Linked below is one of my favorite articles I’ve come across this college basketball season. Yahoo’s Henry Bushnell writes about amidst a 0-6 start to Big XII play, Oklahoma State’s Brad Underwood nixed his tried-and-true pressure defense that won him so many games at Stephen F. Austin, but was getting drilled by the Cowboys opponents. Driving around in his car late at night, Underwood realized he had to change and he and his staff went about tweaking their defense. Three weeks later, Underwood’s Oklahoma State squad, winners of 6 of their last 7, is the hottest team in the conference. There are a ton of great teaching points in this article not just about defense, but about coaching in general.
Underwood and his staff decided that the answer was to dial back the pressure, pull back the point of confrontation to just above the 3-point arc, and reign in the ball-denial aggressiveness. They’d also continue to mix in some zone. This wasn’t an overhaul; it was a slight tweak, and one to which the players bought in when it was presented to them the following day. The next two days of practice didn’t involve much prep for Texas Tech, their next opponent. “It was more about us,” Underwood says. “And we were kind of off and running with that concept.”
For more on Underwood:
-Brad Underwood Clinic Notes (LINK)
-Spread Offense Video Playbook (LINK)
-Brad Underwood’s “Opposite Inside” Offensive Rebounding Concept (LINK)
-Brad Underwood on Basketball, Coaching Style, and Family (LINK)