Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Dribble-drive progression

A teaching progression for dribble-drive motion:
Spacing and gaps
Dribble penetration
- Rack & drag zones
- Skip pass
- Swing
- Kickback-swing
1) Spacing and gaps

5 rim runs then posts weakside (open post), 2 and 3 are in the dead corners, with a double gap between 1 and 2 and 4 and 3, a single gap between 1 and 4. Either 1 or 4 can cut to break the single gap, and see below for spacing on dribble penetration, passing, and post entry.
- ideally you want corners filled, post opposite the ball, and a man in motion
- 1 wants 4 to cut through, giving 1 the whole court up top, now he can make counter dribbles (secondary moves). 4 cuts to score, stops under the basket, reads where 1 goes, and comes out opposite. See Triple gaps below.
4 (or 2-3-4) rim runs if 5 gets a defensive rebound, 5 is the trailer or optionally also dives to the rim, see Fast break - Enfield 5 on 0.
Dave Smart - the Ravens dive the post matchup and the worst shooter.

2) Dribble penetration
a) Rack & drag zones

1 gets to the rim with his right hand, 5 cleans up, or relocates on a left-hand drive and 4 kicks back (rotates behind), a dribble-drive entry.
If 1 gets stopped deep, look for a kick-out to 2 (if X2 helps), a dish to 5 (if X5 helps), a skip pass to 3 (if X3 covers down on 5), or a pass to 4 filling behind (late fill). 2 can lift from the corner (kick up), e.g. if X2 could deflect a pass to the corner.
Walberg - we don't even look at 2 once 1 gets past the drop zone.
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.
Alex Baker (YouTube) - if a driver is stuck, 5 flashes high post as a safety valve.
See Dribble-drive basics (Lane penetration), Walberg lane, middle penetration, Calipari drive middle, right.up

b) Drop-zone kickup
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 (the first option), 1 replaces 2 in the corner.

2 is low and late, waiting for 1 to stop (or pick up the dribble).
A direct pass to the corner is an option, e.g. if X2 helps early (corner kick), 1 cuts weakside.
Matt Bollant - Quick - against teams that force baseline, 1 jump stops, passes to 2 and cuts through (weakside), 2 can drive baseline, or drive middle, crossover and go baseline
Mads Olesen - the kickup is among the last things he would teach.

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 Dribble-drive basics (Kickup), Walberg kickups, Calipari lift, Kentucky lift, Bollant kickup & quick, Oakland loop.up

c) Continuity
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.
Calipari - second drives - 4 can drive, hit 1 and go through (weakside), 1 attacks the basket. See Bollant Quick, also Offence - Hoiberg pitch series.
A kickback sets up kickup, skip, "swing", and "quick" pass options.

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.

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.up

d) 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 Dribble-drive basics (Backcut), 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.up

4) Post-ups
Swing-quick is another post-up, see below and Dribble-drive 5 on 0 (Post-ups). Also see Quick hitters - Dribble-drive Drop 5, Trail post., and Offences - Calipari, Oakland.up

a) 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. An early skip pass to the weakside corner is an option. 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.

Nate Oats - 3 lifts out of the corner when his man helps down on the big, 1 gets past the elbow.

Liam Flynn - 1 can pass to 3 in the weakside corner (then clear opposite), or 3 cuts out to the wing, 1 passes and cuts to the ballside corner (and can get a return pass).

3 can pass out to 4 and flatten unless 1 cuts to the corner.

See Breakdown drills (Skip pass), Layups - Drop and drag.up

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.
The weakside guard dives on a post entry, the weakside corner lifts.

1 can drive middle if there is no play, 4 fills behind, 3 kicks back.
Calipari - 2 will not come out of the corner until 1 gets to the middle.

See Dribble-drive 5 on 0 (Throwback), Calipari kickback, Breakdown drills (Kickup-throwback).up

5) Creating gaps

Cutting action creates a larger driving gap for the ballhandler. After passing, usually cut 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
A guard-to-guard pass ("swing") can be used to get cutting action and reverse the ball.
Swing is a direct entry, but can also be set up by a "quick" (wing-entry pass), dribble push, or kickback entry (and a kickback-swing can be used against switching defence).
b) Kickback-swing
In the flow of the offence, a kickback can be used to set up a swing pass option (or a "quick" pass, see Calipari - second drives).
Here 2 makes a kickback to 4.
For dribble-drive entries see Dribble-drive 5 on 0 (Entries), Quick hitters - Dribble-drive 243-143.up

4 makes a swing pass to 2 and corner cuts, creating a triple gap, 2 attacks it.

- 4 makes a basket cut, nail cut, or brush (rub, loop) cut.
- 2 backcuts and clears if denied, or on a pass-fake or dribble pull-back by 4.
Walberg - 4 basket cuts 85% of the time.
See Calipari corner cut, nail cut, Kentucky through cut, nail cut, also Bollant rub cut, Oakland through, Breakdown drills (Swing, Kickback-swing).
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.
For other ways to create a triple gap, see Quick hitters - X-cut (for 1), Pin-down (for 4), and Kentucky Quick set (for 3 or 2). For a super gap, see S-gap.up

c) 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, 5 relocates, 1 kicks back.
Option - 1 can backcut, see shooting drill 1-4 swing to 4-3 quick to 3-2 kickback.

If 3 has no play, 1 moves over for a pass on a two-count (or 3 dribbles out and swings the ball).
Swing-quick can be used as a post-up, see Dribble-drive basics (Swing-quick), Dribble-drive 5 on 0 (Swing-quick).up


2 could attack left on the swing pass, 4 starts to corner cut then reads it and pops back out top.
A skip pass to 1 is an option.
See Breakdown drills (Swing - 1-4 swing to 4-3 kickup to drop 2).up

6) Run some offence

Unscripted motion (drive and kick, pass and cut), e.g. make 4-5-6 passes, finish with a pass to 5, or any action (see Tactics - Matt Bollant dribble-drive, Dribble-drive continuity). Here is a summary of motion options.
- rack it
- on a drag-zone stop, run a kick-out to the corner, a kickup, dish to 5, skip pass, or hit the fill-behind
- on a drop-zone stop, run a backcut, corner kick, kickup, duck-in, or skip pass
- on a skip pass, shoot, attack, or make a post entry
- on a kickup, drive middle, or throw it back to the corner and cut through
- on a corner throwback, shoot, make a post entry, or drive middle
- on a kickback, attack downhill, swing the ball back to the passer to create a triple gap (and give the passer two looks), or make a ballside "quick" pass (see Calipari - second drives)
- on "kickback-quick" passing, attack baseline or middle, or pass out and flatten to the corner
- on a swing pass, attack the triple gap, or make a ballside "quick" pass to reverse the ball, or attack ballside
- on "swing-quick" passing, attack middle, make a post entry, or pass to the corner and cut.
- start with a dribble-drive entry (e.g. kickback, swing, quick, push), see Dribble-drive 5 on 0 (Entries), also Quick hitters - Dribble-drive 243-143
- 5 on 5 with dummy defence then live, see Scrimmage - Pasquali 4 on 4 stunt-recover.up

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2007-19 Eric Johannsen