Book review: Multiple offense and defense by Dean Smith

This book grabbed my eye in the library while I was looking for something to read.  I typically have a list of books I like to go through based on recommendations, amazon.com ratings, and interest level, but this one just came out of the blue onto my radar.

The book spends a good time dealing a few different offensive systems as well as the rationale behind employing them.  It also goes into how to teach the systems and drills to run with them.  As a coaching guide, it's probably not detailed enough and as a guide for those looking to understand offensive basketball and plays it contains too much info on the teaching of those offenses.

The largest problem with the book is that the text constantly refers to diagrams on different pages making you flip back and forth between pages to try and look at the diagram then go find your place as to what you're reading.

Despite being a book that's probably not perfect for any audience, I still enjoyed sections of it quite a bit.  The theories in the book about why to run various offenses, the strategies employed, and the different options were insightful.  I was hoping to find a book that would explain, compare, and contrast a wide variety of offensive philosophies while this mostly just described Dean's system at North Carolina and some variants they use.  His different systems weren't basically different situational offenses he runs rather than full blown various offenses other teams might run.

The book reinforced many concepts in the schematics that go into a good offense to me as well as providing some insight into when to try different defensive schemes.   The book is definitely not for the casual reader and probably serves as a primer for a coach who wants to look at differing schemes for his own use.

I especially enjoyed the section by Bob Spear about the shuffle cut offense which was designed to be played by five interchangable players without true positions, a situation you'd find yourself in commonly in a rec league or coaching in junior high or high school.

Overall, I felt that I got a lot of information out of the book, but it was somewhat of a chore to read as most in depth technical books are.  I would have enjoyed a bit more high level view of many offenses, but that clearly wasn't Smith's intent on writing it despite a title that led me to believe otherwise.

I'd highly recommend certain chapters of the book, especially those dealing with the passing offense and shuffle cut offense.   After that, most of the book is only useful if you're coaching and even then probably isn't detailed enough.

Overall 4/10.

Leave a comment