CALIPARI’S DRIBBLE DRIVE OFFENSE EXPLAINED BY INVENTOR

Vance Walberg taught Calipari the Dribble Drive Offense in 2003.  This offense avoids a lot of passing around the court and setting up plays called by the coach.  The heart of this offense is for each player to go to the basket whenever possible.  This requires a lot of talent on the offensive player to be able to defeat his guarding opponent one-on-one.

 Three basic premises on which the dribble-drive offense functions.

■ “Attack the rack.”

■ “Open gaps” for drives.

■ “Great spacing.”

The dribble-drive isn’t a patterned offense controlled by a coach calling plays from the bench. “In this offense, with my guards, if they look to me, I take their butts out,” Walberg said. “What you’re teaching them is how to play the game and not teaching them to run plays. It’s ‘I’m coming down your throat.’ ”

The players are supposed to attack the basket with purposeful drives. If your perimeter player cannot beat his man one-on-one, he’s not suited for the dribble-drive.

If the defense rotates to blunt the driver, he passes to an open man, often the offensive teammate left free by the second defender. Practice brings familiarity, which means reading options on the fly. Coaches yield control and trust the players to make the right reads.

Calipari comments:

During a talk to the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches, Calipari talked about what the dribble-drive is and isn’t.

■ No more multiple passes and multiple screens to set up a shot. “You have to put that aside,” Calipari said.

■ When you catch the ball, look to drive.

■ If the defense sags into the lane, shoot the three-pointer.

■ Don’t fall in love with the trey. “Anytime we shoot 30 threes, we lose,” Calipari said. “Seventeen, I’m happy. What we want is layups and dunks.”

The players must read not only the defenders, but their teammates, especially the ballhandler.

“If I stop on a certain place on the floor, my teammates know what I’m going to do,” Calipari said. “If I spin on a certain place on the court, they know what that means.”

Five players thinking as one, plus moving and adjusting as one.

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