Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Circle the wagons

Kyle Gilreath
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Five attackers are spaced around the perimeter, their defenders start in the lane.


All attackers have a ball, defenders foot-fire on a whistle, close out on an another whistle, progressions

- as the ball moves around, trace it
- jab step, adjust stance
- shot fake, yell "shot", turn and box out
- one dribble left or right
- all together.

Close out with squeaky feet, high hand(s), butt down, chest out, usually about arm's-length away, or heels on the 3-point line if your man is behind the arc.

See Defending - Villanova stance, 1 on 1 wing.


Only coach has a ball, defenders slide around the lane, pointing to and calling the name of each new check, circle once or twice.

See Rebounding - Florida circle the wagons.

Coach passes to any attacker, defenders get into proper defensive positions (here X4 closes out on the ball), attackers then pass the ball around, holding it for at least 3 seconds to allow the defence to rotate properly (a shell drill).

Rotate offence and defence then go live, a 20-second shot clock is recommended, the defence has to get 5 stops in a row to switch to offence (and they start over if you are not satisfied with their effort), losers run.
Al Tuchscherer - start with 3 on 3 circle, coaches passes from under the basket, pass for 10 seconds then live (with a 24-second shot clock). Progression - 4 on 4 circle, on "switch" defence goes to offence, offence must get into the paint and can't guard who was guarding them (see Scrimmage - Bennett 4 on 4 switch).

Also do a 3-on-2 shell drill, coach has a ball, defenders start in a tandem, foot-fire when coach makes a hard dribble or blows a whistle, coach passes to any attacker (the bottom defender takes a pass to a wing), the offence passes every 3 seconds (no dribbling or cuts).

Progress to a 4-on-3 scramble, defenders start in a triangle, after passing the ball around, attackers take 2-3 dribbles, defenders help and recover.

See Defending - Pistons 4 on 3, also Defence - Triangle and 2.

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2007-23 Eric Johannsen