July 1, 2005, Newsletter Issue #219: PREVENTING BREAKAWAY LAYUPS

Tip of the Week

When hustling to sprint back and prevent a breakaway layup, the first option should always be to get back and establish a legal guarding position. Maybe you can contain the ball before it even gets into shooting range. If you aquire position near the basket before the shooter leaves the ground for the layup attempt, try to get set and get an offensive foul on the shooter. Taking a CHARGE on a player about to get a sure basket is one of the best ways of changing some momentum to your team

When a defender is too late to get set to take a charge, an overlooked technique is to STRIP or SWIPE at the ball while running past the offensive player directly thru his path as he drives for the layup. The defender must avoid all contact and try to steal or deflect the ball as they run by. Many times, the mere act will cause the shooter to lose concetration and either travel or miss the shot.

As a last resort try to CONTEST or BLOCK the shot at the point in which it is directed. The defense should wait and time the attempt until the ball is out of the shooters hand and approaching the backboard. We call it "meeting the shot at the glass". Trying to block the shot out of a shooters hand might result in a foul, although many times that foul may be to a teams advantage. Rather than giving up an almost certain two points, a team may wish to "make the player earn it" by forcing them to make two foul shots instead.

If a team is going to foul, they should foul for an advantage and make certain that the shooter does not make the layup AND get a free throw (And1). Most important in this is to avoid "hard fouls" or those that may be dangerous or cause injury.

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