Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Drop and drag

Mads Olesen

Work on the drop-zone stop and drag-zone skip, run it to both sides and from both guard spots (e.g. from the 1-spot to the 3-spot , shown, or to the 2-spot).


a) backdoor layup
- 1 drives drop 3, 3 can't move until 1 hits the drop zone
b) skip pass
- 1 drives early drag 2 zone, skip to 3 (lifted), sprint to replace 3 in the corner to create space
c) kickup
- drop 3 kickup to attack layup, 1 sprints to the corner
d) corner throwback
- kickup, step-back dribble, pass to 1 in the corner, 3 cuts to the hoop for weakside rebounding
e) give and go
- kickup, throwback to corner, 1 passes to 3 on the give and go.
(Other options) - see below
f) corner kick-out
- 1 drives drop 3 or drag 3, kick pass to 3 in the corner
g) corner skip pass
- 1 drives drop 2 for a skip pass to 3 in the corner
h) drag 3 for a kickup
i) "quick" passing.

Drop zone backdoor - 3 may go straight backdoor (if X3 is playing high) or set up his man. For the backdoor, it's better for 1 to be higher in the drop zone than at the elbow.

If the defence is playing the corners high to take away drives, the backdoor will often be open; if low and flat, the kickup will often be more available. The kickup is among the last things he would teach.

If 1 gets pushed out of the drop zone, you can still run all the options with a dribble hand-off.
3 must stay in his corner on a deep drive to his side, will be open for a shot if X3 helps. 2 and 3 must be patient.
Greg Kampe - 1 stops at the elbow if he can't get to the rim, turns sideways (facing the sideline), 3 is low and late until 1 picks up the dribble, initiating the offence, then 3 will loop (kick up) or drop (backcut).
Mike Lee - Drive-kick drills (YouTube) - 1 gets to the elbow, makes a corner kick for a 3. If 1 drives the gap and X3 rotates over late to help, X3 could deflect a pass to the corner, so 3 wraps behind 1 for a pass, and 1 replaces 3 in the corner.
Nate Oats
a) Kickdown - X3 helps early, before 1 gets to the elbow he makes a simple pass to the corner.
b) Loop - X3 helps late, 1 gets deeper in the lane, then 3 loops.
c) Floater - they typically drive a lot more than they shoot off a loop.
Billy Lange (76ers offensive concepts) - X3 would back up to 3 as 1 drives middle, 3 can backdoor for a bounce pass, or cut in front of X3's nose.
Andy Enfield - if 4 is in the corner, on any middle drive he takes half a step towards the ball then runs behind the defence for a lob pass, and keeps going if there is no pass.

See Layups - Vance Walberg drop, Shooting - Calipari two-ball, Dribble-drive.


1) Both corners

Work both sides with one line in a guard spot, 4 and 3 go next.

On a pass to 1 in the corner, 2 would cut through to create space for 1 to drive out of the corner. (For a kickup-throwback series, have  2 rebound and 1 stay in the corner after shooting; on a random kickup-throwback, have 1 rebound and 2 go back to the corner until he shoots.)
If 1 makes a kick-out or skip pass to 2 in the corner, have him clear to the other corner.
Matt Bollant - Quick - against teams that force baseline (keeping the ball out of the middle), 1 jump stops, passes to 2 and cuts through (weakside), 2 can drive baseline right away, or drive middle, crossover and go baseline.

2) Both guard spots

a) Skip passes

Work both sides with two lines out top, alternate attacks as needed (when going to the other side of the floor, here a drag zone skip pass).

The skip pass to a weakside shooter is the most essential in the entire offence. There are good passing options from the drag zone, but it is the least desirable zone to stop in, as on a stop the passing options aren't great. No player should ever stop in the drag zone (automatic turnover in practice).

If the corners set up really low like Calipari, 2 must start dragging up as soon as penetration goes away from him, then cut back to the corner if penetration stops early, say in the drop zone.

The passer will usually hesitate under the hoop to make a read, if 2 drives middle, 1 cuts out to the 2 corner.

Greg Kampe - if 1 gets to the drop box and 3 is not open, reverse pivot 180 degrees and skip to the other wing.
Matt Bollant - drop zone jump stop, skip pass, 1 cuts to the ballside corner.

John Calipari - 1 drives, skip passes to 2 breaking out of the weakside corner, then backs out.

Nate Oats - Lift shooting - 2 lifts out of the corner to the break when his man helps down on the big, 1 gets past the elbow.

Liam Flynn - Drive-kick-clear part 1 - 1 passes to 2 in the weakside corner (then clears to the other corner), or 2 makes a shape cut out to the wing extended, 1 passes and clears to the ballside corner (and can get a return pass).

USC pre-game warm-up - 1 drives and kicks to 3 in the corner, 8 drives and kicks to 2 in the corner.

See Shooting - Pre-game.

b) Quick

1 calls for 2 to elevate, passes and cuts through (and changes sides).

Option - crab dribble, one-hand pass off the dribble

Quick - if you need to change things up or are dribbling too much. If 2 can't just go get the ball he must v-cut to get open. 1 should start his cut while the pass is in the air, 2 shouldn't be able to make a move before 1 cuts. With a dominant post player it's a good option have 1 set a screen for 5.

Quick-replace - 1 calls for 2 to elevate and passes, but instead of cutting through he puts on the brakes and replaces himself. The action is the same as a pull-back dribble, 4 cuts through to the basket, 2 drops to the corner.
Randy Sherman - quad offence - on a diagonal pass (slot to wing), make a diagonal cut to the opposite corner (basket cut on a horizontal guard-to-guard pass).
See Calipari (Second drives), Tactics - Dribble-drive quick-swing, Layups - Blast cuts, Shooting - Pop-out.up

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