The Basketball Podcast: EP30 Matt Woodley

RELEASE DATE : 06/03/2019

In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Drake men’s basketball assistant coach Matt Woodley joins the Basketball Podcast with Chris Oliver to discuss individual and team basketball defense.

Woodley boasts extensive and diverse experience at the professional, collegiate and high school levels. He has coached 21 future NBA players including Klay Thompson and Hassan Whiteside in addition to serving as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies D-League and an assistant for the franchise’s summer league teams.

Prior to Drake Woodley was a head coach for three years at Truman State. He has also been a highly respected assistant coach at Washington State University for head coach Tony Bennett, at Middle Tennessee State for head coach Kermit Davis, and at Pittsburgh for head coach Kevin Stallings. 


“If your bigs don’t have low hands in the screen and roll, it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re not going to be very successful.”

“The thing I learned most with [Tony Bennett] . . is the execution of your fundamentals, not the execution of scheme . . I think that’s so lost in development.”

“Be simple in your approach and be a master of your fundamentals because you will be difficult to play against.”

“Anytime you overextend your defense, there’s two things that are going to happen – number one, you’re going to give up more . . restricted area, deep paint shots . . and you’re going to foul more .”

“To me, your defense should be built to beat the best. And to beat the best you have to be totally sound, you can’t be a total help and recover . . two movement team.”

“There’s a chronological order of going with adjustments . . but really it just boils down to: we have to do what we do better.”

“The number one thing on defense . . besides guarding the basketball . . is how do you get on and off the ball.”

“The game’s changing, but are we changing on how we’re developing our players?”

“I’ll never ask a player to do something unless I have video evidence. Everything should be data driven.”

“One thing . . I would challenge all coaches to do, instead of spending so much time on scouting reports . . develop your own shell drill based on what you’re going to see in your league.”

“If you can’t guard the ball with any resistance . . you just can’t play . . You have five guys that can do that . . it’s just more of a want-to and an ability to be completely detailed in your fundamentals on how you want to teach that.”

“We have really good players. The hardest thing for high school players to get onto the floor in college, college to the pros . . is to be able to be really sound defensively.”

“When you’re practicing . . the one thing I would challenge coaches to do . . is constantly change your matchups in practice.”

“You have to find time to study the game to help your players become better.”

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1:00 – Introduction
2:00 – Defensive Philosophy Conversation
3:00 – Adapting the System
5:00 – Execution of your Fundamentals
6:20 – Restricted Area Deep Paint Shot
7:20 – Step-in Threes
9:00 – Stay consistent
10:30 – Someone to have a Chart
11:30 – Chronological Order of Adjustments
13:30 – Spending on Scouting Reports
15:00 – Horn’s Down Look/ Point Corner Split Action
17:00 – More on Scouting Reports – Order
18:50 – SMILE
20:30 – Get Up and Down with Purpose
21:30 – “Sticking Them All” Concept
22:40 – Does a Closeout Matters Much?
23:30 – We Don’t Believe in “Chopping Your Feet”
24:30 – Run and Stop
26:00 – Working on One on One
27:00 – Are we Leaving our Feet to challenge?
28:15 – Teaching Guys To Run and Stop
30:00 – Chopping Your Feet
31:00 – One Slide: Turn and Run
32:40 – Knowing WHY
34:00 – Scouting Report is so Important
35:30 – Never Play 1-on-1 from the Gap
37:00 – Help and Recover, Single Side Tag
39:00 – Ball at the Top of the Key
40:30 – Explaining Terminology of 1-on-1 and other terms
42:00 – On The Ball
43:00 – Swarm the Basketball
44:30 – Below to Up Movement, Back to the Ball
46:00 – Recruit Offense in Coach Defense
47:00 – Reading The Ball and Teaching Defense Decision Making
48:30 – Consistency Changing your Matchups in Practice
51:00 – Single vs Double Side Tag Thoughts
52:30 – Need some Iso Situations
53:30 – How to Cover the Ball in Screen&Roll?
56:00 – How to Attack Switch
57:00 – Find Time to Study the Game
58:00 – Conclusion

Matt Woodley



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