All Access Syracuse Basketball Practice with Jim Boeheim

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  • Learn the drills and principles you need to defend using Jim Boeheim's 2-3 Zone Defense
  • Improve your team's quickness and agility while warming up
  • Learn man-to-man drills and concepts to build your team's overall defensive awareness
  • Develop the ability to score on offense versus both man and zone defenses

In this All Access look at the Syracuse University basketball program you will get an inside look at how Jim Boeheim builds the foundation for his famous 2-3 zone defense and his penetrating half court offense. Coach Boeheim initiates this series of practice sessions with simple explanations of how he organizes each practice.

The practices include warm up drills that address agility and offensive and defensive principles, schemes and drills that put Syracuse at the top of polls year in and year out.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to explore Jim Boeheim's philosophy on practices and program building!

Part 1:

  • Get the drills you need to develop effective rotations at the top of the 2-3 Zone
  • Learn the 7-on-5 defensive rotation drill, the drill responsible for Syracuse's intense rotations and their ability to cover so many offensive looks
  • Combine ball handling with agility ladder footwork to develop total body control

The staff starts building the famous 2-3 Zone with two defenders learning to play the top of the zone against a variety of situations. You'll see 2-on-2, 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 drills that teach the man-to-man principles that help make the Syracuse zone defense so dominating. This leads into a controlled 5-on-5 full court scrimmage in which both squads are exposed to a variety of half-court and full-court defenses.

Part 2:

  • Expose players to physical contact in rebounding and shooting to produce game-ready skills
  • Teach fundamental close-outs and defensive rotations in competitive 2-on-2, 3-on-3, and 4-on-4 drills
  • Get two quick hitters to use against man-to-man defense

This practice session provides unique insight into understanding defensive rotations on the weak side against scenarios such as ball side penetration and fighting through down screens. You will see a defensive drill progression focusing on the back row of the zone with proper close-out technique and the correct rotation in 2-on-2, 3-on-3, and 4-on-4 match-ups.

In an extended 5-on-5 scrimmage, Coach Boeheim works on a variety of offensive and defensive schemes to explore all options and game scenarios. The practice closes with the Orange executing a series of set plays.

Part 3:

  • See how to breakdown the 2-3 zone defense into position-specific drills
  • Learn to defend against the Pick-and-Roll in a 3-on-3 and a 4-on-4 breakdown drill
  • Discover the drills Syracuse uses as the building blocks of their offense

This disc begins with some valuable Q and A with the coaching staff. They answer questions about the 2-3 zone, player development, how practice evolves throughout the season and motivational tactics within the practice session.

On the court, the coaches run the players through developmental drills for their positions. The guards work on offensive tactics, while the post players continue to develop the offensive and defensive skills necessary for success. The session includes a focus on defending in the 2-3 zone versus the high screen. This essential concept is tirelessly taught to ensure the success of the Syracuse zone. Coach Boeheim puts it all together in the 5 on 5 portion of the practice where he emphasizes 2-3 zone, half-court man-to-man, and full court man-to-man run-and-jump defenses.

Part 4:

  • Learn a simple technique for taking away easy driving lanes to the hoop
  • See how to defend the short corner when playing the 2-3 zone - the weakest spot for any zone defense
  • Get a series of shell drills that teach players the complex 2-3 zone responsibilities step-by-step

This disc begins with a valuable discussion with assistant coach Gerry McNamara who was also part of Syracuse's National championship team. His insight as a coach and former player adds tremendous support to understanding what the Orangemen are all about.

Moving to the court, the emphasis is on how to play the back of the 2-3 zone. This is achieved with a series of breakdown drills showing the slides and responsibilities that are key to its success.

Offensive drills are conducted showing the players how to finish when close to the basket. At the end of practice the team runs through a scouting report on how their next opponent will attack the Syracuse zone defense and what they will do to defend it.

Part 5:

  • Implement the high-low game out of a high screen-and-roll set up
  • Learn how Syracuse runs their "Outside" post move
  • See how Syracuse prepares for a game against a conference rival

With a big game only days away, Syracuse puts all the pieces together in this practice. This practice session is a split of individual skill work, as well as extensive, controlled 5-on-5 full court scrimmages, where you witness Coach Boeheim's genius at work.

The individual skill drills are based on Syracuse's offensive sets and focus on short corner power lay-ups ("cheat step"), as well as the high-low game for Syracuse's "double fist" set. To deepen the understanding and to work on defensive skills in the 2-3 zone, the staff revisits the 5-on-3 shell drill for forwards. The team first runs through some of their offensive sets in a 5-on-0 segment before going full-court 5-on-5.

340 minutes (3 DVDs). 2012.

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