Fill and Read The Defense (Back Cut or Pop Out) - Offensive Drill
This is a combo drill that teaches players to fill to the ball (replace cutters) and read the defense. (If the defense sags, pop out. If the defense, denies backdoor cut.)
The drill also improves passing, finishing, and cutting skills.
With most of our drills, we take a “piece” of our offense and turn it into a skill development combo drill. This allows you to work more efficiently because you’re practicing your team offense and improving skills at the same time.
We really like this drill for teaching the back door cut, reading the defender, and working on passing/layups.
Players can fill from any position. In this example, the ball is at the top of the key. Players fill from right corner spot to the wing.
3 fills the wing while 2 either "sags" or "denies" the pass.
3 then reads the defense. If the defender sags, pop out. If they deny, backdoor cut.
In the diagram, 2 denies and 3 makes a backdoor cut.
1 passes to 3. 3 takes a lay up.
After making the pass, 1 goes to the end of the line in the corner. 2 (the defender) moves to the spot at the top of the key.
3 gets their own rebound and passes the ball to 1 at the top of the key.
3 is now the defender and moves out to the right wing.
4 fills the right wing spot and sees the defender (3) overplaying. 4 then makes a quick change of direction and back door cuts to the basket.
2 passes the ball to 4 and 4 takes the shot.
The process repeats.
For beginners, you can instruct the defense to always deny (specify the action you want). The once they are proficient, you can progress by instructing the defender to change things up so the offense has to read the situation.
After desired number of reps are complete, players can move to a different area. Players can fill from:
Right corner to right wing (as shown in diagrams above)
Right wing to top of key
Top of key to right or left wing
Left corner to left wing
Left wing to top of key
Points of Emphasis
Make a quick change of direction on the cut.
Cut hard all the way to the backboard.
When you pop out, angle toward the ball to shorten the pass.
Provide a hand target for the passer (always use a hang signal the passer knows if you're back cutting or popping out).
For a younger team, like 3rd grade, you wouldn't want them shooting 3s like in the video. The 3 point line is basically the read line in the video. Where would you have younger players start at to read the defense and know when to cut and when to shoot?
For 3rd graders, we use the same spacing (3pt line for spacing). However we do not shoot outside. We always have them back cut, face cut (if the defender is trailing), screen away, or pop. With the face and back cut it's a catch and take a lay up. If they pop out and catch on the perimeter, they rip and take the ball to the basket for a lay up or shot off the dribble.
Otherwise all the fundamentals are the same. You just don't want 3rd graders shooting 3s. They drive or pass instead.
With the hand signals thing, it looks like they really don''t signal until they are actually cutting. At the age of the kids in the video that''s probably ok, but my guys are in 3rd grade and their reaction time isn''t the same. They probably had about 25 turnovers yesterday simply from not knowing if the guy was coming towards the pass or cutting. a lot of indecision. Would hand signals work if they were used earlier than in the video? Any other suggestions?
I think encouraging the hand signals earlier would be good idea. Beyond that they just need experience and practice. The more they run the offense in practice and games, the better they will get. With that said, 25 seems pretty high. I have run this with 3rd graders and there is the occasionally mix up that leads to turnover... but really not too often... a couple times each game. And to be honest, our kids do not do a good job of using hand signals. I guess they just know when to pass and when not too. Keep working on it. They'll come around.