(Rental)-Skill Development, Zone Offense, & Transition
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NABC On the Court Open Practice with Brad Underwood: Skill Development, Zone Offense & Transition
University of Illinois head coach Brad Underwood opens the doors to one of his early season practices in this instructional video. A two-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year at Stephen F. Austin and the former head coach at Oklahoma State, Underwood shares a wealth of knowledge from individual skills to full team defense.
Warmup Skill Work
Practice starts with ball handling. Players partner up and work on a variety of moves and passes. Then, it’s on to working on different shots the players will encounter in the flow of the offense. Players work on post moves, pick and rolls, drive and kicks, finishes at the rim, high-low options, and 3-on-0 actions for posts and perimeter players.
The next part of the practice is dedicated to zone offense. The Illini work on the passes needed to take down a zone defense. First is the Zone Passing drill then Underwood begins teaching the “10” offense. It is done first in a 5-on-0 scenario before moving to live action against a 2-3 and a 1-3-1.
As the practice continues, restrictions are put on the offense as to when they can shoot. Underwood shows the zone play “DePaul” which is a great way to enter the basic zone offense.
Rebounding, Transition, and Closeouts
Rebounding is of the utmost importance, so the team moves into a rebounding segment with an offensive emphasis. The skill is worked on in the Opposite and Inside drill which starts as a 3-on-3 and moves to a 4-on-4 with transition defense.
This then moves the practice right into the Transition Drill. This is a classic drill that puts the defense at a disadvantage. One player must turn and touch the baseline before he can sprint back and help on defense.
The final segment practices closeouts. Underwood uses two drills: 3-on-3 Closeouts and Baseline Closeouts. The Illini will go back to the Transition Drill and then end the practice with 100 free throws.
You will see an intense practice full of outstanding drills that Underwood uses to create a well-round, tough basketball team. Any opportunity to see a college practice is worth it and this one is a great example to follow.