7 Under-Practiced or Never-Practiced Aspects of the Game 

In several articles over the years, we’ve touched on some topics that often slip through the proverbial cracks when it comes to planning practice time.   Today, we’ll feature seven of them:

  • EURO-FOUL– In last night’s Michigan @ Iowa game, U of M had a runout with numbers and the Iowa defender purposely fouled ball-handler Zavier Simpson at midcourt before he could take advantage.  The Europeans didn’t necessarily invent the tactic but they have used it more extensively than American counterparts.
  • CORNER INBOUNDS– How awkward is it when the designated inbounds spot is in or near the corner on the offensive end?  The answer is VERY if it isn’t practiced.
  • NON-POINT GUARD ENTRY- There are a number of times in a season and even in one game when a non-primary ball-handler ends up with the ball for various reasons (usually some form of a press break) and needs to enter because the usual entry player isn’t available or can’t get open.  This shouldn’t be the disaster it sometimes is if perhaps 10 minutes are carved out some time to lay out some basic principles to address that situation.
  • PICKED UP DRIBBLE RULE- Similar in nature to the previous dilemma, when any player for any reason picks up his dribble, there shouldn’t be a fraction of a second delay in all other four players flashing to his aid in straight lines.  “Fire Alarm” might be a good name for the maneuver.
  • DEFENDING LIVE BALL TURNOVERS– No aspect of defense is more difficult and yet very likely not even practiced, let alone discussed.  (Please see previous HOOP COACH article, “SUDDEN CHANGE in BASKETBALL” for some thoughts on the issue).
  • OFFENSIVE REBOUNDING 3pt FG MISSES– This is a relatively new phenomenon in the game because of the high number of 3’s taken and the corresponding desire to get back in defensive transition.  As much as it is desirable to get back on D, I see teams getting all 5 players back on D on as many as 30 triple attempts in a game. Because triple misses yield a very high number of long rebounds, I believe teams are leaving long rebounds on the table.  A couple of players can BOTH hunt these long offensive rebounds around the FT line or top of the key AND get back on D. At the very least, it’s worth some consideration and analysis.
  • SCREEN SLIPS-With all the screen/roll utilized in the game today and the hard hedging used to defend it, this action seems to be vastly misunderstood and under-utilized by players at all levels except perhaps the NBA and other pro leagues.  

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Any Thoughts, Coach?