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  • Jack Fleming

Guy Molloy — 7 Principles of Offence

Guy Molloy — Head Coach of the Melbourne Boomers & New Zealand Tall Ferns delivers a clinic on his principles of offence. I was fortunate enough to watch Guy’s practice with the Melbourne Boomers recently and he is the master teacher. His precision of language provides a deep clarity with his players, and his expectations of the basics provide his athletes with an opportunity to be great at the ‘play after the play’. Link to clinic is here:

  • Not a dogmatic approach, a conceptual approach.

  • The play behind the play, what do you do when it breaks down?

  • We want to be good at the point of the play not working.

1. Spacing

  • Running to spread spacing is the modern game.

  • Everybody on the perimeter must be able to shoot, that coincides with your spacing.

  • Middle pick and roll is a big part of this spacing, but as the Tall Ferns we have to move the defence around before we get to it.

  • Middle pick and roll can be the start point or the end point.

2. Shooting

  • Method of simplicity, I like to teach from the top down. Particularly with female athletes.

(a) We want to rotate the seams, quickly with horizontal rotation. This means we are shooting the ball straight.

  • Have to remove the action from the result, especially with youth. Take the basket away from them, shoot to a partner.

  • Shooting everyday is how you get better at shooting.

  • The gap between the ball and the upper arm must remain, don’t become an arm shooter.

(b) We all have a dominant shooting finger.

  • Andrew Gaze index finger, Lauren Jackson middle finger, Klay Thompson shooting fork (both).

  • Experiment, what finger is the ball coming out at the release point?

  • We do partner form shooting with our senior national team.

  • Should point directly to the basket, with a dead straight line with wrist, shoulder, knee and toe.

© The guide hand

  • I call it the Devil’s hand. The hand will follow through or the thumb will flick the ball.

  • With problems, take the guide hand thumb off the ball when doing form shooting.

  • If we line up with the side of the backboard, can we shoot it straight so it bounces back towards us?

3. Ball Movement

  • The ball must be passed hard and the seams must be rotated.

  • We want to ruin shell drill by quickly moving the basketball.

  • ‘3 more shooting drill’ — 3 passes around the perimeter resulting in a shot. Corner, slot, slot, corner.

  • What is your spot on the floor? What is your footwork? Are the seams rotating?

  • We want the players to be anticipating the play.

4. Footwork

Anchor Foot

  • As a general rule we want to split our feet and catch it on our inside foot.

  • Most players will spend 95% of their time jumping, pivoting off their preferred foot free. I want 50–50 players.

  • Great players can shoot, dribble, stop/start and pivot off both hands and feet.

Develop a Power Lay Up

  • The lay up is the most poorly executed shot in basketball.

  • I encourage if we do not have a ‘speed lay up’ in transition off one foot, that we develop a power lay up where the defender is on the side of us.

  • Feet wider than shoulders, bump down. Shoot beside head, elbows are up.

  • Stride stop, outside foot then inside foot. This specific footwork allows us with a chance to finish the play.

  • All players in Lithuania learn this, as soon as they start playing.

  • Counter: build a shot fake, build a spin away.

5. Dribble Penetration

  • 0.5 Seconds Spurs Rule — do I shoot, do I pass, do I drive? Instantaneous decision.

  • Get your anchor foot down, get your eyes to the rim on the catch.

  • The ball has eyes, therefore I must get to the position where the ball can see me.

  • 3v0 Spurs Drill: shoelace rip, drive, stride stop. Space out.

  • GO to a spot where the ball can find you. Add the ‘one more, two more, three more’ passes.

  • We’re limited by our technical execution, have to do it every day.

  • Variables: 4 players, dribble limit, run offence into Spurs drill, work shot fakes or rip through’s, left hand drive only etc.

6. Passing & Cutting

  • Eyes to the rim, sprint to cut and fill spots on the floor.

  • We want to ruin their shell drill by moving the ball.

  • After dribble penetration we move to where the ball can see us, then we might need to make a ‘second cut’ which is tough to defend.

  • If you want to know more about the second cut please have a read here of the explanation by Chris Oliver.

7. Offensive Rebounding

  • Choice, you are rather trying to get the rebound or you are sprinting back.

  • There is no in-between. It is a concerted effort to go get the basketball.

Book Recommendations

  • The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzken

  • Anti-Fragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Want to Connect?

If you would like to continue the basketball conversation, provide your thoughts or ideas in the comments, please message me on Twitter @jackfleming1 or e-mail me at

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