Coach Ron Sen presents a drill to practice on shot selection:
“Get better quality shots than opponents and more of them.” – Pete Newell
“Just because I want you on the floor doesn’t mean I want you to shoot.” – Bobby Knight
“Bad shooters are always open.”…Pete Carril
“It’s not what you tell them—it’s what they hear.”….Red Auerbach
Quality basketball players must constantly take decisions on shot selection. Academic research suggests players may turn down quality shots earlier in possessions anticipating better opportunities that do not arrive. That analysis included impact of turnovers during possessions and poorer quality shots as shot clock time expires. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to special situations.
North Carolina coach Dean Smith felt he underutilized scrimmaging where scoring was awarded for the quality of the shot, not the result. Great shots counted for three points, good shots two, poor shots zero, and turnovers minus two. He believed that North Carolina led the ACC in shooting percentage because of the quality of their shots.
I encourage players to use a modified “Range Test” initially described by Kevin Sivils.
Set up 6 lines, one where you MUST use the backboard, and one tracking to the ‘elbow’. You will shoot three shots along each line, from each of three spots, for example, 5, 10, and 15 feet. Restated, you will take 9 shots along each line, from each of three different distances…for a total of 54 shots (6 x 9)
Start by taking the inside shots first (after your warmup), and record your percentage. Then go to the next distance and finally to the 15 foot level. Adjust the distances by your experience level. You must make 70 percent in practice to get the shooting ‘green light’ from that distance.