Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Denial counters

Pressure defence gets in the passing lanes, trying to get teams out of the their offence. Here are denial counters that can be used with many offences, e.g. Swing, Flex.

Brad Brownell - it is probably a good idea to have a pressure release both off the pass and dribble entry.

Allison McNeill - a team that denies entry passes is susceptible to backcuts and backscreens.

See Offences - Flex variations Tubby Smith, Dematha flex, Barker triangle, 4-out 1-in motion. For pressure-release entries, see Offences - Maryland flex, Bill Self high/low motion, Seth Greenberg slice, Huggins open post.

Dave Smart - if the defence is denying everywhere, your ballhandler should be the guy with a match-up.

Dennis Felton - if the defence denies the perimeter, get the ball inside to 5, or put it on the floor and get to the rim.

Roy Williams - if 5 works his butt off the defence won't pressure on the perimeter because he will kill them inside.

See Fast breaks - North Carolina, Spurs 2007.

1) Guard-to-guard denial (ball reversal)

a) Backdoor cut

4 automatically backcuts if overplayed, 3 replaces (and will also backcut if denied).

If X3 helps on 4's backcut, 3 will be open on the fill cut.

Glenn Wilkes - 1 fakes a pass to 4 then feeds him cutting backdoor. This is the number one pressure release in running flex. Guard-to-guard denial should receive daily practice.

b) Wave-out

1 dribbles at X4, 4 backcuts, 5 replaces 1.

Tubby Smith - if 4 is overplayed he cuts backdoor to the rim, 3 fills, 4 replaces 3. 3 also backcuts if overplayed, on the second time 1 dribbles over, 5 fills behind into flex.

Wilkes - 1 looks to pass to 4 on a backdoor cut, or can dribble over, then 4 loops back to replace 1 (see Shallow cut below), or one of the other players rotates. 1 could dribble toward 2 for a hand-off, then 2 dribble over to the other side.

c) Shallow cut

1 uses a dribble-at, 4 shallow cuts to exchange positions.

See Quick hitters - Duke actions (Circle).

d) Trail pindown

4 screens down for 3.

Tom Davis - screen down any time you are overplayed.

Roy Williams - if 4 is denied, on his own he screens for 3 (a read, not a call).

e) Ballscreen

4 ballscreens for 1, who can call for the screen, e.g. put his fist up, point to the floor, or reverse dribble.

f) Flarescreen

Mike Jones - 4 can backcut, pindown or ballscreen, or 3 flarescreens for 4 then pops out, 4 may be open for a skip pass over the top. An effective backscreen is one of the best ways to get open.

See Offence - Dematha flex.

2) Wing denial

a) Backscreen from the post

2 is overplayed, 5 backscreens and pops (or 2 downscreens for 5).

To keep 5 inside, have him backscreen then downscreen (Mark Few), or 2 cuts to the rim then gets back out using a pin screen from 5 (Jay Wright).

See Offences - Gonzaga 4-out 1-in, Villanova 4-out 1-in (Pin).

b) Pindown

2 pins down for 5, exchanging positions.

Option (shown) - 5 tight curls the screen (staying inside), 2 pops back out to the wing.

c) Dribble entry

1 dribbles at X2, 5 lifts, 2 backcuts and posts up, look for a pass on the backcut.

Wilkes - 5 cuts high, 1 passes to 2 for a layup.

Dribble down (Spots offence) - 5 replaces 1, 2 replaces 5, optionally 4 dives and 3 fills (interchange).

If 2 and 5 are denied, 2 backscreens for 5.

1 keeps his dribble alive and looks to attack the basket on the upscreen.

Wilkes - 5 downscreens for 2 after a two-count. On a pass to 2, look for 5 moving off the screen to the basket.

See Horns zipper.

d) Shallow cut

1 uses a dribble-at, 2 shallow cuts to replace 1.

If 2 is in the corner, zipper cut using 5.

Speedy Morris - dribble loop counter - 1 dribbles to the wing, from the corner 3 loops 5 and replaces 1.

See Quick hitters - Duke actions (Shallow cut).

e) Backdoor

5 flashes high for a pass, 2 backcuts, 1 replaces 2.

Wilkes - 1 passes to 5 who passes to 2 cutting to the basket.

Davis - flash 5 to the high post for a pass, 2 cuts backdoor.

David Preheim - 1 dribbles toward the wing to create a good passing angle, 2 steps up then backcuts on a pass to 5.

f) Ballscreen

Mike Jones - 5 backscreens for 2, 2 pins down for 5, or 2 ballscreens to get the ball to the wing.

See Offence - Dematha flex.

3) Wing-to-guard denial

a) Backdoor cut

5 automatically backcuts when overplayed, 4 replaces.

Option - 1 exit cuts to the short corner, creating space.

b) Backdoor loop

2 drives at 5, who backcuts then loops around 1 to replace 2.

Morris - 2 runs the dribble loop counter.

See Quick hitters - Cavs pistol series.

Dribble up (Spots offence) - 1 replaces 2, 5 replaces 1.

c) Dribble up

2 drives, 1 replaces 2, 5 replaces 1.
See Quick hitters - Clear sets (Black).

d) Screen away

5 screens for 4, exchanging positions.

Dennis Felton - the high post screens away any time he is denied.

See Offence - Georgia 4-out 1-in.

e) Ballscreen

5 picks and rolls, 1 backscreens for 5 (shown) or fills behind the ballscreen, replacing as 5 rolls.

Variation - 5 picks and pops (replacing 2), 1 stays in the low post. up

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2007-13 Eric Johannsen