Transition Defense

Create your Transition Defense philosophy by establishing clear rules for offensive rebounding and who is responsible for getting back on defense.

Transition Defense is one of the four main phases of the game, but it is perhaps the least discussed of the four. Coaches almost unanimously agree that getting out and running in transition is a critical component to offensive efficiency. If we agree on that fact then we should also agree that limiting those moments on the defensive end is equally important. Over the course of the last two years, I have spent quite a bit of time in the offseason researching different philosophies on this aspect of the game. These philosophies can be drastically different, but all of them essentially contain a mixture of offensive rebounding and getting back on defense.

I - Transition Philosophy

What I wanted to do with this post was to discuss the transition defense strategy that I have arrived at and the specific teaching points that accompany it. Like I mentioned in the intro our philosophy will contain its own mixture of offensive rebounding strategy and a plan to get back on the defensive end. Most of the professional teams that I have observed have arrived at the philosophical belief that getting back on defense is of much greater importance than offensive rebounding.

At the high school level, I believe there are other factors at play, such as talent, lower shooting percentages, and smaller courts. Because of those factors, I tend to lean towards placing greater importance on offensive rebounding vs getting back on defense. Last summer I took a deeper look at our offensive rebounding performance and decided we needed to make a bigger commitment to the glass this past season. Some of my statistical takeaways from our 2019-20 numbers were:

  • We saw OREB%, OREB Totals, & OREB Per Game all spike dramatically

  • Our Offensive Efficiency (PPP) Improved as a Result

  • Our Second Chance Points (SCP) were down, but our eFG% was the cause

Main Concept -

We believe there is tremendous value in accumulating offensive rebounds and so we need to place a priority on getting them, while also making sure we are not burned by leak outs.

The essential idea behind our philosophy is that we need one player focused on defensive balance - and three crashing the glass. 

Roles -