Thad Matta Defensive Notes

These notes are from Bob Starkey’s Basketball Coaching Blog, He has been posting for several years and there are hundreds of posts with ideas to make your program better.

Transition Defense:

Post Rule: “Get your butt ahead of your opponent’s butt.”

Goal: Force at least 2 passes when offense has numbers

Don’t allow a skip for a 3

Rule: Deep man never leaves paint until post comes to release.

Dribble Penetration:

Toughest thing to defend in basketball

Rule on Closeouts: “We don’t force the ball anywhere- we tell them don’t get beat.”

Coach Matta: “if you give up catch and shoot too much, you’ll lose your scholarship.”

TP: Don’t allow ball to get to the shot pocket when defending a shooter.

On non-driver, we will defend the passing hand (scouting)

Post Play:

OSU fronts the post

TP: Want quick feet like a boxer

Ball up top: up the line, on the line

Will front LP always, even if the low post takes a step off the lane

Show hands… sit down.. push him under basket

TP: if you are late fronting, don’t front.

Off Ball Screens:

TP: Jump to the ball- OSU wants jumper to extend far enough to swipe at the ball

Objective: get S guarding the ball

Down Screen: Trail all cutters- no sliding them

1st Rule: don’t get screened

“If you are constantly getting screened you are not going to be able to play for us.”

TP: Must start when the ball is in the air.

TP: “If my man is screening, play to help.”

On Ball Screens:

TP: On ball screen you don’t have a man.

Ball Defender Rule: Must make him use the screen (no rejection)

Ball defender must go once the screen (not behind)

Want defender on screener to recover (through to ally) between the ball defender and screener.

Basket Cuts:

Jump hard to the ball- stay in stance

No face cuts

Offensive Rebounding:

You can’t spend too much time blocking out

OSU likes bubble to work on rebounding

Screen the Screener:

Flex Cut

Jump low and take away low cut

Screen defender will bump high cut

On 6-to-6 pass, jump to the ball and swipe

Thru on down screen (swipe creates lane to cut thru)

Shooters with Great Range:

Vs. Shooter, OSU exaggerates denial- force back out.

In transition defense, OSU teaches to run the lane- vs. shooter, run to the shooter.

3 Pointers in Late Game Situations:

Contact switch on dribble hand. Offs vs. Shooter on late game shot

TP: player switching on shooter should have high hands

5th Defender Principle: Defender whose man is out of the play-your goal is to mess up the play.

During walk thru, Matta makes sure player knows- “you are the 5th defender on this play.”

Four Basic Guidelines to Switching

And a few more defensive notes from Coach Starkey’s Blog. These are from retired NBA Head Coach Del Harris:

Switch with teammates of equal or near-equal size on screens and crosses.

Switch to keep big players inside and small players outside on screens. Do this on changes and crosses away from the ball when possible, and on matching up in transition defense, as well as in recovering on rotations. Any communication that can allow a switch to accommodate the big in-little out concept is usually worthwhile.

Switch within fifteen feet of the goal.

Use the “emergency switch rule.” That is, switch whenever a situation arises in which a switch will challenge an open shot, regardless of the mismatch as X2 does for X5 in D-60.

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