From last night's ESPN game of the night, the Memphis Tigers on the road against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. A lot has been made about Memphis Coach John Calipari making the switch to have Tyreke Evans play the point. I always thought that for the dribble drive motion offense, you should have your best player as the point, since you want your playmaker handling the ball, regardless of their size/speed. Of course, they need to handle the ball, but I think with the dribble drive, there are really 3 positions: the primary penetrator (your best all around scorer); the finishing/rebounding forward; the shooter.

I've watched a few Memphis games over the season and I think they've really gotten back to tradition dribble drive. I thought even last year, they veered away from it, especially when teams went zone, but I'm seeing a rededication to the ddm principles even against a zone. The move to put Tyreke Evans at the point just makes sense from a ddm point of view. He's not as quick as a Derrick Rose, but he can instead use his size and height advantage instead. Here are a few sequences,

Drive, Kick, Dump:

I won't spend too much time breaking the DDM down since you can look at the many prior posts. But just wanted to highlight the main principles of drive, the drive and kick, and the drive and dump. First the drive against a M2M defense, also notice that there is no ball screen,

Drive and kick. The shooter flattens to the baseline making it harder for the defender to closeout,

Drive and dump. The forward realizes that the drive is coming at him, so he relocates to the other block, gets the pass, and puts it back,


I think it's important to have an open mind as a coach. You have a player like Tyreke Evans, he's 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, traditional thinking is that he's your SF/wing, SG maybe. But with an offense like the DDM which is highly dependent on a capable playmaker with the ball on the dribble, it makes sense to have your best player (whomever that is, regardless of size/speed) be that playmaker. Like I said, of course they need to be a good ball-handler, but I think that's almost a prerequisite for any guard/wing nowadays anyways. So, the fit is perfect, and I think you'll see Memphis rise up the rankings. I think they certainly are good enough to be a top 5 team again, top 10 for sure.

For more great dribble drive video info from the originator himself, take a look at Vance Walberg's 2-DVD Set on the Dribble Drive Motion Offense. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.