Creating a quality scouting report that accurately breaks down the strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies of your opponents and their individual players is an important step towards winning any game. There are a number of aspects/sections (see below) of a scouting report that are basic necessities, whether you are creating a report for your high school team or for your college team.
- Who are the starting five for your opponents, who are their key subs, and any statistics you have on them (points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, 2-point and 3-point field goal percentages, free throw percentage, average minutes played per game).
- What is the dominant hand of each player that plays significant minutes for the opponent (right or left handed).
- Each player’s favorite move (crossover right to left for a pull-up, hook shot over her right shoulder, etc).
- Which direction they are more likely to drive (right or left).
- The opponent’s basic style of defense: person-to-person, 2-3 zone, etc.
- Any offensive plays they run regularly.
Advanced scouting reports should also include the items below:
- A small general description of the opponent’s season and their basic style of play (opponent is 8-2 on the season, they play tough person-to-person defense, and look to create opportunities in transition)
- The opponent’s best and worst free throw shooters – in case the game is close and you must foul to regain position.
- The opponent’s best offensive and defensive rebounders – the whole team should be aware of who needs to be boxed out.
- The opponent’s transition sets, half court plays, zone offenses, baseline and sideline out of bounds plays, and their “time & score” plays. It is best if these can be diagramed as well as discussed with your players. Also, include the opponent’s call/name for any of their sets. This allows your defense the best opportunity to be ready to defend their plays.
- The opponent’s “back-up” defenses and presses – if they usually play person-to-person or 2-3 zone but will go 3-2 zone or add traps to their person-to-person in certain situations.
- Who the opponent’s best 3-point shooters are – everyone on your team needs to know who they need to chase off the line and who they can close out short on.
- Finally, any extra tidbits that you can share with your team that might allow them a better opportunity to predict what their opponent is likely to do. For example, do they sometime trap the first pass out of a time-out? Or do they frequently change defenses based on if they made or missed offensively?