When I think of talent equalizers in basketball, I think of 2 things, tough hard-nosed defense and 3-point shooting. If I were to develop a high school program today, the most important skill I would have the pre-Varsity young players working on is proper shot technique. Unlike in college where you can openly recruit the best combination of athleticism and skill, in high school you are pretty much limited to the kids enrolled at the school. Whereas athleticism is mostly innate, shooting is a skill that can be taught and employed. Here are some notes I went through today of University of Florida coach Billy Donovan talking at a Nike clinic earlier this year on utilizing the 3-point shot,

At Florida, we try to gain an advantage at the three point line by creating situations offensively by using it and by taking it away defensively. What is the best way to do this offensively? At my level, get better shooters. At the high
school level, get your shooters better. Having a big man that can shoot creates so many offensive opportunities for your team

Four ways to get open 3-pointers:

1. Transition, push hard for early threes.
2. Dribble Penetration, drive and kick opportunities.
3. Post Kickouts, passing out of double-teams followed by ball reversal.
4. Offensive Rebounds, best time for open threes. Bigs feel that they’re entitled to shoot the ball off of an o-board, but this is a great time to find a shooter sprinting to spot up in an open area.

The more you force the defense to closeout on you, the greater chance you have of getting to the paint. So, your thinking offensively should be "how do I create closeout opportunities?" The flat ball screen is great because the defense has to go so deep under them to get through and also because if the ball screen is overplayed, it is so easy to switch the angle to catch the defense.

We want to keep the ball in the "alley" (middle of the court between the two elbows) because it prevents teams from establishing helpside.

Transition ideas:

A team changing from offense to defense is one of the most difficult things in basketball, therefore you must "Exploit this!"

-On a miss, free-for-all, score as quickly as possible.
-On a make, we want the ball the inbounded as quickly as possible by whichever big is closest to the ball and we want the ball advanced up the floor as quickly as possible as well.
-In practice, if the ball isn’t across half court in 3 seconds, it is an automatic turnover.
-No set lanes, we want players to play. Wings should run as wide as possible and sprint up the floor. If the two happen to be on the same side, it’s the 2nd player’s responsibility to call "push" and send the first wing through to the other side.
-Random ball screens. If our first big down the court is behind the ball or not in position to get the ball in the low post in transition, it’s an automatic flat ball screen for strongside wing (trailing big can run in to set a double).

For more ideas on incorporating the 3-pointer into your offense, check out Billy Donovan's DVD on Shooting and Defending the 3-pointer.