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Dan Muller: Foundations for Man-to-Man Defense

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Item Number: BD-05346

Dan Muller: Foundations for Man-to-Man Defense

Dan Muller: Foundations for Man-to-Man Defense

Construct your team man-to-man defense from the ground up!

  • Create technically sound players on defense who know their responsibilities
  • See essential fundamental work, including defending ball screens, pressure defense and stance, closeouts, positioning, slides, and communication
  • Get an excellent stunting drill that will help your athletes freeze a ball handler's movement

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with Dan Muller,
Illinois State University Head Coach;
2017 Missouri Valley Conference regular season champions;
2017 MVC Coach of the Year;
2x MVC Defensive Player of the Year as an athlete at Illinois State (1996, 1997)

Dan Muller provides the instruction you need to produce a top-tier man-to-man defense. His focus of man principles with a mix of a 2-2-1 press and 2-3 zone were vital in creating tough shot opportunities for opponents during his team's fantastic 2017 season. Illinois State ranked as one of the best teams in the nation at creating the longest defensive possessions, showcasing just how tough it was for opponents to gain a bucket against Muller's defense.

Coach Muller takes you through his defensive approach, building his man-to-man defense, and then utilizing his principles to create a stellar zone change-of-pace defense.


Muller stresses the importance of being elite communicators as a team and throughout this video Muller reinforces it.

You will learn how to ensure your players talk when they close out, help on screens, and call out if they are covering the basket or another offensive player. By communicating, your defense will move and be able to pick up the right assignment while rotating. This prevents multiple players from going to same area, and your defense will work together to cover necessary areas of the floor.

Three Line Closeouts

Incorporating help defense within your closeout drills allows you to work on multiple things at once. Coach Muller shows a drill that incorporates help defense, closing out to the gaps within the first passing lane, and on-ball defense. After your players work on their footwork and proper closeout technique, they will progress and incorporate live game play. This drill allows you to instill your defensive philosophy in your players. You can also adjust the drill to force the ball to the sideline, middle, or baseline.

Shell Drill - Stunt the Dribble

The Shell Drill is one of the best drills to build a defense. Muller builds off this traditional drill by incorporating movement and stunting toward the dribble, along with recovery. Stunting the dribble is a great progression in your Shell Drill because it allows your players who are one pass away to stunt and help, then recover on their defensive assignment.

Ball Screen Defense

Coach Muller focuses on trapping ball screens from day one of practice through the first few weeks of the season. This strategy is one he built by learning from Eric Spoelstra of the Miami Heat. Trapping ball screens leads to a constant scramble situation, and you'll utilize the same rotations as you would on any ball screen. This mentality will prepare your team for any ball screen approach, and you'll learn the roles of the trapper, basket player, and fliers.

This video from Coach Muller is filled with information that you can utilize for the summer and pre-season install of your defense. You'll see how to get your players to build a defensive mentality and be fundamentally sound before becoming more game plan-oriented and player specific. Lay the foundation of your program's defense with Dan Muller!

Produced at the Nike Championship Basketball Coaches Clinic - Cleveland (OH), Fall 2017.

"Coach Muller does a fantastic job showing us the main points from the first closeout drill to positioning drills and even how to defend the ball screen. I tried this in my first practice after seeing this video with my team and it made an immediate difference." - Customer Review

64 minutes. 2019.

See more products by: Dan Muller

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