Google+ Followers

Monday, April 7, 2014

MAXIMIZING THE SHELL DRILL

I have received a lot of requests for notes from my WBCA Convention lecture on "Maximizing The Shell Drill" and so I am posting them today.  When I spoke to the convention on Saturday, I told them I wanted to show them various ways to best utilize the shell drill without delving into defensive philosophy.  There are a lot of outstanding defensive coaches out there with various methods of defending -- from Pack Line to Pressure and in between.  However, I believe the shell drill is one of those common denominators for developing any defensive system.

As we talk about the shell, one of the things I told the convention was that I thought the best drills created the following:

1. Made players think -- this leads to anticipation which is critically important to good defensive play.

2. Made players see -- you have to have good vision to be a good defender and good drills stretch a defenders vision.

3. Made players communicate -- it goes beyond talking -- it's about communicating.  Not talking for talking's sake.  And of course, it's about listening.

PRACTICE CONCEPTS FOR SHELL DEFENSE
There are three basic thoughts in understanding the importance of shell defense and what it can do for your system.

1. Build your base defense

2. Teach how to defend a movement or action

3. Prepare for an opponent
 
BASIC 4/4 SHELL DEFENSE
The most basic of shell defenses has been 4 on 4 Shell with two guard and two wings.  This was a primary defensive drill daily for Dean Smith at North Carolina and is an important part of our shell series as well.  At North Carolina, they liked to make a guard to wing entry pass, cut the passer through and fill with the other two. But how can you take a 4 on 4 Shell and put it to even great use?  Below is one of my favorite quotes from Bob Knight:
 
“The greatest thing a coach can have is an imagination.”
-Bob Knight
 
We may work on 4 on 4 Shell and not allow any cutting.  With the utilization of the dribble today, we may tell our offense that they can only attack off the dribble.  For us, this is "4 On 4 Shell: No Cutting/No Screening."  Of course we can also allow cutting and screening and we do a large majority of the time depending on what we want to accomplish that day.  You can also control the alignment of your shell.  It doesn't have to be two guard and two wings depending upon what you want to work on.
 
Diagram #1: 4 Out Shell...working 4/4 on the perimeter
Diagram #2: 3 Out/1 In Shell...working 4/4 with a single post
Diagram #3: 2 Out/2 In Shell...working 4/4 with a double post set

What are your guidelines in regard to your shell?
No Cuts or Screens...just penetrate and pitch
Allow Cuts and Movement but no Screens
Allow Screens...Ball Screens and/or Screens Off The Ball
 
SHELL MOVEMENT AND ACTION
This is a great way to maximize your shell further.  You can dictate the entry movement in your shell to either work on something you need to improve in or to prepare for an action by an opponent.  Diagram #4 shows a basic guard to guard pass with the passing guard setting the down screen.  We got this action from Coach Buzz Peterson.  We utilize this one a lot because it works on screen of the ball and great emphasizes the importance of jumping to the ball.  Now it's up to you how you defend it.  You can slide through the screen, tag it or switch it -- that's up to you and your philosophy.  What we will do is make this an automatic action for the offense.  Guard to guard pass, down screen away.  At some point, I will yell "Live" and then the offense can deviate from the scripted action.  Another example is shown in Diagram #5 where the guard to guard pass can lead to a double staggered action.  There is nothing you can't do with your imagination in terms of giving your shell an entry to improve your defense.

ADVANCED SHELL ACTION
5/4 Open Perimeter (Diagram #6)
Playing 4/4 with an open perimeter player

Guidelines: The open player can move about the floor but you can only pass to her outside the arc...when the open player catches, she is to drive to the rim...when the helpside rotates and stops her she can pitch it out. We like to put a red scrimmage jersey on the open player to distinguish her from the rest.
 
Shell Movement: Freelance the 4 player movement or give them some action to work on.  This is another that we like the down screen action we first saw from Buzz Peterson.  We will stay with the down screen action until I yell "live" and then they will be open to freelance and utilize the open perimeter player.  It should be noted at this point that I rarely utilize the shot clock in shell drills.  I want to condition our team to be able to defend for extended periods of time.
 
5/4 Open Post Low (Diagram #7)
Playing 4/4 with an post player

Guidelines: The open post player can move block to block to receive the ball but not shoot...have post player catch it, chin it, check it and then pass it back out.  Again, your defense of the low post is your own.  As I said at the convention, I do believe all coaches should have a plan for attacking the low post with defenders other than the low post defender.  You can dig in from the ballside or attack with your helpside but you should have something to fall on when needed.  At LSU, we had the National Defensive Player of the Year in Sylvia Fowles.  We often utilized our helpside to double the low post.  Not because Syl needed help but the more low post touches, the more possibility of her fouling.  So against certain post players, we would try to double and force a quick pass out.
 
Shell Movement: Freelance the 4 player movement or give them some action to work on.
 
6/4 Baseline Rotation (Diagram #8)
Playing 4/4 with two open perimeter players in each corner.

Guidelines: You want to look to hit the open players in the corner often...want them to drive until the helpside rotates and stops...looking for complete rotation in this shell set.  This drill is designed not only to give quick, early help but to maximize the execution and important of rotating.  You've got to help the helper.
 
Shell Movement: Freelance the 4 player movement or give them some action to work on.
 
4/4 or 5/5 Change — Half-Court (Diagram #9)
Playing 4/4 or 5/5

Guidelines: The offense executes offense until coach yells “change”...offense must lay the ball down on the floor at the very spot...offense becomes defense and defense becomes offense...however, offensive player that becomes defensive player can not guard the man that was guarding her...attack at the same basket.  I love this drill because it creates instant chaos. Basketball possessions are rarely if never perfectly orchestrated.  The good defensive teams can defend when things break down.  And that's what this defensive drill does.
4/4 or 5/5 Change — Full-Court (Diagram #10)
Playing 4/4 or 5/5

Guidelines: The offense executes offense until coach yells “change”...offense must lay the ball down on the floor at the very spot...offense becomes defense and defense becomes offense...however, offensive player that becomes defensive player can not guard the man that was guarding her...now you are converting to the other basket.  I really love this drill as a transition drill -- both offensively and defensively which reminds me of another great Coach Knight quote:
 
“The best drills work on both offense and defense at the same time.”
-Bob Knight
 
Change Segment
This is the final phase of our shell action.  It is actually a culmination of all our shell drills and is another great way to create chaos, and get your team thinking and talking. Call out a shell and whose ball it is...let them play it out and call out another...keep continuing...up to the players to get the right number on the floor.  We are calling these out as soon as the possession is over.  It is lightning quick and if they are slow to react -- offensively or defensively -- I'm on them.

“5/4 Open Perimeter...Maroon Ball!”

“4/4 Change Full Court...White Ball!”

“5/4 Open Post Low...White Ball!”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

No comments: