The following clinic article from Wisconsin-Oshkosh coach Matt Lewis appears in the Fall 2019 edition of NABC Time-Out Magazine. To view the full Fall 2019 issue, click here.
At UW-Oshkosh, we are a motion "flow" offense program that invests a lot of time in teaching how to create advantages for each other, and then give space and react to those advantages. We create advantages through off-ball screening, cutting, ball-screens, and post touches. Here are a few of the drills that we use to teach off-ball screening and cutting.
Drill 1: 2v0 Flow Breakdown
This drill focuses on the execution of our wide down-screens and flare-screens. It begins with a ‘fill cut’ near the top of the key. Depending on where others are positioned, the fill cut player catches in a different spot. Our teaching begins with the wide down-screen. Effective screening begins with communication: visual (hands in the air) and verbal (name of person they want to screen for). The screener then sprints to a wide position on the floor and ‘pops’ his feet to set the screen. Ideally, the screener sets the screen with their back facing the basketball at the top of the floor. While the screener is ‘fast’ (sprinting), the cutter is ‘slow’ (setting up the screen). We do this by taking steps towards the baseline. Our goal is to set the screen far enough out on the court so we have multiple cutting options. Those cutting options (‘reads’) are curl, dive, and change cut. In the most basic terms, one of the two players must pressure the rim, and the other must play towards the perimeter. In the beginning, we dictate the cut that must be made. This helps with understanding proper execution. As we progress, we add one or two defenders to force offensive players to ‘read’ the defense. In this drill, we have an extra passer and ball so that both players get shots. We also apply these concepts to our flare-screens.
Drill 2: 3v0 Flow Breakdown
In this drill, we begin with either a down-screen or flare-screen, and the fill cut player remains in the drill after feeding the ‘action’. The player who catches the pass on the perimeter, must drive the ball into the lane, allowing us to work on reacting to penetration. We use ‘c-cuts’ on the ball-side and ‘lifts’ and ‘drifts’ on the weakside. In the initial reps of this drill, we only require one penetration and kick. We progress to two and three penetration and kicks, which provides for multiple opportunities for players to react with good spacing. They also practice their starts, stops, pick-ups, and passing the basketball. We have two extra passers on the baseline so that all three players get shots to finish each rep.
Drill 3: 3v3 or 4v4 Cut-Throat
This format is used to carry over the understanding from the flow breakdown to live play. Typically, it is a make-it-take format. We can add different ‘restrictions’ if we want to focus on specific areas of our flow. For example, the ball must touch the post prior to a shot.