)!

Interested in multiple All Access DVDs? Purchase any 3 (or more) All Access Basketball Practice DVDs for only $99.99 each. Enter promo code AA99BB at checkout to redeem savings!

WIN a Basketball Signed by Derrick Rose, John Calipari and Rod Strickland!

By mike.oconnell - Last updated: Thursday, May 26, 2011

Submit your favorite drill of play to and you will be entered for a chance to win a basketball signed by Derrick Rose, John Calipari and Rod Strickland!

The winner will be announced July 15! Good luck!


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