Disrupt opponents by applying extreme ball pressure, denying passing lanes and leveraging the offense into bad decisions
- Make ball movement difficult while putting players in position to help the on-ball defender
- Disrupt the ball screen attack with strategies for isolating the ball handler and forcing them out of their game
- Maintain your pressure in spite of offensive cutting and screening actions
with Brad Underwood,
University of Illinois Head Coach;
former Oklahoma State University Head Coach;
former Stephen F. Austin University Head Coach; 3x (2014-16) Southland Conference Regular Season and 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)
In the era of passive packline defense, Brad Underwood charges in a different direction to get different results. Using his on the line-up the line half court pressure defense Coach Underwood's teams have been national leaders in steals and turnovers forced per possession over the last two years (2014-15).
Coach Underwood teaches you the principles and technique for positioning, maintaining denial through various offensive actions, and keeping pressure on the opponent while defending ball screens. Even less athletic players can excel in this defense by forming habits that encourage proper technique and the toughness to play with great effort every day.
Basics of On-Ball Defense
The goal of this pressure defensive system is to prevent your opponents from getting into the offense they want to run and force them to make catches further away from the basket. Coach Underwood begins his systematic approach to shrinking the court by describing the rules and responsibilities for each individual defender, and then explains how the defense moves as a unit as the ball is passed around. He details the pick up point and technique for ball pressure so your opponent is uncomfortable through the entire possession, and shows how off-ball defenders play "on the line and up the line" to deny passes.
Pressure vs Common Offensive Actions
Offensive players will very rarely just stand in place. Coach Underwood shows you how they maintain their pressure through the variety of actions your opponents will try to use against you. See how he trains his players to move and adjust their denial positions every time the ball moves Many of the concepts are broken down into a 2-on-2, 3-on-3, or 4-on-4 drill that you can use to focus on the action.
You will learn the technique for denying back cuts and basket cuts, playing post defense, stopping dribble penetration with a "plug" and sprinting to the mid-line to play help defense. Coach Underwood demonstrates how you can jump the gaps and disrupt screening actions such as screen aways, down screens, and baseline screens by playing up the line.
In order to tie his defense all together, Coach Underwood introduces the shell drill where he emphasizes communication, jumping to the ball, and sprinting to help. Players are encouraged to "do their work early" and have constant movement. Next, players work on handling the "down screen" where they jump to the ball and go third person. And they work on combination actions which makes it very game-like.
Defending Ball Screens
Opponents will try to use ball screens to scale down your pressure. Coach Underwood details strategies for attacking multiple types of ball screens to maintain their disruptive intensity. Learn how to trap the dribbler in the corner by "downing" or keep the offense on the sideline with a hard hedge by forcing players to their weak hand on side ball screens. You can adjust your rotations with "X-Action" to quickly cover screeners popping into space for an open shot. Coach Underwood also explains how to defend three different high ball screen actions by forcing dribblers to their weak hand and hedging.
The red, white and blue communication to defend on-ball screens is a brilliant tool that can be adapted into any defensive arsenal.
This comprehensive video is the "total package" for teams who want to utilize ball pressure and technique to get their players playing