Motion Principles by Steve Smiley

Motion Principles by Steve Smiley

Here are some general motion principles that we use with our team…. We think it’s important to have some general rules and guidelines, but also enough freedom and flexibility to allow players to make plays. A lot of this was originally from what we used at Northern State with Coach Meyer. A lot of great terminology & ideas…



           Spacing is offense; offense is spacing…BIG SPACING.


          Angles; post men constantly seal to obtain feeding angles/perimeters move to obtain feeding angles.


           Momentum; we look to drive against an opponents momentum and/or mismatches.




à  Pass fakes, shot fakes & skip passes are excellent ways to create defensive momentum.


            Hit the first open man by zipping the pass away from the defense.


            On every catch look Rim, Post, Action…verbals in practice are great teaching tools.


          Put the ball on top twice…we want to go to the 3rd side and 4th side and then inside.


à 4 passes = a good shot, 5 passes = a great shot, 7 passes = a great shot and a foul


           Hold the ball longer on top as our best post feeds come from the top versus a man or a zone


          We want to go inside, inside, and inside some more.


          Slow down and read your defensive man when you make cuts.


              à This gives you a change of pace with your change of direction.


          Basket cut to score or whenever you do not know what to do on the perimeter.


à Stick your head under the basket, read the defense, and space to appropriate area at the NBA three     ppoint line.


            Players in the post seal constantly to occupy the defense rather than chasing the ball around the perimeter.


à Your only movement is to get more of the defense


à Show your numbers to the ball and the ball will come to you.


           Move the ball quickly and crisply, but not so fast that you can’t see the Rim, Post and Action.


           Move with a purpose when cutting and screening.


à We do not need a quantity of cuts and screens. We need quality cuts and screens.


            We want to take great open rhythm shots.


4 = Open lay-up


3 = Open jump shot                                                           WE WANT 4’S & 3’S


2 = Okay shot by a good shooter/scorer


1 = Bad shot


0 = Turnover


            We must have great Offensive Board Coverage (OBC) on every shot…4 tailbacks


             à We want 2 on 1 rebounding in the weakside slice of the pie


          We must have great Transition and Talk on every shot we take.


à 1 fullback at the halfline to stop the ball and give no lay-ups or uncontested 3’s


à 4 tailbacks that crash the boards and then get their tails back


            GETTING TO THE FREE THROW LINE (we want to make more free throws than opponents attempt)


  1. Fast break at every opportunity
  2. Post and finish strong to the rim (this doesn’t have to be just post men)
  3. Quality cuts and screens
  4. Drive the ball as opposed to dribbling…drive against momentum and mismatches
  5. Offensive Board Coverage on each shot

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smileyThe 2014-15 season marked the first season for Steve Smiley as an assistant coach at Weber State. He joined the Wildcat program in August 2014.

Smiley came to Weber State after spending the six years as the head coach at Sheridan College, a national junior college powerhouse in Sheridan, Wyo. In the six years with the Generals, Smiley posted a 153-43 (.780) overall record and led Sheridan to four North Sub-Region 9 titles and two runner-up finishes. His teams also advanced to the Region 9 Final Four four times and appeared in two championship games. Smiley was twice named the North Region Coach of the Year.

During his time at Sheridan, Smiley had 21 players sign to play NCAA Division I basketball and a total of 38 players moved on to the four-year level. He coached two players who earned NJCAA All-American honors and nine players who earned All-Region honors. Several players wen on to play professional basketball across the world.

In addition to head coach, Smiley also worked as the Athletics Director at Sheridan.

Prior to his time at Sheridan, Smiley spent two seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., where he worked under the winningest coach in NCAA history, Don Meyer. During his time at NSU, the Wolves posted a 50-12 record. Smiley was also the head assistant coach at Black Hills State University during the 2005-06 season.

A native of Denver, Smiley graduated from Northern State in 2004. He was a three-year starter with the Wolves and led the Northern Sun league in assists for three straight seasons. He ranks second in NSU history in career assists with 537. As a senior he was named the NSIC Defensive Player of the Year and the league tournament MVP. He helped lead the team to a 24-7 record and a trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament.

He played high school basketball at Pomona High School in Arvada, Colo, where he was a four-year starter and earned All-State honors twice. He also led the state of Colorado in assists during his junior season.

Smiley and his wife Nikki have two children, Madden and Avery.

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