Saturday, April 28, 2012

Blowing Up the Sideline Pick and Roll

Tony Barone of the Memphis Grizzlies spoke about Pick and Roll defense at the Nike Clinic in Wisconsin Dells. The thing that stuck out the most for me was how he defended the side pick and roll - when the ball is one the wing and driven middle. Below is the explanation of how he did it:

When the pick is being set, the player guarding the screener drops to the ballside block. The player defending the dribbler gets above the screen and forces the ball to the baseline.

Look at what that does to the pick and roll! Dropping the screener's defender to the block eliminates the slip and the roll. With the ball being forced that way the ball has to be driven into the help with the screener's defender already waiting. The ONLY thing you would give up is a screener pop to the middle - but even then the other help should be there. Even a pick and pop to the corner would be defendable with the screener's defender seeing the pop and closing out.

This is definitely a strategy that I will use next year when defending the pick and roll!

Key to Offense - Getting to the Elbow

I was lucky enough to attend the Nike Basketball Clinic in Wisconsin Dells. Outside of having to go to Wisconsin, it was a great clinic with plenty of outstanding speakers. Even though I would rather listen to small college and high school coaches, these guys were really good. I got to hear some great coaches with some outstanding ideas that we can use at our level.

The biggest thing I picked up was how many coaches emphasized getting the ball to the elbow. Every speaker who talked offense made it a priority. We had coaches who talked about Dribble Drive, pick and roll, even the Princeton Offense, and every single one put an emphasis on getting the ball to that elbow. This emphasis dovetails with what I learned this year using our 4 out motion offense - we had a lot of success when we got the ball there with the post and drive. It will continue to be an emphasis of ours next year as well.

With the dribble drive and the pick and roll, the drive was used to attack the elbow. In the Princeton offense, the post flashing high on the entry was the way to get the ball there. Even Coach Knight, who talked off ball screening, talked about getting the ball to the elbow. It seems to be a priority wherever you looked.

How do you use the high post in your offense? Do you use it enough?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Book Review: Season of Life

On a recommendation from Coach Rathmann of Blake High School I picked up Season of Life this weekend. I am only halfway through the read, but I wanted to put it on here as soon as I could The book, written by Jeffrey Mark, follows a season with Reverend Joe Ehrmann (former Baltimore Colts linebacker) and the high school football team that he is an assistant coach for.

The book isn't about Xs and Os, it's about how to, and the importance of, building strong young men. Young men who will go on to be successful fathers, husbands, workers, and friends. The book discusses in part how the coaches at Gilman High School in Maryland.

The biggest thing this book does for me is to reaffirm my belief that the job of the coach is to build people, not just teams. Help players to move on to be successful after the ball stops bouncing. As coaches if we are not building good people we are failing miserably, no matter how many games we win. It's also something that I am going to be going over this summer and trying to understand how I can be better in this area of coaching.