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Thursday, September 5, 2013


The following come from notes listening to VCU Assistant Coach Mike Rhoades at both A Step Up AssistantCoaching Symposium and Coaching U Live.  Also, make sure you scroll to the bottom and click on the link with a great article on the VCU Havoc press defense from SI.

VCU Defense — all about pressure

1. Must be unselfish — on both ends

2. Want players to play so hard that they HAVE to come out

3. Style of offense/defense all about putting pressure on opponent

Why Pressure?

1. It’s fun to play

2. Creates offense

3. Play a lot of players

4. Morale

Secret to success is morale

Smart has his players pick up full-court in pick up games

Goal: make opponent uncomfortable when they take the ball out of the net.

They will press at times with no trapping

VCU wants it to be uncomfortable to get the ball in, but they don’t deny the ball in — want to force it to be inbounded close to the baseline.

Man on Inbounder is referred to as “Mad Man.”  Toes on baseline...goal is 3 to 5 deflections on inbounds pass.

Unbelievable what other teams will do against pressure.

Ball inbounded — never get beat on sideline rip...1 man trapping.

Off of the ball — you are one-third off your man.

Allow no passes forward — NONE

VCU Zig Zags everyday — keep score

“Stunting” the ball (our “sting” — Knight’s fake trap) — VCU wants the ball to see the help and worry they might get trapped.

Utilize our 3/3 2 Bounce Drill

Video is important in teaching — always show the 3 best stunts from last practice/game

Over exert on trap — Rule: if you are not sure, trap!

Don’t trap behind the foul line...trap at the top of the key.

VCU doesn’t like sideline trap.

Help defender: read the eyes and should of offensive player with the ball

In the summer, VCU works on offense

In September, VCU works on defensive trapping

First 3 steps are key for all defenders in full court defense

2/2 Heat — 2/2 full court w/no ball and stunt

2/2 Trap — 2/2 full court w/trapping

VCU opens practices because Smart appreciates the opportunities he has got.

Diamond Press
1.  Allow man on ball the freedom to stay or trap.

2. Backside defender must take backside block

VCU is big in teaching back tipping
Here is a great article in Sports Illustrated on VCU's Havoc Press Defense