If you're a coach who is looking to help your big men improve, here are some tips from Jason Ludwig, the director of basketball ops at Santa Clara. [Contact Jason at JLudwig1@scu.edu to get on SC's "Assist of the Week" email list.]
Four quick tips:
1. Run the floor. Whether your opponent is bigger or better than you, you can out-run them. This requires that you're in top physical condition so that you can run the floor from basket to basket throughout the entire game. A big man who runs the floor will not only get himself easy opportunities to score but will open things up for his teammates in transition.
2. Use the backboard. When you're shooting from inside 10 feet, always try to use the backboard. Doing so eliminates the finesse needed when the ball is shot from close range without using the backboard.
3. Genuinely want the ball. You should always run the floor hard so that you can get the ball. If you don't get it, you post up hard calling for the ball. When a teammate takes a shot, go hard to offensive glass to get the ball. The more the big man gets the ball, the more you will score, and the more your team will score. In order to get the ball you can't simply want it, you've got to demand it.
4. Work on your hands. You must be able to catch any pass that is thrown to you.