Archie Miller Scoring Drills

I found these scoring drills from Archie Miller (University of Dayton) on his outstanding site with posts on various coaching topics at

Some of these drills were set up to be used during improvement season workouts, but I hope you can find ways to use them in your practices too.

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“Sideline Touches”

Player passes the ball to the coach, sprints to half court and then back to the basket where he receives a pass from the coach for his finish

• Will do same finishes every day (2 reps of each finish on each side of the floor). The fact they do the same finishes allows the drill to run quickly. 6-8 mins
• Will start practice with this (you can tell really quickly who is ready to practice).
• Next guy goes as soon as the guy in front of him catches the ball from the coach.

• Finishes:
1. Power Finish (off 2 feet)
2. Baby Hook (dribble with outside hand / skirt across the lane to use the other side for a defender approaching from a block from behind)
3. Pull-Up Jumper (top of the block)
4. Step Through (counter to jumper, finish with outside hand in front of rim—jumping off 2 feet)
5. Jail Break (ball thrown to him at half, try to get to rim in 1 dribble—2 dribble max)
6. Perimeter to Post (Attack into a crab dribble)


-Using the pad is important because you need to get your players to not pick up their dribble when they meet contact. Give them a way to play when they make contact.

-I want all my players to do the same skill work. Our bigs do the same drills as our guards.

-We are a “dominant pivot foot” program. Our right-handed players play with a left foot pivot, lefties play with a right. First to last day, same way every day.




“Explosion Series”


• Coach throws the player a bad pass to make it more difficult for him to get to triple threat.
• Keep that ball in tight and get your nose over your knees (in triple threat).

• Finishes:
1. Power Finish (off 2)…baseline + middle
2. Baby Hook (off 1)…baseline + middle…using the other side of rim
3. Perimeter to Post (as he blasts baseline, he flips his hip when he meets resistance to back the defender down to play in front of the rim)…going baseline + middle (get to elbow).

-Ball-handling work is useless unless the player is tired when he does it. The player needs to be tired in order for the drill to be effective.

“Circle Scoring”


• Shouldn’t be any more than 2 dribbles after the can/cone.
• Put the can/cone anywhere you want/any angle.

• Finishes:
1. Power Finish (off 2)
2. Baby Hook
3. Pull Up Jumper (inside FT line)
4. Drop Dribble to Step Through (rather than circling the can, as soon as the player gets behind the can, he drops the dribble back to the side he
came from to attack with his right (outside) hand. He dribbles hard at the right block and makes a step through move).
5. Wrap to “Perimeter to Post” (square your shoulders to rim as you get behind the can and wrap the ball around your body to attack back

“Full Court Finishes”

• Coach slams the ball on the floor. Player leaps to grab it and heads up the court. On the Coach’s “Stop” call, the player foot-fires. When coach calls “Go” he explodes down the court.

• Moves (every finish is a “Power Finish”)
1. Hesitation
2. Inside-Out (ball and body to opposite knee)
3. Crossover (finish on other side of rim)
4. Through Legs (finish on other side of rim)

-We never shoot without a clock. We never talk about shots in terms of reps with our players. I don’t care how many shots you can get up unless they’re on my terms.

-We shoot in 60-second intervals, 90-second intervals and, only sometimes, 3 minutes at a time.

-We chart all our shooting drills and talk about everything in terms of percentages. The big goal is trying to break 70%. That’s a good shooter for us.

“1-2 Step Spot Shooting”

• Passer/rebounder/shooter
• 60 seconds: aiming for about 25 attempts.
• Stress the importance of passing in these drills (assuming it’s a player passing).
• We’ll either do 60-seconds for that day or 90-seconds.
• 5 spots.
• For 3-minutes, a good score is in the 40’s. If we’re doing 3-minute intervals, we’ll only go 3 spots (9 minutes total).
• Coach’s job is to make sure fatigue doesn’t wear the player down and causes him to stop shooting the same shot every time (happens with players not 1-2 stepping).
• The best shooters get good at the end of the round.


• Corner-to-wing. One shot in the corner, one shot on the wing.
• 60-second rounds. 4 rounds (corner-to-wing; wing-to-TOK…flip side). Anything above 40 for the day is really good.
• Shoot while you’re breathing.
• Run to each spot, don’t slide.
• Skip pass as the player moves away / chest pass as he moves towards the passer.

“3 Men / 2 Balls”

• Groups of 3 players all over the gym at their own hoops. Get your rebound and pass to your partner. The three players at one hoop are on a team competing against the other baskets.
• Regular scoring: 2’s = 2, 3’s = 3’s
• Dock points if they’re not sprinting
• Rounds:
1. Catch & Shoot 2’s
2. Catch & Shoot 3’s
3. Eye the Rim One Long Dribble (catch outside the 3, one dribble to a pull-up)
4. Half court finishes (3 guys spread out across half court. Have to catch over half court and start in triple-threat. 3 players alternating through 2 balls.
5. 3 in a Line: pick your spot. Coach/rebounder
• Add the scores up and declare winner

-It is so so so important to chart and record your players’ shooting numbers. You need to be able to show them their progress (much like you would do in the weight room). I have a file that shows me what Kendall Pollard has made in every shooting drill he has ever done at Dayton.

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