In order to be an offensive threat you must be able to elude your guard whether you have the ball or not. A fake is an act designed to throw your guard off balance, so you can drive past him or free yourself for a shot. Do this by faking with your head, eyes, feet, shoulders, and body. The fake drive-and-shot is designed to throw the defensive player off balance and force him back to make room for the shot. Feint a dribble around the guard, using the front foot to force him back. The offensive player then comes up to position for the shot. Any feint will produce some recoiling action on the guard’s part. The fake shot-and-drive is a maneuver in which the player with the ball fakes a shot at the basket to draw the guard close to him so he can dribble around him. When you are faking, keep the ball protected and in position for the dribble. The first stride should be a long one with the right foot if going right, placing the ball well out in front while driving by the guard. A double fake is executed by faking a drive with a deep step to the right, causing the guard to drop back a little. The offensive man then moves his front foot a bit back and poises for a set shot. As the guard comes up on his toes to stop the shot, the offensive man lowers his body and drives off his front foot, placing the ball well out ahead and drives in for the goal. To go to the right side, the deep step is faked to the left with the right foot. The shot is faked, then comes the drive to the right. A left-handed player will use his left foot as the forward foot and follow the same technique as above.

In starting a fake, a player never knows whether it will be a single or a double fake. This will depend on the action of the guard. Sometimes a guard commits himself on the first fake. If he is not fooled on the first fake, then try the double fake. A common fault of many players executing feints is that they do not allow enough time for the defensive player to “fall for” the deception. Shooting or driving too soon simply means that the deception is wasted. Dribble Tips:

1. Do not take a one-bounce dribble when you first get the ball. This robs you of the opportunity to move with it.

2. Keep your head up and eyes ahead so you can get a good view of what the other players are doing.

3. Do not try to dribble in congested areas.

4. Do not slap at the ball-push it to the floor with your fingertips.

5. When advancing to your front court with the high dribble, be sure that there are no opponents nearby who may steal the ball.

6. Learn to keep your body between your man and the ball.

7. Use a high dribble for speed and a low dribble for control and deception.

8. Fake with your eyes, head and body when dribbling. This will add defensive pressure on your man.

9. Dribble only when necessary. Over-dribbling is a waste of time. Passing will advance the ball more quickly than dribbling.

Moving without the ball Players often do not know how to act offensively when they do not have the ball. In my coaching experience I have found this to be especially true of young players. Too frequently they do nothing. They stand around watching the man with the ball, waving their arms for a pass even though he is closely guarded. The easiest man to guard is the player who stands around and moves slowly and aimlessly. Basketball is a team game and all five players must work as a unit to get the best results.

A player without the ball can do the following:

1. Move at all times to prevent the defense from double teaming a teammate.

2. Keep the middle of the court open to permit plays down the middle.

3. Set up a screen for teammates.

4. Be alert to cut in for a possible play.

Situations change with every pass of the ball. Watch for weaknesses in the defense so you may take advantage of them. It is important to know what you intend to do. Indiscriminate running will only tire you out. Never run straight or in circles. An opponent can easily guard you. Deception and change of pace will help you elude your guard. Learn how to cut. A few of the cutting movements will be described and illustrated here. The “L” cut is a straight cut down the sideline with a 90 degree change of direction. The “L” cut is used for squaring the corners in the fast break.

1. “L” cut right.

2. “L” cut left.

The “buttonhook” is used primarily in cutting for the basket, but it can also be used when meeting a press. The player drives for the basket, stops, then comes out to meet the pass.

1. Buttonhook right.

2. Buttonhook left.

The “S” cut is started by cutting in one direction and then cutting back to the original position. “S” cut. This cut can be used on either side. Slicing off a post man is another means of freeing yourself for a shot. 1 passes the ball to 2 and immediately cuts off him. 2 times his cut to drive off l’s back and uses 3 as a block. Breaking out from the corner toward the outer half of the free-throw circle is an offensive set-up play. If a pass is received, the corner man can jump-shoot or pivot on the right foot and drive in for a lay-up or set up a post position. 1 breaks out of corner, goes right and left.

The “V” cut is used to change direction and cut for the basket. It is used a great deal in cutting from the corners.

1. “V” cut.

2. “V” cut left