Washington State Ankle Breakers – Improved Handlers

High School
Washington

Posted On: 12/21/17 4:26 PM

Every ball handler is unique and has there own style. There are several categories you can put each ball handler into based on their speed, moves, habits and unique talents. I am going to concentrate on 4 of those categories. Shifty, Loose, tight and Deceptive. Each player CAN have characteristics of all categories but my goal is to place them in one based on what I’ve seen in games. I have a good foundation of handlers that I’ve seen throughout the summer.

Loose Ball Handlers – Generally, loose handlers sell moves by extending the ball outside of their body. They tend to hop around a little and wait for the defender to bite by reaching. Physically, they are generally taller, longer and have a long first step to extend past the defender. They can literally step halfway past their defender with one step. One very common habit of loose ball handlers is that they begin most of their moves with a hanging hesitation, forcing the defender to make a decision. When I think of loose ball handlers in Washington I would place Marquan Williams, Brock Mackenzie, Marcus Austin, Eddie Turner III and Freddie Roberson.

Tight Ball Handlers – Generally keep the ball close to their body. Never extending their arm fully when making moves. The ball is always close to their body. Normally , these are smaller quicker (not necessarily fast, but good acceleration/decal guards who use their threat of attacking tot move defenders. They use less moves, but are very efficient with those that they do make, and sell their moves by shifting their entire body, not with the ball. The ball remains close but leans body to sell move. I would place Isiah Hart, Divante Moffitt, Eli Morton, Elijah McLaughlin and Malik Putney in this category from what I’ve seen.

Shifty Ball Handlers – As the name suggest, much of the shifty style of ball handling involves techniques to shift the defender slightly out of position. This includes two main techniques: slow to fast speed changes to catch the defender off-guard. Speed change puts defender out of place and out of defensive stance. As well as slight misdirection moves (a slight fake in the opposite direction of the attack) to put the defender on their heels and at a disadvantage. Jabs in the opposite direction. Because of the speed changes, these players are also generally very good decelerators. Based on my observations this spring and summer I would place Nate Kummer, Taheem Jones, Damani Kelly, Dalton Liesse and Kendall Green in this category.

Deceptive Ball Handlers – These players primarily use eyes, body positioning, ball fakes and more to deceive defenders. They are very patient, and many times move very slow while using deception to fool their opponents. They players are opportunistic. They probe the defense in a protective stance, using burst of speed to get to their spots when they see an opening. They player protect the ball waiting to explode and they generally are very good at accepting contact. I would put the likes of, Demetrius Crosby, Alex Flor, Jalen Fayson, Kenneth Curtis and Quentin Young in this category based on their summer performances.