Don Meyer’s 6 offensive absolutes

With 923 wins, Don Meyer was one of the most successful coaches in NCAA men’s basketball. Here are his six offensive absolutes that helped towards the success of this teams:

Be fundamentally sound in the basic skills of the game of basketball

  • This means the ability to dribble, pass, catch, shoot and rebound the ball without mistakes.
  • It also means to ability to cut and screen, and space yourself properly.
  • If you cannot execute the fundamentals of the game it makes no difference what you try to do offensively, you won’t be successful. John Wooden has always said you need to “quickly and properly execute the fundamentals of the game.”

Get easy baskets whenever possible.

  • This would apply to both transition basketball and half court basketball.
  • This can have a devastating effect on the opponent if you are able to get easy baskets time and time again and then they have to work to get anything at the other end of the floor.

Shot selection is a critical importance.

  • Take the shots you want, when you want, where you want, and who you want to take them. Players need to know their roles, accept their roles and fulfil their roles to the best of their ability. Basketball is not an equal opportunity sport!

Offensive Rebounding can make up for a lot shortcomings.

  • Crash the boards with aggression and get at least 50% of all offensive rebounds available to you. It will have a demoralizing effect on the opponent.
  • Rebounding is how you win championships.

Get the ball inside

  • The obvious way to get the ball inside is to feed the post. However, driving the ball to the basket, getting into the lane area in transition, passing the ball to a cutter cutting through the lane, offensive rebounding are other ways to get the ball inside. All are excellent scoring opportunities that put constant pressure on the defence.

Make your freethrows

  • Many coaches make it a goal to make more free throws that the opponent gets. There is nothing wrong with that, but regardless of whether you are able to do that or not, you have to make your free throws when you get to the line.
  • It’s been said that 20% to 25% of a teams scoring opportunities come at the free throw line. This is especially true at “crunch time” of the game.

In conclusion
These ABSOLUTES are not met to be a system of play. They are meant to guide your thinking as you put together your system or style of play at both offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

As I have studied and watched teams and programs play over the years, it has become apparent to me that the successful programs, regardless of “style” incorporate the above ABSOLUTES into their offensive and defensive thinking and the result has been good, sound, successful basketball.

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