Dictate how the game will be played with your half court pressure defense!
- Tailor your defensive drills based on scouting reports to maximize repetitions with the tactics you'll need to destroy your opponents' game plan
- Adjust your ball screen defense to force your opponents to beat you with their weakest attack options
- Switch up your strategies with zone and full court pressure defenses to scramble your opponent with unique looks
with Brad Underwood,
University of Illinois Head Coach;
former Oklahoma State & Stephen F. Austin University Head Coach;
3x ('14-'16) Southland Conference Regular Season & Tournament Champions;
2x (2015 & 2014) Southland Conference Coach of the Year;
2014 Joe B. Hall Award Recipient (Nation's top first-year coach), 2014 Jim Phelan Award Finalist (top Division I coach), 2x (2015 & 2014) Hugh Durham Award Finalist (top mid-major coach)
Brad Underwood has consistently built teams that thrive on creating chaos for their opponents with an imposing half court pressure man-to-man defense. This style is designed to force your opponent to deviate from their game plan with its intense ball pressure, pass denial, and toughness. Learn how you can take a team with lesser talent and win challenging games through discipline and overwhelming effort.
These two practices give you an inside look into how this defense is installed through drills and scrimmage. You'll also get a chance to see how you can switch to attack your opponent with zone defense and full court pressure. Additionally, Underwood discusses his strategies for a variety of coaching and defensive topics.
Coach Underwood shares a wealth of information related to the philosophy and methodology that has guided him to consistent success in his coaching career. You'll gain insight into a variety of topics, including how to optimally structure your skill development program, how to demand maximum effort from your players on a daily basis, and how to design your practices for the best results.
You'll also get an in-depth explanation of Underwood's approach to half court man-to-man pressure defense. He describes the terminology and teaching points that his coaching staff use to teach players how to challenge every pass with aggressive denial and shrink the floor to provide help on dribble penetration. Using different ball screen strategies to force your opponent toward their weaknesses and fighting through screens by "going third" are also covered.
Up-the-Line, On-the-Line Denial
The basis of Underwood's defensive philosophy comes from the concept of up-the-line, on-the-line denial. This means no direct passes are allowed to be made regardless of how many passes from the ball the player being guarded is.
Up-the-line, on-the-line denial forces teams to become more one-on-one oriented. The positioning of any off-ball defender requires one hand and one foot in the passing lane. This forces soft passes to either go over or go under and never on a direct line. This gives the defense time to jump to the ball or the defender and time to tip, deflect, or intercept the pass.
Ball Screen Defense
Coach Underwood discusses the three main ways in which his teams defend ball screens.
With the ball on the offense's left side of the floor, "Blue" is the call, forcing the dribbler to the baseline and away from the ball screen. The top help-side defender rotates hard in the direction of the ball screener looking for a possible steal, something that typically happens at least once a game.
If the ball is on the offense's right side of the floor, "Red" is the call. This hard hedge is designed to force the dribbler up the sideline and keep them out of the middle of the floor. The rotation takes away ball reversals, and guards against pick & pop and pick & roll action.
On flat ball screens in the middle of the floor, "White" is called. These ball screens, typically made because of ball pressure, force the ball-handler to go to their left where they are then guarded by two defenders. Rotation is designed to take away pick & pop action and provide effective help.
Fundamental Defensive Drills
Learn six practice drills that present the teaching points you'll need to teach players the fundamentals needed in this aggressive style of play. The Two Minute Deny drill trains your team to take away passing lanes while still reacting to intercept backdoor passes. The Trace and Closeout drill develops a mindset to put maximum pressure on the ball while still containing the dribbler with solid footwork.
Five different progressions to the "shell" drill will teach how to deny cutters, fight through away screens, rotate to help on baseline drives, and how to defend stagger screens. Additional drills show your players how to scramble in disadvantage situations to prevent post feeds, plug the gaps to help on dribble penetration, and finish possessions with strong defensive rebounding.
Watch how Underwood prepares his team for an upcoming opponent. You'll see how the coaching staff converts the offensive actions of their opponent into over eight different breakdown drills for players to learn how to defend cross screens, floppy action, high post flashes, staggers, and more.
Add other defensive strategies to your defensive system, such as the Black 1-2-2 zone defense and varying styles of full court pressure. You'll learn how to implement the zone defense with two different breakdown drills for your front and backline defenders and also see it in action with 5-on-5 scrimmage.
Additionally, you'll see how to build the Double Fist full court man-to-man press with two practice drills to build up the ball pressure. Underwood shows how you can take this run and jump defense and convert it into a half-court trap.
The lessons seen throughout the video will help any team find a pressure defensive identity.