Here’s a great basketball drill that can help new coaches select their teams

Mt. Blue, Bangor and any other high school that hired their coaches after the end of the summer basketball season are faced with a difficult job of selecting their teams without the benefit of seeing their players in action this past summer.
They cannot watch their players playing fall basketball for Maine Hoops, MAC or MB Nation Fall Leagues because of the new Maine Principals’ Association rule that bans them from attending these games.
Four times in my coaching career I was faced with selecting my teams without seeing the players compete during the summer, but I had four weeks to make the decisions. These coaches now have only three weeks to select their teams and get ready for their regular-season openers.
If you could only use one drill to select a basketball team, what would it be?
I used a 3-on-1 and 3-on-2 full-court fast-break drill. This drill had specific rules to follow such as: 1. When you got a rebound you had to turn to the correct side to make the outlet pass.
2. Did you turn to the correct side as you came down with the ball on the rebound.
3. The outlet man then had to dribble the ball to the opposite foul line and stop as the rebounder and opposite-side outlet man both filled the outside lanes.
4. The man dribbling the ball had to stop at the foul line if the defender or defenders stayed below the foul line and if the defender came above the foul line, the dribbler had to go to one of the elbows at the foul line.
This drill showed me all I needed to know about their basketball skills, how well they could rebound, pass, dribble, and handle the ball on the move. It also showed how well they listened to the rules and obeyed them.
This was a continuous drill as there were three lines at each end of the court. One line was under the basket at each end of the court on the endline;  the two other lines were on the sidelines on the endline about 10 feet from the sideline.
To start the drill on one end of the court, the player in the middle line would step out on one side of the backboard and throw the ball off the backboard and rebounded the ball to the side of the court he was on and made an outlet pass to the wing player. The other player positioned himself even with the other wing about 15 feet from the endline.
The rebounder would turn out to outlet the ball to the wing on his side of the court. The wing would dribble as hard and fast as he could to the foul line at the opposite end of the court. The wing on the other side would run straight down the court as the rebounder would move out to where the original outlet player was and then would move straight down the court as a wing. The two wings would run straight down the court and then when they got even with the foul line they both would cut toward the basket on their side of the court.
There are three lines in the same positions on the other end of the court. The three players move down the court, with the middle player dribbling, while the other players run to fill the lanes. The first player in the middle line under the basket would step out when the ball got to the mid-court line to defend against the three players attacking the basket. To make it a 2- on-2 drill the first two players in that line would come out to defend the three offensive players on the break.
Then the three offensive players had to make decisions against the one or two defenders to get the best shot possible. As soon as the ball was shot the two outside lines had the first player in their line come out on the sideline about 15 feet from the endline to get ready to run the drill back the other way. If a basket was scored then the first player who came out to defend would get the ball and throw it up off the backboard on one side of the basket and run the drill right back toward the other basket.
If the shot was missed then the defensive player who got the rebound would outlet the ball and fill the lane on the same side he made the outlet pass to and the drill continued on. This meant that if the defender who got the rebound was not the first defender in that line, then he would have to wait there until the break came back at him again.
If I had just one drill to use to evaluate basketball talent this would be the one as it gives you all you need to evaluate players who were the most coachable, made the best basketball decisions,  and who were the best shooters, dribblers, passers, rebounders and defenders.

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