Villanova’s Half-Court Defensive Progression Drill

Villanova used three managers and coaches to go through six levels of progression in their half-court defense. Here they are labeled 2, 3, and 4. For teams without the luxury of three (or one) manager, players can easily serve as a substitute. Screens were not part of this progression, but they worked on ball screen and pin downs in isolation during practice as well.

The first step was a closeout with two high hands. The second step was to get in a triangle between the ball and your man that made it tough for the 3 to pass it back to the 2. Two should still be able to see ball out of this position.

Other teams vary this to take a charge on a potential drive by 4. Villanova did not do this. They used the word “tag” as opposed to box out on step four. It was more in line with hit and get than box out.

The drill does not end until the rebound is chinned. It’s a detail that is important and Villanova went back to it again and again in some of the pivot drills they did to focus on the moment after the rebound was gathered. Each player only got one rep in this drill. It took only a couple minutes.

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