Dick Bennett: Origins of the Pack Line Defense with Breakdown Drills
Shrink the court, prevent direct drives to the basket and contest every shot!
- See how to use the Pack Line Defense to complement the athleticism of your players
- Learn a series of drills that gets your players the reps needed to help implement the Pack Line Defense
- Defend on-ball and side screens with breakdown drills to neutralize the screener's rim run to the basket
with Dick Bennett, Creator of the Pack Line Defense; 28 years of collegiate coaching experience with 489 career wins; former Washington State University, University of Wisconsin (2000 NCAA Final Four), and University Wisconsin-Green Bay Head Coach;
9x Conference Coach of the Year; 2007 Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame inductee
The Pack Line Defense has proven to be one of the most successful defensive systems in the game of basketball. The originator of this defense is Dick Bennett. Throughout his years of coaching, Bennett has always been known for having some of the top defensive teams in the country. As the game evolved, Coach Bennett put together a system that would allow a less athletic team to consistently compete with any team in the country. He used his patented defense to rebuild programs and control superior offensive teams.
In this video, Bennett shows you how to implement the Pack Line Defense, a man defense to contain dribble penetration and contest open threes, which will help keep your team in the game.
Why Pack Line Defense?
Bennett shares insight as to why he chose to create the defense and the key components to the Pack Line Defense's success. The information given is incredibly valuable to teams that want to change the way they play on the defensive end and to coaches who are just looking at how to improve their program.
Some of the points covered include:
- Four things he wanted from this defense
- How to implement game changers
- Why this is a difficult defense for great offensive players to play against
- Why he moved from push-to-baseline to the Pack Line concept of forcing middle
- How the Pack Line limits the scoring opportunities of great teams
- Characteristics great defenders must have
Whether you run the Pack Line or not, Coach Bennett's experience and thoughts will help you change your program from a good one to a great one.
Push to Pack
The Pack Line Defense requires several key building blocks that must be utilized for it to be successful. The first of these is for the on-ball defender to pressure the basketball. Pressure on the basketball disrupts the ball-handler and gets them outside of their comfort zone.
With pressure on the basketball, the on-ball defender must have the trust of their teammates that they will have help if they get beat. When implementing a Pack Line Defense, you must go from push to pack. The defense is no longer pushing away from the basket, but packing it in behind a designated line. In the help side during a push, the help defense can get moved under the basket. That will cause much more time for a defender to close out on a shooter. In the pack, the help defender will straddle the seam and move up when the ball is rotated their way, which will allow them to close out quickly on a shooter and maintain the pack. When implementing a pack line defense, the help defender moving up shortens up the rotations and makes it quicker.
Bennett demonstrates how to defend screens and how to infuse your own personal philosophies to fit the Pack Line defense. He has a unique way of defending a ball screen. Coach Bennett's teams "explode it" and hedge, or double, the ball handler. He also teaches "smothering" the screener if the ball handler is not a shooter or a threat to score.
One of the four principles of his Pack Line Defense is "back to attack," or a focus on transition defense. Bennett includes two full-court transition drills to address this principle. One of these drills is the Back to Attack Drill, which teaches transition defense. The team that will be sprinting back on defense will run through offensive maneuvers against a defense. By practicing these drills, your players will learn to communicate and defend against good transition teams.
Bennett believes that breakdown drills are critical, as they have to translate into 5-on-5 play. Drills include:
Vision drill - Players have a closed stance, ball-you-man positioning, and vision to see shot and rebound. 4v4 Switch drill - Adds game-like confusion where players have to "talk and get matched up" by finding and guarding players that might not be their "assigned man." Overload drill - Four defenders vs five on offense. Modified rules such as a point guard with no defender has to get to the rim to shoot it and others can shoot to work on closeouts and rebounding. Finish the play by rebounding. 5v5 Close to the Catch drill - A version of the shell drill where players practice Pack Line positioning and basic help and recovery rules. The drill also adds a low post defender and teaches the rules of the defense. Perfection drill - A 3v3 drill in which the defense has to have a "perfect" defensive possession to get out of the drill. This drill emphasizes execution.
Coach Bennett has used the Pack Line Defense to great success with nearly 400 victories, having taken programs left for dead to championship-level status. In this video, he passes on some of the secrets he's learned from his rich experience as a successful college coach. The Pack Line Defense will consistently help you slow down, and shut down, opposing teams with superior offensive talent!
60 minutes. 2017.
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