Kentucky Basketball: 5 Recruits Who Would Thrive in Dribble Drive Offense
John Calipari has mastered the Dribble Drive Motion. The DDM is an offense created by Vance Walberg and relayed to Calipari during his time at Memphis. (NBCSports.com has a great breakdown of the offense as a whole.)
In a nutshell, the DDM needs athletic perimeter ball handlers to be successful. Calipari's early utilization of this offense was focused on premier point guards. You know the names: Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall.
As Calipari's career has evolved, so has the DDM. But the core principle of the offense stays the same: super-athletic ball-handlers are a must. Breaking down defenses off the bounce is a must—and these top recruits do it the best.
The Oakland Soldiers, Aaron Gordon's AAU team, thrive in fast break situations.
Gordon ignites the Soldiers' fast break. When he pulls down a rebound, he won't look for an outlet pass. He has the skill to dribble the ball himself—and his teammates are comfortable with that.
The numbers support Gordon. At the Nike Peach Jam, he led the Soldiers in assists...and blocks. On a team filled with Division I talent, Gordon shines. Oakland won the Peach Jam, in large part due to Gordon's versatility on both ends of the floor.
But that doesn't tell Gordon's entire story. Like his brother, former New Mexico forward Drew Gordon, Aaron loves to compete. Add that to his athleticism and distribution skills and you get an ideal fit for the DDM.
Aaron and Andrew Harrison
Aaron and Andrew Harrison. Twins. Point guard and shooting guard. Athletic.
Enough said. The backcourt brothers from Texas are the perfect fit for the DDM.
Andrew, the primary point guard of the two, is known for his domineering size over other point guards. He's 6'5". No guard in the 2013 class can get into the paint like he can. That's your dribble drive.
Aaron, the better shooter of the two, knows where to be on the floor when his brother assaults the opposing defense. Whether it is a quick cut to the basket or floating to an open spot beyond the arc, Aaron is there. He's not to shabby at getting to the rim, either.
Their size and skill makes them peerless in terms of "fits" for the DDM.
I have a thing for point forwards.
Like Aaron Gordon, Jabari Parker has the ability to take defensive rebounds and push the ball up the court with ease.
In half court sets, he's a matchup nightmare.
At 6'8", Parker has the size and strength to brush off smaller defenders. Opposing coaches that dare to play a player of equal size will watch Parker dash by en route to the rim, or smoothly rise up and take a jumper off the dribble.
Parker's flexibility on offense would make him an exceptional player in Calipari's offense.
Like the Harrison twins, Wayne Selden has the strength to bulldoze his way into the lane and score. He isn't the best jump shooter, but with his elite athleticism, that hasn't been a problem in high school.
I'm not one for comparisons, but Selden's drives to the hoop remind me of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He draws the offensive foul on occasion, but for the most part, he scores.
The accompanying picture shows exactly what Selden brings to the table—a relentlessness on offense. He is fearless when attacking the rim and is a great finisher.
Elite finishers are always welcome in up-tempo motion offenses like the Dribble Drive.
One of the most hyped Kentucky basketball recruits has been James Young. He has consistently spoken highly of John Calipari and the Wildcats' program, and Kentucky is considered the front-runner for his services.
Young might be the best pure scorer in the 2013 class. His shot selection is admirable for a high school superstar. He can get any shot he wants—and he makes them at a high clip.
Check out his percentages from the Nike Peach Jam this summer: 44 percent from the field, 46 percent from range and 76 percent from the line. Considering the high volume of shots taken (13 from the field, six from three point range and nine from the line), you've got to love his scoring mastery.
Couple Young with a point guard that can draw defenders, and you have an offense that is tough to stop. That dream could become a reality with Calipari's upcoming recruiting class.