PENETRATION PRINCIPLES The most difficult team to defend is the team that creates consistent dribbles penetration.

Penetration forces the defensive team to constantly help and recover or to rotate. These two defensive concepts, especially rotation, are often done poorly. To make penetration even more effective, the offensive team should have a system of movement to execute on any penetration. By having a system of movement or what is called “penetration principles” it enables the penetrator to know exactly where he/she should look to find a teammate. Another significant aspect to the “penetration principles” is they apply, no matter the type of defence the offence is facing. Any team that has good penetrators could have an offence based simply on spacing and penetration and be an extremely difficult team to defend. It is strongly recommended that the penetration principles be taught to teams very early in the season. It is best to teach these in a 5 on 0 situation first before breaking it down into 2 on 0 shooting drills. It is not necessary to teach in a 5 on 5 or 2 on 2 situations. Instead simply emphasize the proper movement in every competitive drill the team does. Baseline Drive/Baseline Drift: When there is a drive to the baseline the weak-side wing must sprint down to a position 1-2 steps above the baseline and outside the 3 pt. line. This is possibly the most common shot that occurs from penetration. Weakside defenders must attack baseline penetration otherwise they will give up a lay-up and therefore it is extremely difficult for the defensive team to recover to the drift along the baseline. The driver may even jump out of bounds to avoid a “3 in a row” situation and complete the pass.

Baseline Drive and Follow: On a baseline drive the swing position must follow behind the drive to the wing position. While he/she may not get a shot, he/she will often be an outlet pass, for the driver who has no pass out. If there is a ball side post that is stepping out to the 45, the swing player must be careful not to bring his/her defender into position to help on this post action.

Baseline Drive – Weak-side Swing: When there is a drive to the baseline the movement of the weak-side wing depends on several factors. If the wing is a good shooter she should widen out on the weak-side along the 3 pt. line to a position several steps off the top of the key. If the wing is a poor shooter it may be advantageous to cut or dive to the basket. Often her defender will have turned her back and lost sight of the wing. The cut will depend on the position of the post. If the post is weak-side the wing must space out because on penetration the post will need the weak-side post area to move into.

Baseline Drive-Post I-cut: When there is a drive to the baseline the ball side post will I-cut two steps up the lane, drop down low and look for a quick pass from the driver.

Middle Penetration from Wing-Ball side Swing: When there is middle penetration from the wing position the ball side swing player should I-cut behind the driver when the help defender helps “downhill” (towards the baseline).

Baseline Drive-Weak side Post: When there is a drive to the baseline the weak-side low post may seal up against a weak-side defender rotating down. In this case O2 will drop off a bounce pass to O5 for a lay-up. The other play O5 can make is to step quickly to the bottom of the jump circle.

Middle Penetration from the Wing-Weak side Swing: When there is middle penetration from the wing the weak side swing will slide along the 3 pt. line.

Middle Penetration from Wing-Ball side Post: When there is middle penetration from the wing, the ball side low post will step back off the lane and create a passing lane for the driver.

Middle Penetration from Wing-Weak side Wing: When there is middle penetration from the wing the weak side wing will either back cut to the basket, if the defender loses vision, or slide along the 3 pt. line. The player must know if the weak side post is occupied before cutting.

Middle Penetration from Wing-Weak side High Post: When there is middle penetration from the wing a weak side high post should cut straight behind their defender to the basket and look for a pass over top of the defense or for a bounce pass.

Middle Penetration from the Wing-Weak side Post: When there is middle penetration from the wing a weak side low post has 3 options: 1) Step off the lane about 3-5 feet, 2) Seal up against a rotation defense if the post defender goes to help on penetration, or 3) circle under the basket, if the post defender has lost vision of him/her.

Middle Penetration from the Swing-Weak side Swing: When there is middle penetration from the swing position the other swing player will I-cut behind the penetration.

Middle Penetration from the Swing: This diagram shows most of the movement that would occur if there were middle penetration from a swing spot.

Middle Penetration from the Swing-Weak side Swing: When there is middle penetration from the swing position the weak side wing player will slide outside the 3 pt. line towards the baseline. The wing may also back-cut if the defender loses vision and there is space to cut into.

Middle Penetration from the Swing-Weak side Swing: When there is middle penetration from the swing position the ball side wing should slide outside the 3 pt. line towards the baseline.

Middle Penetration from the Swing-Weak side Swing: When there is middle penetration from the swing position the weak side low post has 3 options: a) step out along the baseline if the player is a good shooter and the post defender stays flat b) seal up against any rotating defenders if the post defender steps up or c) circle behind the backboard if the post defender loses vision and the post reacts quickly.

Middle Penetration from the Swing-Weak side Swing: When there is middle penetration from the swing position the ball side low post can either a) step out 3-5 feet along the baseline , b) seal up if her defender goes to help or c) curl underneath the basket to the other side. Middle Penetration from the Swing-Weak side Swing:

When there is middle penetration from the swing position a weak side high post will cut behind her defender directly to the basket.

Middle Penetration to the outside from the Swing: This diagram shows most of the movement that occurs when a player at a swing position penetrates to the outside.

Middle Penetration to the outside from the Swing: When the wings defender moves up and attacks the penetration ("helps uphill") the wing should slide towards the baseline.

Middle Penetration to the outside from the Swing: When there is penetration to the outside from a player at a swing position the wing will either I-cut, slide along the 3 pt. line or back cut. The movement will be a reaction to their defender and the position of the low post. The wing will I-cut if their defender helps across or down towards the baseline (the term used is "helps downhill").

Middle Penetration to the outside from the Swing: If the low post is ball side then the wing cannot back cut. However if the low post is on the weak side and the wing's defender loses position and helps up to the ball then the wing can back cut.

Middle Penetration to the outside from the Swing: When there is penetration to the outside from a player at a swing position the weak side wing will "widen the drive" and slide outside the 3 pt. line.

Middle Penetration to the outside from the Swing: When there is penetration to the outside from a player at a swing position the weak side swing will "widen the drive" and slide outside the 3 pt. line.

Middle Penetration to the outside from the Swing: When there is penetration to the outside from a player at a swing position the ball side low post will either step out 3-5 feet along the baseline or step to the basket and seal up against any rotating defenders.

Middle Penetration to the outside from the Swing: When there is penetration to the outside from a player at a swing position the weak side post will dive to the basket and seal up against any rotating defenders.

Middle Penetration to the outside from the Swing: When there is penetration to the outside from a player at a swing position a weak side high post will cut directly to the basket.

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