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Follow along with Richmond head men’s basketball coach Chris Mooney as he breaks down three layup drills that reinforce typical cuts and movements within the Princeton Offense. After leading off with Pass and Cut Layups, Mooney finishes up with Dribble In Layups and Layups Down the Side.
Overview: For Coach Mooney, the Princeton Offense is geared toward players who are able to dribble, pass, shoot, play together, and move via cutting and not screening. There’s a huge emphasis on cuts within this offense.
Therefore, when we pass and cut within the offense, try to focus on the same thing: Pass and then turn the pass into a cut. When finishing, teach your players to shoot righty layups on left side and lefty layups on right side. We do this because we are closer to the rim. It gets the ball to the rim quicker (with your closer hand).
Drill Breakdown: For this drill, two players will work together at a time. The first player starts by passing cross-court to his teammate and then cuts hard toward the basket. He then quickly receives the ball back and goes in for the layup. Don’t slow down when going up for the layup. Go up as quickly as you can.
Tips: Try different layups every time, such as layups at the front of the rim, left, right, reverse layups, etc. Don’t slow down. Fly right on in there. Also, eventually switch sides of the court with the pass and cuts. It’s important to practice this because you never know what kind of layup will show up in the game.
For “Dribble In Layups”, start at half court. Make one hard move at the top of key and go in for a layup. Don’t slow down when going in for the layup. Go as fast as you can to practice shooting layups at top speed. After about three minutes, switch sides of the court.
Finally, with “Layups Down the Side”, look to catch the pass where hash mark is and then drive in from here and make a layup down the side. Emphasize one-foot layups. Also, make this simulation realistic like you must beat the defender. Go fast. After three minutes, switch to the left side.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Chris Mooney: Team & Individual Drills for the Princeton Offense.” To check out more videos highlighting the Princeton Offense and other offensive sets, simply visit our basketball library.
Learn from Richmond head men’s basketball coach Chris Mooney as he reveals five shooting drills that are particularly effective for the Princeton Offense. After simulating a three-part cross-court shooting drill, Mooney and company also run through two-foot layups and the full-court drill “And Twos.”
Richmond takes a lot of three-pointers, especially standstill threes or Sunday shots. In this three-part drill, use three balls and divide players among two lines. Be sure to emphasize getting off good shots and not as much on how hard you are moving. Shooters should get their own rebound.
Start off by coming across nice and easy at the top of the key. Catch the pass from your teammate, shoot from the top of the key, and get your own rebound. Shoot for four-and-a-half minutes at three different spots. For the next part, throw cross-court passes and have two coaches stand in the middle as if in a zone defense. Alternate each rep. Try to throw good hard overhead passes. It’s tough to do, so look to do it every day in practice. Then finish with the passing line at the top of the key. Have the guys go down and shoot a corner three. Spend 90 seconds at each spot. The goal is to hit 80 shots (adjust if necessary).
Tips: Try to teach your players to catch and shoot. When you don’t catch and shoot, you really stagnate your offense. Don’t hold onto the ball too long or stare things down. You shouldn’t always be trying to make a play with your dribble.
Richmond basketball has adapted this drill because of the physicality of the game. Sometimes initiating the contact down low almost gets you rewarded. The Spiders like to practice this because they have a lot of flare or drift screens in their offense and this creates a lot of opportunities to drive.
Get coaches down low to create contact for the guys. When forcing the contact, layups can be harder to make. Coaches, don’t be concerned about what hand players shoot the ball with. Coach Mooney has had players go their entire career without making an opposite hand layup, but they’ve made a heck of a lot of layups. But the key here is whether they can get the ball up to the rim and absorb a lot of contact and still make the shot.
Start off with a line of players up on the wing and beyond the three-point arc. Have the players drive against a coach down through the lane and then take it strong to the hoop for a two-foot layup against a low block defender. Look to protect the ball and go strong to the rim.
This is a five-man full-court layup drill that typically starts out in sets of four. It’s also one of Richmond’s favorite drills. You’re looking to get four layups total. It’s called “And Twos” because if there’s a missed layup or dropped ball, or any confusion, add two more layups to it. It’s not uncommon to get up to 12 or 14 layups.
Players must worry about who will get the rebound and who will get the outlet. So when running down the court, encourage your players to talk to each other. This drill is not scripted. The Spiders teach a lot of five-man basketball, so the emphasis is often on picking things up on the fly. There isn’t too much time for diagramming things. Rather, it’s about understanding how things work with four other guys on the floor.
Tips: There should be no dribbling in this drill. You should only focus on passes. Also, you don’t have to re-inbound the ball every time. Plus, the player who shoots the layup CANNOT get the rebound.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Chris Mooney: Team & Individual Drills for the Princeton Offense.” To check out more videos highlighting the Princeton Offense and other offensive sets, head over to our basketball library.
In this week’s edition of All Access, we take you back to Richmond, Virginia for a behind-the-scenes look inside a University of Richmond men’s basketball practice.
First, watch as head coach Chris Mooney sits down with his coaching staff for a pre-practice meeting. The coaches take turns emphasizing specific goals and strategies the team needs to work on. Finally, we’ll take you out to the basketball court as the Spiders run through baseline charges, the “4 around 1” motion offense, and several other offensive sets.
This all-access pass derives from the first few days of practice during the 2009-10 basketball campaign.
We start things off with a pre-practice coaches meeting as Coach Mooney and his staff talk about the daily practice plan. Discussions revolve around elbow defense, personnel for drills/sets/coaching points, Robert Parrish comparisons, two-foot finishes, and how to take hits on a drive (see below with “baseline charges”). The roundtable discussion also emphasizes a few other plays and specific areas that players need to work on in order to make them effective.
In “baseline charges”, players practice taking charges in the paint. First, a player will start out with possession as the charger and rams into a defender stationed out in the lane. After this, the offensive player quickly changes over to the defender and takes a charge. Players then rotate through. Notice how players yell out to emphasize the hit. Also, zero in on the quality footwork and stance needed to pull off the charge.
The “4 Around 1″ offense is a motion offense that uses four perimeter players and one post player. It’s an ideal system to use when your team has solid outside players and fewer post players. Meanwhile, it’s also designed to gain favorable matchups.
In this particular practice session, Richmond is coming down the court in their transition spots. On offense, the squad will run staggered screens away after the point guard passes to the wing. They can also look to make a swing pass via staggered screen on the opposite side. Then after either staggered screen move, it’s a “4 around 1″ pass and cut.
Coach Mooney also provides some detailed coaching instruction for the defensive players in the drill regarding how they should play the initial passes and staggered screens up top.
Tip: The top guys on defense should have their feet on the elbow and keep their chest facing the ball.
The previous clips can all be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Richmond Basketball Practice with Chris Mooney.” To check our entire collection of All Access videos, simply head over to our basketball library.