Newsletter #169

September 18, 2019

 
 

Today's Quote:  "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." - Muhammad Ali


Today's Theme... Cherry Picking System 

"Cherry picking" is a concept that has been around for many years but you rarely see it anymore. Years ago you might have seen a team play half-court defense with just four players and send one player deep toward their basket. The idea was to get the rebound and quickly make the long throw down-court to your "cherry-picker" for an easy lay-up. And it worked sometimes.

Coach Tyler Whitcomb has used something similar that he calls his "cherry-picking system". First, this is not something you would want to do the entire game, as defending 4 against 5 is going to cost you over the long haul. But you might try it in a special situation... after a time-out, or with a call from the bench.

Running it for just a possesion or two, may confuse the offense initially, or might force them out of their usual offense by making them drop one offensive player back for defense. But after a time-out or a couple possessions, they'll figure it out, and so then you drop it and go back to your usual 5-on-5 defense.

Obviously then, pick the game situations wherein you think this might work... and might not. If you are trailing by 10 with limited time remaining and no shot clock, the opponent could just delay and run out the clock playing 5-on-4.

Initial Set - Diagram 1 shows Whitcomb's initial setup... four half-court defenders and one leaking out to half-court along the sideline. The rebounder makes the quick pass to O2 and O1 sprints up the opposite side for the pass from O2.

Piston drill

Optionally, O2 could just leak out deep toward the basket for the long pass and layup.

Counter Options - there are counter options for when the opponent has one player drop back to defend the cherry-picker.

Replace option - when the opponent comes out on the cherry-picker, the cherry-picker goes back inside and plays defense, yells out the name of a teammate e.g. "John" and John moves outside as the new cherry picker on the opposite sideline. 

Two cherry-pickers option - this time our initial cherry-picker stays put, and we leak out a second cherry-picker along the opposite sideline. We are now playing 3-on-4 half-court defense.  The outlet pass goes up the opposite sideline to O3, who looks to pass to O2 sprinting to the hoop... or O3 could simply release deep for the long pass.

For info, drills and diagrams, see Cherry Picking Offense.

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