Quick Releases with Butler Basketball

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Over the past few years, Butler University's men's basketball program has quietly transformed from underdog NCAA bracket buster to a perennially ranked squad. A major factor in the team's success is their deadly aim from all over the court. Combining a quick release with fast feet, the 2007 Bulldogs finished in the top 12 in total three-pointers made and total threes hit per game.

"A quick release is not just shooting fast," says Matthew Graves, Butler's assistant coach and a former Bulldog who is fourth in school history with 175 career bombs. "Instead, [a quick release] is a total package-a player moving without the ball, creating separation, and getting his feet and hands ready to shoot."

Here, Graves offers a timed shooting drill that his one-time Cinderella squad uses to improve their agility. Employ this essential workout to make sure midnight doesn't strike and turn your game into a bad fairytale.

Timed Shooting Drill With Partner

• Place two cones 15 feet apart outside three-point arc
• Begin in center of two cones with partner standing under basket holding ball
• Start clock, then quickly sprint to right cone
• Receive pass from partner, take shot
• Immediately sprint to left cone as partner rebounds ball
• Receive pass from partner, take shot
• Sprint back to right cone; repeat pattern
• Take as many shots as possible in 30 seconds

Benefits: Simulates coming off a screen and creating separation between you and the defender // Emphasizes getting feet set and squared up quickly, so you're ready to shoot the rock
Goal: Get off at least 10 shots, making 7 out of 10
Record: Chart total attempts and shots made so you can monitor your improvement over time
Sets: 4-6, 2-3 times per week
Rest: 30 seconds between sets
Adaptation: Move the cones in or out to hit up different locations on the court, but always maintain 15 feet of separation between them.

Grave's Gab:
We're looking for both volume and accuracy of shots in this drill. Of course, the number of shots you can get off is dependent on how well you are shooting the ball, since your partner is rebounding. And remember that it's critical to shoot the ball the same way every time. It's okay to have your own unique shot or form, but focus on sprinting to a cone, showing your hands and creating the same shot each rep.


What's missing from your game? New basketball shoes and basketball clothing may be what you need to develop into the complete package on the court. 


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock