Steve Prohm’s defensive stance & closeout drills
* Editor’s note: Steve Prohm shared these drills with Winning Hoops in 2012, when he was the head coach of the Murray State men’s basketball team.
Iowa State men’s basketball coach Steve Prohm believes in coaching defense first and foremast for his team’s success. Here are some of his favorite drills when it comes to stance and closeouts.
The first phase of this drill begins with four defenders facing the sideline where the coach is standing. Four offensive players stand in line holding a ball.
DIAGRAM 1: Rebel Drill. The defenders are chopping their feet with their arms spread wide while looking at the coach. On the whistle, the players sprint to close out on their respective offensive player. The offensive player up-fakes, fakes to the right and to the left so the defender becomes acclimated moving in each direction. On the next whistle, the defender goes into a defensive slide back toward the baseline with their hands in constant motion to simulate hounding an offensive player and getting into passing lanes.
On the next phase, the offensive player goes up for a shot attempt. The defender closes out with arms high, then puts a body on the offensive player.
» RELATED: Steve Prohm’s wing denial drills
On the next phase, the offensive player executes the same motions as the first part except this time after faking right and faking left, the player dribbles right as the defender cuts off the dribble and forces a dead ball. The defender keeps the hands moving and screams “Dead! Dead! Dead!”
The defender is working on closing out to the perimeter, then recovering to help in the corner.
DIAGRAM 2: 1-on-0 Closeout. The defender rolls the ball to the perimeter player and closes out. The perimeter player goes through a series of movements with the ball as the defender remains on him or her. On the whistle, the defender then slides with arms moving toward the corner and closes out on that player while not giving up the baseline.
1-on-1 Closeouts All Over
This is a partner drill with both players working on the proper defensive closeout.
DIAGRAM 3: 1-on-1 Closeouts All Over. The player with the ball rolls it to the partner, then closes out on the partner. After a series of fakes, the defender slides back with arms moving and is set to receive the rolling pass from the partner and the action continues in the same manner.
In the next phase of the drill, the partner receiving the ball executes a shot motion so the defender works on contesting the shot and boxing out.
The final phase is just like the final phase of the Rebel Drill. The player with the ball fakes right, fakes left, then dribbles right so the defender works on cutting off the dribble and forcing the offensive player into picking up the ball.
This drill works on players’ stance while gliding to stay in front of an offensive player, then quickly shifting to maintaining proper stance as the offensive player attempts to surge past the defender.
DIAGRAM 4: Run-Glide-Run. The offensive player moves slowly at first and holds the ball up to indicate the three defenders utilize a defensive stance where their arms are up. The offensive player then slowly moves to the right and to the left as the defenders slide into position. The offensive player then tries to explode past the defense by running at angle and the defenders must cut off the angle. Prohm stresses active hands by the defenders to simulate cutting off passing lanes.
The defender is working on closing out to the top of the set, then to the wing and recovering back into the paint.
DIAGRAM 5: Triangle Slides. The defender closes out as the player at the top executes a shot fake. Then, the defender slides to close out the player on the wing and eventually retreats hard into the lane with good help-defense movement and positioning.
Defenders are working on closing to the wing, then sliding back toward the baseline.
DIAGRAM 6: 2-on-0 Closeouts. On the first whistle, the top two defenders close out on the wing players. On the next whistle, the defenders slide with their arms and hands moving toward the baseline. The remaining defensive players are chopping their feet the whole time. If the coach at the top crosses his arms, then the two defenders close out to the opposite wing.