Basketball Shooting Drills with Defense - 1v1 Fill Cut

When it comes to improving your 1v1 skills in a common offensive situation, this is a great drill to use. You improve your shooting, triple threat moves, dribble moves, and your ability to make lay ups.

This drill involves a perimeter cut to the ball. And all offenses include this cut whether it's a direct fill cut or after a screen. So that's another great reason to get a lot of repetitions with this drill during practices or workouts. It's something that happens a lot during games!

Over time, this drill also helps you improve the quality and the speed in which you attack after the catch. As we say all the time, it's vital to practice your skills against live defenders because that's what happens during a game.

While this drill is great for anyone looking to improve their offensive skills, it's also a vital drill for anyone who utilizes fill cuts, backdoor cuts, and basket cuts within their offensive schemes. A popular one is the 5-out pass and cut offense.


Progression 1: Catch Allowed

With the first progression, the offensive player starts on the wing and has a basketball. The defensive player starts underneath the basket. Another coach, player, or manager has a ball on the opposite wing.

To start the drill, the offensive player passes the ball to the opposite wing.

On the pass, the offensive player sprints to the top. The defensive player sprints to the top of the key to stop the offensive player.

The offensive player then shoots or attacks based on the defense's positioning.

Progression 2: Prevent Catch Allowed

This is similar to progression 1, except that the defender is properly positioned and can prevent any immediate catches. The defense is trying to force a catch further from the basket. Their goal is to put the offensive player in a bad position, so they can stop them from scoring.

The offensive player tries to get open. If they are overplayed, they are allowed to cut backdoor as well.

If the offense does not catch in five seconds, it's a turnover.

On the catch, it's 1v1 live.

Points of Emphasis

  • Prepare Before Catch - As Coach Jim Huber mentioned in the video, you want to prepare your feet before the catch. He repeatedly said "Ball in the air. Feet in the air." Whether you 1-2 step or hop, this means that you're in the process of turning your body and your feet, so they're facing the basket when you catch the ball. You are ready to shoot. There is no hesitation. This also gives you another split second advantage on the defense.

  • Think Shot - On every catch, you should immediately think shot. This gets your eyes up, so you can see the entire floor including your defender. If you're open, you shoot. If the defense stops your shot, you immediately attack.

  • No Hesitation On Catch - There should be no hesitation on the catch. You want to immediately attack. From a 1v1 perspective, this keeps your defender off balance. And when placed in a team setting, it gives the help defense less time to get set if you immediately take action to shoot, dribble, or pass. There is a variation below that you can use to remove hesitation on the catch.

  • Rip & Go - when defense over pursues on the catch, you can rip and drive opposite of the pass. This is a great way to use the defense's momentum against them.

  • Cut Backdoor When Overplayed / No Drifting - Within our offense, we don't want the offensive player to cut more than a step beyond the 3-point line. If they are overplayed, cut backdoor. You don't have your offensive players drifting towards half court. That is the defense's goal and puts the offense in a position where they are not a threat on the catch.

Drill Variations

#1 - No Hesitation: As mentioned previously, you want to eliminate hesitation on the catch. To enforce that, you can set up rules where if you hesitate for more than 1-count or 2-count, it's an automatic turnover. At first, you might use a 2-count for beginners, but you want to quickly progress to a 1-count and even quicker for advanced players.

From my experience, it's more important to put an emphasis on attacking immediately rather than making the "correct action". While it might be messier at first, with repetitions, you end up with a player who makes more positive plays. They figure things out.

#2 - Limit Time: You can also limit time, so you don't try to do multiple jab steps which waste time, disrupts offensive flow, and allows the help defense to get set. It also forces you to be more efficient when attacking the basket. It improves a skill set that will actually benefit you for a real game.

#3 - Limit Dribbles: When you take extra dribbles, this increases the chance of a turnover and the help defense to get set. By limiting dribbles, it makes you more efficient when attacking the goal.

Drill Tips:

  • Lines - If there are five or six players at one basket during a workout or practice, you can have three lines of a passer, shooter, and defender. Then players rotate lines.

  • Vary Defenders - Also, be sure to vary who you go against during the drill. This helps you develop a complete skill set as you attack players that are tall, short, quick, slow, can jump high, etc.

Related Resources:

Breakthrough Basketball Camps - Improves Shooting, Ball Handling, IQ, Mentality & Confidence, etc.

Free Shooting Guide - Shooting Workouts & Shooting Technique Tips

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


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Carmelo Cordero says:
12/14/2018 at 7:52:52 AM

Great video I'll make sure to start using this drills with my players this evening. Thank you


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