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It takes a special player to come off the bench and help his team. It is a role many players do not enjoy, but a very important role, in some cases more important than a starter. The following questions should be contemplated to help prepare for such a situation.


Whom am I going in for?

  • What was his assignment?

  • Whom will I guard?

  • What are his strengths and weaknesses?

  • What are his physical attributes?

  • Does he have a dominant hand?

  • Does he go hard to the boards?

  • Is he a good defender?

  • Is he a good ball handler?

  • Does he go for head and ball fakes?

  • What side of the floor does he prefer to play on?

  • Is he a shooter?

  • If so, from where?

  • Does he shoot better off the dribble or pass?

  • Does he use head and ball fakes?

  • Is he a good free throw shooter?


How are the officials calling the game?

  • Is it being called close or are they letting us play?


What is the official's "favorite" call?

  • Traveling?

  • Moving screens?

  • Three-seconds?

  • Palming?

What is the tempo of the game?

  • Are we attempting to score from transition?

  • Have we given up any lay-ups?

  • How is our halfcourt game?

  • Are we executing?


Why am I going into the game?

  • To rebound?

  • To score?

  • To assert myself defensively?

  • To rest a teammate?

  • To ignite my teammates?


What defense are we playing?

  • Are we playing man-to-man?

  • Can we afford to guard tight or do we need to sag off?

  • Who are their "zone busters"?

  • Do they have a dominant center you should help cover down?

  • Have we pressed?

  • Do you expect us to be pressing soon?


What offense are we running?

  • What has worked the best so far?


What else should I know?

  • How many time-outs do we have left?

  • Are we in the bonus?

  • What is the score?

  • How much time is remaining?

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