Author Archive | Michael Austin

'Voodoo' Conjures Up 3 Options

‘Voodoo’ Conjures Up 3 Options

The actions aren’t that complicated but produce 3 legitimate scoring options — one of which is a corner 3-pointer while the other two are high-percentage shots near the rim. Why use it This essentially is a two-man play as 3 and 5 hang near the perimeter to pull their defenders away from the action. This […]

Touch the Lines

Touch the Lines

I was attending a basketball clinic a couple years ago and heard something that was new to me – the presenting, very successful coach, Clif Wegner (Clackamas Community College in Oregon) said his mantra was “We Touch The Lines.” It seems simple enough but I think there’s something really key in this. “We have a […]

High-post entry doubles options

High-post entry doubles options

From Bill Liley, head boys coach at Newton High in Iowa. A 3-person game on the ball side forces defenders to make a decision as everyone comes together into a cluster. Why use it When facing man defenses, you want to create confusion and force defenders into decisions about responsibilities rather than allowing them space […]

'Double-double' damages defenses

‘Double-double’ damages defenses

From Basketball Coach Weekly Start with a pair of low screens as players cross, then a pair of screens to bring players from the weak side to the ball side, which sets up reversal and an eventual drive to the hoop. Why use it With so many screens in this one set, man defenses are bound […]

Tips from "The System"

Tips from “The System”

A couple years ago I read “The System” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, and while it was a deep dive into the world of college football, we know there is a lot to learn from coaches in other sports. One area that grabbed my interest was a short section about Mike Leach (former Texas […]

'2-line closeouts' stress help

‘2-line closeouts’ stress help

From Chad Warner, the head men’s coach at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. Help defense is the cornerstone of all great defensive teams so teach players the proper way to help and the energy needed to play defense properly. Why use it If your help defense is a step slow, then your entire defensive […]

'Viking' gets the post more involved

‘Viking’ gets the post more involved

From David Polett, Vistamar School in El Segundo, California Pull the big defender away from the hoop and take advantage of the mismatches this creates with pick-and-roll action after ball reversal. Why use it You’re still working with a lack of size, so this play works well to pull larger defenders away from the basket. […]

What do you do when players don't get along?

What do you do when players don’t get along?

When you jump back into basketball planning again, one of the first things to do this offseason is consider how to improve strained relationships for next season. You know when players don’t get along. You don’t need everyone to be best friends, but if you noticed a divisive atmosphere in your locker room, and you […]

Handoff sets up backside 3-pointer

Handoff sets up backside 3-pointer

From Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs playbook All indications are this play is moving to the left after a handoff, dribble penetration and perimeter shooters on that side…but it simply sets up the forgotten point guard on the right. Why use it The Spurs run this play quite a bit as it creates enough movement […]

Double down screen destroys defense

Double down screen destroys defense

From the Golden State Warriors playbook Once again it’s your initial ball handler who ends up taking a shot coming off a double screen – this time the shooter circles around the entire court. Why use it Golden State’s constant motion and screening doesn’t allow a defense to set. Just when the defense loses track […]