Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ending the Trend

One of the hot topics on Twitter amongst coaches this week was feeding the post and how post passes are leading more to turnovers than completions. Coach Eastman mentioned a lot of post passes get deflected or stolen. He goes on to say "give up position for possession". Rick Allison replied to this saying, "avoid bad passing angles." While I agree with both coaches, I think that there is a disturbing trend in the game that contributes to the problem before it gets to either of these points.

I teach our post players much in the same way Don Meyer teaches his post players: work early for position. In this manner, it is easier to make the post feed for the guards and the biggest reason is it makes it much easier to score. In that same breath, I agree with Coach Eastman in that it is much more important to value the basketball if an errant pass is made. I tell our guys to treat the ball like their cell phones (seems that's the most important thing in the world to a young man these days).

Coach Allison brings up a great point as well. I have seen a tremendous drop in guards' ability to feed the post. It has become a lost art of sorts. We get college players that still don't grasp the concept of breaking the angle on the wing by taking a hard dribble or two in order to make a post entry pass.

The trend I am seeing that really makes post passing even more of a challenge is that players are not squaring up on the perimeter when they catch the ball. If they do square up, they have a tendency to stand straight up and down with the ball above their head becoming very easy to guard; not to mention weak and off balance. The old "triple-threat position" has become passe.

In my end-of-the-season reflection, I wrote down that next season we need to emphasize the catch-n-square. I want our perimeter players to sweep through on the catch. I teach reverse pivot square ups. By using the reverse pivot, this creates space between the offense and the defensive player. It allows the offense a valuable split second or two to view the floor and read the situation.

On the reverse pivot square up, the offense has an opportunity to "sweep through" the defense's arms with his elbows. Leading with the elbow, ripping the ball through quickly and low will knock the defender's hands out of the way. This also eliminates exposing the ball t the defender and eliminating deflections.

If perimeter players will execute this, it will enable them to see the post and make a read. At this point we can begin to teach breaking the post feed angles, feeding the post, and releasing to the ball on the pass.

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