I know we all have spent valuable time this summer going to clinics, watching newly purchased DVDs, and studying the new man offense we are going to run this season. All of those things are very important to our growth as coaches and the success our teams. There is noting wrong with deciding to go with a "Horns" alignment for the majority of our set plays rather than an "1-4 High" alignment. It is great we decided to put in the simple "5 Out" motion offense we have been studying since the end of last season. All of these things are important as long as we remember the "minimums".
We are not going to cover how important it is to develop our players abilities to shoot, pass, and dribble. We are going to take another approach to defining the "minimums" of offensive basketball.
According to the dictionary on Google, the definition of minimum is "the least or smallest amount or quantity possible, attainable, or required." I want to focus on the word "required" in the definition above.
Examples of Required Actions
Play with "Eyes Up" - All 5 players must be able to see what is going on at all times.
Handle Ball Under Pressure - Both in moving and nonmoving situations.
Catch and Pivot to score or into a strong position without traveling.
Jump Stop - Similar to catch and pivot - Players need to be able to jump stop without traveling.
Read Defense - Understand what the defense is doing and how they can counter.
Running the Floor in Transition - Run hard after change of every possession.
Spacing - Utilize space to get an open shot - Utilize space to get a teammate an open shot.
Moving Without the Ball - Basic movements to get open - Basic movements to get a teammate open. (Cuts)
Actions - Basic actions to get open - Basic actions to get a teammate open. (Setting and using screens)
Shot Selection - Good to great shots - Unselfish
Ball Movement - 5 > 1
Before we spend the rest of the summer designing drills for our new offensive philosophy, let's create and refine our list of basketball minimums. Apply our list at every practice. Make our list the priority. Never forget the list.
4th quarter - Tied game - "Horns"? - "Horns Up"? - "Horns Down"? - It does not matter what play we call if our players are unable to perform our list of minimums.
No knife skills - No head chef
No blocking - No playoff game
No stage presence - No special
"Do More With Less" by mastering the minimums.