Recently I have been reading a lot of clinic notes that I have found online. Often times you find a lot of the familiar coaches like Shaka Smart, Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo, Coach K, etc… so it’s nice to once in awhile find some notes from some unfamiliar faces. The South Dakota basketball coaches association clinic notes that I found are just that, several relatively unknown coaches sharing an incredible amount of information. In fact, this document is over 100+ pages of knowledge that covers just about every topic you could wish for. Topics include transition offense, transition drills, competitive team drills, post play and post drills, ball screen offense and ball screen defense which includes sets and continuity offenses, several man quick hitters, and even some information on the ‘politics’ of coaching. All in all this might be one of the best sets of clinic notes I have come across in terms of the amount of topics that are covered and the depth in which they are covered.
One topic I haven’t spent a lot of time covering is transition offense, so I would like to pull some of the information from the clinic notes to specifically discuss this topic (Note: The entire set of clinic notes can be found at the end). The transition notes here come from Scott Duncan, an assistant men’s coach at Wyoming who also coached at UCLA among others.
The image below outlines the basic transition offense which is likely familiar to many. They use the 4 to take the ball out which allows your 5 to run the floor and get into the post. One of the things Coach Duncan mentions that I like is that the 2 and 3 shouldn’t look for the ball until they pass half court. As a kid one of the things that was ingrained in me was to always see the ball, and in fact if you didn’t see the ball especially in transition you could expect a ball coming for the back of your head. The idea of not looking for the ball until past half court makes sense though. I always preach to my players that basketball is a game of split seconds, that one split second could make the difference between stopping a guy and getting a foul, or in this case getting a step on your man or being covered. And the reality is that your PG is the only guy that should be getting the ball before half court anyway.
Off of this transition break there are a few different options that are available to the offense. The first guy to look for is the 2 (ball side guard). If this pass is made the 2 has a few different options. The first thing he should look for is the 5 sprinting the floor hard to the basket. If this isn’t there, the 2 can look to make a play on his own, whether that is an open shot in transition, or a drive to the basket. Alternatively, the 2 can look to get the ball back to the 1 behind the play, which, while it seems counter intuitive to pass it backwards on the transition, the reality is that a good break should force the defense back on it’s heels allowing the 1 to get an open look, or get the ball with the defense sprinting to close out which opens up some shot fakes and drives to the basket. The third option off this break is for the 1 to look for the 3 who would have the same options that the 2 guard had once he received the ball. This pass is a bit more dangerous however and should be practiced with caution and might depend upon skill level.
‘Open’ Quick Hitter out of Transition
Out of this transition offense there are also multiple sets you can incorporate. I will share one, although if you browse the full clinic notes you will find several others designed for this specific transition offense. This set play ‘Open’ has multiple options and can be tailored to your teams skill level. For younger levels you can probably eliminate reads and make the initial cut for the 3 man an automatic flex cut for example. For higher levels you can allow this cut to be a read as it is shown below. The beauty of this play is that while ‘simple’ it has multiple options for how teams defend. If you have a smart 3 man he can read his man and make any defense pay. Along with this the 4 man screening for the 3 should create some opportunities for big to little switches on defense.
Below you can view and download the entire 100+ pages of clinic notes from the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association Clinic in 2011. Please share this website with your coaching friends so that they too can make use of this great resource.