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Saturday, May 28, 2011


I had the honor a few years ago to learn match-up defense from one of the best in former Auburn Coach Joe Ciampi.  Joe came in and spent two days with our staff and went into great detail in to how they played the incredibly successful match-up.  Here are just a few of the notes I took:

Players don’t understand how hard they’re playing…you have to place demands on them.

Realize that as a coach, you are a teacher.

My experience at West Point made me a better coach, a better teacher…taught me how to demand more of individuals and of myself.

Every drill should have 2/3 of the following:
-Have a winner and a loser
-Make it time related
-Make it goal related
-Make it peer related

Before every game I will write three defensive things on the blackboard:

#1 Ball Pressure
-we want the shot pressured, the dribble pressured, and the pass pressured

#2 Take Away The Inside
-take away the inside with our arms first
-take away the dribble with our body

#3 Rebound
-rebound the blocks (especially the weakside block)

Defense must move when the ball moves…not when it’s caught
Important question in playing any type of zone: “How do we handle the dribble?”
Auburn uses three picture words in every one of their defensive drills: delay, disrupt, and deflect. They want to delay the dribbler anywhere on the floor. They want to be able to deflect every pass to the inside. They want to disrupt the shot.

COACH CIAMPI: “Some people say ‘contest the shot.’ We want to disrupt the shot and disrupt the offensive pattern. I want my players to create the action, rather than be reactors, so we run a lot of traps. We traps off the dribble or off the pass. Don’t react, create.”

Auburn uses a man-to-man stance with their inside hand out taking away passes to the middle.

Rebounding philosophy:
“Hit & Hold” any one in the paint
“Hit & Go” any one outside the paint

TEACHING POINT: “Run to the ball” on the rebound

Auburn always wants 2 people to go to the weakside to rebound.

Doesn’t matter what you defense is, there will be breakdowns. What is your recover time from a breakdown? This is what will define your defense.