(Rental)-High Intensity Defensive Practice Drills & Concepts
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Open Practice: High-Intensity Defensive Practice Drills & Concepts
Current Xavier University head coach Travis Steele has continued the Musketeers high level of play since taking over for Chris Mack. Xavier has been to eight straight NCAA tournaments and reached the Elite Eight in 2017. Much of the program’s success is due to its lock-down defense. In this video, Coach Steele shares with you how he puts together a practice with the goal of producing a solid pack line defense.
Coach Steele begins with drills to help players build their closeout skills. They play with high hands, choppy feet, elbows tight, and constant foot movement. Vegas Closeouts is a drill to train players to closeout with high hands and pressure the ball handler. After popping back off a jab step, defenders work on their push steps to stop the driver from getting around them.
2-on-2 Early Stunt is another drill where players use their closeouts and then go into a 2-on-2 situation. Defenders closeout and then must be there to prevent a rhythm 3-point attempt. These drills focus on being in help position with the ability to recover.
Play here starts in a 3-on-3 where players learn to build back-side defensive abilities by guarding cutters. The drill progresses to add a fourth defender and another offensive player in the post. In 4-on-4 Shell, Coach Steele simulates game situations to work on defensive rotations. You’ll see how to improve on defending drives and how to create early stunt situations.
Ball Screen Defense
To finish practice, Coach Steele teaches the hard hedge on ball screens on the wings. Once a post uses the hard hedge, the back-side help must rotate to build the wall around the ball. Post players will learn how to “X-Out” and switch post defenders.
If you are looking to learn more about pack line defensive principles, this a great look inside a practice from one of the best up-and-coming young coaches in the game.