Newsletter #146

October 24, 2018


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Today's Quote:  "Good basketball always starts with good defense." – Bob Knight

Today's Theme... Defending Without Fouling

Being able to play great defense without fouling (as both a player and a team) is a skill that is often over-looked.  Former Wisconsin Badgers coach Bo Ryan made it a priority and his teams were really good at it, averaging only 12 fouls per game one season!

Bo Ryan

Advantages of Not Fouling

Give your opponents fewer free-throw attempts

Giving your opponents more free-throws, gives them easy, uncontested points.  Free-throws allow the opponent to score without taking any time off the clock.

Fouling often "bails-out" the offensive player

How often do you see a team playing great defense with the shot clock inside 5 seconds, and then someone fouls a penetrating guard - bails him out?  Chances are he/she would not have made the shot.  It's really amazing how often even good college players miss lay-ups and put-backs right under the basket.  Don't help them by fouling.

Not fouling keeps your best players on the floor

Obvious... you can play the 4th quarter or overtime with your best players, if they are not in foul-trouble.

Not fouling allows you to play very aggressive defense at the end of the game

If you have "fouls to give" (not in the 1-and-1), you can defend very aggressively in the last few minutes.  If you do foul, the ball has to be inbounded, no free-throws.  So you force them to inbound the ball, with a possible chance for a steal or a 5-second call.  If they do get the ball in, they have to reset their offense which often eats up a few valuable seconds.

Implementing a No-Foul Mentality

So how are we going to turn our bunch of "hackers" into a team that doesn't foul???

You have to make it a priority of teaching your players to play smart and play defense with their feet, not their hands. Coach Bo Ryan was asked recently how to avoid fouling: "Don't leave your feet, don't reach in with your hands."

Let's break it down... read more about these details:

  • Perimeter player tips
  • Post player tips
  • Practice drills
  • Style of play
  • Scouting
  • Officiating
  • Playing smart

See:  Defending Without Fouling


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