matt bollant


In his third season as head coach at the University of Illinois in 2014-15, Matt Bollant has begun to revive a dormant Illini program after being a part of the best season in program history at his other four collegiate coaching stops. He led the Orange and Blue to the postseason for the first time in three years in 2013 and Illinois finished with a winning Big Ten record for the first time in 10 seasons. He also has spearheaded the composition of back-to-back top-25 recruiting classes during his first two recruiting years in Champaign.

In this video review, Coach Matt Bollant teaches some of the practice drills he uses in his program. At the time of the video, he was coaching at University of Milwaukee, but it is a great tape on some of the unique drills he uses in his program. I consider Coach Matt Bollant one of the best teachers of the game at the collegiate level. His fundamental system and offensive and defensive philosophy is very sound and I use many of this concepts and drills in my girls basketball program. What was very interesting in this video is that the college team running these drills actually did not execute the skills very well, which were very basic skills. For example, the men’s team had a player doing a simple 2 line pivot drill where he asked them to execute a jump stop and front turn, and the players had a hard time doing this correctly. What this showed me was don’t assume that players know how to jump stop and pivot correctly, we have to teach it to them on a daily basis.

Practice Drills

I. Shooting drills
Coach Matt Bollant emphasized that his teams are excellent shooting teams because they spend 45 minutes before and after practice to master the shooting technique. “Shooting is what we do”.
a.) PERFECTS DRILL- the players will shoot from 5 spots, must make 3 in a row from each spot before moving to the next spot. He emphasized keeping your left foot down and stepping with shooting foot.
b.) SPOT SHOOTING- The players will shoot from 5 spots from 15 feet out. They will shoot 5 times from each spot. The goal is to make 20/25.
c.) CELTIC DRILL- They will again shoot from the 5 spots from 15 feet out. They have 2 minutes and must make 2 in a row from each spot all the way around and back in 2 minutes. The next progression of this drill is to shoot from the 3 spots from behind the 3 point line.
d.) KENTUCKY CURLS DRILL- This drill teaches some of the shots they are going to get within their motion offense. They are looking for curls and flares. There will be a passer on at the point, two screeners one on each wing and two rebounders in the lane area. The shooter will start under the basket and will walk up the lane and then cut hard off the screener and curl around tight, catch, face and shoot the shot. After he shoots, he will walk to the lane and then cut hard off the other screener and shoot the other curl shot. He will shoot 4 curls and then the next shooter will shoot. He emphasized catch facing into the shot. The next progression will be to shoot flares off the screens. Push off the screener and step back to the 3 point line, plant your left foot first and then step into the shot. Not easy to do.
e.) INDIANA SHOOTING DRILL- We use this drill a lot in our program and I love the shooting off the run concept. Very game-like drill. We have three players with a ball on one baseline and three players with a ball on the other baseline. We have three players at half court with a player in the middle with a ball. The group on the court will do a three player weave and finish with a layup. The other two players will go to the 15 foot wing spots and get a pass from the baseline players and take the 15 footer. The middle player on the baseline will start the next three player weave down the court with the same execution at the end. The Goal for his team was 52 made shots in 2:00 minutes.

II. Teaching Toughness Drills
Coach Bollant’s toughness drills emphasize the following: He wants his players to be “ball tough”.
• Catch with the feet in the air
• Work from triple threat
• Fake a pass to make a pass
• Pass with feet on the floor
• Make an easy pass
• See the weak side

A.) 2 LINE PIVOTS- 2 lines with a player in front of each line with a ball. The player will dribble out to the foul line, jump stop and front turn. Pass the ball to the next player in line, closeout to the ball and then she will direct drive to the foul line. Important teaching points are first step should cover some space and ball snap the ball out. The next progression is crossover drive and then do a rear pivot at the foul line. It was amazing to watch how many players did not know how to rear turn.
B.) BENNETT 3 ON 3 DRILL- “Love this drill”: He had three offensive players in the back court with the player in the middle with a ball. The three defensive players are playing their man. The object of the drill is to pass the ball across the opposite baseline to one of your players. You have to stay in your lane and you cannot dribble. Key points: USE MORE SPACE TO GET OPEN; BREAK VISION OF THE DEFENSE; GET INTO YOUR CUT QUICKLY.
C.) 2 ON 1 TURN THE CORNER DRILL- This drill teaches a dribbler how to protect the ball and attack two defensive players in the open court. The goal is for the dribbler to be able to get from baseline to baseline. The defender will pass him the ball, and then it is 1 on 2. Key points: GO SOMEWHERE WITH THE BALL, ATTACK ONE DEFENDER

III. Transition Drills
I like all of these drills, but the best one is his Green Bay 3 on 3 drill which is a great defensive transition drill.
A.) TRANSITION PROGRESSION: This drill is designed to work on all phases of the fast break. Line up one team on one baseline and the other is on the other baseline. The first phase is a 2 on 1 break. The other team will gain possession will come back 3 on 2, then it will go 4 on 3 and then 5 on 4 and will finish 5 on 5. Add up the score at the end. Change up who gets the ball first on the next phase.
B.) GREEN BAY 3 ON 3: This is a great offensive and defensive transition drill. We use this in our program on a daily basis. We have two teams. We start with three black shirts going against three white shirts. We have the white team with an outlet line on each sideline and the black team with a outlet on each sideline. When the defensive gets the ball, the rebounder will outlet to the outlet line and the other outlet will run the floor. The offensive players will sprint back on defense and play 3 on 3. This process will continue for the entire drill. This really teaches the defense to get back because they will be at a disadvantage getting back on defense. Great continuing transition drill.
C.) POST CONTINUITY DRILL: This drill teaches transition offense and to get the ball to our post players in the low box. We start at half court with a player with a ball. They play 1 on 1 and when they get to the foul line extended they look for the coach at the top of the key. We have a post player and post defender. The handler tries to get the ball inside to the post player. When the defense gets the ball, he will outlet to the offensive outlet on the sideline. The next sideline defender will pick him up 1 on 1. The post who gets the rebound will sprint to the other post area and post up against another defender waiting for him. The drill will continue on this side of the court. Coach Matt Bollant really emphasized the defender picking up the ball early in transition and making the dribbler work to get the ball below the foul line extended.

I know that I use some of these drills in my program and they have really helped us. I strongly recommend that you either download this video or buy it. The Green Bay transition drill is a staple with our program. I give this video a 4 out 5 rating.

Coach Kevin Furtado
I am the head varsity girls basketball coach at Upson lee high school in Thomaston, Georgia. I am in the first year of rebuilding our girls basketball program here. I have been coaching girls basketball for 24 years in both private and public schools. My programs are known for teaching the core values of FAMILY- UNCONDITIONAL LOVE- RESPECT-HUMILITY AND LOYALTY. We emphasize the WE system of basketball where we focus on TEACHING SOUND FUNDAMENTALS, HARD WORK, TEAM DEFENSE AND TEAM UNITY. (Twitter) (Website)

Kevin Furtado

Coach Kevin Furtado Bio: I have coached girls varsity basketball for 22 years at both public and private schools. I have coached in Georgia, Virginia and Kentucky and have collected 369 wins in my career. I have collected basketball clinic notes from 1990 to 2013 that I will be sharing with you.

Follow Coach Kevin Furtado on Twitter!!!



Click on the pdf link below to download the Matt Bollant Practice Drills Diagrams:

Matt Bollant Practice Drills Diagrams

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