Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Dribble-drive progression

A teaching progression for dribble-drive motion:

- Get a layup
- Basic motion
- Counters
- Post-ups
- Pass and cut
- Run some offence (unscripted motion, add entries).

Use Dribble-drive drills, see Offence - Dribble-drive basics, Fast break - Dribble-drive 5 on 0.

1) Get a layup

1 gets to the rim, 5 cleans up, or relocates on a left-hand drive and 4 kicks back.
Mads Olesen - 2 must stay in his corner on a deep drive to his side, will be open for a shot if X2 helps. 2 and 3 must be patient.
See Walberg lane, middle penetration, Calipari drive middle, right.

2) Basic motion
See Offence - Oakland dribble-drive.
1 stops in a drop zone if he can't get to the rim. Use a stride stop or jump stop.

2 kicks up (lifts) for a pass if X2 takes away a backdoor cut, 1 replaces 2 in the corner.

2 is low and late, waiting for 1 to stop (or pick up the dribble).

Vance Walberg - 1 jump stops, X2 opens up to take away a backdoor.

John Calipari - 1 uses a stride stop.

Kentucky - 2 sprints out if X2 is playing flat, be low and late.

Greg Kampe - 1 stops at the elbow, turns sideways, 2 is low and late until 1 picks up the dribble.
Option - use a dribble-at against good defence, e.g., backcut or dribble hand-off.
See Walberg kickups, Calipari lift, Kentucky lift, Bollant kickup, Oakland loop.

2 drives middle, 4 kicks back and 5 relocates, 2 passes to 4 (pitch, kickback), and replaces 4.

Matt Bollant - 4 kicks back and 5 relocates when 2 gets to the elbow. Any time you throw it to the 4-man you become the 4-man.

Kentucky - 4 meets 2 at the split line.

Kampe - 4 comes behind when 2 gets to the "conference logo" in the lane.

Calipari - as a general rule, replace whoever you pass it to.
See Kentucky pitch, Bollant kickback, Oakland pitch.

4 drives right, 5 relocates, run a 4-1 kickup.

Bollant - 4 brings the ball back from where he got it.

Kentucky - 4 has the ball, it's his game, he drives.

1 drives middle, 2 kicks back and 5 relocates, 3 kicks up for a pass, 1 replaces 3 in the corner.

3 kicks up when 2 gets to the lane line (Kentucky), or the middle (Calipari), or stops (Bollant, Olesen), or picks up the dribble (Kampe).

Continuation - 3-2 kickback or 3-4 kickup.

3) Counters


If 1 has no play after the kickup, 2 moves over for a pass on a two-count (and has a triple-gap to attack), or 1 could dribble out, swing the ball to 2 and cut (see below).

See Tactics - Dribble-drive quick-swing.

b) Backdoor (drop)

1 stops in the drop zone, 2 backcuts if overplayed (and keeps going),

- 5 flashes to the weakside elbow, or
- 5 ducks in and 3 drags up looking for a skip pass (shown), then 5 flashes high if there is no play.

Optionally 4 comes off 1 looking for a hand-off.

See Oakland drop, drop-5, Kentucky backcut
, Bollant black action, Walberg drop zone.

Olesen - 5 takes one step up the lane as 1 stops in the drop zone, then steps hard high if 2 doesn't get it. If 1 can't hit 2 or 5, have 4 run outside around 1, a kickdown cut.
Calipari - any time 1 stops in the drop box and looks at him, 5 ducks in, or comes up to the weakside elbow.

See Layups - Drop and drag, Shooting - Dribble-drive.up

4) Post-ups

See Calipari, Oakland, Fast break - Dribble-drive 5 on 0.

b) Skip pass

Any skip pass is an automatic post-up, and look for a 3-point shot. A skip pass can be a call or a read. See Backdoor for counters if a skip pass is not there.

See Oakland skip & loop-pitch-red, Bollant entry b, Calipari skip pass.

Kentucky - 3 comes out when the ball is driven away from him, looking for a skip pass. 1 stops in the drop zone if he can't get to the rim, lob to 5, or skip to 3.

Olesen - 3 drags up as 1 penetrates, then cuts back to the corner once 1 stops,

Walberg - 3 drags up once 1 gets past the drop zone.
Del Harris - on 1's right-hand drive, 3 moves up a step or two out of the corner, creating an easy passing lane.

See Shooting - Dribble-drive 3 on 0 (1-3-5 series), Layups - Drop and drag.

b) Kickup-throwback

1 drives drop 2, 2 kicks up for a pass.

Instead of attacking middle, 2 makes a throwback to 1 in the corner and cuts weakside, 5 comes under to post, also look for a 3-point shot by 1.

2's cut creates space for 1 to dribble out, see Passing and cutting, below.

1 can drive middle if there is no play, 4 fills behind, 3 kicks back.

See Calipari kickback, Shooting - Dribble-drive 4 on 0.up

5) Pass and cut

Pass and cut to create a larger driving gap for the ballhandler, usually to the other side of the floor.

Calipari - when the ball moves on the perimeter, we're not shooting a 3, we're driving the ball.

A swing pass can be used after a kickback to reverse the ball and/or get cutting action.

See Shooting - Dribble-drive 4 on 0, Tactics - Dribble-drive quick-swing.

a) Triple gap

4 passes to 2 and makes a corner cut, creating a triple gap, 2 attacks it.

Variations - 4 makes a basket cut, nail cut, or brush (rub, loop) cut.
See Calipari corner cut, nail cut, Kentucky through cut, nail cut, also Bollant rub cut, Oakland through.
Option - 1 elevates for a pass (quick), 4 cuts through, see Calipari second drives.
Olesen - it's a general rule that when you pass the ball on the perimeter, cut to the basket and out the other side of penetration. Against switching defence, pass and cut through to either corner.
Walberg - if you can't beat your guy, pass-cut if you have a single or double gap, stop in the drop zone with a triple gap. To create a triple gap for 3, see Kentucky wave through.

b) Swing-quick

2 can finish the swing, making a "quick" pass to 3 and cutting weakside. 3 blast cuts on eye contact or 2 calls his name. The swing-quick combination gives full ball reversal.

Option - 2 cross-screens for 5 then clears.

3 has a seam to attack middle, 1 kicks back, 5 relocates.

If 3 has no play, 1 moves over for a pass on a two-count (or 3 dribbles out and swings the ball).


2 could attack left on the swing pass, 4 starts to corner cut then reads it and pops back out top.up

6) Run some offence

Unscripted motion, e.g.

- finish with a pass to 5, or any action after making 3-4-5 passes
- on a drop-zone stop, run a kickup, backcut, skip pass, or duck-in
- on a kickup, drive middle into a kickback or another drop-zone stop, or throw it to the corner and cut through
- on a corner throwback, shoot, make a post entry, or drive middle into a kickback
- on a kickback, drive the drop zone or use a swing pass to reverse the ball and/or get cutting action
- on a swing pass, attack the weakside drop zone, make a ballside "quick" pass, or attack ballside
- on a "quick" pass, attack middle into a kickback.
Progression - start with a dribble-drive entry (e.g. kickback, swing, quick), see Fast break - Dribble-drive 5 on 0.
See Tactics - Matt Bollant dribble-drive, also Shooting - Dribble-drive 4 on 0.up

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2007-19 Eric Johannsen