If anyone watched Texas play North Carolina the other day they got a lesson on how to slow down or stop a fast break and it was a good one. I’m not a fan of Coach Rick Barnes at Texas. He gets a lot of talent but they always seem to disappoint come tourney time. He’s a solid recruiter who sells the program very well but until Saturday I wasn’t really sold on him.
North Carolina has a strength of running on made baskets. They like to get the ball out and go and they have the most feared secondary break in all of college sports. However, when i watched that game the other day I watched Texas get at least 3 layups off bad inbounds passes to start the secondary break. Texas would use the man who was throwing the inbound pass as a way to slow down the point guard from getting down court. Several times a blind pass was thrown and intercepted for an immediate layup. It was a great coaching move on Barnes’ behalf.
When teams try to stop the fast break the first you have to convince them to do is to get back on defense and not try to steal the ball from the rebounder. When the shot goes up and is rebounded by the other team then teach your kids to sprint back until they get to the opposite 3 point line and then turn and find their man. SPRINT back on defense.
Next thing I teach is to stop the dribbler immediately or slow him down. Get in his path or force him into a certain direction. When a point guard is getting ready for the outlet pass have the defender crowd him and make him retreat to get the ball. Never let him get the ball running full speed down to the other end. If he does get the ball and is going then try to funnel him to a side to shrink the court. If the point is allowed to stay in the middle he can do a lot more damage with the ball.
To practice this drill:
3 Offensive players spaced evenly along the baseline. 3 defenders line up equal to the foul line and on each man. The coach passes the ball to one of the offensive players and they are off and trying to score. This is a 3-3 full court drill. The defense should run back as quickly as possible and work together to stop the other team from scoring.
The player who gets the ball needs to be immediataly slowed down and funneled to a side. When in practice have the kids be physical and allow it. Let them see ways they can slow the dribbler down and make it more difficult.