Bob Huggins: Full & Half Court Pressure Defense
with Bob Huggins,
West Virginia University Head Coach;
2015 Big-12 Coach of the Year;
2015 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year;
over 765 career wins; C-USA Coach of the Decade
Learn how to build team morale and improve team chemistry by incorporating Huggins' disruptive press system.
Bob Huggins has been a pioneer in pressure defense all over the court. In recent years, Huggins has kept his core principle, but tweaked and changed multiple areas of his pressure defense. These changes have molded his team into a relentless full-court pressure style of play.
In this video, Huggins takes a deep dive into his defensive style - discussing where he started pressing from, the keys he uses with his players, and showing us daily drills that have been useful in this process.
Effort and activity are the key ingredients required to run this defense. Huggins provides keen insight on how to encourage players to provide maximum effort. He explains what the definition of their full court pressure is and takes you to the half court to show principles of half court defense that apply when moving into the full court..
Two of Huggins' concepts are forcing the ball handler to his left (or weak hand) and making the bigger post players dribble. He exposes weak ball handlers by having defenders get up into the opponents' dribbling and passing pockets. West Virginia doesn't believe in giving up any space on the floor, providing relentless pressure for 40 minutes. Huggins requires his team to pressure the ball all over the floor and deny inbound passes while looking for trapping opportunities. His players are trained to find their man and deny them immediately as soon as the ball goes through the basket.
Offenses are based on spacing and direct passes can lead to shots. Coach Huggins shows how his team forces opponents to pass over, under, around, but never through. Direct passes are going to hurt your team because they lead to good shots that players and teams practice. Huggins fronts the post, which forces teams to throw over the top, which allows your defense to rotate and get into position. Lobs take time to reach the player, and bounce passes also take time to arrive.
Huggins breaks down his half-court defense, explaining the concepts of "forcing the ball to lines" and "giving help defense in line." When teams are forced to a line, they are easier to trap, which results in no "direct drives" to the basket. Huggins explains that a line can be trapped because it breaks down spacing. In this system, players must never play with their hands down because it makes them too easy to get screened. Huggins requires his players to constantly look for traps when the opponent's spacing breaks down.
4 on 4+1 Drill
By pressing and trapping, you are going to give up numbers. Huggins uses on-court demonstration to simulate playing with a disadvantage. In 4 on 4+1, your defense works on being down a player against the offense. This drill forces your team to cover the floor, both in the full and half court. Your defense must work on rotations and pressuring the basketball to take away direct passes. Players in help defense are on the help line, and athletes one pass away are in the passing lane.
Insight provided by Coach Huggins will make you re-evaluate your philosophy on basic team defense, motivating players, and building team morale and chemistry. Huggins takes questions like:
- Do you press on a miss?
- Do you trap a ball screen?
- How much time do you spend on denying the inbound?
- How he utilizes a "centerfielder" to take away all over-the-top passes?
- What is his "run and sit" method of getting his team to play hard?
If you're looking to install a system that not only makes your opponent uncomfortable, but increases your team morale and chemistry, then this is just what you're looking for! Make yo