Jr. Eagles 2018-19 – Key Emphasis Areas

Welcome to the 2018-19 Jr. Eagles Basketball Season.  If you are a coach preparing for the 2018-19 season, thank you for volunteering your time and for your commitment to the Eagles Basketball program.

In an effort to communicate the vision of the Jr. Eagles Basketball Program we have prepared an outline to help coaches, players and parents understand a few key emphasis areas, absolutes and general philosophy of the program as we enter the 2017-18 season.

Over the past several years we’ve made great strides with the Jr. Eagles / Bombers basketball program. Our players are developing their basketball skills at a pace that will provide them every opportunity to compete for a position on the Liberty High School basketball team.

The Jr. Eagles Basketball program emphasizes long term development of the athlete. The objective of the program is to provide players access to the resources / knowledge they need to develop their basketball skills. We have worked closely with the coaching staff at Liberty High School to outline age appropriate skill expectations to help players and coaches prioritize the curriculum for each grade level.

Generally speaking we promote a “position-less” offensive system. Especially at our younger grade levels (2nd – 6th), it’s vital we focus on developing the complete player and focus less on the size and / or current skill level of the athlete.

At all grade levels we will begin the season teaching a 5-out Motion offense based on Read and React principles. Our offensive system will be built using multiple layers. As layers are adopted, the offense will quickly transform into 4-out and / or 3-out Motion.

In addition to the base offense (5-out Motion) we will introduce a variety of transition sets and quick hitters. Coaches of the respective teams will incorporate these sets and quick hitters at their discretion.

While we will often continue running our 5-out Motion against Zone Defenses, we modify the 5-out slightly to promote exposing inherent weaknesses of zone. Our zone version of 5-out is called (Nail-Flank).

In addition to Nail-Flank, teams will be provided a variety of Zone Quick Hitters to be adopted at the Coach’s discretion.

Each team will be introduced to a base set of Baseline Out of Bounds and Sideline Out of Bounds plays. Because our focus is on the development of the athlete, we will not spend an inordinate amount of time perfecting our BLOB and SLOB sets. As players age in the program, execution of our special situation sets will improve.

Defensively each team will play man-to-man defense with an emphasis on the pack-line method. (Pack Line DrillsQuite simply, zone defenses are not to be used with the exception of a baseline out of bounds defensive set. We will standardize our baseline out of bounds defense which will include options to play a 2-3, trapping 2-3, or 1-3-1 when an opponent is inbounding the ball under our basket. While our high school program will feature a variety of different zone defensive looks, zone defenses at the youth level do nothing to develop the athleticism of our players. (Our most competitive teams at each grade level will be introduced to one hybrid defensive option that is only to be used in certain circumstances.)

Similar to teaching our offense in layers, we will also teach our defensive press and offensive press breakers in layers. Each team will be introduced to a basic press and press breaker from which they can build on as they get more proficient.

Across all teams (Varsity, JV and Freshmen included), we will be emphasizing a variety of key fundamentals.

  1. See
  2. Talk
  3. Fake (have an act)
  4. Down and Balanced
  5. Details / Little Things
  6. Flesh to Flesh (Screens, Box Outs)
  7. Finish Everything (Cuts / Shots / Defensive Stops with Rebounds, etc.)

5 Rules to Offense

  1. Catch and See
  2. Dribble with a purpose
  3. Fight for space early
  4. Finish your cut
  5. If you help somebody, you help yourself

Offensive Absolutes

  1. Catch and See
  2. Finish all cuts (empty cuts are fine, but all cuts are cuts to score)

Defensive Absolutes

  1. No straight line drive – dribbles into the lane (highway)
  2. Be in help, don’t get to help
  3. Talk
  4. First three steps back on defense are your fastest three steps
  5. Defense ends with a defensive rebound