Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Lane close-outs

Bill Grier (Gonzaga)

4 on 4, coach passes to an attacker from under the basket, defenders close out from in the lane.

On close-outs, sprint half the distance, throw the hands back and butt down (get your shoulders below their shoulders with back straight and head up, eyes focus on mid-section), square them up with butt to the rim.


Four defenders start on the baseline, when coach passes to an attacker, the defenders close out into correct on-ball, deny and help positions. Coach passes to each attacker in turn, then attackers and defenders switch.

(Variation - the attacking team shoots and crashes the boards, defenders box out)

See Defending - Izzo close-outs.

Kevin O'Neill

3 on 3, defenders can't pick up the attacker directly in front of them, they must rotate and talk. One defender closes out, the others get into early help position. The attackers make 4 passes then play is live.

You can't play defence if you are facing the baseline, get your rear end to the baseline, use a constant head swivel, talk.

- a post attacker and two perimeter players (same side or opposite sides)
- two posts (high and low) and a perimeter player, defend the post however you like.

Do 4-man shell every day, cover dribble penetration, pass across and down screen, ballscreens. Pick out what your opponents do well and practice defending it. For dribble hand-off ballscreen, have one forward doing the screening for three perimeter players. Switch on all dribble hand-offs.

See Defending - 3 on 3 close-out, Dick Bennett 3 on 3 close-out, Jack Bennett 3 on 3 close-out, and Scrimmage - 4 on 4, 3 stops.

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2007-18 Eric Johannsen