organized transition defense drills by Mike Dunlap

(Rental)-Organized Fast Paced Transition Defense

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    Organized Fast-Paced Transition Defense

    Implementing the seven keys of transition defense according to veteran coach Mike Dunlap can lead to success on the basketball court. Dunlap, the former two-time NCAA Division II national champion and Charlotte Bobcats head coach, discusses how he teaches successful transition defense in this video.

    For Dunlap, it all begins with the seven key elements of transition defense. Teams can slow down opponents in transition when they master each of the following:

    • Shot balance
    • Stop the ball
    • Sprint to your lane
    • Match up
    • Rotate
    • Contest all shots
    • Rebound

    Rebounding and Shot Balance

    Many of Dunlap’s concepts come from legendary coaches like Tom Izzo and Rick Majerus. One of the most important is the idea of floor balance on a shot. As soon as the shooter rises to shoot, rebounding and responsibilities on defense begin. Three players go to the boards while the two remaining players go to designated spots to prepare to play defense.

    Sprint Back and Match Up

    If a team cannot gain an offensive rebound, it is imperative they sprint back quickly on defense. Getting back quickly can help slow down an offense and prevent easy transition baskets. In addition to sprinting back, the defensive team must matchup against the offense as quickly as possible. Players matchup regardless of whether or not it is their assigned matchup.

    5-on-5 Evaluation

    This is one of the drills Dunlap uses to teach transition defense in a game-like situation. The drill starts at three-quarter court and the defense works to pressure the ball forcing the ball handler to change direction. This gives the defense time to get back and matchup. The drill runs for six possessions with an emphasis placed on guarding the basketball. Coach Dunlap also shares a few tweaks to the drill.


    This drill builds off of the 5-on-5 Evaluation drill. Starting in the half-court, the offense has a time frame to get a shot up. Rebounding and sprinting back are apparent in the drill and once again an emphasis is placed upon ball pressure. Communication is a big key as players must talk to figure out who has what defensive assignment. Players work on their rotations throughout the drill.

    Coach Dunlap’s 75-minute video is an excellent resource for any coach looking to improve a team’s transition defense. Rent this transition defense drills DVD today.

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