Friday, August 10, 2012


"Bunch" is a side out of bounds play that you can use when the opponent is trying to deny you from catching the inbounds pass. Bunch gives us a couple of safe entry passes as well as a chance to get a layup off the inbounds pass.

*4 will take the ball out of bounds
*1 and 5 are standing about six feet in front of 4, and they need to leave a two foot space between them.
*2 and 3 stand behind 1 and 5 leaving the same two foot space between them, as well as a two foot space between themself and the person in front of them.

 Executing The Play
The play begins with 1 setting a screen for 2. 2 will cut hard toward the sideline looking for the pass.
While 1 is setting the screen for 2, 5 will step out and turn so they can set a screen for 1. After setting the screen for 2, 1 will use 5's screen and cut hard looking for the pass. After 5 sets the screen for 1 they will immediately cut towards the basket (using a screen by 3).  After setting the screen for 5, 3 will pivot to face 4. If the ball has yet to be passed in they will cut to an open area to receive a pass from 4.

Options for 4:
Look for 2
Look for 1
Look for 5
Look for 3

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Players need to have an understanding of what your team is attempting to do for your team to be successful.  That statement isn't going to enlighten any coaches reading it, but I want you to really think about what YOU are doing to help your players understand what you want your teams to do.

Do your players understand the X's and O's?  Do they understand shot selection?  Do they understand how you want them to defend ball screens?  Do they understand your philosophy on clock management?   Do they understand what you want them to do in transition defense?  These are just a few questions to consider as the list of questions could be much longer.  The fact of the matter is:  The better your team understands, the better chance you have of success.

One activity coaches can have their players do to show an understanding of what is expected is to have your players teach your players.  Here is a format you can use to do this:

1. Each player has a notebook. This notebook is theirs for the season.  Players use the notebook to take notes during meetings, diagram X-O material the coach goes over on the whiteboard, inspirational quotes, reminders of important team information, or to even write down their own ideas. Players should have their notebook in hand for every team meeting.

2. Partner up your players.

3. Tell your players you want them to diagram a particular offensive set to each other.  One player goes at a time.  One player will draw out the offensive set and all the options out of it in the notebook while their partner listens and watches.  When they are finished then their partner repeats the same.

4. The coach should walk around the meeting room listening and watching for things the players are saying and doing.  After the activity is completed the coach needs to share with the team some of the important and/or interesting things they heard or saw as they walked around the meeting room during the activity.

5. To complete the activity have one player draw out the offensive set on the whiteboard in front of the team.

What this activity does is it gets your players to think about what everyone is doing on the court, not just their own job.  It is getting them to think the game and show how much they understand what the coach is teaching.  It also gives the coach a chance to see how well their players actually do understand.  The coach may learn that their team understands the concept very well. Or they may see that they need to focus more time on it because the understanding isn't at a high enough level.

As stated earlier in this article, you can do this many different topics relating to your team. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Blockout technique and effort can be drilled into your team without shooting the ball in Protect the Prize Blockout.  The ball is the prize and the defense wants to prevent the offense from getting to that prize.  This drill can be very effective in promoting physical play, with players flying around everywhere,  while working on the technique of blocking out.

*Blockout technique

*Four offensive players line up around the three point line. One defensive player will be assigned to each of the offensive players.
*Defensive players start by facing the offensive players (their back to the coach).
*Coach stands underneath the basket holding a basketball in front of them.

*When the coach slaps the ball, the drill begins.
*The goal of the offense is to do what they have to do to touch the ball the coach is holding.
*The goal of the defense is to prevent the offense from touching the ball.
*Defense must make contact, turn and blockout the offensive player.
*The drill goes for five seconds.
*Offense and defense switch.

*Keep score. Give 1 point to the offense if someone touches the ball within five seconds. Give 2 points to the defense if they prevent the offense from touching the ball. First team to 10 wins.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

COACHES SHARE RESPONSES: Would you foul in this late game situation?

Thank you to all the coaches that sent in a response to this week's COACHES SHARE.  

Situation:  Your team is ahead by 3 points. 8 seconds left in the game.  There is a timeout.  Your team is on defense, and the offense has to go the length of the court.  Both teams are in the bonus. 

QUESTION:  Do you have your team to foul and not give them a chance to tie the game with a three point basket? 

"I have been in this situation a handful of times during my coaching career and I have instructed our teams not to foul.  Only been burned on it once out of maybe ten times."
~Coach S.N. (NY)

"This is my 37th year as a head coach. I have never felt it best to give opponent an easy opportunity to score! I would not intentionally foul. Defend the 3 point line hard!!! Make your opponent execute!!!"
~Coach M.W.

 "My philosophy has flip-flopped over the years about what to have my team do in a situation like this.  Right now I am in the "foul before they shoot" camp.  I'll be interested in reading the responses of the other coaches.  Thanks for posting this question!"
~Coach T (MN)

"Makes no sense to me that you would want to 1. stop the clock, and 2. put the other team in a position to get free points.  Make them earn every point they get.  They still have to get a shot.  They still have to make the shot.  And give your own players some credit by being able to defend."
~Coach T.L. 

"Yes, foul!  Don't give the opposing team a chance to tie the game.  Make sure to foul before they attempt the shot."
~Coach C (WV)

"Foul the opponent.  I learned this the hard way last season.  We were up three late in the game and during the timeout our players were instructed to switch all screens to have a better chance to get out on the shooters. Well, we got lost on a staggered screen and left a shooter wide open.  He made a three.  We lose by five on overtime. Next time, we foul and put them on the line."
~Coach B