Open Practice: Defensive Drills for Creating Turnovers
with Bob Huggins,
West Virginia University Head Coach; 2015 Big-12 Coach of the Year; 2015 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year; over 765 career wins; C-USA Coach of the Decade
Turn up the pressure, force more turnovers, and disrupt your opponent's offensive attack
- Lock down the entire court using breakdown drills for installing your man-to-man press defense
- Learn a series of defensive breakdown drills to adjust your defensive positioning from help to denial
- Develop the specific skills your post and perimeter players need to play great defense
Coach Bob Huggins opens the doors to a defensive-oriented practice. You'll see how he builds his full and half-court pressure defenses, which led the nation in forced turnovers in 2014-15. Using whiteboard lectures and practice footage, you will learn Huggins' philosophy and many of the strategies and drills that he uses to develop this style of defense.
Coach Huggins whiteboards his designs of cutting the court in half in order to shrink spacing and better enable trapping areas. Huggins speaks of the various traits prevalent to good team defense and his up-the-line / on-the-line style, such as disrupting the opponent's attack, taking away vision and not allowing direct passes. Other topics discussed are the West Virginia approach to defending the pick & roll, when to trap, guarding an inbound pass, scouting, rebounding and toughness.
Up-the-Line, On-the-Line Drills
With a high-level approach to team defense consisting of all help defenders positioning themselves directly on a line between the passer and their man, Coach Huggins and his staff use several variations of break down drills to help teach the proper angles on close-outs and 1- or 2-pass positioning.
Using 2-on-2 (as well as 4-on-4) drills with the aid of an unguarded manager, Huggins stresses the need for proper angles to be taken on every close-out, weak side on-the-line help positioning in order to deny direct line passes, and applying ball pressure to disrupt vision. "Pushing" the ball towards the sidelines and off of the 3-point line is a common theme. Back-door cuts, proper angles when rolling off of back-screens and pin-down screens are also emphasized, as every detail regarding the angles taken fall under Huggins' watchful eye.
These breakdown drills progress up to 4-on-4 drills that work on positioning and help defense before culminating in the "4-on-4+1" drill that puts the defense at a disadvantage by forcing them to have to communicate and scramble to defend an extra player.
Perimeter players work on close outs and handling jabs while applying maximum on-ball pressure. Post players work through five different drills with a special emphasis on improving their on-ball defense. Drills, such as the 1-on-1 Fast Break, challenge post players to protect the rim versus an attacker coming at them with a full-speed dribble.
Full Court Pressure
Coach Huggins describes the press as something that isn't easy to diagram, as it's based on exploiting your opponent's weaknesses and taking away their strengths. To compliment his white board lecture, you will see five breakdown drills in practice. The Flick Drill teaches players how to create fast break opportunities by forcing a turnover with a back tip to a teammate. Post players work on playing "up the line" to deny flash cuts by offensive players up the sideline. You will also see how back line defenders shift from denial defense to make interceptions as a help defender as the ball moves. Posts also practice working on protecting the rim against 2-on-1's by forcing an extra pass. Guards at the front of the defense work on denying the inbound pass to the point guard and forcing the dribble up the sideline.
These practice drills from Coach Huggins will show you how to force more turnovers and raise the pressure of your defensive system.