By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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.
By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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 Mackleads 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.