I came across an old handout with the following list of Individual Defensive Rules by the late UTEP coach, Don Haskins. I’m not old enough to recall the old Texas Western days (see the movie, Glory Road) … but I do remember watching a lot of UTEP games in the ’80’s. Coach Haskins teams always played hard-nosed defense!
The following are Coach Haskins 10 Individual Defensive Rules:
- Good defense begins with transition. We emphasize getting our defenders back to the baseline. Always stay in front of your man. We never want to be outnumbered by our opponent.
- Attack the ballhandler by getting your head and shoulders as close as possible to your opponent.
- Use a stride stance, rather than a square stance, because it is more difficult for the dribbler to go by you. The back foot is the important one in stopping dribble penetration.
- Stay with an offensive dribbler by running, rather than sliding. It is our philosophy that as soon as an offensive player moves, the defender should run, rather than use a defensive slide. The reason for this is we want the defender to get from one position to another as quickly as possible. The only way to accomplish this is by running.
- When guarding a man with the ball, watch the offensive player’s waist rather than the ball.
- Do not fight the ball when it is being dribbled. Always maintain balance, and do not continually go for steals.
- When playing post defense, do not make contact with the post player. Stay at least three feet away and be closer to the ball than the person you are defending.
- When playing helpside defense, stay below an imaginary line drawn between the player you are defending and the ball. Always see both the ball and your man. If you have to lose sight of one of them, it is imperative that you lose sight of your man and not the ball.
- When defending cutters, always stay to the ballside of your man.
- Do not switch. Communicate and get through screens.
Some of your individual defensive rules might vary slightly but from a pure fundamental standpoint, Coach Haskins has it nailed with his list of 10.