Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Kentucky fullcourt

Tubby Smith

See Defences - Kentucky ball-line, 1-2-1-1 Kentucky.


Fullcourt man press, with the same principles as the Kentucky ball-line defence:
- overplay and deny penetrating passes, i.e., any pass upcourt (play as close to the ball as you can without losing your man)
- get back to ball line.

Force receivers to catch towards the baseline and sideline, away from the middle, and don't allow a deep pass. X4 aggressively pressures the inbounds pass, then gets to the ball line (he can help on pass or dribble penetration), and traps automatically if the pass is made ballside below the block (option - or foul-line extended). Other automatic trapping situations are
- the ball is isolated in the backcourt
- the ballhandler turns his back and can't see a trap coming (even if he hasn't started his dribble)
- the ball is on a sideline near midcourt.

Here X4 traps on an inbounds pass below the block, so X2 is close enough to rotate up ready to steal a reversal pass or pass to the middle. He reads 1's eyes and shoulder. Other defenders rotate into passing lanes to closest receivers out of the trap (get on the midline), but don't allow penetrating passes. X5 takes away the sideline.

On a pass to 4, X4 follows the pass out and takes 2 (sprint out, find the open man).

If X2 does not go to 4 on the trap, then X4 would go back to 4.

Try to get 4 into an uncontrolled dribble. If you get beat, look to back-tip with the hand opposite to the dribbler's, and for another defender to step up to the ball (levelling off).

Off-ball defenders should always fake at the ball to get the dribbler out of control or to pick up his dribble (attackers trap themselves).

Optionally Kentucky will use X4 as a shortstop (first-line defenders face guard) or centrefielder (as deep as the deepest attacker).

If the ballhandler is isolated in the backcourt on a clear-out, the defender of the last attacker to cross halfcourt goes up to trap, other defenders rotate into passing lanes.

Here X4 rotates to trap with X1, and closest defender X2 rotates up on the midline to cover a pass out of the trap to 4. X3 takes away the sideline, X5 protects the basket, and may have two attackers behind him.

Florida match-up - xdribbler stays on one side, another defender runs up to trap.

On a pass to 4, X2 takes him, and X4 sprints out of the trap to take 2 (the attacker X2 was initially guarding).up

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