As the 2013 -2014 basketball season nears, many coaches are preparing their teams to win a title in March. Developing aggressive and smart basketball defense is an important part of the process.
One stat that is rarely kept but that you and your coaching staff should be tracking this season is deflections. The importance of deflections is often discussed among basketball coaches, but deflections themselves are not tracked like they should be.
Kareem Richardson, assistant coach for last season’s NCAA champion Louisville Cardinals, said that deflections were a huge part of the team’s defensive success. He noted that when Louisville had 15 or more deflections in a game, they were more successful on the defensive end. When they had 15 or fewer, they did not fare as well.
Increase deflections by demanding active hands and arms from your players. Players must understand that deflections are a vital part of disrupting the other team’s offense, and that they give your team a better chance to get the ball back and score.
At practice, you should track deflections during defensive situations and reward the defensive group that gets the most. Keep in mind that young players may be prone to gamble, so help them make smart decisions.