I just finished watching the UConn women play against Baylor. Unintentionally, our basic offense is similar to UConn’s. We look for pick-and-rolls a little more, and dribble hand-offs a little less, and we try to go to the low block a little more, but it is probably the closest example that I have seen this year thus far. I found this nugget, and I like his cue about the half-court circle. I plan to use that this week. The primary reason that I went to a two-guard front is to eliminate over-dribbling at the top. So far, that bogs down our offense, so this cue may help to get the ball moving more quickly.
We have two practices and one game this week. We will spend some time preparing for the opponent since we have played them already. Nothing too extensive, but we have to learn how to defend out-of-bounds plays and post pin-downs. Hopefully the pin-down work transfers to the offensive end, as we try to do something similar on offense. We have done some work on the specific post footwork, but more practice will help.
At the end of last week, we simplified our offensive set in an effort to improve our spacing. It worked a little when we practiced over the weekend against some of the sophomores. Hopefully in two more practices we can get some more consistency, timing, and rhythm. We haven’t had a full practice in a week due to my finals, the football banquet, illness, and vacation.
Otherwise, we are going to stay back to basics. If we have the full gym, we will spend a lot of time on shooting. If we only have half of the gym, we will do more penetrate-and-kick shooting drills. Our penetration is usually adequate, but it is the pass out of the penetration that falls short. I added defense to the penetrate-and-kick drills to practice the pick up of the dribble and pass out against a defender. It also has helped with our movement in relation to the dribble and reading where to cut. There is also a close out to the shooter, as my assistant thought that the players were unaccustomed to shooting with a defender nearby.
By Brian McCormick
Author, Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League