I was watching a clip of a Duke basketball practice on YouTube earlier and like my previous post Coach K discusses the importance of communication with his players. As you’ll notice in all of the drills they do there is a great deal of communication between players. The other thing that stood out to me was how the practice flowed from drill to drill. This is from the All Access Duke basketball practice with Mike Krzyzewski.
All Access Duke Basketball Practice
Coach K talks about how his Duke basketball always communicate and how when they go to high school practices or AAU practices they rarely ever hear talking. Where I coach we really emphasize the importance on defense of communication for two purposes, one is to make sure we are all on the same page, but equally important is to confuse and frustrate the defense. Letting the ball handler know there’s “help left, help right” can make that ball handler think twice about trying to penetrate against your defense.
The other thing that I really liked in that short video clip was how Coach K will have his team go 3 man weave and bring it back like a regular transition break where they work on various aspects of their transition offense. The key is that the break is never the same and players must communicate to each other what they’re trying to do. I like this because even though there’s no defense it simulates game situations where you must adapt on the fly, whereas many drills are simply rote memorization which often times don’t translate in a game that involves dynamic situations.
Duke Basketball Quickhitter in Transition
Here is a nice transition play that Duke runs with several different options out of it. At higher levels of basketball you can also incorporate reads into this offense depending on how the defense is defend it. At lower levels I think you can run it as designed regardless of how the defense plays you.
Here you have a couple of different options off this quick hitter. When the play starts you can hit the 2 right away on a curl. If the curl isn’t there then he continues to the opposite wing coming off a screen from the 4. As this happens the 3 will be cutting as well to the opposite corner coming off a screen from the 5 man. Either player can receive a pass here.
Down – First Option
Here the 3 receives the pass. Once he receives the pass he should look inside quick to the 5 man. If he is being denied over the top then the 4 should be coming to the ball side high post. Hit the high post with the pass and he can enter into the 5 man for an easy layup.
Down – Second Option
If instead the pass is made to the 2 guard you can do a couple of things here. First is that there’s an empty post, so if it’s open the 2 guard can rip through and drive hard to the basket to try and score or dump off it help comes. If he does not drive to the basket, the 4 will be coming to run a pick and roll. Depending on your personnel you may wish to pick and pop or pick and roll (this is really up to you).
Duke Basketball – Adjusting to the defense
As you notice in the video, the Duke basketball team will adjust on this play if the defense starts to defend the down screen. If this happens where the defender ‘knows’ what’s going to happen and he cheats above the play, then Duke will run the same play just reversing roles/sides. So now the 3 guard essentially becomes the 2 and he cuts to the opposite wing off a screen at the high elbow and the 2 guard goes low and comes off a screen from the 4 on the low block. Now you end up in the same offense but on the opposite side of the court. This is an option I might put in at higher levels but leave out at lower levels as it may be too complex for them to understand.
These plays and drills are probably covered more in depth in the full video on the Duke Basketball All Access DVD’s but I thought I’d show a couple of things I got from some clips I found on YouTube.