Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Tar Heels shell

Roy Williams

Start with a 4 on 4 shell, progress to 5 on 5 live, the attacking point guard starts in his backcourt and coach stands behind him to call the defence with hand signals. See the Tar Heels halfcourt pressure and scramble defences.


Allow perimeter passes, defenders get in position on each pass and call out what they are supposed to be (ball, deny, help).


After the ball is passed from 1 to 4 to 2 to 4 and back to 1, 1 dribble clears 3, X3 goes with him until 3 hits the lane then X3 opens up and sees what's going coming.

When denying, keep a hand in the passing lane, swivel your head if the cutter passes the midpoint of your body, look down the other arm, it's the same thing if he comes back out and passes the midpoint. Don't open up just because someone goes.

3 and X3 go off, 5 and X5 come on, other players rotate one position.


3 tries to get open, X3 denies for 3-4 seconds, 1 passes if 3 is open.

Allow a pass to 4, then give them nothing, play until a stop or score.

When 1 passes to 4 and screens for 3, X1 retreats in the direction of the pass then opens up when he sees 1 go away. X3 was denying 3, on the pass he sprints to the lane then reads the screen and takes the best path. If it's a good screen and 3 uses it well, X3 will go one man removed (shown), then has to bust his tail if 3 flares. If 3 doesn't use the screen well and leaves a lot of space, X3 will just go with him. (Williams used to say always go one man removed, but then the other team would hit and flare, now he doesn't tell them which path.)

Don't let 3 get the ball, make 4 put it on the floor. X2 denies 2 but will always help if he has to decide between deny and help. If you think a teammate needs help but aren't sure, just fake at him then you can still get back to your man.

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2007-18 Eric Johannsen