Friday, July 18, 2014

Bob Knight Coaching Notes

I recently purchased Championship Productions' "Learn From the Legends Series."  It is six videos of Coach Geno Auriemma and Coach Bob Knight talking about and demonstrating their offensive and defensive philosophies.  Here are my notes for Coach Knight's portion of the series.  For the first two videos I didn't take any notes.

Bob Knight Notes

Motion Offense

-Post player should set-up the first line above the block
-Like a bounce pass to the post man

-Develop situations where practice is more difficult than a game

-Play without the dribble at times in practice
-Eliminates kids standing around and watching

-Take a Timeout in Practice.  Mention three things.  Ask kids to write down what you just said.

-3 on 3 at both ends is a must every night
-Early part of practice

-Prepped for a press by having 7 defenders press

Zone Offense

-First thing against any zone is beating the zone down the floor

-Play 4 on 4 or 5 on 5 where the offense is trying to keep the ball and the defense is trying to steal it.  No scoring.
-How many passes can you make?
-How many minutes can you keep it without a turnover?
-One minute?  Two minutes
-Defense can take it the other way

-The dribble is the most effective way to attack a zone

-Against a zone continually force two people to guard one offensive player

-Distort the Zone Defense

-You can not dribble the ball and pass in the same direction

-Never pass the ball to the same player who just passed you the ball away (unless you dribble away)

-Screen the Zone

-The Zone is designed to play the pass

-The most unused move in basketball is the SHOT FAKE

-Pass fake and reverse the ball the other way


-Every night you have to work on shooting
-Have to do it in a game-like condition

-Block out at an angle
-Work in pairs
-Coach says “Go”

-When shooting Free Throws players should keep their eyes on the back of the room
-Coaches should check players’ eyes when they are shooting FTs

-When setting screen lock your wrist in your other hand.  Keeps you from throwing an elbow/illegal screen.  Lets you use your arms as a buffer.

-The screener should/will always have a chance to score.

-Always screen a guy below you.

Defensive Tactics and Defending Screens

-There are more ways to get beat playing Zone than playing Man to Man.

-Rarely picks up full court
-Gives up layups/easy scores

-Defense starts with good block-out

-Elbows out when blocking out

-Work the block-out every day

-Picks up between center line and three point line

-Keep things going to the side

-Help is the most important thing in Defensive Play

-If you can’t help and recover you don’t have a good defense

-Doesn’t like to front the post.  Leaves the lob open.

-Player sets a screen at the same distance from which he can shoot

-Great players usually don’t make great coaches.  A bench player pays more attention.

-“Victory favors the team making the fewest mistakes.”

-Foul when up three at the end of the game.

-With Help and Recover never Help off a great shooter.  Rest of the team has to understand this.

-The best coaches are the most demanding coaches.

Geno Auriemma Coaching Notes

I recently purchased Championship Productions' "Learn From the Legends Series."  It is six videos of Coach Geno Auriemma and Coach Bob Knight talking about and demonstrating their offensive and defensive philosophies.  Here are my notes for Coach Auriemma's portion of the series.  Note that I didn't take many notes on the first three videos (for one I didn't take any notes).

Geno Auriemma Notes

The Essentials of Coaching

-Starts practice the same way every day.  Not a lot of drills but the uses the same ones every day.  Only covers things that players will do in a game.

Building Creativity into Your Motion Offense

-You want the best offensive player on your team catching the ball at the high post.

Zone Offense

-Spend more time on your offense than defense

-“If you can’t make a shot, what difference what plays you’re running?”
-If you don’t have good shooters, work on shooting the ball, a lot, in practice

-Don’t put anyone on the floor who can’t help you offensively.

-Practice different types of layups

-All the great offenses in the world won’t work if you can’t dribble, pass, catch, and shoot.

-Spend time shooting the ball every day

-The guy who hits the other guy first wins

Zone Offense Strategies

-Penetrate the Zone with a dribble or a pass

-Girls don’t play zone or press because girls aren’t big and fast enough
-They don’t take up enough space

-On closeouts it is impossible to take away the three AND stop the drive
-One or the other

-Don’t shoot jump shots against the trap


-There’s only so many things you can be good at

-There’s a lot of different ways you can win.  You have to decide what works for you.

-First Man to Man Defense decision: Where do you pick up?

-You are either a pressing team or you’re not.  If you press you have to be committed to it.

-At some point your Half-court Defense is going to have to win a game for you

-A mistake players make on D is, once they player starts dribbling, they body up and foul.  KEEP YOUR SEPARATION.

-Coach A fronts the post but is undecided if this is the best strategy because it gives up an offensive rebound.

-4 on 4.  Defensive 4 start in the paint.  Offensive four outside the arc.  Coach passes to a random offensive player.  Defenders must closeout and/or position themselves accurately based on how many passes away they are.

Defensive Tactics

-No easy way to defend good ball screens

-UConn does a hard hedge on a ball screen.  Then recover quickly.

-Run ball screens for a really good player.  Don’t run ball screens for a weak player.

-Pick and roll is an opportunity to trap.  But very difficult to trap in the middle of the court.  Sides are much better.  Trap any screen going to the sideline.

-Pick one way to guard Pick and Roll
-Hard Hedge (Auriemma prefers Hard Hedge)

-You’ve got to coach like your best stuff won’t work
-Be ready to adjust

-The easiest teams to play are the teams that run a set play.  Once you take that away they fall apart.

-When playing a better/more talented team, back up your defense.  Play soft, sagging man to man.  On offense try to fast break.  Don’t want to let a good team set-up their defense.  Try to set-up your offense where your two best offensive players are together on one side of the floor.  Everybody else screens.  Hope the other team plays poorly.

-If you don’t give up open three’s and you don’t put people on the FT line do you know how many two’s a team has to make to beat you?  A lot.

-My timeouts have gotten better because I’ve realized my players are dumb.  Only give players two things to do.  No more.

-Put best big athlete on the ball on inbound situations.