Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Huggins sprint to help

Bob Huggins

X2 and X3 are denying direct passes to 2 and 3 (on a backcut, snap your head). Make them throw over, under or around you, never through you. Try to steal all bounce and lob passes.

On a lob or bounce pass to 2, X3 turns and sprints to a closed help position on the midline directly between 2 and 3 (don't slide). He is in a closed stance, ready to contest a flash to the middle by 3 (push him out top, preferably ballside). X2 closes out with high hands, forcing baseline without allowing a drive to the basket. Both defenders jump to the ball.

Continue with a pass back to coach, pass to 3, etc.

Tubby Smith - Defenders initially overplay, then let the ball be entered. On a close-out, trace the ball (ball-up, ball down), take a step back when the ball goes down. Attackers can drive baseline or middle, kick.
See Defending - 2 on 2 shell.


a) Backcuts

Attackers backcut when coach pass fakes. To defend, snap your head and throw the leg towards the basket, don't turn and chase.

b) Backscreens

Add two players at the blocks, who backscreen on the backcuts. The defender should snap his head, find and meet the screen (arm out, hand into the screener's chest), then step through inside (ballside).

c) Downscreens

The screener backscreens then downscreens (re-screens). Defenders can't chase cutters, they will curl. Gap instead (third man), then chase over or under the screen if the cutter fades.


Add a defender on coach for 3 on 3. X1 denies a return pass. In a game situation when coach has the ball, X1 would force him out of the fullcourt "chute" that is the width of the elbows.

e) 5 on 5

All defenders are on the line, up the line (no flat triangles). There is help if you get beat backdoor.

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2007-18 Eric Johannsen