Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

2-2-1 Brendan Mann

Brendan Mann
FIBA YouTube

See YouTube video - 2-2-1 Pressing Brendan Mann.

The 2-2-1 fullcourt press is built on man-to-man principles - great ball pressure, communication, rotations, sprint out of rotations, no layups, contested shots, rebound (if you don't rebound the ball, the rest doesn't matter). It's hard work and difficult.

It can be played soft to slow down a team, fall back into zone. He wants to disrupt the offence, take them out of what they're doing, get them to play fast, dictate pace, get more possessions, challenge the opposition's decision-making, don't let them get into a rhythm.

Can use it off a score, free throw, timeout. He may use it 10% of a game, primarily back man-to-man but can change. The 2-2-1 can also be used on a deep sideline out of bounds.

There are three lines of defence, each has a responsibility. Two guards pressure the ball up front, The second line is at halfcourt, and starts quite narrow, in an open stance to see the ball and a player. X5 is at the 3-point line, he communicates, they need to stay connected.
For breakdown drills see Pressing - 2-2-1 Brendan Mann.

See Defences - 2-2-1 UConn, Fran Fraschilla 2-2-1 (ESPN), also 1-2-1-1 Kentucky (Black), 1-2-1-1 Thumbs up.

X1 is physical, pushes/influences 1 deep, wants to pin him to the baseline. On the inbounds pass he pressures the ball, gets on 1's hip (no middle), they don't want 1 to see and window shop and pass, they want him to play under pressure with his eyes down.

X2 gets to the split line, taking away any short pass middle.

X3 gets about 2/3 off the ball, 1/3 off a man, X4 takes away deep middle, X5 follows the ball, where it's being influenced.

Everybody gets low and long (arms wide), create a crowd.

They can allow a pass to 4, nothing down the line (or it has to be a rainbow pass).

On a pass to 4, X1 hip turns and sprints, releases X2 in the middle, X2 closes out and gets on 4's hip, get him to the sideline.

X3 has deep middle.

X5 follows the line of the ball.

X3 can see if 2 flashes middle, and stop him.

They want 4 to dribble, X2 stays on his hip. X4 is playing cat and mouse, low and long, faking and hedging, has to make a read, when's a good time to trap, he can go early, get a good trap in the backcourt.

X1 gets short middle, X3 has deep middle, load up the split line, we don't want the ball to come through us, want it to come around.

X5 follows the line of the ball. If it's a good trap and 4 picks up the dribble, X5 can be more aggressive in his denial

X2 and X4 are foot to foot, low, wide base, high hands, need to be disciplined, don't want to foul, they don't need to steal but may get a deflection. If 4 reverse pivots, take away his space.

They can give up a pass to 1 (backcourt violation) or a pass to 2, but that's a tough pass if there's good ball pressure.

If 4 throws it down the line to 3, they want a rainbow "looper", X5 closes out (no middle), X4 turns his hips and sprints (sprint out of rotations). X5 gives the other guys time to recover.

X3 falls back and protects the block, X1 sprints back and protects the foul-line area, X2 sprints back to the 3-point line area.

X3 protects the block, X1 protects the foul-line area, X2 gets to the 3-point line area.

See Defence - 2-2-1 Hubie Brown, also 1-2-2 halfcourt press, Scramble halfcourt.

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2007-19 Eric Johannsen