with Gary Waters, Cleveland State Head Coach;
winningest coach in Cleveland State history; 2008 Horizon League Coach of the Year; 2011 Horizon League Champions
Learn how Coach Gary Waters has transformed the Cleveland State basketball program into a perennial winner with this inside look into one of their practices. You'll see how his coaches structure practices to develop the fundamentals needed to play a unique brand of pressure defense and score effectively in their "flow" continuity ball screen offense.
Watch how Cleveland State prioritizes player development in their practice structure with a heavy emphasis on individual skills in the early warm-up segments. During a daily 15-minute pre-practice session, the team is split between guards/posts with each working on increasing ball-handling skills and finishing around the rim. Guards engage in several ball-handling drills ranging from individual work, partners' mirroring sessions and a creative way to incorporate an agility ladder into dribbling exercises. The post players also work on ball-handling before moving into their own sets of finishing at the rim exercises complete with jump hooks, drop step moves and paint jump shots as well as attacking from the perimeter and high post.
Integrated into the beginning of practice is a series of dynamic stretches, competitive jump roping and agility ladders to prepare the body for practice while improving the quickness of the athletes. In order to increase foot speed and overall quickness, the team collectively jumps rope in 30-second intervals with the goal of 100-120 repetitions in the 30-second period. The agility ladder is utilized once again in an intense yet creative way that incorporates defensive closeout actions.
Transition marks the beginning of the next phase of practice as Coach Waters first emphasizes the offensive aspect of transition before shifting his focus to defensive transition. Players work on spotting up in transition for open jump shots with the full-court shooting drill. They then learn how to ignite the fast break with a quick outlet and pass ahead in the rebound and outlet drill. Coach Waters explains the principles and roles of his transition offense and then players demonstrate the different scoring options in their fast break. This practice sequence ends with the 5-on-5 "get back" drill that has the defense trying to recover from a disadvantage situation in the fast break. This is a great drill for developing your transition game on both sides of the ball.
Coach Waters shares several on-ball defense and close-out drills designed to build proper defensive habits. He walks through the basic rotations of his defense with the 4-on-4 step-up drill. You'll get several variations of this drill that can be used to change the focus of how the team defense rotates to help stop dribble penetration.
Learn how to implement a structured ball screen attack into your offensive system with the "flow" ball screen continuity offense. Watch Coach Waters' players demonstrate the pattern and options in the offense with a 5-on-0 practice. Learn how to build the offense with four different breakdown drills that will train your players to utilize the ball screen. You'll get a chance to study the offense in action with two different styles of 5-on-5 scrimmage.
This look into Coach Waters' practice shows you the winning strategies and coaching that have led to the resurgence in Cleveland State basketball.
Produced at the Fall 2014 Cleveland (OH) clinic.
142 minutes. 2015.