While there are hundreds of different types of man to man offenses available like motion, flex, ball screen continuity, the basic fundamentals of offense are very basic and few. Passing, cutting, screening, and driving are fundamental skills for players of all levels.
If you’ve watched the NCAA champions Villanova play, Coach Jay Wright runs a 4 out 1 in motion and this is a simplified variation of that. Doesn’t hurt to tell your players this is based on the NCAA champs! Get 8 other plays inside the practice planner app.
Plays are good but it’s more important for your players to understand the principles of attacking man defense. Below are 10 principles for scoring against a man to man defense:
- Transition from defense to offense
By having an organized attack to get the ball quickly up the floor and getting a good shot, you can negate size advantages. Keep in mind that just because you advance the ball quickly does not mean you take a quick shot, unless it is a time and score situation (trailing late in the game).
2. Shot selectionYour offense will be successful if your players are taking shots they are capable of making.Click To Tweet
The general rule is to take shots as close to the goal as possible. However, there are times when a 3 point shot is a good shot, especially if your players have the skills to make the shots. It is important that you discuss what is a good shot in your offense and which players can or cannot take 3 point shots.
Man to man defenses can be very aggressive by placing pressure on the person with the ball and preventing them from making a pass to an open teammate. The players without the ball are attempting to get open and also have to work against a defender. When a pass is made, it should be made away from the defense and should be a pass that the receiver is certain to catch. No matter if it is a bounce pass, chest pass, or behind the back, the ball must be catchable and allow the receiver to now get into an attacking position or take a shot.
Another important concept in passing is to shorten the pass. A long, slow pass can be easily intercepted. It is essential that both the receiver and passer shorten the space between them before the ball is passed.
4. SpacingSpacing is offense, offense is spacing - Rick MajerusClick To Tweet
Spacing means that players are wide enough so that 1 defender cannot guard 2 people. By using the 3 point arc as a guide, players should stay behind the arc and can move higher before cutting to the basket or driving to the basket.
A hard cut to the rim often leads to a layup or it creates space that allows the person to drive the ball. When a player cuts, they should cut all the way to the rim and not move back out to the perimeter. A common mistake by young players is that they will cut halfway to the rim, then come back to the same spot they started from. Always finish your cut at the rim.
The dribble should only be used when
- A direct line to the basket is available
- the ball handler is improving the passing angle
- The ball handler is in trouble (trapped, pressured) and must create space in order to escape.
Even if you have a shot clock, being patient with the ball will result in better shot opportunities. When receiving the ball, be ready to take a shot if you are in range and open. If not, be prepared to pass the ball to another player or drive the ball immediately.
There are different types of screens that are used in offenses such as down screens, cross screens, back screens. Screening is essentially a 2 man game with the person setting the screen and the person utilizing the screen.
Screeners should give a visual and verbal signal to their teammate that they are screening. The screen must be set in a proper angle. Once the cutter uses the screen, the screener must now be prepared to become the second cutter when their defender helps in some manner on the screen.
Once the screen is set, the cutter must cut off the screen close enough to the screener so that the cutters defender is not able to recover. This forces the screeners defender to help. As players advance in their skill level, they must lean also how to read the defender who is guarding them and what they are doing to avoid being screened such as going over the top of screen or trailing behind the cutter.
Moving the ball from one side of the floor to the other and moving players creates difficulties for a defense. Players away from the ball must constantly be prepared to receive a pass and attack or move into rebounding positions when a shot is taken.
10. Defensive balance
As a coach you must determine how many players you want to send back on defense when a shot is take and how many will attempt to get a rebound. Some coaches will send 2 players back while others will send all 5 against teams that are quicker in transition.
Need some plays based on these 10 principles? Get my plays inside the practice planner app here.