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The Drive and Kick: An Offensive Weapon for Any Basketball Team

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One of the best point guards in college basketball a few years ago was Demetri McCamey of the University of Illinois. He is a gifted ball-handler and a great shooter and passer. At the time I wrote this he was shooting over 50% from the 3 point line and averaging over 7 assists a game for a team ranked in the top 15. Something he does very well is use his body and strength to be able to get in the key to score or pass the ball. He uses what I call the drive and kick to get his team great shots and easy baskets. 

For a point guard to truly understand his position he must first realize the defense and what they are trying to do. The worst possible shot is a contested 2 pointer from as far away as possible. The defense has the goal of trying to force this type of shot on every possession. They want to force the offense away from the basket where the shots get more difficult. When point guards drive to the basket every good defensive team forces to help. You'll notice when you watch Purdue or Illinois from the Big Ten Conference that when players drive there are usually other players there to help out. When this happens it opens all kinds of passing lanes on the court. 

With McCamey, he is able to get the ball into the key and force the defense to respect the shot. The defense actually wants him to kick the ball out but they are also gambling on being able to get to the shooter and contest an open shot. When the defense drops down on McCamey he throws a crisp pass to a shooter who is spotting up on a wing or a baseline somewhere for an uncontested 3 pointer. The defense doesn't want those. That in a nutshell is the drive and kick. 

For the drive and kick to be successful you have to have players who can shoot the ball as the players spotting up. You also have to have a point guard smart enough to understand what is open. McCamey goes to the basket knowing that if they don't help he will score but if they do help he has shooters lined up and ready to shoot the ball. 

For coaches: To practice this have your point guard get used to driving into the key and using a jump stop. Don't allow the point guard to jump off one foot where charging will get called most of the time. The shooters need to be in shooting position already and be in the point guards vision. The shooters need to have their hands ready to receive the pass and take the shot. Lastly, the point guard needs to give a crisp pass that hits the receiver where he wants the ball and can shoot the ball in rhythm. 

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