The Basketball Podcast: EP45 Aaron Fearne on Tagging Up

RELEASE DATE : 12/06/2019

In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Aaron Fearne, current Charlotte 49ers assistant coach, and former professional head coach, joins the podcast to discuss sending five players to the offensive boards in his “Tagging Up” offensive rebounding system. The podcast covers team and individual offensive rebounding tactics and techniques. Defensive transition is discussed in the context of this system to give you real insights into a stimulating idea.

Fearne joins the 49ers coaching staff after spending the last nine years as head coach of the National Basketball League’s Cairns Taipans, which plays in Australia’s top professional league.

In his nine seasons at the helm of the Taipans, he coached in 264 games and guided them to three appearances in the NBL playoffs. In 2011, he led the team to an appearance in the NBL Finals. In 2015, he coached the Taipans to a record 21 wins and another appearance in the league finals while garnering NBL Coach of the Year honors. In 2017, he guided the Taipans to a second place finish in the regular-season and a trip to the NBL semifinals.

Prior to becoming head coach, Fearne spent seven seasons (2001-08) as an assistant coach for the Taipans. During that time, he also served as the head coach of the Cairns Taipans Academy, which is a junior development academy which he created. Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes and former NBA player Nathan Jawai came out of the Academy.

Learn more from Aaron Fearne and get access to his Tagging Up Offensive Rebounding System:

The Tagging Up System with Aaron Fearne

Aaron Fearne Quotes:

“I had this mindset of being really physical on the offensive glass and coming up with extra possessions.”

“We’re just going to send everyone to the glass but there needs to be some rules.”

“When the shot goes up, you’ve got to get on the front foot and you’ve got to go make contact with the guy that’s defending you . . that’s really, really important – that you get on the front foot and everybody is on the front foot.”

“The feedback that I got back from players and coaches . . [was] it just simplifies things. The shot goes up, tag up on your man over the high side and let’s compete for the offensive rebound.”

“Guys do not block out . . but you’ve got to have the discipline not to run past him . . .you’ve got to just basically hit him and drive him in . . it does become a very physical contest.”

“We played a fairly deliberate style of game . . it’s a lot easier to offensive rebound when you have that internal feel of when shots are going up.”

“Your predictability on shot selection needs to be at a high level but it should be no matter what defensive transition system you’re running.”

“When we went to the tag up system . . our defensive transition points allowed got better, our offensive rebounding numbers went up so we got extra possessions . . consistently we were pretty good . . at containing you and not giving you easy baskets.”

“It makes you have to be physical . . you’ve got to block out, you have to be competitive offensively . . you’re probably not going to be a great defensive rebounding team . . if you don’t practice against it every day.”

“With the fast-paced teams, if you go the other way and you’re retreating they just come at you with more speed because they’ve got more room . . I’m trying to cut your space down because I’ve got more players up the floor on their matchup earlier.”

“A lot of guards are not great at blocking out and now we’ve put you in a position where you have to block out every time.”

“The other little dynamic to it is . . if you were in that 50/50 contest and you couldn’t quite come up with it, well then try and hit it out . . or hit it out across the sideline or baseline generally, just kill the possession. Now we can get set and contain you.”

“The danger is if you don’t all commit to it . . it’s got to be 100% commitment every possession.”

“Try to force your man into a position where he’s out of position.”

“It’s all about rebounding preparation and forcing the defense into disadvantaged positions . . we’re trying to scrum you in to cut down your space.”

“I would want my son or daughter to be coached hard. A lot of them don’t understand how hard kids get coached internationally.”

“How do you get better if you’re not challenged?”

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Aaron Fearne Breakdown:

1:00 – Introduction
2:00 – Tagging Up System
5:00 – Being on the Front Foot
9:00 – Transition Defense
11:00 – Exposing his System in NCAA Games
12:40 – Communicating in Transition
15:30 – Adjustments in the System
17:20 – Creating Advantage with Possessions
19:00 – Teaching Separation with the Player
21:00 – Struggle with the System
23:30 – Their Hands during the Scrum
24:30 – 14-Second Reset on FIBA
25:30 – Concept of Predictable Shots
27:00 – Controlling Phase
28:30 – Over Obsessions with Matchups
31:30 – Aggressive Players in Youth Development
33:00 – Female Teams who used the System
35:00 – Creating Danger for Them
36:30 – Game Plan
37:30 – Danger with the Scrum
38:30 – One-Hand Rebound
40:00 – Teaching Specific on Size Disadvantage
41:00 – Spacing the Outlet
42:30 – Commitment to the System
44:30 – Offensive Rebound used in the System
48:00 – His Kids Playing Basketball in America versus in Australia
51:00 – Holding Accountable
53:00 – Empowering of the Weak Side Players
56:00 – Conclusion

Aaron Ferne:



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