It's one of those fundamentals that I think can't be emphasized enough, the defensive closeout. Chopping the feet, closing out hard, with hands out. It doesn't matter if you run a M2M defense, a packline defense, or a zone defense, your players need to have the fundamentals of the closeout otherwise you'll end up having to help all over the place or shift your zone and get all out of position. So, without further ado, here are some defensive tips that I got from some notes from Drexel University's Coach Bruiser Flint:

Things to do on Defense:

1. Contain
2. Keep your guy in front
3. We don't deny the wings or push to a side
4. Contest every shot
5. Switch guard to guard and big to big


1. Shuffle
2. Running
3. Close Down
4. Keep opponent in front

Super Closeout Drill:

2 offensive players, 1 defensive player. Coach passes the ball to one of the offensive players. The defense must lunge, then after the pass to the other offensive player, recover and closeout.

1. Closeout with hand/foot. Never the ball.
2. On the Pass, pivot and shuffle out to contest the shot.


The idea in this drill is for the defender to runout at the coach to defend the shot, then shuffle to the other offensive player.

1. Run and shuffle out to contest the shot.
2. Run until outside the lane then shuffle.
3. If you're hand gets behind his head, then you give him an avenue to drive to the basket!!
4. Hands up in the offensive player's face.

For more info on drills for hard-nosed defense, you should check out Bruiser Flint's DVD on Hard-nosed Closeout Defense. As mentioned Coach Flint is the head coach at Drexel University. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk about this and your favorite basketball topics.