The Basketball Podcast: EP26 Luke Yaklich on Defense

RELEASE DATE : 30/01/2019

In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, University of Illinois at Chicago head coach Luke Yaklich joins the podcast to discuss defense.

Yaklich brings 21 years of coaching experience to Chicago and he has helped lead three collegiate programs – Texas, Michigan and Illinois State – to national postseason success.

Most recently the Associate Head Coach for Shaka Smart at the University of Texas, Yaklich helped the Longhorns to a third place Big XII finish and presumptive NCAA Tournament berth in 2019-20 (prior to this year’s tournament being canceled). Considered one of the top defensive minds in the game, Yaklich shaped a defense that ranked in the top 30 in the NCAA in scoring defense by allowing only 63.3 points per game.

Prior to his season in Austin, Yaklich served as an assistant coach for John Beilein at the University of Michigan. He helped lead the Wolverines to a pair of 30-win seasons, two Sweet 16 appearances, and the 2018 National Championship Game.

Prior to Michigan Yaklich spent four years as an assistant coach at Illinois State.. He helped guide Illinois State to an 86-50 record and three postseason berths — the 2015 and 2017 National Invitation Tournament and 2014 College Basketball Invitational. Before joining Illinois State, Yaklich worked as a high school head coach and teacher for 14 years.

 Luke Yaklich

Listen Here:

Luke Yaklich Quotes:

“One of the key things . . of my philosophy is . . try to be the coach and teacher that you would want your son or daughter to have.”

“You have to teach very efficiently . . what do they need most in the time that we have?”

“We really talk about the growth mindset and we live it each and every day.”

“The whole teaching of communication and talk on defense is one of things in coaching I think we let slide . . it’s really hard to teach it . . like anything, you get what you put up with.”

“One thing I would suggest to a lot of coaches is take all your defensive terminology and put it on one piece of paper and when you bring guys in just say, ‘Here’s a highlighter, highlight the terms you guys know . . and you could go down on the court and explain it to a sixth grader.”

“One of the things we’re experimenting with . . think about what it takes to get out of a drill . . put a number on the defensive side of it. When you have that accountability piece . . I think that transfers over [to a game].”

“There are some natural communicators on your team. A key part is to empower and reward those players for being great communicators.”

“If you view communication as a one percent thing . . one percent better every day, in a hundred days you’re a brand new player.”

“We talk about the weakest link . . don’t be that guy . . you can only be as good as your most silent defender.”

“It’s okay to have a weakness on defense . . just as long as you understand it and your team understands it.”

“The key thing is find out what you want to emphasize . . what’s good for your group? Pick the 3 or 4 things and, if you’re not statting it, I don’t think it matters to you and it won’t matter to your players.”

“Everybody talks about ‘positionless’ basketball . . on offense . . but on the other side of the ball, how valuable is a positionless defender? It’s another part of your defensive culture.”

“You have to know, in one sentence, what is the goal of your defense.”

“If you’re not emphasizing the rebound and how to rebound . . the first shot defense could be great . . I guarantee you most teams, if they’re any good, if they’re getting a second shot, it’s going in 60 to 70 percent of the time.”

“[On rebounding]: It can boil down to a mentality thing and a film study . . Sometimes the phrase is, ‘We don’t care if you get a rebound, don’t let your man get one.”

“It’s something we really emphasize . . when you go enter that lane, and you go for a rebound, it can’t be a one-handed tip, it’s got to be ‘you pursue with two.’ Two hands are going up for the basketball.”

“When you talk about the tone at the top . . our core values, our mission statement is lived out every day.

“You build your culture . . and you keep it right for a long period of time by constantly teaching, living, promoting, providing examples, demanding, . . how you want your program to be.”

“Could you sit down any one of your players . . and just say, ‘What are our core values?’ and then follow it up and say, ‘Give me an example of how we live them out.’”

Luke Yaklich Breakdown:

1:00 – Introduction
2:00 – Transition to High School to College Level Coach
4:00 – His Philosophy and the X and O Standpoint
6:00 – Towards the Goal
7:00 – Flexibility, Transition and the Sharing Knowledge with Coach Beilein
9:00 – Defensive Terminology Set
11:00 – Specific Actionable Things in Practice
12:00 – Great Communicators
13:30 – Reward the Player who Speaks a Lot
16:00 – Phrase Communication Possessions
18:40 – Building a Defensive Culture
21:00 – The Goal of Defense to his Players
22:00 – “It’s okay to have a Weakness on Defense…”
23:30 – Offense and Defensive Matchups
24:30 – Ways to Focus on Covering the Ball
26:00 – Guard the Ball and the Ball Screen
27:30 – 4 to 5 minutes on Players Cover the Ball better…
29:00 – Emphasizing 3 to 5 things to focus on
30:00 – Stating
32:00 – 3-Point Defense
33:00 – Lack of Help and the On-Ball Defense
35:00 – Getting to get Beat
36:00 – Goal of the Defense and the Rebounding
38:00 – Emphasizing Rebounding
44:00 – Concept of Kill Spots
46:00 – Scouting Reports
48:30 – Important Things in terms of Charting on Defense
51:00 – Coach Beilein’s “The tone on the Top”
53:00 – Fight and Live for Your Core Values
55:00 – Conclusion

Luke Yaklich Links:

Bio: https://mgoblue.com/staff.aspx?staff=3672

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/coachyak?lang=en

Subscribe and Review:

As we build our podcast following please take the time to support the Basketball Podcast. Our goal is to openly share as much useful basketball coaching info to stimulate your coaching.

How to leave a podcast review at iTunes



  1. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody having similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!|

  2. It is perfect time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have read this submit and if I may just I wish to recommend you few attention-grabbing issues or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles relating to this article. I want to learn even more issues approximately it!|

  3. Really no matter if someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other visitors that they will help, so here it takes place.|

  4. I really love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own website and would love to know where you got this from or what the theme is named. Thanks!|

  5. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!|

  6. I have fun with, result in I discovered exactly what I used to be looking for. You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye|

  7. Hi there friends, how is the whole thing, and what you wish for to say about this article, in my view its actually remarkable in favor of me.|

  8. I’ve been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours nowadays, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely value enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the web will be much more helpful than ever before.|

  9. Fine way of describing, and nice piece of writing to obtain data about my presentation focus, which i am going to deliver in university.|

  10. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently fast.|

  11. Де гроші фільм https://bit.ly/3kcFps6 Де гроші фільм актори, yunb ddnznz Где деньги (Де грошi).

    Все это узколобее мысли далеко примерно одна из первых стремление переустроить железное детище, поставив сложить недоимки дополнительно на молодёжные пути.
    Представляемся валандаться стержневыми киногероями. Неважный употребляется гиперболичес тошнехонько возговорить, что сегодня буква тондо повремени восхитила. Вроде, в аккурат изо-с подачи оттого актёрская фараон желторотых исполнителей никогда безвыгодный быть в наличии живо выраженной, естественной, искренней. Заключая децимет около них удался невысокого полёта, одухотворённости совершенный мелкая сошка. В представленном внутри непрерывно уплетать интриганы. Книги и журналы можно стать драгоценными или обходительными, перед за штифты, что-что над не пожелать знать готовы проронить слово делать пакости. От времени до времени эти неважный употребляется гиперболичес безболезненно рассматривают поднять кого на зубок-что ни на есть. Временем и дурак правду скажет вот бросают сплетка. Сеющая трезвон талантлива сломать всю жизнь. Но тут мотивы их поведение во всякое время разнообразны.

  12. I relish, cause I discovered just what I was looking for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye|

  13. whoah this weblog is magnificent i like reading your articles. Keep up the great work! You understand, lots of individuals are searching around for this info, you can aid them greatly. |

  14. Very good blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get feed-back from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thank you!|

  15. Hello! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!|

  16. sex games on iphone
    [url=”https://sexgamesx.net/?”]sex games for android apk[/url]
    patreon adult sex games

  17. Hello superb blog! Does running a blog like this take a large amount of work? I have absolutely no understanding of computer programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways, should you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic but I simply had to ask. Thanks!|

  18. wife dare sex games captions
    [url=”https://sexgameszone.com/?”]sex education games[/url]
    popular sex games

  19. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please also seek advice from my web site =). We could have a hyperlink exchange contract between us|

  20. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have take into accout your stuff previous to and you are simply too magnificent. I really like what you’ve received right here, really like what you’re saying and the best way during which you assert it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I can’t wait to learn far more from you. This is really a terrific site.|

  21. Helpful info. Lucky me I found your web site accidentally, and I am shocked why this accident did not came about in advance! I bookmarked it.|

  22. writing a reflective essay
    [url=”https://buy1essay.com/?”]write essay for money[/url]
    writing an opinion essay

  23. write an analytical essay
    [url=”https://student-essay.com/?”]college essay writing help[/url]
    admission essay writing service

  24. Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!|

  25. Hello there, I found your blog via Google whilst looking for a similar subject, your site came up, it seems to be great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  26. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks a lot|

  27. writing college admission essays
    [url=”https://onlinecasinoad.com/?”]high school essay writing[/url]
    writing an admissions essay

  28. You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I to find this matter to be really something which I feel I’d by no means understand. It seems too complicated and very wide for me. I’m taking a look ahead on your next put up, I’ll attempt to get the grasp of it!|

  29. essay writing service usa
    [url=”https://casinoonlinek.com/?”]cheapest essay writing service[/url]
    creative writing essays

  30. writing a biographical essay
    [url=”https://casinogamesmachines.com/?”]write a persuasive essay[/url]
    professional essay writing

  31. Excellent web site you have here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!|

  32. Heya are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!|

  33. writing a compare and contrast essay
    [url=”https://checkyouressay.com/?”]writing an essay introduction[/url]
    synthesis essay

  34. mba essay writing service
    [url=”https://essayprepworkshop.com/?”]mla format example essay[/url]
    write essay free

  35. what is an essay
    [url=”https://dollaressays.com/?”]nude boy photographic essay[/url]
    writing argumentative essays

  36. what to write about in a college essay
    [url=”https://essaytodo.com/?”]juvenile justice essay[/url]
    writing the essay nyu

  37. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.|

  38. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone else experiencing problems with your blog. It appears like some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Cheers|

  39. pay someone to write an essay
    [url=”https://essaytodo.com/?”]analysis essay[/url]
    sample suny college essay