Another great basketball viewing day. I watched most of the NBA All-Star festivities on TNT today, call me a sucker but I still enjoy watching all those cheesy competitions, even the slam dunk competition, Nate Robinson is my hero.

Back to some seriousness though, I watched the first half of the Villanova vs West Virginia game last night and was really surprised when WVU had something like a 20 point lead heading into the half. WVU was the home team, but still, Villanova had been scoring in triple digits most of the week so I definitely thought they would be at least around 40 by half. When they got behind, they tried to trap and press WVU and the WVU lead actually increased. Take a look at a few sequences of their press break along with a ESPN breakdown,

Reverse That Ball:

Don't want to spend too much time explaining as I think the ESPN clip did a good job breaking it down. But I do want to emphasize the seemingly trivial, yet crucial concept of ball reversal.

I don't like to scheme a specific press break, I prefer to teach basic rules and principles:

1. Always have a safety
2. Reverse the ball
3. Have your tallest and most capable forward in the middle

When possible, you do want to attack and score especially while the press is vulnerable after a ball reversal. But the priority is to get into halfcourt.

In preparation against teams that use alot of pressure. I like doing walkthroughs the day before. Just so that the players get an idea what they will see and how our press break will work. But I do like the generic press break because it will work against any pressure (even M2M) and doesn't require the players to remember any complicated schemes.


Bob Higgins has WVU playing some solid ball right now. You can't tell me that WVU isn't a tournament team, the way they've played recently. They had a hot start, cooled off a little, but look like they're hitting their stride just in time. As for Villanova, I think they'll be fine, 6 games left before the Big East tournament and they already beat Syracuse earlier last week.

If you like West Virgina like I do (spent some months in Morgantown in a previous life) or Bob Huggins, then check out Bob Huggins' 2-Pack DVD on Man Defense and Intense Practice Drills. As always, be sure to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.