This week’s Tribe Spotlight features Drew Burris. Drew is the boy’s basketball coach at La Monte R-IV Junior High School in Missouri.
I teach/coach in a school with a little over 120 students in the Jr High/High School. I’ve been coaching Jr. High basketball for 3 years now, and I coached two years of youth before that. My first year, we went 2-12. We beat the same team twice, but we didn’t win any conference games. The scores at the end showed we had a young team. The next year we went 1-10, but the scores were not by much on the losing side.
At the time, we were running several different set plays within offense, but it was picked up on quickly by defenses. It was brought to my attention in the spring, a month after our season was over, that we were going to run a different offense. One of our coaches suggested that we do it but I had mixed emotions about the idea. I began looking over the Read and React, and I thought there’s no way this will work. I thought there was too much information for the boys to learn, and it will be a nightmare. I devoted most of my summer to study and understand the system. I read clinic notes and diagrams for about 2 weeks straight. I was even reviewing the Dynamic Defense as well.
During our Summer Camp, I introduced the first 4 layers to the boys. We did alright, we had some trouble with the difference between circle movement and dribble at, but I said we’d pick it up back when the season started. Instead of buying the spots, I made my own. They were poly spots painted white for the numbers and black for the mid/high/short corner (the spots were pulled off the floor during the 2nd week). The 2nd and 3rd week of the season, we had covered all the layers and by the 4th week we were doing full court trips and transition for warm-ups. I went ahead and bought the Reaction Drills manual online. This helped a lot with practices. We finished our season 5-7 overall and 5-4 in conference. I took 20 players in with something new this year and so far I thought had an improving year. We were up by 11 points one game, and they wanted to keep shooting 3s. I said to them, “It’s not live by the 3, it’s live and by the pass and cut.” All we did was pass and the cut the remainder of the game to get points in the paint. I explained, after seeing a video Rick did, that Layer 1 was the most important one. The 4 spots on the floor for rebounding: middle, back, weak side and elbow also helped with rebounding this year. I made it a must that they called their spots out in a game after seeing one of Rick’s videos. I just wanted to share this story and say thanks to Rick Torbett for all his hard work with this system. I went ahead and bought the R&R spots, Emmanuel Practice DVD, and the Quick Hitters DVD. This system has helped our team improved and it was only our first year doing it.