Thursday, November 9, 2017

Pick-and-Roll Coverage

We coach younger players, so prioritizing CLARITY and SIMPLICITY rule. This applies not only to pick-and-roll but everything. 

We never have GREAT PLAYERS to limit. A few very good youth teams have decent pick-and-roll action, generally because of the DRIVER. Yes, zone defense limits pick-and-roll but we don't play half-court zone defense. 

Goals: No easy shots, no middle, no penetration. The ballhandler should never get a free drive.  

Definitions: Coverage (2 players on-ball), Protection (3 players off the ball)

Defensive Setup: Ball pressure, continuous communication (early, loud, often). Back defenders must make calls. "Not said is not done." 

Side pick-and-roll (ICE, BLUE, DOWN). We must keep the ball out of the middle, but we can't give direct drive baseline. Don't let the ball handler beat you. .x3 has to prevent separation...stay on 3's hip (lock and trail). If x3 gets beaten, she must recover. x3 has to establish side position to force down. With young players, 3 can't pass from the corner to 1 and 1 can't make many threes. 

High pick-and-roll (HIGH). Most teams are trying to score the driver first, the roller second, and the perimeter players far less often. Taking away the driver is huge. Coach Krzyzewski likes the term "fake trap" instead of show or hedge. Our first priority is delaying the driver, forcing her wide with x5. I teach x1 to attack the ballhandler on the PnR call, trying to force her even before the screen is set. This pressures the ball handler and may cause the screener to set a moving screen. Sometimes x1 can "beat the pick" but if not she has to scramble back to 1. 

Young players usually can't/won't rescreen. x5 has to get one hand up to discourage the roll pass and then recover to 5. Help side defenders should be moving into the "Helpside I" (yellow rectangle). Precious few younger players are going to make the corner pass to 3. 

Getting the ball out of 1's hands is an option with trap (blitz) and I try to avoid teaching "under" for x1 early, because I think it creates bad habits and passivity. 

Yes, this is incomplete, but we haven't even had our first practice yet. The core principles of ball pressure, no middle, no penetration, communication, and multiple effort with help and recovery are the emphasis. 

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