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BUILDING THE FULL COURT SCRAMBLE
By Eric Konkol
Assistant Basketball Coach George Mason Univeristy
Applying effective full court pressure is an excellent way of taking your opponent out
of their comfort zone in two simple ways. Its immediate effect is placing duress on the ball handlers, potentially forcing dribbling on passing errors, well before they get across half court and into the scoring area. In the long term, the effects of persistent pressure, constant guessing, and an increase in tempo can cause additional physical and mental fatigue on your opponent and give you a great opportunity for success. Nearly eight years ago, Jim Larranga inherited a George Mason University men’s basketball program that suffered through seven losing seasons including four last place finishes in the Colonial Athletic Association. After implementing an intense style of pressure defense that includes the Full Court Scramble, George Mason now has the most wins in the CAA as well as four postseason tournament appearances in the past six years. At George Mason, we believe that being successful at the Full Court Scramble requires three inner qualities before our players ever step onto the floor. Our three-part philosophy includes: attitude, commitment, and class. First, everyone must have a positive attitude. Each of us makes a decision each day on what type of attitude we will have. We emphasize enthusiasm, passion, along with hard work in our program. There is going to be adversity, and how we bounce back is vital. Secondly, everyone must be totally and unconditionally committed. We must work hard to improve every day, no matter the circumstances. It is easy to work hard when things are going well, but those who are totally and unconditionally committed work hard even during tough times. Thirdly, everyone must act in a first-class manner. We must represent the program with pride and respect. We understand that our actions impact not only ourselves, but also our teammates, coaches, university and family. Once we deliver this philosophy to our team, we are ready to get on the floor and build the Full Court Scramble.
Full Court Scramble Drills
On the court, the Full Court Scramble requires three essential fundamentals before we practice our 5-on-5 situations. They are:
1. Apply extreme pressure on the ball handler 2. Anticipate the pass 3. Effectively trap the dribbler In order to excel at these three fundamentals, we spend time each day in our pre-season individual workouts as well as our team practices on drills that incorporate these fundamentals. In addition, although we are developing our defense, the offensive players in each drill must work hard to make game-line plays to make each drill effective. These drills are: 1. Nose on the Ball 2. Anticipation Drill 3. Herding Drill
Nose on the Ball
“Nose on the Ball” requires the defender to work very hard to influence the ball handler to crossover at least three times before half court. We call it “Nose on the Ball” because we want our defenders to do just that. Our defender isn’t looking to gamble and steal the ball. His goal is to make the offense’s Diagram 1. job very difficult. 1. In Diagram 1, the defender passes the ball to the offense and closes him with hands high and quick choppy steps. 2. The offense then quickly zig-zags up the court with the defense closing guarding and making him crossover at least three times. 3. At half court, the offense picks up his dribble and the defender immediately pressures the dead ball by closing the space between them and “mirroring” the ball with both hands. After a count of two, the offense passes the ball to a coach at half court. 4. In Diagram 2, the defense immediately jumps to the ball and denies the pass back to the offense. 5. The ball is passed to the offense and the zig-zag dribble continues to the end line.
Diagram 2. The “Anticipation Drill” works the defender to quickly anticipate the direction of a pass. The defender is concentrating on deflecting the
basketball three times to get out of the drill. 1. In Diagram 3, the defender begins in the middle of the free throw line facing half court. Two offensive players stand with their inside foot on the elbow, also facing half court. A coach stands on the circle at half court, with a ball, facing the players. 2. The coach passes the ball quickly to one of the players at either elbow. The defender in the middle
Diagram 3. tries to anticipate where the ball is going and get a deflection. The coach can utilize pass fakes and nolook passes to make it difficult. 3. The defender stays in the middle until he gets three deflections.
The “Herding Drill” focuses on two defenders trapping a dribbler and then running out of the trap once a pass is made. The offensive player’s goal is to dribble as quickly as he can in straight lines to the left or right. We do not want him to use a variety of risky moves. 1. In Diagram 4, the offensive player begins underneath the rim with a ball. The two defenders begin where the lane line extended meets the three-point line. A coach stands at half court facing the players. 2. As soon as the dribbler begins in one direction, the two defenders try to “herd” him into a trap. It is important that they do not get beat! They must use the sidelines as another defender and work together. Diagram 5.
3. In Diagram 5, the dribbler crosses over, the defenders close up the space between them and force a trap. The trap must wrap up the dribbler and now allow him to step through the trap. 4. Once the trap is made and after a two-count, the passer throws the ball to the coach at half court. The defenders then sprint out of the trap, run the coach down, and either tip the ball out of his hands or block an attempted lay up.
Full Court Scramble Defenses
Now that we have built a strong foundation with our philosophy and drill work, we are ready to work with our players 5-on-5 in our five full court scramble defense. Our five full court defenses are: 1. Full Court Man 2. Quick trap 3. Slow trap 4. Twist 5. 55 ABQ will present the second part of George Mason’s ‘Full Court Scramble’ in our second quarter edition... Full Court Scramble Defenses will be the subject.
About the author
Eric Konkol Eric Konkol is now in his third season as a member of Jim Larranaga’s coaching staff at George Mason. His responsibilities include recruiting, game preparation, scouting, evaluation of players, and breaking down game tape. Konkol previously was an assistant on Buzz Peterson’s staff at Tennessee and Tulsa. Konkol also is the director of the Jim Larranaga Basketball Camps at Geroge Mason. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and earned a master’s degree in sport management at Tennessee. He can be reached at email@example.com.
By Matt Driscoll Assistant Coach, Baylor University
Included are some basic sets of the Press Offense. This will be our basic set vs. man or
Most of the time we will go to our 14 Triangle set, but this gives us good early movement and the potential for an easy basket on the other end. The inbounder must clear the lane and basket. Never throw the ball to the offense below the block (trap area). Later in the year, add cut and replace with your bigs coming to front court. (See Diagrams 1A-1-D)
Diagram 1C. 5 man will look for an opening in the middle. 4 and 5 man are going to space to the front court staying stretched (Diagram 1-D) ...normally we will eventually reverse to 3 man (Diagram 1-B) C..... Press Offense . 2 man is up the sideline... Diagram 1D.2 man will fill middle where 5 man vacates then quickly get back to the ball side deep spot. 1 man will always work to get open off the 5 man... 1 man must pass fake first up the floor...if the 3 man hits the 1 man we are in our normal movement (Diagram 1-A) B.. 3 man will take a dribble then hit the 4 man flashing back up the sideline. 2. or 3 man to get the ball across half court in a triangle formation.. the 2 man is looking for an open area anywhere in the middle of the floor..l Man A..1 man will become the middle relief (Diagram 1-C) D.. we will now ask our 1... 4 man is diagonal.. 5 man will bail out help side on pass back to 3 man. If we haven’t been able to make a forwardadvancing pass.
but this gives us good early movement and potential for an easy basket on the other . Press Offense . Diagram 2D. man or zone. Most of the time we will go to our 14 Triangle set. Diagram 2C. Diagram 2B.Diagram 2A.14 (2 man) This will be our basic set vs.
the 2 man must always be ready to walk his man to the middle of the floor then change direction quickly out to the wing (Diagram 2-A) B..14 (4 man) This will be our basic set vs. Inbounder must clear lane and basket.1 man will fill middle where 5 man vacates then quickly get to the ball side deep spot. Never throw it to the offense below the block area extended (See Diagrams 3A-3D).. If the 1 man is being dogged. 2. Inbounder must clear the lane and basket. If we haven't been able to make a forward advancing pass. we will now ask our 1. but this gives us good early movement and the potential for another basket on the other end. 5 man will bail out help side on pass back to 3 man..1 man is up the sideline.(See Diagrams 2A-2D) A..end. 4 man is diagonal. 4 and 5 man are going to space to front court staying stretched (Diagram 2-D) Press Offense ....2 man will become the middle relief (Diagram 2-C) D.1 man is looking for an open area anywhere in the middle of the floor... Most of the time we will go to our 14 Triangle set. Never throw the ball to the offense below the block area (trap area). and 3 man to get the ball across half court in a triangle formation. 5 man will look for an opening in the middle... add cut and replace with bigs coming to front court.. 3 man will take a dribble then hit the 4 man flashing back up the sideline...normally we will reverse to 3 man (Diagram 2-B) C.. man or zone...2 man must pass fake first up the floor. Later in the year.. .
Diagram 3B.. A. Diagram 3D..4 man is walking his man into the middle then making a quick change of direction to the outside open area. If the 3 man can't hit the 1 or 2 man he must run the baseline and pass to the 4 man.3 man will hit 4 man (Diagram 3-A) B. 2 man is ...Diagram 3A... 3 man is filling behind... 1 man is going ball side hard toward the sideline. Diagram 3C.
..1 man will fill middle where 5 man vacates. If 4 man can hit 1 man.. we will now ask our 1. and 3 man to get the ball across half court in a triangle formation.. 3 man will take a dribble then hit the 2 man flashing back up the sideline. 2.5 man will bail out deep ball side..going deep diagonal.4 man will become the deep diagonal (Diagram 3-C) D.normally.. Diagram 5A. we're successful. If we haven't been able to make a forward advancing pass.... 4 and 5 man are stretching deep to create space (Diagram 3-D) Diagram 4. the 1 man is looking for an open area anywhere in the middle of the floor. .... we reverse the ball back to the 3 man (Diagram 3-B) C.
This will be a nice option to go to at the end of a game to get the ball in the hands of our best free throw shooter.. presses.. The 1. Press Offense .. . 2 man has to make a quick change of direction to move deep. 1 man has a choice reading his defender – he can turn down the screen or go under the double or over the double (Diagram 4) Press Offense . 4 and 5 man set a double staggered for the 1 man. (See Diagrams 5A-5D) A.14 Double Diagram 5C..14 Triangle This is a common offense vs. Never inbound to the offense below the block area extended.. No matter what it takes we will get the ball inbounded to the 1 man or 2 man coming back to the ball. That is the beauty of this press offense. 2 and 3 man will form a triangle staying 15 – 18 feet apart at all times. if we have to go to the 4 man who will go right back to the Diagram 5D. Inbounder must clear the lane and basket. the fact that it is very flexible.. The triangle will sometimes have 2 in the back court or 1.Diagram 5B.
we can throw it ahead to a post player as well. bigs can also communicate a cut to each other..3 man when we are in Triangle (Diagram 5-A) B. Detail is given to each step below. 5 man is bailing out to the ball side deep and scraping the sidelines.this is a good time for teams to trap so we should be prepared (Diagram 5-D) Efficient and Effective Offensive Post Play By Jim Hayford Whitworth College Men’s Basketball Head Coach We want our post players to have confidence that they can score whenever we get them the ball at the block. We will drive the middle man hard to the basket then out the ball side (looking for a trap). A good offensive post player will “lay their stake” to this most important place of real estate on the court where they are able to .3 man will fill behind... Our post players will be conditioned through extensive preparation to stick to what they have been taught by developing instincts that are based on this system of offensive post play..these are our normal spots when we are getting trapped.middle person is always looking to move to an open area... I have outlined our method of low post scoring efficiency into six steps.... My experience has shown me that many post players are stuck in a “paralysis by analysis. staying behind ball in back court is important to make an easy pass out of any trap. (Diagram 5-C) D. The system of post play that I am about to describe allows for the offensive player to react to defensive pressure with confidence and simplicity.. 1.. 1 Man is deep diagonal. The stronger the post player the more space they can maintain.” These steps are a progression of what the offensive player’s instincts will be trained to do in response to the defender’s positioning (See steps 1-3 “The Foundation”) 1.. Steps 4-6 are the “reaction. You don’t want to end up too far under the basket or too far away from the basket after receiving the ball and attempting a field goal... or off the block? Determine an advantageous spot where you can be an effective scoring threat.. 4 and 5 men arearound the 3-point line extended waiting for a possible long pass (Diagram 5-B) C. on the block.. 2 and 3 man will continually work ball back and forth looking to get ball over half court. “which move should I go to?” We want to train post players with a mindset that is simple and will hold true regardless of the opposing player’s defensive scheme or positioning... and jumping ability? The larger the post player the more space they can cover with their pivoting. strength.” The fundamental three steps are principles that hold true in all situations. What is the ideal place for you to receive the ball and be a scoring threat based on your physical size.. Steps 1-3 are the “foundation. Confidence is built through skill development that is absorbed through repetition. Know your place of comfort: Where are you most effective: above the block. The greater the jumping ability of the offensive post player the more ground that can be covered while leaping and “attacking” the basket..the opposite big will fill the foul line area.” or in other words.
Remember your drop step should pin the defender out of the play. then you move to the next reaction.” It is important to face up to the basket without a dribble. 6. then drop step baseline with shoulders square to backboard. Face Up and Shoot “Face Up Pivot”: When the defender is playing directly behind. then drop step middle to pin defender away from rim and power dribble. buttocks extended. that is rarely the case. 3. This is a simultaneous movement to step through the defender while bringing the ball to a lower position across their body. Shoulders need to be square to the glass at the release of the shot. It would be ideal if each pass was perfect and the post player didn’t have to move. one must realize that their “place of comfort” (Step 1) must account for their end location after meeting the pass. We want to turn and face with one of two different pivot moves so that they are looking at the defensive player and the rim. Drop Step Power Move: If the defender is on the high side. Secondary Move: After facing up and attracting defensive pressure the offensive player is now ready to go to a “secondary move. Steps 4-6 “Reaction” based on defensive positioning 4. the defense will get steals in the post. with their lead foot placed outside the defender’s foot. Ready to receive the ball: Once an excellent offensive post player has located themselves at a “place of comfort” they will need to establish and maintain that space with a solid base. and elbows extended or what we call “sharp elbows. If there is a gap between the offensive player and the defensive player then we will take this shot. step 6. However.operate at optimum efficiency.” We teach the offensive player to prepare to put the ball on the floor by bringing the ball down though their body with a hard and swift movement so that they are in ready position for a crossover move. leaving the defender no chance to obstruct your shot except by going through your body to foul you. Go get the ball: There are too many post players who fail to catch passes because they do not shorten the pass to receive the ball. They are now ready to make an explosive jump and bring the ball high and finish the shot preferably at . Balance and strength are maintained by being bent at the knees. a power drop step is not an option. The offensive player must initiate physical contact with their defender and physically take the spot they want and then hold that advantageous position. If defender is on the low side. If the defender is playing close enough that an uncontested jump shot is not possible. A strong face up pivot can be done off either foot to the baseline or middle. power dribble and score. 5.” A target hand needs to be shown and direct eye contact established with the passer. This is what we call “face up. 2. If the post player is not an active catcher. An effective offensive post player will stay strong with a good solid base so they can keep their advantageous position. finishing with opposite hand of the side the defender is on. With this in mind. This requires skill development through shooting repetition from the 8-13 foot range. A solid base requires that their feet and elbows are outside of their hips yet not so far outside that they give up lower body strength and balance. We now want one strong dribble with a big hop (two foot jump stop).
the degree of execution of these principles determines how successful the post play will be. At the University of Tennessee. Therefore. Love contact 3. Aggressive 2. There are certain principles essential to developing strong post play. Post play is simply executing the basic fundamentals. we believe that there are some general characteristics of successful post players.edu Down Low Tennessee’s Principle For Developing Low Post Players At Any Level By Greg Brown Women’s Assistant Basketball Coach. University of Tennessee All coaches are in pursuit of a championship. Communicate 6. or a state championship in high school or a national championship at the collegiate level. Posts should be: 1. whether it is a county championship in junior high. You can reach Coach Hayford at jhayford@whitworth. Brian Billick of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens said that systems succeed and fail based on execution of the minute details of the basic fundamentals. . In 2002-03. Want the basketball 4. The pictures which accompany this article will demonstrate the full progression of steps. Post play is about spacing. Play strong 7. It is also an attitude that must be developed by the coaching staff daily. a Northwest Conference title and an appearance in the 2003 NCAA Division III Tournament and raised his overall record with the Pirates to 43-11. I have had the opportunity in my short career to work at every level from junior high to participating in the National Championship game at the NCAA Division I level. These characteristics are needed to develop a post player at any level. Regardless of the level. angles and momentum. About the author Jim Hayford Jim Hayford led Whitworth College to the basketball promised land in only his second year as head coach of the Pirates. Actually size is overemphasized. This does not mean that a team must have size to have great post play. a team can not be a championship team without strong post play.the rim level or higher. At this position they are also able to go to a jump hook finish. Hayford directed Whitworth to a 23-4 record. Want to score after they receive the basketball 5. Good FT shooter Post play is an attitude that a player must bring.
the ability to dribble with either hand. Proper skill development will lead to an effective offensive player. Our basic philosophy revolves around executing the principles that we teach so that no move will be needed. Getting Open Where I Can Score 2. We do not want to complicate winning.We look at six areas when we plan the development of our post players: 1. Staying Open 3. proper mechanics – shooting and passing. Ability to shoot 6. Head 2. Feet 5. feel it correctly and then execute the skill properly and quickly. effective foot moves and ball fakes. moving without the ball and getting to the offensive boards. We work daily to improve our fundamentals: body balance. Too many times “moves” are taught before anything else. Hands 4. Too many coaches worry about plays and scoring without any regard to skills. Scoring Simply GETTING OPEN WHERE I CAN SCORE . TEACHING PROGRESSION Coach Pete Newell said the game of basketball is overcoached and undertaught. Heart 3. Some teach “moves” without any regard to technique or any progression of the game. Champions take pride in just learning to hit the same old boring winners. legendary tennis player said that losers have tons of variety. That is why we feel it is essential for post play to be taught in proper progression. Vic Braden. footwork. Coach Wooden often said that we must teach our players to properly and quickly execute the fundamentals of the game for the welfare of the team. In order to develop these skills. Safely Receiving the Ball 4. players must see the skill demonstrated correctly. The following is the progression we follow when teaching skill development to our posts: 1. Strength Our first objective must be complete mastery of the individual fundamentals.
Before they can score a post player must first get open. our posts step to the short corner and receive the ball in a position to shoot off the catch. plant to change direction. We do not want them to adjust their feet after catching the ball. Leg Whip . The second way we teach getting open in the post is a simple V-Cut. we must teach as many ways as we can to get open in the post. If the defender is low then we walk the defender down to cut high. we want our posts to I-cut up the lane (See diagram 2). Defense is high Step with high foot 1. Therefore. one person can not keep them from catching the ball. We time our post from the defensive blockout to offensive posting position. We teach a V-cut on every cut. they must work hard to stay open if they want the pass to be delivered to them in a position to score. I-cut STAYING OPEN BY SEALING Once a post player gets open. This allows us to attack a defender’s angle and momentum. We want a change of speed with every change of direction. Plant four seconds to do so. Our rule is high/higher and low/lower. We want our posts to run a with 2 Leg whip on 3 straight line from rim to rim. and allow them Diagram 1A. We teach our posts to have live feet and hands ready with ten toes facing the rim. Step-out . Diagram 2. Our game goal for each post is to get at least two layups per game. (See diagram 3).3 The third way we teach to get open is to create a passing lane and go to an area where you can score. Suppose the defense is high. We want our post players to get their work done before they catch the ball. On penetration to the middle. If a post knows how to seal. We grade our players in practice and games on their percentage of four-second transitions. (See diagram 1) Diagram 1B. The first way we teach is to simply run the floor.1. Defenses are designed to keep the ball out of the post. Plant 2. then the third step is a leg whip with the high foot that we started the V-cut with. On baseline penetration. then we walk the defender higher. We believe that the ability to stay open separates a good post player from a great post player. This gives them the opportunity to shoot directly off the catch in a squared-up position. Diagram 3. Step .
We want our posts to do this before the ball goes to the top. Step-over and sit on the defender’s thigh. This creates the perpendicular passing angle to feed Diagram 4A. Seal Out 3. This gives the easiest chance to score and gives an angle to pass the ball. We want the arms out horizontal with a right angle at the elbow. We turn and face the baseline making contact at the hips. Seal In 2. We pin the Diagram 4B. Make the defense take a step back on the first contact. then leg whip and make the defender take a step back. Lob To seal in (this means we want the post to seal the defender in the paint). The elbow is shoulder high. while we have both feet in the paint). we want to create a passing lane before the ball gets to the passing area. As a coach. we try to seal in one time. Diagram 5. so that the defender will stay in a fronting position (See diagram 5). but.It is critical that the post understands what a seal is. denotes post the post (See diagram 4). exchanges. we teach sealing out (keeping the defense out of the paint. The last part of the perfect seal is to have both feet in the paint. The hands and arms make an “L” from shoulder to finger tips. and then put the back on the defense. When we are fronted and our post is facing the top. The hands are in a wide push up position. knock the defender back. defense with our hip. with their head behind the knees. The triceps are parallel to the ground. When facing the baseline and the defense fronting. When setting up for the lob. etc. The ball is thrown at the bottom edge of the backboard. we simply step over and seal out. We work on this seal when player's feet defenses are playing behind and trying to push us off the block or when we run an action to bring the post to the ball (coming off screens. Emphasize showing the numbers on their jersey to the ball. Post play is a battle for the feet. First. most importantly. The post should be able to see the back of their hands when posting. The seal should be held until the ball is directly above their head. we now have to teach how to get the perfect seal. We want the post to keep a straight back. the post player makes contact first from the waist down. . We teach three types of sealing: 1. We want both hands above the shoulders (keeps from getting a push off foul).) Against defenses that front our posts. We want the post player’s feet between the defender and the ball. we want them to understand the definition of a perfect seal. we teach the pin and spin.
1. This is a key phrase for us. We must make and maintain contact. If we do not teach it this way. 3. Then. We want our posts to develop a go-to move – a move that every opponent knows and a counter to that move. We teach four basic moves. we teach to receive the ball with two eyes. the better you are). as opposed to catching like a first baseman – reaching for a pass while trying to keep a foot on the base. then no move or dribble is needed. two feet and two hands in that order. we take the decision away from the post. We teach receiving the ball in a progression. Attack the rim. we teach the seal step. Your head comes up. because the defender will come over the top and knock the pass away. meet the ball. In this case. The post should catch the ball with both feet in the air. The height of their head remains constant every time. Shoot closer to the basket than where you catch it. This dribble is a power dribble attacking the rim. SAFELY RECEIVING Once our post gets open and stays open they now have to safely receive the ball. First.If the defense three-quarters. often the post will try to score before they have received the ball. 2. They are to use the glass on all lay-ups and power moves. If we catch with both feet outside the paint. then we allow one dribble. We have four general rules for our posts regarding scoring: 1. Two things happen simultaneously as you drop: a. we seal. SCORING SIMPLY Now we are ready to score. We want our posts low and under control (the slower you play inside. We picked up these teaching principles from Rick Majerus. locate the defense and pivot on our right foot (assuming we are on the right side). We want both legs flexed without stepping too far. We step forward with the foot closest to the man. Specific moves are used outside the paint with the defense playing behind. If we catch with at least one foot in the paint. We want the post to meet the pass and catch the ball perpendicular to the path of the ball on the feed. Anytime the defender’s belly button crosses our thigh. We want our posts to catch the ball like a catcher in baseball – getting their body behind the ball. We want our players to score as simply as possible. They should take up space when stepping heel-toe. then no dribble. They should meet the pass instead of pulling away. We use a baseball analogy when teaching receiving the ball. If we have done the first three things in our progression perfectly. Most shots are missed around the basket because they bring their . This takes away indecision. 4. step heel-toe towards the basket. Do not let them drop their rear foot. Baseline drop step power move – when the defense is behind you and shaded to the top side. We want to point the toe at the basket. The jump stop gives you better balance every time and allows them to turn in either direction.
Next. b. About the author Greg Brown . stay in triple threat and step through the defender under their raised arm with eyes on the target. They should keep the ball tight to chin as they step through the defense. but it is really just teaching. Keep the ball chinned then take it straight up and release the ball at a 12:00 position. We emphasize a 2-inch shot fake. pivot to freeze the defense. Jump Hook. Then we teach adding a fake to each of the moves. they call it coaching. 4. We have skill development periods in practice as well as pre-season and spring workouts. Shot fake and step-through. Don Meyer. we want to shoot 75 percent in unguarded drills and 65 percent in guarded drills and 80 percent from the Free Throw line. Mike Roller and many others. quick. This move is great to use when the defense is playing off and/or using an arm bar. As Vince Lombardi said.head up with their shot. We jump up on the angle. You want to move your hand to a shooting position on the ball. Make the move with the head up. Baseline turnaround jump shot off the glass. Individual skill development is critical to post play. The weight should be transferred from the outside foot to the inside foot. 6. We are very committed to teaching the game at the University of Tennessee. 5. throughout the mechanics of the shot we want the post to see the target. We simply want to start the shot (then give the fake time to work). Step through with your back foot. 2. but I hope these ideas will help you teach post play in your program. Baseline drop step to the middle 3. Lead to the rim with the inside elbow up – we call this “knifing”. Teaching the progression is not enough. the key to development is what our players do on their own during the year. I have been very fortunate to learn these principles from Pat Summitt. Knifing leads to “And 1” plays. Therefore. There is a correlation between the amount of concentration you place on the target and the success that you are likely to have. However. We now have to replicate the principles in game situations at game speed. from the heels to the toes. During skill development. When making the turn the ball does not go below the chin. The ball is to be chinned 100 percent of the time with two hands on every catch. We want a low. They are to use their outside hand on every power move with the inside arm up and use the glass when going to the glass. Make the defense come out of their stance. I certainly take no credit for being original in these thoughts. Feet are parallel to the baseline. hard turn with eyes early on the target. Lead with the other hand. We believe this move makes all the other moves better.
For more information email gbrown@utk. otherwise known as offensive confusion. Ok. enough of the metaphoric articulation. while causing indecision and disrupting their offensive structure. Snakes are legless reptiles. thus causing an offense to suffer asphyxiation. but this time as an assistant coach. Deadly bites for run and jomp trap opportunities are in the trapping zones. . At Pasadena City College. Brown was hired by Head Coach Pat Summitt to fill in the vacancy left by Mickie DeMoss. Those are areas where we especially like to bite because the offense can no longer throw the ball backwards. 2003. However the elements required to Diagram 1. the defense can break down.Greg Brown begins his second year on the Lady Vol Basketball Staff. for example strangulation. The run & jump defensive pressure is one of several defensive niches that we use to take our opponents out of their rhythm. Gamal Smalley Assistant Basketball Coach. I think you get the picture. Other snakes kill their prey by constriction. If just one person does not carry out their assignment. we love to take advantage of our quickness and aggressive defensive style of play. which causes suffocation. Thus the run & jump defensive pressure requires complete dedication from every player on the floor. The run & jump defense epitomizes our team concept of togetherness and unity through hard work and individual commitments to the greater whole of our team goals for success. This is a condition of severe lack of oxygen. some of which have a venomous bite which they use to kill their prey before eating it. we had to look at the significance of the code name itself and question if it fit the philosophical approach to what we were trying to teach. for risk of a backcourt violation.edu SNAKE BITE PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACHES TO IMPLEMENTING THE RUN & JUMP "SNAKE" DEFENSE By Dr. “snake”. and in the absence of remedial action (such as effective dribbling and passing) can very rapidly lead to unconsciousness and even death. Pasadena City College In naming our trapping style run & jump defense. who took the head coaching job at the University of Kentucky on March 17. The run & jump man to man defensive pressure can be extended full court from end to end if preferred but we like to attack in the back court while allowing the poison to continue all the way into areas that go a few feet beyond the half-court line. After working as a graduate assistant in the basketball program since 2002.
we bite with a quick double team as our defender either forces the dribbler to one side or we take advantage of our opponent’s inability to space themselves properly on the floor. Defensive teammates away from the ball must be aware of all the holes and quick enough to make the necessary switches in the rotation. We are always preparing our players for the mindset needed to bite in the run & jump. Dribblers that try to push the ball up the floor at a high speed are even more vulnerable to the run & jump. "streetball-tape-watching" ball handlers whose egos won’t allow them to pass the ball up the floor. The psychological impact of everyone being a piece to the puzzle is greatly emphasized in the run & jump. one on one. In our defensive sliding drills we emphasize turning the dribbler with a run and slide drill. You can influence the dribbler toward the sideline by overplaying him to one side. daily. When one or more offensive players are close enough to each other. That’s not a knock on the producers of those street-ball mix tapes and shows. with patience. In that scenario our defenders are taking what the offense gives them. as it requires a trapping pressure defense that must be carried out with an aggressiveness that is intensified by having hands tracing the ball and blocking the passing lanes. but our defenders must possess the ability to deny all passing lanes while being intelligent enough to turn the dribbler to the jumper side to allow the double team to happen. . We get into our run & jump by applying tough full court man -to -man pressure. I hope they keep making them over and over. There are no lay-ups given because the determined defenders away from the ball don’t allow anyone to get open. our defender not guarding the ball can leave his man and jump the offensive player with an aggressive double team. We want the ball handler to be convinced that he can beat us up the floor. In that instance our jump comes when offensive players get too close to the man bringing the ball up the floor. control and deliberate ball fakes as well as precision (the way we subsequently teach our offensive pressure releases). Because we are playing straight man-to-man defense. but enough of that for now! Just like a snake who waits for the most opportune time to attack. Special bites The run & jump is an exciting means of applying defensive are at the mid-court pressure and is particularly effective against teams with poor area because the offense can not throw in the backcourt. and that’s just the way we like it. luring the dribbler into a false sense of security. We love those impatient. That’s more opportunities for the snake defense to bite those non-fundamental ball handlers where it hurts.implement the run & jump effectively are also elements that promote our overall team philosophy with regards to everyone making a difference. Diagram 2. teams generally do not design a press break offense against us. We have to be cleaver enough to sell that concept to our opponent by mixing up the run & jump on various trips down the floor.
and symbolically referring to our run & jump traps as bites. “snake”. We like to think our opponents are the one’s gambling by not spacing themselves properly. in the trapping zones. What we really want to do is disrupt the flow of our opponent’s offense and force them to play a hurried style of play with quick shots outside of the context of their offensive design. Diagram 3. The run & jump style of play relies on a lot of defensive communication which coincides with our overall expectations as a team. Though we use the code name. (See Diagrams 1-4) Though the run & jump can often produce steals. or rotate to cover gaps and ballhandler dribbles in finger pointing to one’s holes once the bites are your area you can leave grandmother. we are also like piranhas on the kill for the ball. Players must Diagram 4. About the author Dr. However a key element to the success of the run & jump is our ability to help and recover. Gamal Smalley . or temporary distractions caused by a lack of concentration could result in a lost opportunity to hurt our opponents ability to function properly. We often change our code names but the symbolism is the same: we are antagonistic predators seeking to provoke an attack on our opponents.dribblers. we run & jump but we never gamble. steals are not our main objective. When the opportunity presents itself. It takes hard work to play the run & jump defense but it’s a lot of fun and serves as a great teaching tool with regards to applying defensive pressure. Another important aspect of implementing the run & jump defense centers on quick transitions from offense to defense. Thus we control the tempo of the game. for any wasted gestures the defensive rotation. on! These trapping bites your man at any time to are not risks when jump him but the We must be totally committed to everyone is hustling in primary areas to bite are the attack. When a crowd acknowledgements. We realize that we are leaving one man open for a moment but we are ready to give help when needed and recover back in our rotations. After a score we have no time for artistic celebrations.
We work on this in a drill we call “DRIVING LINE. drills. and footwork. The defender must force them to the outside and hopefully cause them to pick up their dribble. Deny High . Out of the same drill set as “Driving Line” we would move right into “DENY HIGH” where the offense would v-cut several times from the block to outside the three point line (free-throw line extended) after passing to the coach. Gamal Smalley is in his third year as an assistant coach at Pasadena City College. Dr. They each are approximately four minutes in length. Each day our team does seven or eight breakdown drills during our defensive segment. If the offensive player picks up their dribble they will then pass to a coach standing at the strong side elbow. we prefer to play a pressure man-to-man defense. The defenders must deny. Diagram 2. because we do not want our players to pace themselves. We try to break down every possible scenario our team may face defensively through defensive drills. He can be reached at: gamalsmalley@hotmail. This leads into the second drill. In a half-court set we would like to begin by influencing the ball to the sideline. Considered a defensive specialist.” “DRIVING LINE” DIAGRAM 1 .com Dissecting Defense Drills & Strategies for a Dominating Defense By Laci Tompkins Redlands Community College Women’s Head Basketball Coach Like many teams at the college level. Diagram 1. After the players have learned the specifics of each drill we will mix the order of them up so they do not become monotonous. This is so our practices do not become predictable. These drills are not done at the exact same place in the practice each day. Smalley works primarily with the Lancers on defensive philosophy. This will establish help position and usually put at least one defender in help position.Dr. The offensive player begins dribbling the ball strongly to the basket.There is an offensive and defensive player starting at the half line.
They are doing all this without turning their head on the basketball. From the same set we go into “HELP AND RECOVER” where the defender slides over to take a charge from the coach.The defense must learn to chop step down into a defensive stance as they run out to cover the offensive player. We then go to “THROUGH THE SCREEN. Diagram 4A Help & Recover.” The team moves their lines down to the wing and four players become involved in this drill. and fall sliding backwards.We teach them to cross their arms in front of their chest. the coach passes out to the offensive player so the defensive Diagram 3. The coach is still at the high elbow (close to the three point line). There is a defender guarding the girl on the block and one guarding the wing player. If this is not emphasized the offense never fails to shot fake and go right around her. This time instead.“DENY HIGH” Diagram 2 . It is essential that they do not catch themselves with their wrists. There is an offensive player on the block and one on the wing. Our charge technique teaches them to displace the weight of their body on several points as opposed to just their tailbone. Still in the same set that starts at the half-court we are now in “TAKE A CHARGE” where the defender slides over to take a charge from the coach who is at the elbow drives to the basket. “HELP AND RECOVER” Diagram 4A/B . Take A Charge player must then recover back to her girl once the coach drives and kicks the ball back out. The offensive player on the wing starts with the ball and passes to the coach and . The offense will shoot and the defender must block out. Diagram 4B. “TAKE A CHARGE” Diagram 3 . rock back on their hills.The defender is learning to give the “perception” that they are in the passing lane and that the passing lane is not open.
1 IN THE POST” Diagrams 6A-D Diagram 6A. She then jumps to cover the offense on the other block in three-quarters position. The team line is under the goal from which a single defender steps on to “front” the post. the defender jumps into three-quarters defense. The defense is taught to “jump to the ball” which automatically puts her in position to open up and let her teammate.” When it is passed to the elbow. The ball is then reversed. When on the wing the defender “fronts. One is on each elbow above the three point line and the other two are on the wings. The defender jumps to the proper defensive position on each pass. so the defender jumps on the pass to what we refer to as “hoops” position or rather “help” position. 2v1 in the post Diagram 6B. or at least close enough to give the “perception” that it is in the passing lane. from the block out to the wing. We are constantly stressing “arm in the passing lane”. One is “2 v. The one who is coming up through the screen. The ball is then passed to the wing in which the defender swings her foot closest to the baseline through and fronts the post on that side. “THROUGH THE SCREEN” Diagram 5 Next we do a few post defensive drills. must get their arm out to create the “perception” that their offensive player is not open. 1 concept). slide through the screen.goes to downscreen. This means Diagram 5. that they are between the offensive player and the goal with their body covering threequarters of their body. The ball starts on the left wing and is passed around the horn. . “2 v. There is an offensive player on each block (these are the ones that create the 2 v. 1 IN THE POST”. There are four passers on the perimeter. who is on the block.
As the pass is in the air. The offensive player diagonally cuts to the high post on the strong side. 1 IN THE POST”. Simultaneously. The defender closes the distance and beats her to the spot with her arm out in the passing lane. There is another group on the right block. At this time the offense sprints across to the weakside block and the defense will not follow her but remain in “hoops” position. As this happens we are emphasizing “jumping to the ball. and she should come at an angle to jump and swat the pass out of the air. The ball is reversed around the horn.” and “ball pressure. if it gets past the defender who was .” When the ball comes to the same side as the post player and her defender. it is then lobbed in the air to her as to make a forward to post lob pass. The offensive player then slides down the strong side of the lane trying to post up. Three groups consisting of an offensive and defensive player are at three passing spots (See Diagram).” “hand in the passing lane. the post defender should already be backing the post under the goal. 1 IN THE POST” Diagrams 7A/B Diagram 7A 1 vs. As she does this the defensive player contains her and keeps her behind so that she is fronted by the time she reaches the block. Diagram 6D. or steal it.Diagram 6C. The ball starts on the wing opposite of the post (the one on the right block). 1 The Post Diagram 7B. Each defender is in the appropriate place in relation to the ball. the defender on the far side should have been in “help” position (to us this is their head under the hoop). “1 v. Yet another post drill we do is called “HELP THE POST”. There is an offensive player on the block with a defender in “hoops” or “help” position while a coach has the ball on the offside. Another post drill is “1 v.
These are all similar with the coach shooting. The next post drill we do is covering the “CROSS SCREEN”. The offensive player on the strong side screens across for her offensive player. or 1-on-1 block out. The coverage never changes. then the defense must block out their player. When she does the strong side defender takes a step back and pauses to help for just a second.fronting. The defense must get three consecutive rebounds in order to go to offense. There is another offensive player on the offside block and her defender is in the middle of the lane in “hoops” or “help” position. Next we will do either 4-on-4 block out. It does not matter if the offside offense goes lowside or highside of the screen. There is a coach on the wing with the ball. The defender who was in “hoops” takes a step up and beats her girl over the screen and forces her player to go behind her by the time they reach the block. the girl in help position being screened will always go high. They are always in the defensive position according to the relation of the ball and their player. If they miss one . then after successfully doing that everyone rotates one spot. “CROSS SCREEN” Diagrams 9A/B Diagram 9A. 3-on-3. 2-on-2. The girl fronting the post will always take a step back. There is an offensive player on the block closest to the coach with a defender fronting her. Diagram 9B. After this is done successfully then we switch from offense to defense. “HELP THE POST” Diagrams 8A/B Diagram 8A Help the Post Diagram 8B.
however. There is no time to make excuses or give explanations. 4 and when the coach yells “CHANGE”. There are lines in each baseline corner. and they better adjust to my speed. denying. then get organized as the offense hopefully had to back out and begin running offense again. One rule is that you cannot guard the person who was guarding you. There is always a line behind each set of players involved and when the group on defense gets three in a row then the offense goes to defense and the people in the front of each line jump on as the offense. just like they must adjust to the speed of the game. If they do not dive on it. As soon as the ball is set down an offensive player can shoot the ball. drive to the basket. open up. Emphasis is on getting the player with the ball stopped first. It is similar to the drill shown earlier. The offense passes to the coach at the elbow and v-cuts. The offense becomes the defense and the defense becomes the offense. or pass. There is always a consequence. the team is going to run. She then cuts back through under the goal and continues to the opposite wing. “TAKE A CHARGE” Diagrams 11A/B . and helping and recovering every single day. There is no delay.rebound they will always have a consequence of running a sprint or doing a minimum of 5 push ups. The defender’s first job is to jump to the ball on the pass. they will practice taking a charge. We teach to never turn our backs on the ball. The first person in line becomes defense and the person behind her in line steps on as offense. Literally. The point is to make it up. As she is going back out on the v-cut the coach drives and the defense takes a charge. If someone is slow getting on or getting out to their defensive assignment by chop-stepping down after a rebound then they are removed from the drill and they do push ups or run a sprint. As the offense cuts through to the other side we teach our girls to keep contact.tempo. To emphasize this we will roll a ball out and no matter where they are in the drill they must dive on the ball. “DENY OPEN DENY” is the beginning of our second set of defensive drills. Diagram 10. the person with the ball immediately sets the ball on the floor. There is a coach at each elbow of the lane. It is do or die. “DENY OPEN DENY” Diagram 10 Out of the same set as Deny Open Deny we do “TAKE A CHARGE”. We want them playing for their lives. and if we do not practice that then it is not fair for me to expect it in a game. “4-on-4 CHANGE” is a total comprehensive drill that could include every situation we have already broken down in previous drills. The defense must “point and holler” the name of the person they are guarding to get organized as soon as possible. then deny. It is 4 v. no waiting for people to get on. The offense cuts through to the opposite side then v-cuts. Play does not stop. it is in a little different set. Note: It is not a dead ball when the coach yells change. then deny as her offensive player v-cuts.
Diagram 12B.Diagram 11A. . a line on the same side as the coach in the corner. When the ball is finally shot then they rotate to their own offensive player to block out. The first player in the line in the corner starts with the ball and drives hard baseline. After hedging the defender must sprint back covering a pass that may be coming back to her offensive player. The defender guarding the screener (offense 1) will jump out and hedge if the offense comes back toward her direction on the dribble. There are two defenders. free throw lane width apart. The goal of the hedger is to not allow more than two dribbles. Offense 1 passes to offense 2 and the sets a ball screen on her. “HELP THE HELPER” Diagrams 12A/B Diagram 12A. One is guarding the coach. We then do “HELP THE HELPER”. or the top defender is not sprinting to get down. There is a coach at the elbow. Reasons the pass may be getting across is because of not getting the ball stopped quickly enough. The absolute worst thing the defense can do is allow the baseline pass across. Diagram 11B. The offside defender who should be in help position should stop the drive outside of the lane. Thus her partner hedges temporarily so as to give her time to fight over the screen. the other is guarding the offside post. The defender guarding the coach then diagonally slides down to cover the backside. We have offense and defense on both sides at the top of the key. If this occurs then we start over until they do not allow it across. The ball is passed around and each defender keeps rotating appropriately. The screened player is taking a hard step up and shoving over the screen so that it is not a factor. a offensive player on the offside block. “OVER THE SCREEN” is next is succession.
You can reach Coach Tompkins at tompkinsl@redlandscc.“OVER THE SCREEN” Diagram 13 Diagram 13. “FREE SHOT BLOCK OUT” Diagram 14 To bring everything we have broken down all together we finish with “5 on 4”. Another rule is that we must all have our hands straight up in the air.edu Denial Emporia State’s Point Zone . There are 5 offensive players and 4 defensive players. and getting the ball stopped first. the third straight year of at least a 20 win season. This past season the Cougars finished with a 26-6 record. There is one designated driver on offense. We put players around the lane simulating a free shot. pointing and hollering. This forces everyone to help on defense. “ FREE SHOT BLOCK OUT” Diagram 15 Diagram 15. We want our players with both feet together at the top of each of their lane assignment boxes. so we are helping and recovering. Now our hands are ready for a quick rebound. Diagram 14. They are on balance with the weight of their body on the foot closest to the goal. The next drill is “FREE SHOT BLOCK OUT”. This is so they can explode to block their player out and we have shortened the distance between them and the player they are responsible for by moving them as high in their box as possible. There is not a defender on her initially. Her job is to drive to the basket every time she gets it. Coach Tompkins has coached four All-Americans and played collegiate basketball at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. About the author Laci Tompkins Laci Tompkins just finished her fourth year as head coach of the Redlands Community College Cougar Women’s Basketball Team.
The “Three P’s” of the Point Zone In teaching this zone to our players we begin with the “Three P’s”: Point. the player to her right and the player to her left are her “wingmen” (2). When the “point” is called by the player guarding the basketball. three point opportunities. but we still want to take away Diagram 1. We have a tall shot blocker at the center position who really makes this zone work for us. Partner. The four defensive players work together using the “partner” system (Diagram 1). “T-Principle” The “T-Principle” is the next step in teaching the zone. and Paint. X3 & X2 are wingmen for X1 (T-Principle) . When the “point” is called. We like to press and play pressure man to man defense in the half-court. You must start with the “Three P’s” in teaching the Point Zone. We will talk about the 5’s responsibilities later. We pick up the basketball or “Point” the ball on the three point line and not beyond. At Emporia State this means influencing the ball to the sideline when it is above free throw line extended or to the baseline if it is below free throw line extended. when my partner “points” the ball. Most of the information provided in this article is based on the Point Zone run by former North Carolina coach Dean Smith.” or protecting the basket. We feel like the “Point Zone” is a good change of pace that fits our personnel. I’m in the “paint. we make them call “Point” loud X2 & X3 are partners enough for all of their teammates to hear. I think it is important to mention right off the bat that we are not a zone team at Emporia State. 1-4. You should begin teaching this zone by using only four defensive players. Proper spacing for a wingman is at a 45-degree angle off the ball and Diagram 2. We don’t want to extend the defense too far and create gaps that the offense may be able to take advantage of. I believe you must be big at that spot for this zone to be effective. X2 and X3 are wingmen for X1. and so on (3). Guard the basketball using man to man principles. When a defensive player is X1 & X4 are partners guarding the ball.By Matt Corkery Women’s Associate Head Basketball Coach. The partner rule is this. X4 and X1 are wingmen for X3. Emporia State University The Point Zone is an effective half-court defense that is relatively simple to teach while offering the benefits of more complicated match-up zone defenses. the defense adjusts accordingly. This principle involves the proper spacing of the “Wingmen” in relationship to the basketball.
you would be surprised how many players mess this up! The center often times becomes too concerned with offensive players posting up. Players must develop a feel for the proper spacing in relationship to the basketball. stay on the line between the ball and the basket. She is never in a “deny” or “cover-out” position. We want our center to step up and challenge every dribble penetration into the lane. X5 between ball between the ball and the elbow and X1 is anticipating & baseline the skip pass. The center should face the ball with her hands up at all times. X1 & X 4 are to move them away from the basket with one point of contact (forearm). As simple as it sounds. Wingmen play in an open stance and see the ball at all times. The paint belongs to her and she is going to protect it by playing physical and blocking shots. The Center Teaching the center position is very. If there is an offensive player in front of her. unless it is over my head (skip pass). She protects the lane with her hands. We do not “seal” on penetration and give up the pitch out three point shot. In this situation X4 gets her help from “Betty” baseline and not a teammate. We want her moving on an arc about 6 feet from the basket (4).approximately 12 feet from your teammate. rather we force the penetrator to score over our center. We do not want to give up any “penetrate and pitch” or “inside out” threes against our zone.” you don’t have to be concerned with the spacing of the offense. we want her Diagram 3. The “Wingman Rule” is this. a “wingman” should fill on the baseline (6). I have the next pass in my direction. Another point to make in reference to this diagram is the positioning of X3. When the ball is in the corner. X3 should be on a direct line Diagram 4. We believe the mid-range game of most players is a weakness and just about everybody we face can hit the three consistently. Most of the mistakes our players make in this zone come from being too concerned with where an offensive player is rather than putting themselves in the proper spacing according to the position of the ball. “Betty” is our wingman so X2 can stay at the basket (5). Your center must have an “enforcer” wingmen for X3 mentality. They have one rule. Be more concerned about your POSITION than PLAYERS! If you are in the proper position defensively by following the “Partner Rule” and the “T-Principle. When there is a “high” point on the wing. very simple. They will never let you down! When the basketball is near the corner against the “Point Zone” we call it a “low” point. X1 through X4 follow the same rules and are interchangeable. “Betty” Help “Betty” baseline and “Sally” sideline are the two most reliable defensive players you have on your squad. If there is enough spacing for an offensive .
If we have a “low” point then we use “Betty” to help us trap on the baseline. If the ball is on a “high” point on the wing and the dribbler attacks the baseline. not a teammate. Trap Baseline Penetration . We “jump” the dribble entry in a very aggressive fashion (7). we trap the dribbler with our wingman (8). Remember. If the ball is at the top. Exchange Point with her hands up and forces the ball handler to stop or on “Jump” on dribble entry at least bounce the dribble outside toward the sideline. "Low" Point . Diagram 5. “High” Point . You can do two things in the Point versus this type of dribble. One is to stay on the basketball and rotate your entire zone accordingly and the second is to exchange the dribbler with a wingman. She closes out the dribbler Diagram 7.X2 stays at basket “Jump” the Dribble Entry Diagram 6. Diagram 8. you should guard the basketball using man to man principles.player to be in the corner or the short corner. X3 is now “pointing” the basketball and the zone adjusts accordingly. This type of dribble is a non-penetrating dribble used in place of a pass. X1 recovers to a wingman position for X3. X1 through X4 are interchangeable. We want to keep penetration out of the middle of the floor and force it to the sideline or baseline. As X3 sees the dribble coming at her she attacks it in a “run and jump” fashion. then X4 should fill the baseline “wingman” spot and X2 covers the basket. Trap Baseline Penetration As mentioned earlier.X4 fills baseline In coaching the Point Zone you need to develop a philosophy of how you want to guard the dribble entry or dribble drag. this exchange should occur about lane line extended. which is what we do at Emporia State. Any of them could end up “pointing” the basketball on any spot on the floor.
We often have players pick off skips and turn them into layups.” So if that pass is over my head. we like that matchup. X4 opens up “Butt to Baseline” Diagram 12. The “Wingman Rule” is to “take the next pass in my direction unless it is over my head. A good point to mention here (no pun intended) is that all of the teaching points you use to coach your zone defenses apply to the Point Zone. Wing Shot When the ball goes inside against our zone. Things like keeping your hands up at all times. communicating with your teammates and playing through “scramble” situations are some examples. High Post Entry “Tighten” on Blocks Diagram 9.Skip Passes Diagram 10. Skip Pass I believe the Point Zone does a great job guarding the skip pass. Post Entries Diagram 13. simply playing hard makes up for a multitude of errors. We play the low post and high post 1 on 1 with no Diagram 11. As we all know. that’s a skip pass and it is not my responsibility! Weakside defenders take the skip pass and should be anticipating them. moving when the ball is in the air. Corner Shot .
Dean Smith ran the point from a 2 guard front because he wanted initial protection on the blocks when the ball was at the top. the “Point and One. add post doubles. Our initial alignment is also dictated by our transition offense. corner (12). Rebounding I wish I could tell you that the Point was different than any other zone in America in that it was actually GOOD for rebounding. We have taken the principles of Dean Smith. wing (13) and top (14). There are other details that I don’t have time to cover in this article that are important to running the Point effectively. X1 is typically your smallest guard and someone who can put pressure on the basketball. It’s just like any other zone defense in that rebounding can be a weakness.e. We do not want to give up any “inside out” three’s! 2 Guard vs. One of the great things about this zone is its adaptability. X4 needs to be a smart player who can cover lots of real estate. players should keep an open stance and get “butt to baseline” and be ready for the pass back out (11). It’s not. consider that perimeter shots will come from three spots. X4 and X3 “tighten up” on the blocks and X2 and X1 drop to ball level and anticipate the pass out. add trapping situations.” The possibilities are endless with a little imagination. These diagrams show the assignments we teach our players at Emporia State. there is nothing more important than aggressive players who pursue the basketball! The Last “Point” The Point Zone we run at Emporia State is entirely our own.double teams. X3 needs to be a very good rebounder and a smart player. but if teams flood the backside board there can be some problems! In setting up your block out assignments. Roy Williams and other great coaches and tweaked them to fit our philosophy and personnel. even turn it into a “junk” defense i. X1 through X4 need to learn how to position themselves when the ball goes inside. However in rebounding. Good luck to you and your team this upcoming season. We want to keep players close to their lanes so we can get out quickly and run the break. . then we go 2-3. You can make it more aggressive or less aggressive. No matter which you choose. 1 Guard Front If you decide to run the Point Zone one decision you need to make is the initial set for the defense. At Emporia State we like the 1-3-1 set unless the ball is out of bounds under the basket. as soon as the first “point” is called the defense is the same. When the ball is entered to the low or high post. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the defense. X2 also needs to be able to put good pressure on the ball. You can run it from a 2-3 or a 1-3-1 initial alignment. Another important question is how to properly use your personnel. X5 needs to be BIG and have the ability to block shots and control the boards. X5 steps up to challenge. The number one mistake players make on the post entry is to turn their back on the pitch out man. One positive is that you keep your center close to the basket at all times. On a high post entry.
we feel sixty percent of a team’s scoring comes from two players. before one can begin discussing their team’s ability to win games. By James Green Men’s Basketball Head Coach University of Southern Mississippi At Southern Miss. Therefore. Also. With a proper attitude. limit their shots. and force them into poor decisions. and proper shot selection are important as they reduce the amount of time the other team will have the ball. Attitude Before one can begin discussing the X’s and O’s of any offensive or defensive system.emporia. low percentage shots. Great attitudes result in good practices and attentive players who buy into what we are trying to do. a player. We do not want the offense to have any continuity or flow. as well as a coaching staff. and before one can begin to discuss success. It is impossible to guard the . Our goal is to allow the offense only one shot. one must first consider attitude and its effect on a team. Another key element of our philosophy is our belief in 60x2. One way in which we do this is by attempting to limit touches in the paint whether by dribble penetration or post entries. When players have great attitudes. We try to limit the offense to no more than two transition lay-ups per game. our primary objective on defense is to make the offense do things that it is uncomfortable doing. problems that plague some teams seem to work themselves out. we rebound with all five guys. is more adept at handling the adversities that are inherent in sport. The Lady Hornet program has been ranked as high as #2 in the nation in Division II this season. rebounding. We also strive to make the offense take contested. Simply put.edu Disruptive Behavior Southern Miss’ Defensive Philosophy is to disrupt the continuity and flow of the offense. no one in the history of basketball has ever scored without the ball.About the author Matt Corkey Matt Corkery is in his third season as the Associate Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Emporia State University. and when that shot goes up. Stance A player cannot guard without being in a good stance. limiting turnovers. We want to take them out of what they are trying to do. Therefore. we try to limit their touches. For more information on this subject. contact Coach Corkery at Corkerym@esumail.
This is typically due to two reasons: (1) they are a good defensive team. it makes for good communication on the court. pass. and being ready to move is important in being a good defender. Notice that I have not said anything about foot position. As mentioned. etc. a player should be focused on the offensive player’s numbers or waist. we create space between the offensive player and ourselves. angle of the body. As most coaches teach. (3) Call ball: we have our players call ball for a number of reasons. we put our nose on the ball. active feet. making him uncomfortable. a key benefit of good ball pressure is that it will wear down the offense both physically and mentally. when guarding. When guarding a player who still has his dribble. By doing this. we are reminding the player that when the offensive player starts to make an offensive move on the dribble. That is because we do not teach any of the above. In that case. we have a chance to get back in front of the offensive player (between the man and the basket) and prevent him from beating us to a spot. We step back with our back foot while pushing off of our forward leg. heel toe alignment. In essence. One of the most important points we teach when talking about stance is how to react when guarding a player with the ball who is dribbling or who still has his dribble. or a continuity offense. having live. but as long as they get the job done. which foot should be up. first. a set. it is harder for him to react when the offensive player makes his move to dribble. therefore they are more prone to make bad decisions and execute poorly. When watching teams that consistently apply good ball pressure. A player will find that if he closes out on an offensive player with live feet. Players know who has the ball and where the ball is if they are negotiating a screen or perhaps are . one will notice that they will always make a big defensive play late in a close game. We use good ball pressure to create turnovers. By creating this space. our philosophy is “get down and get’em. We emphasize three things when discussing ball pressure: (1) Live feet. the offensive player will often not even try to penetrate or score because he assumes he cannot easily make a move without forcing the play. We use the key of back foot! By saying back foot.caliber players we face in Conference USA without being low and ready to move. our first move is back. the defensive player should be moving “in and out” of that player’s space. we get the midline of our body in line with the ball. wear down offensive players (both physically and mentally). as already mentioned. we emphasize to our players every day to play defense low (knees bent and feet apart) and with live feet. or shoot. Ball Pressure Ball pressure is an integral part of our defensive system. it really does not matter. (2) Live hands: live hands make it difficult to see open teammates and make passes difficult to complete. In other words. Therefore. which will then force the player to go the desired direction. If a player’s feet are dead. and (2) the opposing team is tired mentally and physically. The only time we really discuss the above is if we determine through the scouting report that we need to force a player one direction or another based on his strengths or weaknesses.” That is a little simplistic. and make it difficult for the opposing offense to run their offense whether it is a motion.
one has two options: one can cut off to a block-to-block screen. From an offensive standpoint. when closing out. which is what we want. it is also very effective because it makes it hard to score or cause defensive mismatches. We will conditionally go under a screen if it is way out on the floor out of shooting range or if we determine that it would be best based on our scouting report. or his coach yelling instructions. there is a drawback to applying great ball pressure. the defender again stays low and calls switch. The . one’s teammate that was expected to help may have gotten caught up in traffic. once in a while you will get beat. We work on ball pressure by playing one on one and by using the Zig Zag drill. etc. forcing the ball handler to go past the screen in an arc. but even in the half court one cannot assume that help will be there. Help may be late. We work on recovering with our RunSlide-Run drill (Diagram 1). However. which makes for a chaotic situation. He must get behind the screener. The defender must maintain contact with the screener at all times to prevent him from slipping to the basket. We do not deny that this is very difficult to do. The man guarding a screen has possibly the most important job. the player will sprint to the elbow. he cannot hear his own teammates calling for the ball. This allows him to let his teammate through without being screened. if the defender sprints out to the offensive player making a bunch of noise. slide and cut an imaginary defender off. he must get low and spread out. it is intimidating. If the cutter goes high off of a screen. If the cutter goes low. he must turn and sprint ahead of the ball to cut off the dribble. Also. spot. high or low. with his leg closest to the basket slightly behind the screener’s leg farthest away from the basket. Now obviously in the half court he will have more help than he would in the open court. Block to block screens involving two big men are negotiated in two ways.shading a player. which most everyone has done in summer camp before. The man on the ball must apply great ball pressure and try to push the ball handler out away from the screen as far as possible. the offense to be in chaos. He continues this pattern all the way to the opposite baseline while calling ball. he is then below the screen already and simply beats the cutter to the Diagram 1. When a defensive player gets beat. We have a line in each corner on the baseline. After he is in proper position. He then turns and sprints to the sideline at half court. He is then in perfect position to front the post. The defender away from the ball always goes low. but when executed. Defending Screens On the ball screens we always go over the top.
This will hold him up for just a second. For example we will switch on guardto-guard ball screens. Something else that denial helps us do is push the opponent’s offense further out onto the floor. The defender who is down off in the lane will shoot straight up the gap. preventing him from sealing him under the basket. etc. Denial We deny all penetrating passes. As mentioned. We want a check on every screen possible. isolate him. If the cutter goes high. This is usually determined by the scouting report. etc. By stretching their offense. All passes to the post. if the ball is at the top of the key. our wing. However. A block-to-block screen involving a little on a big is defended differently. passes into the paint. then everyone is in position and we play. A penetrating pass is one that advances the ball closer to the basket. our guard will check the big cutting high. If the cutter goes low. If we get a good check on it. Likewise. if a player is guarding a man on the wing away from the ball. We want an arm and a leg in front with the hand up high discouraging the pass. and therefore give our big enough time to beat him to the spot. they are being forced into a situation that fosters poor decisions and difficult plays. creating enough space to receive the pass. This does two things: (1) it allows time for the defender guarding the cutter to get around the screen as it creates space. unless we can shoot the gap with little chance of getting hung up on the screen. As a rule we trail. We deny the post by getting three quarters of the way in front.defender guarding the screener takes the man cutting high when he is in perfect position to guard. the defender who went low steps up and then guards the screener. he will be in help with a foot in the lane. as the check will prevent the cutter from curling. or two wings crossing underneath the basket. Our guard then chases his man. We will conditionally switch other screens if they involve big on big or little on little and the scouting report deems it necessary or acceptable. and (2) it is discouraging to the offensive player who cuts off of screens frequently to get banged around every time he goes to receive the ball. Often after a little on big screen the screener will receive a down screen. our guard will have time to recover by trailing the screen. our big goes low and meets him at the spot. For example. . If the trailer comes down to screen the wing then we will tell our guy to trail while getting a check from the man defending the screener. no matter what. preferably closer to the midline of the court. When denying the wing. and meet the pass. reverse the ball. We want to be up the line to prevent the offensive player coming into us and pushing off. Double down screens is another common situation that would require that we trail the cutter. defenders will be in denial. are considered penetrating passes. If there is a screen for the wing to come to the top to shoot. Off ball screens are handled in a couple of different ways. we would switch on block-to-block screens if the cutter went high. passes from the top of the key to the wing. we want to be on the line of the ball and up the line. Our rule is still to get low.
open shots. etc. He will not leave the basket until a big gets into the paint and calls him out. and we jump straight up after the shooter leaves the floor. yelling shot so that our teammates know to block out and go rebound. our guards are thinking one thing: get hole. This is difficult to do with the speed of today’s players. One thing that we want to prevent when contesting a shot is the drive. One important drill we use is three on three jump to the ball (Diagram 2. get ball. First. we are letting our teammates know where we are that we can help them. at which point he will fly out to the wing. We use the key “Hole and Diagram 2B. therefore it makes it even more important that we stress and spend time on making sure that we cover the hole and stop the ball. ball side. Ball” when talking about how we get back in transition. Helping up results in lay-ups for the other team. We spend a lot of time in drills working on knowing when. making the defense jump to each position quickly. There is a position the defensive player should be in wherever the ball is. We have an offensive and defensive player at the top of the key and on both wings. We had rather the offensive player shoot than drive past us. When we shoot the ball. When approaching the ball we stop when the player goes up. just as we call ball. We want to contest all shots! Diagram 2A. Contesting Shots When we contest shots. Therefore transition baskets go against all of our defensive goals essentially. One cannot contest a transition lay up. A and B). The other guard will take the ball. Those are the two most important things. Transition Transition is incredibly important in our defensive philosophy for several reasons. namely easy. Nor can one rebound it. By calling help. He will sprint down court calling hole to let his teammates know he has it and his job is to guard the basket. we call help. attempting to turn the ball as many times as possible to give his teammates a chance to get back and match up in transition. He should turn and sprint to half court. where and how to help. find the ball. and then attack it. never help up. The first man back when the ball is shot will always take the hole. Also. it is what the offense wants. we ideally have our hands up and our butts down. Rebounding/Intangibles . The offense swings the ball around. Another point we emphasize for our other three guys who are getting back is to get out and deny the wings in transition.Help A player should always help across.
There is an offensive player holding a ball just inside the three-point arc. We then check with our forearm. There is no out of bounds.As stated before. All five guys must go back and board it. such as applying ball pressure. diving on the floor for loose balls. Things like hustle. or playing on the road.. At the key. When the horn blows after the 8 seconds. We feel this allows and has allowed us to be successful in the past in that it has given us a chance to win games when we were either overmatched. We work on rebounding every day in our Rebounding Drill (Diagram 3). if we do the things we have been discussing properly. Our leg should be on the midline of his body. About the author James Green . Another intangible is taking charges. We would love to talk with anyone interested in further discussing our defensive philosophy. helping and recovering. We do not hit the player! We merely establish contact in order to feel where he is going. This is a very difficult drill. and on each wing. It is physically and mentally demanding. we step right at the offensive player splitting him between the legs. A coach is positioned at each wing. and when hit. no one can score without the ball. we must go get it. the bleachers are fair game and the only fouls are the holding of jerseys. the offensive player attacks the glass! The defender must beat him to the spot and take a hit. denying penetrating passes. When the shot goes up. During the rebounding drill. On the horn the defensive player on the baseline has 8 seconds to touch the opposite baseline and get back to take a charge. there are lines of offensive players who try to board it when the shot goes up. Therefore. and giving that extra effort often make the difference in games for teams who are out-manned. etc. We stress this daily and even have a drill for it. They must get three rebounds in a row to get out. A player starts on the baseline. but these are the basic fundamentals upon which we make decisions based on our scouting report. When we block out. There are three players on the inside. tuck his chin to his chest to avoid hitting his head. Diagram 3. A coach shoots the ball and the two teams of three battle for it. It builds toughness and improves our ability to rebound. having offensive difficulties. It is important to teach correct charge technique to avoid unnecessary injuries. Conclusion There are other subtleties to our defense. One should brace with one arm across his body. We are very defensive minded in practice as we strive to be a good defensive and rebounding team. We then reverse pivot and try to push him away from the basket. we also get a chance to work on intangibles that can make the difference in every game. we will force the offense into a bad shot that we should be contesting.
All of these great coaches have different philosophies and styles of play. Here are some basic rules (on a Made Bucket) for your players: • The 4 or 5 man (whoever is closest to the ball) on a made bucket takes the ball out. finding the ball. What I have found in my time with these coaches is that there is not “one” way that is the right way. They should know from day one that they are going to play hard. • 2 and 3 spring hard (first three steps. • Inbounder protects the 1 on the inbound pass (don’t head him into a turnover) and trails to the top of the key. I have come up with some of the “quick-hitting” plays that I have been involved with as a player or coach. on March 31. The one thing that all of these men have in common is their organization and attention to detail. smart and unselfish. Green has compiled a record of 97-80. I have found that if you distinguish and assign layers responsibilities they know exactly what is expected of them. He replaced M. he became the 17th head basketball coach in USM history. • 1 man (point guard) gets and pushes the ball up the floor. Pat Riley. I am obviously very excited about the coming year. Players need to be held accountable for everything that they do on the court. For more information on this article or on Coach Green. and wide. 1996. Turk. who retired following 20 seasons and 300 victories at Southern Miss. email usmbb@hotmail Quick Hits Valparaiso’s Fast Break Offense The many options of scoring in Transition By Rex Walters Men’s Assistant Basketball Coach Valparaiso University Having had the opportunity to play for some great coaches (Roy Williams. In any fast breaking style of offense it is very important that there is an extreme attention to detail. K. Through his six seasons at Southern Miss. Larry Brown) and now getting the chance to work for a great coach in Homer Drew. . • 1st Post Man sprints hard to ball side post. Chuck Daly.Green completed what turned out to be a winding journey through gyms and arenas across the country when.
2. "Basic" (Played on Low Side) . If the Point Guard cannot pitch ahead or the defense has 3 or more men back he must determine a side of the court and flow right into a set. fast break offense-whatever you want to call it).The basic concept behind the “quick hitter” is to try and push the ball right up your opponent’s back and score as easy a basket as possible. Coaches are not going to be able to call out plays on the fly. "Basic" (Played on High Side) Diagram 2B. 3 are interchangeable • 4 and 5 are interchangeable Diagram 1. Diagram 1 (lower) hows the basic set of players and their positions on the court. quick. The first look is always the Post but there are a lot of options that you can run out of this set (secondary. Diagram 2A. Line) • 4/5 to ball side post • 4/5 trails to top of the key Diagram 1 (upper) •5 takes ball out • 3 and 2 sprint out to the wings • 1 receives outlet from 5 and pushes up – determining a side • 4 runs to ball side post • 5 trails to top of key • Basic Set • 1. The Point Guard (1 man) is always looking to pitch the ball ahead to the wings (2 or 3) or to the Post player (4 or 5) who has beat his man up the floor. and at the free throw line. but different offenses can be called during timeouts. • 1 dribbles to a wing • 2/3 to ball side corner • 2/3 to weakside wing (free throw line extended to the 3 Pt. deadballs.
"America's Play" • 1 pitches to 3 and cuts to weakside point Diagram 7. . "Basic" (Being Fronted) • 1 skips to 2 if 4 is being fronted. • 5 swings to 2 • 2 looks at 1 on post • 1 gives count and cross screens for • 4 fakes high and goes lot to ball side post. Diagram 3. "Double Down" (3 out 2 in) Diagram 6. "America's Play" Continued • 3 takes up the distance between him and 5 and kicks it to him. Double Down • 1 reverses thru the 5 to 2 • 4 continues to work and post up1 Diagram 4. "Double Down" • 3 man sets himself up for 5 and 1 setting a double screen Diagram 5.• 1 pitches to 3 if 4 is played on the high side • 1 kicks to 5 if 4 is being played on the low side Diagram 2C.
you will see that there is so much more you can add during the year. It is a great conditioner and yet your players will learn exactly what is expected of them. You cannot play a full game in a Zone Defense and expect to be a real running team. Pick and Roll" Continued • 1 has the 2 in the corner to catch and shoot or to feed the 4 on the post • 3 back picks the 5 • 1 (with line dribble) can throw the lob or pitch to 3 • 3 can dribble over to create a good feeding angle to 5 Diagram 11. If you look at this closely. All of your dummy offense should be used with the full court. If you decide to play this way (and have the personnel to do it) you need to be consistent that every drill that you do works within the confines of this offense. Pick and Roll" Continued (3 out 2 in) As you can see. "Hi. going at least 2 trips up and down the court. All options should be employed and every play should finish with a basket and a quick outlet to the other side of the court. "America's Play" Continued (3 out 2 in) • 5 down screens 1 • 2 looks at 4 on Post. I believe that your defense should be set to create a faster pace of play. "Hi. there is so much you can do with “quick hitting” plays. Pick and Roll" • 1 has no passing options • 1 uses 5 as a high pick • 4 goes block to block • 3 starts to block looking to set up back pick for 5 • 2 spaces to the corner Diagram 10. .Diagram 8. 5 on slip and 1 on catch and shoot • Finish 3 out 2 in Diagram 9. "Hi.
Building blocks are the only way to develop a player. Take time to explain what we want from our players. first. For more info on this article or on Coach Walters. (I am partial to Motion Offense. The Worst Things We Do as Teachers By Mike Dunlap. He arrived at Valpo after preparing to serve as a graduate assistant at Emporia (Kan. If we would spend a little more time with football coaches we would figure out how to teach our team to be physical. summer camps and coaching clinics. and patience.) I loved playing this way as a player and am looking forward to coaching and learning even more about this style from coach Homer Drew here at Valparaiso University.As a player. 3. cuts. spacing. We should do one thing at a time.) State University. Walters became nationally recognized for an outstanding collegiate career at the University of Kansas and Northwestern University. Walters helped the Jayhawks capture the Big Eight Championship in 1992 and 1993. All passes. After every option has been explored you need to decide if you are going right into a “Motion Offense” or will run more set plays. email rex. For example. Teaching your team to be physical takes technique. What is 100% effort and has there ever been a player who knew what that 4. Before embarking on a seven-year NBA playing career. dribbles. About the author Rex Walters Rex Walters joins the Valpo staff as an assistant coach following a distinguished playing career. We must strive for clarity 2. Do not rush your teaching. Do not allow turnovers and the players should be going game speed once the basic offense has been put in.edu. We demand that a player go at 100% effort. 5. if we do not address a players feet and be specific about how we want him to pivot then it will cost us down the road. It is easy to call a player a "nutless wonder" without considering that most players have never been taught the finer points of hand to hand combat. Demonstration after we tell our players what we want. . and coordinates the players’ individual workouts and team meals. We need to give our players a picture demonstration before we get into repetition. looks and shots should be watched like a hawk. I found that the coaches that I played for were very detailed. While playing for Roy Williams at Kansas. Metro State Head Men’s Basketball Coach 1. Walters assists with recruiting.walters@valpo. there must be a demonstration each time. sequential instruction. Be objective about an all out effort. earning First Team All-Big Eight honors both years.
we talk and sometimes yell at our players about going "all out" all the time. This requires that the offensive player control his body and NOT play at 100%. We demand so much from others and we want them to see their mistakes and fix them. 8. How can a perfectionist be happy with anything? The least enjoyable person to be around is the perfectionist. Apologize. yet do not fall into the trap that nothing is ever good enough. This is an imperative act by the head coach if you want quality communication. exercise. etc) daily schedule. we set ourselves above our own vulnerabilities. benched his best player for the national championship game. I find a lazy dog to be just as unpleasant.". My experience tells me just the opposite. 9. put a heart monitor on a player and measure their heart rate. Take care of ourselves first. Too many times we buy into the myth of the 100% effort and forget about going after a player's intellect before asking for a quality effort. 7. you learn from it and move on. finances. What a stupid statement when you really think about it. Whether it is our mental and physical health (i. A disciplined mind comes in many different forms and being mentally tough also requires that you must accept the brutal reality that no one is perfect and a quality effort is a joy in and of itself regardless of outcome. Coach Gwoldecky made a statement for all time. How come so many coaches fall prey to this area? Because it could hurt the outcome of your season if you lose a certain player. Demanding perfection. head hockey coach at Denver University. Yet. spiritual. be it emotional. How can a player read and think? For example. If you are always chasing perfection then how can you teach a player to enjoy a job well done. Follow through.meant. staff. Once you have done this in front of your team it will be much easier for them to acknowledge their mistakes. Probably not? For instance. and school? You cannot. "A man must find balance.period. 6. Part of learning is the margin of failure and sometimes you just have to let the players fall flat on their rumps. and other personal matters.e eating. What a bunch of crap! The more a person chases perfection the less they can enjoy each act. a good offensive player must learn how to change speeds with cutting and ballhandling. prayer. Attacking Zones By Shane Dreiling GENERAL THOUGHTS . The instructor can be more objective about individual effort this way. or intellectual. As Coach Wooden stated. 10. we should openly admit our errors. For example. Why is it that certain coaches will say that they were devastated by the loss at the end of a 33-1 season? If you believe in your preparation and teaching process then how can any loss devastate you? In other words. we need to address those things first. reading. Why? Because if you are not in order how can you fully give to your team. physical. Our discipline breaks down when we do not quickily punish the transgression. family. If you want discipline in your organization then follow through with consequences for actions. George Gwoldecky. In short. This is difficult but necessary. losing is part of sports. Demand that people do the right thing. Allow for failure.
get 2 reversals before looking to shoot. Wing men stay below the top defenders in the zone. Always look to drive the ball into a gap and kick out for open shot. 2-3 Match Up Defense Our match-up zone defense is a combination of the 2-3 zone that is taught by Fred Litzenberger at the University of Oregon and the Point and Talk defense taught by Don Meyer at Northern State University. PERIMETER EMPHASIS • • • • • • Start behind the 3-point arc. step them out from the high post or to the short corner to stretch the zone. Screen the back defenders in the zone. A key teaching point is the ball moves first.• • • • • • • • Always look to fast break against a zone. look to pass out to the opposite side of the floor to the wing spotting up or your post partner. pressure the ball and help and recover. Use the skip pass to reverse the ball. Be weak side ready. If you have a post player that can shoot. Flash to the ball. Look to attack on the third side of the floor. Have feet and hands ready to catch and shoot. and then quickly reverse the ball to 3 people. Teams that play zone have a tendency to play poor transition defense. communicate to your teammates. If the ball goes inside and you don’t have a shot. Have some set attacks to get a good shot against the zone. This defensive scheme is our secondary defense but our basic principles remain the same…. then you flash between two defenders. especially when a post player is screening the back of the zone. . Move the ball and move people against zones. unless you have a wide-open lay-up. Teach your players what a gap is (space between 2 defenders) and how to attack it with the dribble or a cut. POST EMPHASIS • • • • • • • Start behind the zone. If the ball is on the wing. Rebound the ball when a shot is taken. opposite wing should be on an angle. Post up the middle defender in front of the rim. Use the short corner. Our 12 points of an effective Match-Up Zone Defense 1. not in line with the ball. Use stacks to create overloads initally. You must use both man to man and zone defensive principles. Basically. the zone moves second. Flatten the zone. Move the defense with pass fakes and shot fakes. Try to score before the zone gets set up.
Match-Up Rules 1. Switch everything to keep bigs in and smalls out…however. Chin the Rebound. 4. “Communication” is more important for the back three players than for the guards. 3. 12. Each player must use man-to-man defense. a man. 10. Both are of equal importance. The key to the back line defense (center and forwards) is “communication and adjustment. and “part of the other four. Continually point to your man and talk to your teammates. but do pressure the ball. Each man has area responsibility and man responsibility. Keep bigs in and smalls out. Defensive players adjust to both the men and the ball. Defense takes the shape of the offense’s alignment. Two defensive men must constantly defend three offensive men. 9. This allows us to protect the paint and high post area while giving help in the post. we don’t switch the dribble. Outlet…”BOPCRO” Question 429 . 5. The offense will screen away and will send offensive players away so in our Match-Up. 5. Do not deny passes out to the perimeter. you can sandwich or front and back the post player. Block Out. Key word is still “adjust. Only guard to the “arc”.” 10. 6.” Why should a team play a zone defensively? A team should look to play a zone if their opponents can’t attack it consistently. and help defense. 9. The rules of our match-up are simple and go hand in hand with our other defensive schemes. The key to the front line defense (guards) is “movement and adjustment. you need to control an excellent penetrating guard. The post player comes out in emergencies only…as when the offense has five players along the perimeter or if we have to defend an excellent perimeter shooter.2. Offensive alignment will dictate defensive alignment. 4. we assume all offensive players are good shooters. 11. you can’t guard the opponent man-to-man. 6. Pursue. Pressure every shot without fouling: change or alter the shot.” 11.” 8. area defense. Neither has priority. Guards dig into the post to help force the ball back out onto the perimeter. 8. 12. Guard someone: don’t have two defensive players on the same offensive player. Help side defenders straddle the weak side lane line. 3. 7. 7. and finally. To be effective in the match-up zone one man must consistently and effectively defend two—two defend three—three defend four—and four defend five. 2. Each defensive player checks the ball.
An alternative might be to start one post low and have the initial high post to one side. and the players away from the ball flashing into passing lanes at the critical time prior to the help defenders closing off those avenues of pressure release.Please discuss the options to aggressively attack a half court trap which sends two defenders at the point guard? Coach Leonard Desmarais Coach Desmarais. Instinctively a player with the ball normally attempts to pass out of trap pressure by locating the next adjacent wing player. If the pass goes to O3. and D4 must come across to front O5 slashing to the basket. Note here in the diagram to the right that D3 must essentially choose between O3 and O4. the Center is left with both mid-. Personally I believe the best way to attack almost any trapping defense that tries to extend out near the mid-court line is by bringing both posts up high creating in a sense a 1-4. We wanted teams to pass to the wings because the passing angles out of this position were limited. O2 can either duck under weak side basket for a pass from O4 or flare to the weak side corner. dive the 1st high post diagonal toward the basket. This leaves the back side vulnerable to the wing slipping in behind the defense at the basket. Not many teams play this defense anymore and as a consequence it is a defense many teams are not well prepared to attack. The situation you are referring two describes what some call the "hourglass" press or trap which is a 2-1-2 Zone Trap. Good luck with your efforts to break down this trap. it is normally not the best solution for attacking the 2-1-2. These are the two most vulnerable areas of the 2-1-2 Hourglass trap. Key to attacking any trapping situation is the ball handler recognizing the trap prior to it getting firmly set locking up the ball and dribbler.Question 429. This will draw one bottom defender of the zone back into the paint to stop this post to post pass for an easy score. A quick short post pass can create a 3 on 2 attack triangle at the basket when D5 must close out to pressure O4 on the baseline. The ball at the high post is the most dangerous location for any trapping defense. When the side defenders in the 2-1-2 trap the wing. When the defense attempts to front the initial high post.and short corner. See the attached diagram left here where I demonstrate these the second soft point of the 21-2 trap. low. immediately flash the 2nd post player to the opposite open high post or even a bit higher. When the ball can be quickly entered to the 2nd high post. If the ball goes to the wing don't want the ball there very long because the weak side defenders can sit on any cross court pass if the subsequent wing trap is sealed. the weak side deep defender must slide across to the strong side low post. When that occurs flare your wings immediately into the open areas of the wing or corner for an open 3. While this works well when attacking a 1-3-1 Trap. When the ball is at the wing the other problem area the 2-1-2 has in coverage is the short or pull post. I was a Division I Assistant coach in the 80's and we ran the 2-1-2 trap with considerable success. Teach O4 or O5 to step out a bit higher to draw this bottom defender up somewhat like a high post entry pass. This leaves the mid post area open for a quick dive by the offensive high post. sprint one of the two posts to the same side short corner and on the wing to corner pass dive the second HP to the basket.coverage by themselves. Even more critical in this situation is that when the center of the 2-1-2 commits to the rotate to the short corner. Thanks for Asking the Coach . Failure of either or both of these general produces a turnover or ineffective attack of trapping pressure. When a quick wing to short corner pass occurs the Center normally sprints out to pressure the ball and trap with the bottom wing. In essence anytime you can go through the high post to release trapping pressure that should be your players highest priority.
Can you explain to me the differences in these two . They are not complete offensive systems of play.TWO Question 423 Question 423. He told us coaches that in his offensive system of play he uses primarily set plays with a definite beginning and end point.I recently went to a clinic from one the the games top coaches Zeljko Obradovic.
how do the players know which one .I understand the way to teach the isolated parts of the Triple Post Offense by Tex Winter. There are times when set play can become stagnated and your team has little flow or rhythm to the game. motion works against your gifted players. it makes absolutely perfect sense to run a series of set plays designed to get these prolific scorers the ball in the shortest time possible. In general. The idea behind this is that you can stretch a pressuring defense by causing a team to convert quickly from ball side pressure to help side back to ball side pressure and in the process open them up to screens. In addition. Set play makes it easier for you to predict how a team will defend you and practice ahead of time the counters to beat that defense. Motion games often have a built in continuity which permits fluid movement of the ball from one side of the court to the other and back. defenses have become more adept at switching the perimeter (same size players) and and forcing teams to rush shots prior to the shot clock expiring which reduces the long term effectiveness of motion. This can result is a lot of one and done offensive possessions. clock and locate the one defensive weakness for the "best shot" on any one possession. What I don't really understand is when do the players know which series they need to use and which solo game to use? Secondly. I found over the years coaching that in general at the higher levels set play works better than motion. two or three passes in a set play situation to get a player open. However motion offense makes it more difficult for the defense to control or anticipate every situation because they are less predictable. Coach Kalemkerian. I think the ability to play both has some significant advantage for a team both because there are benefits to both and your players will learn to consistently defend both in practice which has carry over to games. Too many coaches run the motion without purpose or a sense of which players should get the ball where and when. Another example of the value of changing between set play and continuity could be found if you watched the 2001 NCAA Final Four if my memory serves me correctly. passing game. 1-4 motion. Full understanding of set play by all five players makes this type of offense a very dangerous weapon. If you take a look at a colleague of Coach Obradovic. However I grew up in Motion Offensive systems. breaking down the defense by increasing the number of passes the defense must play fundamentally sound defense. Motion offenses were in general also more effective for teams with less talent prior to the advent of the shot clock. When there wasn't a shot clock. teams could make 10. cuts or penetration to get into a high scoring position dictated by the motion. In addition the 24 second clock doesn't permit a lot of time for a motion offense to take advantage of it's strength. In some cases they are playing motion with less talent and skills and in many cases players who are not threats to score are getting the ball in positions which are meaningless. Motion games also lend themselves better to a continuity. If your better scorers go cold what often happens is the other players stand around and just watch. Coach Obradovic is certainly one of the top coaches in the world today. When this is the case. With the increasingly sophisticated pressure defenses of the past 30-40 years it has become increasingly difficult to rely on one. There are many different perspectives on set play and motion games and what is most important is to select what works best for you and your players. Here was a case that set play wasn't working and the ability to shift gears led to a trophy. Coach Krzyzewski came out in the second half and went to a motion offense giving his players the freedom to create on the court without giving Maryland the advantage of knowing so well how they wanted to attack and the whole momentum of the game shifted resulting in a Duke win and another NCAA Championship two nights later with a win against Arizona in the Final. Motion play came about in the early 70's with Bob Knight's famous Passing Game because he believed his team was more athletic and better skilled at each position and the passing game gave much more flexibility to getting the ball to any one of these players. or 20 passes in an attempt to control the tempo.divergent offensive philosophies? Coach Juan Jose Kalemkerian Montevideo. The methods by which any team can defend a specific set play are limited and as such these options can be overly rehearsed to the point of automation. etc. FC Barcelona and Serbia & Montenegro National Team-2002 World Champions) he runs a set play offense called The Zipper that has some motion or continuity to it. However my point is that the ability to change a focus on offense can be equally as effective at times as your ability to change defenses when one isn't working to stop an opponent. Svetislav Pesic (Alba Berlin. motion games should be used to give freedom of choice to experienced and gifted players. If in your team personnel you have 2 or 3 very highly skilled offensive players as Coach Obradovic has. Uruguay. Thanks for Asking the Coach Question 366 Question 366. The ball ends up in the hands of less skilled players more of the time than is effective for your team. As motion offenses have became increasingly popular (the shuffle. There has definitely been a trend back (at least at the NBA and International Pro game level) to set play offenses (a finite beginning or end) because they don't need 8 or 10 passes to get the ball into the hands of a skilled scorer or mismatch. I believe in one semi-final an excellent Maryland team (who knew Duke and their set play offense very well) had totally throttled Duke at Halftime. There are reasons to use both set play and motion both with positive and negative consequences. flex. 15. As a pro coach I felt we needed motion game at times just to change the tempo or rhythm of a game and to get all the players moving and more involved. Rhein Energie Cologne.) I think that coaches have played them for the wrong reasons.
and 4) the solo cut series. Obviously the defense will do everything they can to take away these strong side options including denying the wing or corner entry pass. The inside screen option (strong side) . to interchange these different series every time down the court or on a consistent basis if you team cannot find both rhythm and/or their positions. These perimeter dribble and screen options make it difficult to protect both the inside and all well spaced perimeter players in tight quarter. The line of deployment teaches that the defender on the post is forced to play one side or the other of this line of deployment (line of the man with the ball. It is my take in observing the Bulls and now the Lakers through their championship runs that it is a mistake to try to introduce too many options too fast in the Triangle. All of the options in the Sideline Triangle series which involve strong side offense (e. Once your players have truly automated the basic Sideline Triangle options (both strong and weak side) they eventually will find that good defenses figure out ways to take away the most obvious options. This is especially true when guards like to sag down in on post to help and you can pin them inside unable to recover to defender the perimeter shot off the dribble options. or rapid ball movement to the player left most open by a rotating defense. At least until they have several years experience playing this multi-faceted offense. triangle splits. Secondly. This is my biggest problem with this offense. Most offenses with a number of options have those options born out of necessity rather than creative magic. where and why you might go to the Guard Dribble Series.. and good readreact decision making predicated by how the defense attempts to defend a specific action. Christian Lemaire Quebec. and Pete Carril's Princeton Backdoor Offense) is a motion offense based on good spacing. Guard Inside Screen. or penetration and pitch to the weak side off of this action. or is their a leader on the court. You can also run what is called the forward through (or give and go) option from this situation because of the center clear out. through the low post. I hope you can help me on these points. and Solo Cut Series (each with their own strong and weak side options). The consequence of this type of action is the weak side offensive play options including the forward to guard (at the top of the circle) pass. it is more difficult for the defense to double down on the post without giving up good scoring options off of cuts. Guard Inside Series. I would be hesitant as a coach. The Triangle (much like Bob Knight's famous 5-Man Passing game. and cutting actions) are focused on getting the ball to this strong side post and the consequences of the defense either being able individually to stop the post. Remember the most important aspect of the Triangle to keep in mind is constant ball and player movement and good spacing. I think this question is a good one and for more reasons than the Triangle is a "hot" offense at the moment. and then a dribble weave option on the perimeter.g. For example the outside give and go option on the wing entry pass initiate a center clear out up the lane which thereby creates an open penetration lane to the basket for the wing in a 1 on 1 situation. In other words the defense took something away. when introducing the Triangle to my team. there are times in games when you want specific players to have the ball in their hands at specific times. this set of strong side and weak side options I believe are oriented towards freeing one individual player either through an on ball screen. screens. good ball movement. This negatively alters the practiced passing angles of the offensive team and also buys time defensively for help defenders to get into better position to both deny and help on dangerous offensive situations. With that said let's take a quick look at when. If you are seeing you team run the Sideline Triangle options and bogging down. or being forced to double and help on the post pass. or wing and corner (in the corner series) form equilateral triangles to the low posts position. sideline triangle cuts. For these reasons you should consider. I think what is confusing to you might be that Coach Winter teaches four basic options in the Triple Post Offense. All of the weak side options are essentially counter plays to keep the defense honest and reduce the pressure exerted on any strong side options. "so now what do we do to counter?" Keep that in mind as I give my answer to your questions. The weak side options for the Guard Dribble series include a nifty center rub through cut (much like a flex cut) with the center flashing in behind following the cut. as the defense attempts to sag down on either the center rub cut or flash. The Triangle is predicated on getting a center (or another player) into the post along what Coach Winter calls the Line of Deployment. or the wing to forward flash at the high post pass. adding additional options such as the Guard Dribble Series. I also believe you can use the Guard Dribble series when teams try to slough off and pack the inside to take away the interior game of the Triple Post Offense. to the basket) making it easier to make a quick entry pass from one of the two passers in the triangle into the post for an easier scoring opportunity. from my perspective should be your primary option of this offense. This. proper execution of fundamentals. Canada Coach Lemaire.goes to the key spots (there are many ways to form the sideline triangle) and which guys will post? Is there some rules for mismatches. Note also that I am no expert on the Triangle so my answers are more educated guesses based on what knowledge I do have of the offense. 3) guard inside series. than on personal experience running it. 2) guard dribble series. Moving on to the Guard Inside series. This means that the two nearest players the guard and wing. and Solo Cut Series to help you gain more perspective on this offense. Each of these options has additional and varies strong side and weak side options. or is it just a feeling. Additionally because of this good spacing. What most good defensive teams attempt to do against the Triangle is to pressure the perimeter of the triangle so as to distort the spacing and increase the passing distances. 1) sideline triangle. The dribble options are also effective when they force a small guard defender onto small forward or big guard switch as a result of the interchange. and possibly trying to front or double the the low post on the strong side prior to being able to enter the ball there. There is more to running any offense and options than just knowing the patterns. consider changing up to a different series to find better movement and rhythm. In general any of the Triple Post Offense options that involve the dribble are designed to keep pressuring defenses honest. I would use the Guard Dribble series when you find that teams are pressuring you out of the Sideline Triangle (both strong and weak side options) to the point where you lose fluidity in ball movement within the Triangle. over the course of a season.
Lastly. maybe one strong side action and one weak side action. you work more the strong side two man game. If you are getting pressured. let's look at the Solo Series both strong and weak side. Note however. This requires not only understanding of how to execute the options by the players. The Lakers use this quite effectively with Kobe receiving the picking action by Derek Fisher. It doesn't have to be you two best players. leaving Shaq on a B-line to the basket. Thanks for Asking the Coach . is keep it as simple as possible. It is my take that you use this series when you have two great players who are difficult to defend and you want to isolate these two. Without being an expert on this offense. and why he tends to go out and get smart veteran players who have previous experience with the offense. only experience teaches you that. If you take the time to break down each of the Triple Post's options they each have specific purposes. balance back up and re-organize the offense after breakdowns the ability to mix and match will improve. use this penetration option to create a needed 3 late in the game on penetration and pitch. as you have suggested is when to use any of these. As your players gain understanding about how to fill positions. Who helps on who? The consequence is that defenses run additional defenders from the 3 man weak side which following good ball movement usually leaves Rick Fox or Robert Horry spotting up weak side on the three point line. keep to one or two basic options. to penetrate drawing Shaq's defender to help. mostly to isolate given situations and players when needed. This may explain why Phil Jackson doesn't give rookies a lot of players time. or reduce the amount of options. Here the wing intentionally penetrates hard into the key to draw the weak side help defenders of the 2 and 4 men who flare away to the weak side 3 point line to spot up. Instead of the primary focus being the strong side triangle. For the Lakers this might involve Kobe and Shaq playing inside-out. or a long leash. Again.is a guard to small forward pick and roll designed to force the center's defender up to help on penetration and leave the big man open near the basket. But hopefully I have given you food for thought regarding what various parts of the Triangle are designed to do. I would consider using these kinds of options when the shot clock is down following a dead ball inbounds to get a specific action. When introducing another of the Triple Post Offenses series. Teach and practice what your players can comprehend and execute. you might play the solo series with the two hottest players or two with serious mismatch problems. For you the answer. I'm not sure I have provided you the complete insight you need to make decisions about what to run and where. The difficult you will have. if adding these options confuse your players back up and reduce the number of options. Few books can teach you the interactive parts of complex offenses. but even more importantly a firm understanding by you as the coach when to use them. that I do believe it might take you 2-3 years to put in most of the options and in some cases it might take 4-5 years to build up a players experience in the triangle enough so that they really read and react the way the offense is intended. Another example of this is the Guard Inside series (weak side) penetration dribble option. If they have difficulty in these areas you either have to find and play the players that can execute.
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