Discover the offensive nuances that separate elite players from the rest of the pack
- Train players to initiate and absorb contact and finish strong around the rim
- Develop your players' ability to maintain focus under defensive pressure
- Teach your players how to attack off the dribble and how to use the lead shoulder as a weapon
with Mike Hopkins, University of Washington Head Coach;
former Syracuse University Assistant Coach; Court Coach for Team USA in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2010 and 2012; two-year starter for Syracuse and was a team captain his senior year
Mike Hopkins has been an assistant coach for the Syracuse University basketball program for more than 20 years. Under head coach Jim Boeheim, Coach Hopkins has helped guide the Orange to the NCAA Tournament 16 times, including a National Championship in the 2002-03 season. In addition to his role at Syracuse, Coach Hopkins has been an on-court coach for Team USA's Men's National 21-and under team trials (2000, 2001) and recently was responsible for player evaluation and selection for USA Basketball at the London Olympics.
Syracuse Assistant Coach Mike Hopkins gives his views and insight on perimeter player development that he has gained over a long and successful career under the tutelage of legendary coach Jim Boeheim.
Coach Hopkins works all aspects of perimeter development. He covers how to build mental toughness, ways to increase a player's speed, technique needed to attack the hoop, tips to increase shooting percentage, and how to deal with physical defensive pressure. This is accomplished with a focus on the player's use of angles, strength, and balance while dealing with physical contact.
Winning the Baseline Drive
The initial series of drills works on the various positions on the court. It also covers the importance of the line and angle to the basket when driving to the key. Coach Hopkins teaches players not to fight the defender, but instead to use balance and quickness.
Foot positioning is essential in cutting off the defender on the first step to the hoop. The ability to absorb and expect the bump while maintaining a strong base (while also urging the offensive player to initiate the contact) will allow for the proper angle to be held and increase the percentage of the shot.
Coach Hopkins also works on how to deal with the second defender that will come once players beat their initial defender.
Change of Direction Moves
Players often do not dribble low enough, which allows for a defender to swipe at the ball while never exiting their defensive stance. The Dribble Touch Series works on teaching players to stay low after making a change of direction move. Staying low and gaining space on each dribble will always keep the defender off balance.
A defender that's looking to crowd an offensive player is attempting to put the offense into an off-balance state of retreat. Coach Hopkins teaches a Head-Shoulder-Leg technique to initiate contact with the defender to create space without getting a foul called. He shows two areas on a defender that will make them move. The Walk Up Drill is used to not only teach players how to separate and get open on the perimeter, but to also get the defender out of position with the first move after the catch.
Dribbling posture is another point of emphasis, as Coach Hopkins discusses how players react when facing defensive pressure while handling the ball. To counteract a player's tendency to retreat and drop the head when pressured, several drills are implemented that preach clearing space. Keeping the dribble low, gaining space off of every dribble, and maintaining a strong, athletic stance while under duress with the ball are also essential.
Spurs 100 is a great shooting drill that Coach Hopkins likes to run at the end of his practices. It is a great conditioner that can be modified to create the same shots players would get in a game.
After watching this video, you will gain a greater appreciation of the skills and fundamentals that are needed to be successful at the highest level of basketball. Coach Hopkins provides you with all of the teaching components that will help your team achieve their dreams on the court.
Produced at the Fall 2012 Wheeling Jesuit Basketball Clinic.