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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2021, 07:23 

Posts: 3
Good afternoon.

My 13 year old son's new basketball team runs the Baylor "No Middle" Defense and I was wondering if you had some resources for me to better understand the strategy and help coach at home?

Thank you,

PostPosted: 19 Aug 2021, 12:58 

Posts: 9
Hi Sean!
Thanks for the question. I'm somewhat familiar with Baylor No Middle Defense. I'd hate to go too specific, only because each coach generally has a slightly unique take on offenses and defenses. What I can say is if you are looking to work on specific pieces of the defense, the first one I'd work on is closeouts.

One of the unique pieces of the No Middle Defense is trying to force players to the baseline. That means teaching defenders to closeout on the wing with their foot closest to the lane higher than their other foot. In this way, you should be forcing offensive players to drive baseline and NOT middle. This would be a very simple drill to work on daily from both sides of the court. Have your son toss the ball to you or to someone else from the lane, and the closeout with the proper foot high.

You can progress this drill by having the offense try to make a move and either A. Get to the lane or B. Get to the rim. Even the idea is to force the offense to the baseline, you want to make sure the defender is able to help cut the path off and not simply give a straight line to the rim.

This is the simpler part of the defense to work on in a 1v1 setting.
The tougher part is working on the help defense principles that the coach is trying to teach.

When the ball is being forced to the baseline, there is a good chance the a defender will have to help cut off the drive. After this happens, the remaining 3 defenders will have to "zone up" or go into scramble mode. They when the ball is passed to another player on the perimeter, the defenders who have "zoned up" will be in scramble mode and the closest defender will take the ball and everyone else will scramble to match up (you can see why this is difficult to practice unless you have a 4v4 or 5v5 defensive shell drill). The idea is to try and make the offense always have to make one more pass. So the defense closes out HARD, they force to the baseline where there is help, and then the scramble out of the defense starts a get on a pass.

Players who understand good man to man foundational principles are usually successful on defense. If you haven't already checked out this resource, maybe take a look a the defensive drills here. There are a lot of great defensive drills here. They are not going to be specific to the Baylor defense, but they will help prepare any player to be a better defender.

Hope this helps a little and good luck to your son the upcoming season!

Mark Brase
Breakthrough Basketball

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