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At Nathan Hale, we set a goal each season to convert on 40 percent of scoring opportunities out of our primary and secondary fast breaks...
Big Man / Little Man At Nathan Hale, we set a goal each season to convert on 40 percent of scoring opportunities out of our primary and secondary fast breaks. To reach this goal, two to three times a week we run our players through a series of scoring sequences that they might face in a game in a drill that we call “Big Man / Little Man.” This drill simulates scoring opportunities that typically produce high-percentage shots for us, as well as allowing us the opportunity to practice basic fundamentals such as footwork, passing, pivoting, shooting, and dribbling, all completed while working at game speed. This drill also serves as a great conditioner, one which the players tend to enjoy because it allows them to work with a basketball rather than running sprints. In addition to scoring opportunities from our fastbreak, we also practice several of the entries that we use for our motion offense. In all, we feel that this drill does an excellent job of preparing our players to score against any defense that they might encounter in a transition situation. Basic Set-Up: This is a full court drill. We start with one player at the free-throw line on the left side of the court with half of his teammates lined up behind him. Then we put the other half of the team on the sideline at the outlet area. We usually start with the posts or bigger players under the basket with the perimeter players on the sideline. (Diagram 1) What we teach – the basics: The Rebounder: Rebounders are taught to take the ball at the highest point in front of their heads. As they come down, they are to look over their outside shoulder while making a quarter turn. The ball should then be thrown to the outlet man with a two hand overhead pass. (In a game, if the outlet is not readily available, rebounders are taught to chin the ball with the elbows out while pivoting). The Outlet: Players wait with their backs square to the sideline. To receive the outlet, they take a step away from the rebounder and then come back on a direct line to receive the ball. The player receiving the outlet pass must land with a two foot stop, rip the ball through, get vision of the basket, and then push the basketball out with the dribble. (Diagram 2) The Drill: The rebounder tosses the ball off the backboard, grabs it at its highest point, and then outlets the ball before running the wing position to the other end of the court. While he runs the wing, his partner pushes the ball to the center of the court as 1 quickly as possible, looking to give the ball back to the rebounder before the rebounder is inside of the three-point line. (Diagram 3) Once the rebounder receives the pass, he executes one of the finishing moves that will be discussed shortly. After scoring the basket, the players then exchange positions, with the perimeter player inbounding the ball (making sure to be clear of the backboard) while the post runs the point to the other end of the court. (Diagram 4) Note that each time a player comes to a stop, he must use a two foot jump-stop. It is also important for the player who runs the wing to stay wide on his route when he crosses half court. As he crosses half court, he should touch the sideline and look back at the point guard for the pass, making sure to maintain a good angle to the rim. The following are some of the sequences that we use: a) Outlet to a lay-up (break away): On receiving the outlet, the wing drives in a straight line to the basket in as few dribbles as possible. An emphasis is placed on pushing the ball out hard and finishing at the rim. The trailer follows to tip in any missed shots before moving to the outlet position. The wing then takes the ball out and the sequence repeats with the players having exchanged positions. b) Two and Up: Once receiving the outlet pass, the wing player pushes the ball to the middle of the court as hard as possible as the post player runs a lane along the sideline. After two dribbles, the point gives the ball up to the player running the sideline, who finishes with a lay-up. Another variation would be to finish with a short bank shot. c) Slide Along the Three and Attack: On receiving possession of the ball from the point guard, the post maintains his dribble while sliding along the three-point line towards the sideline. After two or three side steps, he then explodes out of his slide and attacks the basket, finishing the move with a lay-up. (Diagram 5) d) Attack the elbow (drive, jumper, and cross court): Once receiving the ball on the wing, the post player makes a two footed jump-stop, swings the ball through and aggressively drives at the near-side elbow. The player can finish at the rim with a short hook, he can pull up for an elbow jumper, or he can pass cross-court to the point guard who has relocated for a jump shot. (After delivering the ball, the point guard step in and cuts away like he is using a flare screen. Both of his hands are up and his feet are set to so that he is ready to shoot after catching the ball). (Diagram 6) e) Back to point: After the ball handler completes the pass to the player on the wing, he steps away from the ball before flashing back to the area that he has just vacated. Ideally, we are looking for him to be able to shoot a jumper from the elbow. f) Shallow: This is one of the entries that we use in our motion offense. The point guard initiates the entry by calling “Shallow” and dribbling at the 2 wing. The wing then makes a shallow cut to the top of the key, looking to fill the spot from which the point guard originated. After the wing has cleared, the point guard will to attack the rim or for an open jump shot. (Diagram 7) g) Screen and roll: The wing moves to the top of the key, giving our signal (an upraised, closed fist) to indicate that he is setting a screen. When setting the screen, he places one foot inside the three-point line and the other outside of the line, making sure that he is facing the point guard. The point then fakes away from the screen before explosively reversing directions, driving hard off the outside shoulder of the wing. The wing finishes the sequence by either rolling to the basket for a lay-up, or by spotting up for the jump shot. h) European: This is another of our offensive entries. The point guard dribbles to the inside of the wing as the wing comes over the top to take the hand-off. After receiving the ball, the wing looks for the jump shot or for a curl to the basket. (Diagram 8) i) Hit the trailer (sideline break): After receiving the outlet pass, the point guard drives down the sideline to the corner. The rebounder becomes the trailer and looks to receive a return pass as he runs down the middle for a lay-up. The rebounder needs to concentrate on timing his cut so that he is just outside the three-point line when the point guard stops in the corner (Diagram 9). Another option is to have the trailer shoot the three rather than make the cut. j) Shot fake and drive: After catching the pass from the point guard, the wing player gives a shot fake against a defender who is closing out and then attacks the basket for a lay-up. This sequence needs a coach or manager at each end of the court. It is important for the offensive player to read the defender’s footwork on the closeout and then attack accordingly. For example, if the defender is closing out to the high side of the offense, then the offensive player needs to attack the basket to the baseline side. (Diagram 10) Conclusion: While the sequences presented are the ones that we have our players run the majority of the time, we do frequently find ourselves creating new sequences from scratch to deal with situations that we see in a game or while viewing film. For example, if we feel an upcoming opponent is susceptible to getting beat by backcuts or the give-and-go, we will practice and discuss those sequences while going through our game preparation. We have also discovered that this is a drill that our players truly enjoy running, understanding that the work that they put into the drill shows in games as we strive to reach our goal of 40 percent conversion from the fastbreak. 3 Diagram 1 Diagram 3 Diagram 2 Diagram 4 4 Diagram 5 Diagram 7 Diagram 8 Diagram 6 5 was the Western Division Coach of the Year in 1996. I have been at Nathan Hale for eight seasons. We have made the league play-offs in three different seasons. I currently also serve as an Assistant Principal at Hale. Derek Fulwiler, Assistant Coach: Derek is a 1999 graduate of Nathan Hale where he was a three year letter winner in Basketball. He became an assistant varsity coach the following season. He became the Head Junior Varsity coach during the 2000 season. He graduated from the University of Washington in January of 2004 with a double major in Business and Communications. Diagram 9 Diagram 10 Ron Newton, Head Coach: I graduated from Concordia University in 1969. I played basketball and baseball in college. During my coaching career, I have coached everything from junior high basketball to Men’s Pro-Am. For ten seasons, from 1983 to 1993, I was an Assistant Coach at Seattle University where I also earned my Master in Curriculum and Instruction. From 1993 to 1996, I was the Head Men’s Coach at Pierce College, where I 6
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