Butler Bulldogs

I’ve been quite impressed with the play of the Butler Bulldogs in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Specifically I’ve been impressed with their inside screens. Pop over to the NCAA on demand page and have a look:

March Madness On Demand

Notice how Butler constantly are using their bigs to create space on the inside by sealing the post defenders, often from the inside. Whenever the defenders front the post the Butler bigs will just seal on the inside – and this creates a lot of space, and it occupies the post defenders so they help less.

This is somethingthat tickles my brain. I really like it, and I will look at how you can use this in the Dribble Drive.

They often manage to take away the

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Kentucky and the Dribble Drive

I’m sure a lot of you guys around the world are following the NCAA tournament. If not may I just remind you that all the games are available right here:

March Madness On Demand

With my interest in the Dribble Drive I’ve been following coach Calipari’s teams for years, but mostly in the post season, as very few NCAA games are shown in Europe during the regular season.

One thing which surprised me watching this season’s Kentucky matches is that they have pretty much gone away from the Dribble Drive as an offense, and I think they look stagnant because of it. There is a lot of pass, stand around. Pass, stand around waiting for a pick-n-roll. Pick-n-roll, hesitate.

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Pick-n-roll is dead


The original Dribble Drive didn’t feature the pick-n-roll much, but that’s not what has killed the pick-n-roll. In fact the pick is still alive, but there is no longer any roll.

Coach Calipari was an early proponent of setting the screen and then just sprinting to the basket instead of rolling. Duke has joined the bandwagon, as can be seen on the Bob Knight video below.


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Allowing players ownership of their team

This weekend I watched the World Cup Handball final. For anyone who doesn’t know the sport – which you probably wouldn’t unless you live in Europe or South Korea – it’s a bit like a mix of soccer and basketball, played indoors at two goals, but with the hands. Have a look at some highlights here:

Well, this weekend Denmark played France in the World Cup final, in Sweden in front of 16.000 spectators. Denmark had the ball but were down by one goal with 29 seconds left when they called a timeout. In handball 21 seconds is basically time enough for one offense.

We all know what most basketball coaches would do; take control, draw up a play, let the players know exactly what to do.

The Danish coach did something very different. As soon as the players came in he goes:

“What do you want to run?”

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On making changes to drills

I think one of the most important things we can do as coaches is to review our drills quite often. Not just find new drills, but to actually look at the drills we run and ask; Is this drill capable of giving more to the players than it already is?

A few months ago I asked that of the Walberg DDM Attack Layup drill of the Daily 45. The drill is great for teaching attacking layups and different moves, it focuses the act of training layups, and it only takes a few minutes each training session.

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Dribble Drive Fast Break; The Spurs Way

I read an interesting blog post today (via TrueHoop). It’s interesting because to me it reads like an article about how to run the dribble drive fast break, and especially how hard it is to stop a player who attacks the basket at speed. And this is at the highest level, with the San Antonio Spurs.

Here’s the interesting quote:

In watching San Antonio, it doesn’t even feel like they’re looking to run fast breaks as a team, it really just feels like Parker increasingly looks to take off on one-man forays. Usually, TP breaks one of the cardinal rules of transition basketball: he never has the numbers. Really, almost never. He converts at an amazing rate, considering that he always seems to be going 1-on-3 or 2-on-3.

This phenomenon really stood out to me in San Antonio’s 103-94 win over Chicago on Nov. 17. I went back at looked at Parker’s clips on Synergy Sports for that game. For the season, Parker has been producing about 1.3 points per possessions (PPP) on transition plays, a strong rate. In the game vs. the Bulls, he was credited with 11 points on 5 transition plays (2.2 PPP). I mean, the Bulls are a good defensive team that plays hard – this is a crazy number. Indeed, a play-by-play analysis of the video showed that the Bulls were getting back on defense… but they still couldn’t stop Parker. Here’s a play-by-play breakdown:

1) 2-on-3 break: TP Bucket
2) 1-on-3 break (4th defender collapses at end): TP Bucket
3) 3-on-3 break (4th defender chases in at end): TP Bucket And 1
4) 2-on-3 break: TP Bucket
5) 2-on-3 break: TP Bucket

Not once did Parker have the numbers, yet he converted every single time. Another thing I noticed is that, on any break above where it was 2-on-3 or 3-on-3, the non-Parker Spurs always looked to spot up behind the three-point line, rather than run to the basket, and were really trailers more than what we commonly think of as active participants in fast breaks.

It really might be the most bizarre fast-break approach I’ve seen: they have one little guy who gets the ball and dribbles like crazy, as he runs a one-man break which he can finish uncommonly well, even against the numbers, and even though he’s not a physically dominating guy – he essentially can’t even dunk in a game! And his teammates don’t even look to run to the basket, they’re just running to the line.

So Parker can go 1-on-3 and still score. An experienced Dribble Drive coach shouldn’t be too surprised; We know that when a offensive player is at full speed and is driving to the rim at full speed it’s almost impossible to stop him without fouling him.

We know this from running the Blood Drills every day.

Obviously most our players can’t finish like Parker, which is why we have the post to clean up the misses, but the principle is the same.

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Walberg and the Wall Street Journal (and the Knicks)

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal about the New York Knicks and their use of statistics offers a lot of support to the way Coach Walberg thinks about basketball.

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Dribble Drive Zone System eBook Out Now!

In my original book there is a section about the Dribble Drive Zone Offense, and I have now expanded that section greatly with the new information from coach Walberg’s latest DVD’s (Walberg Advanced Dribble-Drive Offense: Zone & Transition Game).

The new eBook is 23 pages, and includes:

  • X’s and O’s for the Fresno 4-out Push offense
  • X’s and O’s for the Fresno 3-out “2-Game” offense
  • How to combine Push and 2-game into simple offensive system
  • Six different set plays in two different series which fit seamlessly with the zone offense.

The book can be purchased for $9.99 through uploadnsell.com, which takes you onto Paypal: The Dribble Drive Zone Offense System eBook

Finally; For those of you in the US: Good luck for the start of your season!

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New Walberg Videos out

Today I got an email from Heather Walberg, Vance Walberg’s daughter, announcing the three new DVD sets that Vance Walberg has coming out

The email announces the release of 3 new Walberg DVD’s. Alot of people have used the Dribble Drive Offense and/or Full Court Pressure Defense DVD’s. Based on user questions and emails the new DVD’s were created.  The DVD’s have been released through Championship Productions.

Three DVD’s have been released, two of them as a discounted set:

Advanced Dribble-Drive Offense: Zone & Transition Game, $199.99

100 Drills and Sets for Implementing the Dribble Drive Offense, $79.99

Vance Walberg’s Advanced Dribble Drive Set – The two above as a discounted set: 199.98 $174.99

Vance Walberg: Half-Court Pressure Defensive System, 79.99

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Staying true to your style

I think one of the most important things you must do when running any offense is to stay true to it with everything you do. By that I mean that you can’t teach two different styles of play and expect the players to understand both and especially be able to play both.

If you’re running the Dribble Drive, I think it becomes very hard to run a slow-down offense as a secondary offense – and don’t even think about running the DDM as a secondary offense.

You have to get your players into the right mindset. If you’re running a screening motion, you have to instill patience and if you’re running the DDM they have to be in attack mode.

When I started running the DDM we would walk it up, make sure everybody were in the right position, and then start running it. In other words, we were relying on the X’s and O’s to provide the baskets, and ran it like you run sets. The problem was that the players never got into the right attack mindset.

That’s where I think both Calipari and Walberg have revolutionized the game in a way. There is no fast or secondary break. In it’s purest form both use the DDM where they are just attacking off a basket or a rebound. The ball must be pushed, and it can go anywhere going up the court, and no matter where the ball goes you just follow the basic Dribble Drive principles

While with the Dribble Drive you have to be in attack mode 100% of the time, you might also be forced to run sets and quick hitters. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn’t use sets which change the mind-set of the players. Quick hitters or sets may be useful to open up the defense for the Dribble Drive, but don’t ask the players to run complicated sets that require patience and a different mind set.

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