Downloaded some great notes the other day which cover Bobby Knight's DVD on Practice Planning and Drills (notes created by coaches at Springs Valley Blackhawks). One interesting tidbit that I thought I would share is Coach Knight's philosophy on the dribble, against zones, and against man. He says that the dribble is the most effective against the zone, and against man he is straight motion. An extract:

Four Possessions
- Inside man should be the screener
- Do not throw the ball to the corner
- Talk about balance to your players…get the ball off the baseline…don’t crowd baseline!
- Players have a tendency to resort to the dribble vs. man, but Coach Knight actually encourages the
dribble against a zone
o Dribble against a zone every time that you catch the ball on the perimeter
o Attack a seam
- Causes the top defenders to react and move
- Dribble does more to change a zone than anything…it forces it to become something that it does not want to be

Man Offense: Eliminate the Dribble (No Dribble Drill)
- This drill develops cutting and spacing as well as encouraging good passes
- Players should only dribble to change position or to get to the basket
- Teams develop confidence that they can score without putting the ball on the floor
- Man/Man D…three-point line is the last line of defense for picking up the ball
o Half-court is the farthest
o Point of pick-up is dictated by how quick you are and how quick the offense is
- Post players need to hold their posts…don’t come off the block
o Other players do not come into areas where a post man is holding a post
- Don’t just run around…SEE AND REACT
- Offensive players need to get off the baseline
- No cross court passes against man-to-man defense

Traditionally, the idea against the zone is that you move the zone with the pass, by quick reversals and skip passes. But I've used the dribble in the past to great effectiveness against a zone as well, so I think there is a lot of merit to this idea. As for against man defense, I can see Coach Knight's point about over-dribbling, but the dribble penetration is still the hardest thing to stop for the defense.


  1. Coach Pat  

    August 24, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Nice post - I agree with Coach Knight that eliminating dribbling in half court offense drills really forces the players to cut hard to get open. Works even better if you tell your defense to deny hard. I also like going "no dribble" in break the press drills.

    Coach Pat Anderson