November 22, 2016
UCSB Women's basketball practice at the Thunderdome
Coach Bonnie Henrickson and her staff put the team through some shooting drills, before running the St. Joe's drill. It's a transition offense drill, and forces the players to play through fatigue.
The drill starts with a 2-on-1 fast break, and then moves in the opposite direction with a 3-on-2, and then reverses again with a 4-on-3, incrementally adding one player in the opposite direction, until it ends up being a 5-on-5 drill. The goal is to pass and move, and not stand around.
It looks like the Gauchos run the motion offense. It requires a high basketball IQ, and the ability to recognize how defenses are playing. The goal is to take what the defense gives you, and if they cheat in one area, then take advantage and go the other direction. It requires constant motion and recognition.
The point guard is key to this offense. Coach Henrickson was urging her point guards "To be a point guard," and to not give up their dribble prematurely.
Other points of emphasis were the player with the ball to wait for the screen, and not just run at it (presumably to avoid a moving pick foul). The person with the ball can be late, but not early in waiting for the screen.
The Lady Gauchos will run more this year, and try to push it and get "numbers" (having the offense beat the opponent's defense down the court) if it's there. If the numbers advantage isn't there, then it's up to the point guard to pull it back and start the halfcourt offense. But the point guard shouldn't call the offense until she crosses the halfcourt line.
Coach Henrickson also emphasized the point guards to lead with a calm voice, and to sometimes slow down so her teammates can catch up to her. In other words, the point guard can get upcourt fast, but that doesn't help if her teammates haven't caught up to run the offense.
Tal Sahar really stood out as an overall player: she's athletic, aggressive, and a good perimeter shooter with range. She will redshirt this year after transferring in from Seattle.
The frontcourt looks much taller this year also.
The point guard must also recognize who the halfbacks and fullbacks are in the offense.
It's also harder for the point guard to make the entry pass from the top of the key, as the angle isn't there. They must also recognize which teammate is hot, and feed her.
On defense, staying in front of the opponent is key and the bias is to steer them to the sideline.
They practiced the Stanford out of bounds play, where the ball goes to the corner off the double pick.
More Coach Henrickson tidbits: "Don't jog! If you're not open, cut!"
They then practiced end of quarter scenarios, where they would execute 2 possessions for 1.
She urged the players to play to their strengths. For example, if finishing with the left hand is a problem, drive and finish to the right.
Practice ended with the 3-woman weave drill. Here is video of the drill.