Getting the Ball to the Post

Contributed by Brett Ayers. Email the author at

There are a couple of schools of thought on these things.

I am from the "bounce pass from the proper angle on the wing" school. You will find that there are coaches who do not care how you get the ball to your post from the perimeter and or the high post just as long as you get it there. I do not suscribe to such thinking because I think if you feed the post poorly you will:

  1. Incur your way to many needless turnovers and or force your big man to throw up a hurried and or unwanted shot
  2. You will discourage your big man. (See Sam Clancy from USC. They get him the ball well and early and he is there to play, they do not do this and he is usually useless rest of the game)

I think when entering the ball from the wing it is crucial to teach your outside players the art of either faking up and stepping down towards the baseline to improve the angle, or better yet to dribble once and or twice to get to that good 45 degree angle before giving that bounce pass in there. I would put forth that staying away from the chest pass and or over head direct pass would be desirable. I think that both can be awkward for your big man to receive. I think the second pass that can be used is the the mini-lob from the wing.

Now, your post men have to be drilled daily in learning to seal, and once they seal how to "sit down" on the defensive players thigh. Or as my father so affectionately likes to tell his big men, "brown-streaking their thigh." Got to love my dad's visual vernacular. Anyways, you get your big man to get that wide base and sit down, not back and do not lean forward. Get those arm bars out and up with that 90 degree bend in the elbows.

Use your butt, not your arms to seal a defender. You see all of these kids these days trying to lock with one arm wrapped and use the other arm for a target. I swear I see more dropped passes because of this. And it is a foul, regardless of whether or not the zebras call it or not. Pinning with your ass is the absolute most essential part of posting up. This is also why a smaller post player, like a Julius Peppers and or Theyo Johnson can post up much taller guys. They have the whereforall to post up with their legs not their upper bodies.

One of my pet peeves with a big man posting is that in today's game I see far too many post guys posting up with their top foot on the block instead of their bottom foot on the block. I know for eons they have taught it the other way but the problem with this is the spacing and angles that it creates when posting with your top foot on the block when the post man turns baseline. Suddenly you see these inside guys literally with all of the contact from the defensive guy behind the backboard taking some funny looking hook. If you can get your post guys to learn to come to that block and plant their bottom foot when facing out towards the sideline on that block you open up a whole lot more shot opportunities for them this way. I also agree with the old adage of a half step to the ball from the big men when it is passed from the wing.

One last thought on this whole exchange is the high post entry pass to the block. I think one of the things that has also gotten lost, for the most part, is posting for the next pass. A center, when fronted, used to point to the high post so that the wing and or point knew to get the ball there because he has used his ass and sealed the defender who thought he had the defensive position in anticipation of that pass to the high post then the high post throws the puff pass up and the low post waits for half a second then releases getting the ball literally in front of the rim and lays it in.

Well, some thoughts on passing to the post, posting and the post receiving the ball.