Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills


Jack Bennett

Defensive goals are ball pressure, contest all shots, keep the ball out of the paint (don't have to steer it), don't give up second opportunities, don't foul unnecessarily. There aren't as many steals. The same philosophy leads to zone defence.

All defenders must see ball-man, vision equals quickness. The on-ball defender must be able to contain the dribbler for 2-3 dribbles (absorb). Gap defenders are already in position to help so there are quicker close-outs on shooters (just recover). With a steering-extending defence, you have to help (sink and fill) then recover, and are late on the shooter.

Post defenders do not front, they 3/4 to contest. If a low post attacker steps out on a pass to the corner, his defender will go behind to 3/4 from the baseline side (don't fight). You may have to front for a two-count if he backs you down into the lane. (Tubby Smith - back him up with your butt as you step across; go behind if you can't go over.)

When the ball is on the wing, don't force outside, baseline penetration is vulnerable to weakside rebounding since you have to sink and fill so much, and attackers are so quick they will break you down with one dribble. Instead, bring the ballhandler back to the middle, a teammate is in the gap, and weakside defenders don't have to help as much, so they have one foot in the lane (flat triangle), and are a little quicker on a skip pass.

Screen defence is about early help and recovery. On a ballscreen, the xscreener has to show early to force the dribbler wide (but keep contact with the roll man), xdribbler can go over the screen or under (if far out or on a non-shooter). On a backscreen, xscreener must step out and help (show) then recover to his man (early help, early recovery). He can't let a single screen become a double screen by getting in the way. If you switch much, it takes away your match-ups.
Dick Bennett - must really work on defending screens, by allowing the next pass, they will try to pin you in with screens (although they donít seem to set a lot of screens any more). When you are being screened, chase your guy, the curl is not as dangerous against pack. If you are guarding the screener you are a one-man zone, open up and guard the basket, get between the ball and the rim.

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