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Special Situations


To make sure the "intangibles" work for us and not against us, we must thoroughly cover all special situations. Not just the X's and O's, but everything from "A to Z" on and off the court. The following address such situations.


Bench Conduct

  1. There are thousands of stories about bench antics, the subtle and not so subtle things that players do on the bench for whatever reason. However, our conduct is all business. You're suited up because we value what you can offer this team. Be attentive. Be involved. Learn all you can even though you may not play.

  2. Communicate and encourage your teammates on the floor. Be positive. Be a great teammate!

  3. Never argue with the officials.

  4. Always stand and applaud for any teammate coming out of the game.

  5. Under no circumstances should you leave the bench if an altercation should break out on the playing floor!


Comeback Game

Throughout the season, we will spend a lot of time discussing our "comeback game". In general, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Attack the basket! Two things happen with this mentality: a) the opponent fouls and stops the clock; b) in fear of fouling, the defense allows easy baskets.

  2. "Orange" is the call we have for our foul game. Swipe hard after the ball! Go for the steal, jump ball, or hard foul; but do not intentionally foul.

  3. Do not hold the ball for the last shot if we are behind.

  4. After the opponent scores to take the lead in the closing seconds, look to throw deep or drive coast-to-coast. Sometimes teams  "celebrate" too soon.

  5. Subbing may be for a “running time-out” and/or offensive and defensive reasons.


Defending the Baseline Out-of-Bounds

Prior to the official handing the ball to the inbounder, all players who are not guarding the ball need to establish ball-you-man defense. The defender on the ball should back up and guard the basket.

  1. Just as the official hands the ball to the inbounder, all four defenders aggressively jam their opponents.

  2. Do not allow any easy cuts into the lane.

  3. Do not get screened! Talk our defense early, loud and often.


Defending the Sideline Out-of-Bounds

  1. The defender assigned to the player inbounding the ball must pressure the ball with high, active hands.

  2. The other four players pack it in and protect the paint!

  3. Keep in mind, late clock situations may require us to defend this situation differently.


Delay Game

In an attempt to hold the ball, we have two different delays: "Five-Game Clear" and "Four-Game Clear". Both games spread the floor, but in the latter our center “posts up” near the key area relatively free from movement. General movements to follow:

  1. Pass and cut down the equator. Fill to the weak side. Keep good spacing.

  2. Be greedy receivers and meet the ball. Always catch with a strong ball sweep.

  3. If you're denied, back cut to the basket.


Drawing Fouls

When an individual opponent or team gets into foul trouble, we might want to capitalize by attempting the following:

  1. Attack mode! Don't shy away from contact. Each and every foul puts you at the charity stripe.

  2. Take a foul prone individual to the block, call out “Charlie” and post him up. It's "nostril time".

  3. Set on-ball screens for your teammate. Get set, stay in your stance and take the charge.


Freethrow Alignment

Games are often decided at the freethrow line. A team's worst nightmare is giving up an offensive rebound after a freethrow attempt. Therefore, we must all carry out our assignments.

  1. Defensively, four players need to be up on the lane.

  2. The two block men should step in at an angle with both hands up.

  3. We need to "sandwich" our opponent’s best rebounder.

  4. The opposite side is assigned to block-out the shooter.

  5. Offensively, crisscross the two block men or "SOFO" to get inside position. It is sometimes beneficial to tip the ball back to one of our free men.


Game Tempo

We should always be the team to set the tempo the first three minutes of the game and second half. Concentrate on the following:

  1. Sureness.

  2. Establish the paint (inside touches, attack the basket).

  3. Good shot selection.

  4. Be the first in everything we do.

  5. Defend and rebound!


Hot Calls

"Hot" calls occur anytime you or a teammate faces a double-team of any sort. Call out "Hot!" and apply the following:

  1. If at all possible, stay out of the trap. Keep your head up and "pullback crossover" out of the pressure.

  2. If you are trapped, pivot out of pressure (P.O.O.P). Shrink-it, stretch-it and split-it!

  3. When you recognize or even anticipate a teammate in trouble (hot), establish "three near" and "one deep" spacing.


Jump Ball

Our default alignment is a defensive tip. We try to tip the ball to the "sandwich” (two players standing next to each other).

  1. Center (#5) usually jumps.

  2. Power forward (#4) is up on the circle directly behind (#5).

  3. Small forward (#3) and our shooting guard (#2) are also on the circle to his (#4) right and left.

  4. Point guard (#1) is protecting back near the key area.



  1. Learn to listen (not just hear) during practice and games. Listen to your coach. Listen to your teammates.

  2. Look to the bench throughout the game, make eye contact with your coach, and listen for instructions.

  3. Point guard is responsible for relaying messages to all team members on the floor. Use echo yells!


Offensive Board Coverage

We must relentlessly attack the offensive boards and yet not give up easy baskets. Thus, we emphasize “OBC” which stands for “offensive board coverage”.

  1. It is our goal to send three to the glass: (#3), (#4) and (#5).

  2. Maintain one long rebounder (#2).

  3. Keep one back. (#1) is usually responsible for protecting the basket.

  4. In transition we like to say: a) Guards: Great Decisions; Forwards: Great Effort. b) Jog = Lose; Sprint = Win.

  5. Communication is vital for this aspect of our game: a) Find shooters, b) Force 2 or more passes, c) No celebrating!



  1. Complaining to the officials in any manner will not be tolerated. Treat them with respect and always address them as, "Sir".

  2. Whenever possible, hustle after a loose ball and return it to the non-calling official.

  3. Refrain from negative body language (i.e. rolling your eyes, raising up your hands, slamming the ball down).


Playing the Clock

  1. When holding the ball late in a quarter, try to get a good shot with about :05 seconds remaining. This should allow ample time for an offensive put-back.

  2. Call out “butter" if there is less than :03 seconds left. This means to shoot quickly!

  3. Obviously, if it is the fourth quarter a variety of scenarios might occur. For example, if we are ahead there is not need to shoot and try to score.

  4. Also, if we are behind it is not wise to hold the ball for the last shot. However, we do want a good shot.



  1. All players should be dressed and ready to go at least fifteen minutes (subject to change) prior to taking the floor. At this time we will meet together in a classroom or locker room and review our game plan.

  2. The National Anthem deserves our utmost respect. It’s not about us, it’s about those who sacrificed so much for our freedom. Stand proud. Class always shows.

  3. Introductions are just that: introductions. It is not an excuse for showmanship; rather, a time to celebrate our team and respect our opponent.

  4. Following the game, graciously shake hands with the opponent. Be certain to make eye contact, firmly shake their hands, and remember: class always shows! After, we will meet briefly together as a team on the court and/or locker room.


Saving the Ball

  1. If you see a teammate scramble for a loose ball, do not stand and watch! Fill the anticipated passing lane and communicate to him where you are.

  2. Saving the ball underneath your opponent's basket should be a long save or do not save the ball at all.

  3. Saving the ball short often leads to an easy basket for them.



  1. Always wait for the official to beckon you into the game. Hustle onto the court, grab the teammate you're going in for, and find out his assignment. After communicating with your replacement, hustle off the court without acting up, and sit next to your head coach.

  2. The bench should stand up and applaud for the team member coming out of the game.

  3. Be prepared to sub at any time: end of a quarter, during a time-out, or freethrow situation.



  1. The five players in the game should sit on the bench in this fashion: 4-2-1-5-3. The remaining players should focus their attention on the huddle as they stand in a semi-circle around the bench.

  2. The first :15 seconds should be for water and player discussion while the coaches confer. All eyes and ears will be on the speaking coach the remaining :45 seconds.

  3. Hustle to the bench as soon as a time-out is called. We do not walk!

  4. During a :30 second time-out, the five players on the floor should remain on the floor. The bench is to remain seated.



You should work hard and run everywhere during pregame warm-up. Keep all the lines as close to midcourt as possible. Make sure to get a good sweat going before the tip. Warm-up drills consist of the following:

  1. Circle the Floor & Tip Drill

  2. Two/Three-Line Pass & Cut Lay-ups or  Six Point Lay-ups

  3. Halfcourt Three-Man Weave

  4. Shell Defense w/Coach

  5. Partner Shooting / Stretching

  6. Return to Locker Room

  7. Blast Cut Jumpshots

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