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2-On-1 Retreat & Closeout

Closing out is more than just jumping to a ball handler, it requires shifting and moving with the ball and challenging shots

Many defenders understand the concept of guarding the ball but they relax a bit when it is passed away – this drill forces them to move throughout an offensive progression.

A coach is at the top of the set with a ball. The offensive player is on the wing outside the 3-point line while the defender starts at the elbow.

The defender starts in a slightly closed stance and when the ball is passed to the wing, the defender closes out and seeks leverage [1]. The offensive player passes back to the top and the defender jumps back into the pack (to the elbow), then to the ball with active feet. Do the wing pass and return pass twice [2]. On the second pass back to the top, the coach drives the ball toward the wing as the offensive player flares to the corner. The defender attempts to stop the ball with the near arm and leg, then closes out to contest the shot vertically [3].


The defender does not cheat high before the pass back to the top. He or she must jump back into the pack as this is the positioning required to defend the new ball handler in the Pack Line.

Michael Austin

About Michael Austin

I’ve dedicated my professional career to advancing the education of basketball on a local, regional and national level, but my love of the game took off on the outdoor courts of my hometown in Massachusetts. From youth hoops to the highest level of collegiate basketball, I’ve witnessed and reported on it all, and I’m ready to take this knowledge to provide you with the best coaching publication available – Basketball Coach Weekly.
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