The "Fake & Fade" Concept that Any Defense Can Use to Frustrate an Offense!

An important concept in 4x Illinois Coach of the Year Rob Brost's "Man Left Defense" is what he calls "Fake & Fade."

But you don't have to run the "Man Left Defense" to incorporate this simple but effective technique into your defensive strategy.

See, Coach Brost's primary goal on defense is to force the offense into quick low percentage shots.

And "Fake & Fade" has proven to be very effective in accomplishing this... because it enables the defense to provide help on dribble penetration while at the same time being able to contest kick-out 3-point shots.

Traditionally, this is very difficult to do.

Here's the basics of the concept:

On a drive toward the basket, the off-ball defender closest to the ball will "fake" like they're giving help...but then "fade" back into guarding their man.

When executed properly this accomplishes two things:

  1. It forces the ball handler to pick up their dribble... or gives enough time for the on-ball defender to recover
  2. It prevents the ball handler from kicking it out to a wide-open teammate.

Because wide-open step-in 3s have become such an important part of today's offense, the "Fake & Fade" is an excellent way to limit these shots.

In the video below, Coach Brost explains why he'd rather give up a speed dribble than leave an open step-in 3.

Again... it's all about forcing the offense into taking the lowest percentage shot possible.

For a bit of context, this excerpt is taken from a more in-depth break-down of Coach Brost's "Man Left Defense", which is designed to funnel the offense to the left third of the court...where teams statistically shoot a much lower FG%.

(btw, he wins a staggering 90% of games when his team forces opponents to shoot more from the left side of the court than the right!)

Ok, let's listen in on how Coach Brost explains the "Fake & Fade" concept:

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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Dan Smith says:
8/6/2023 at 5:14:44 PM

Nice article, really appreciate this! Always good to do some learning on a slow Sunday ;)


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