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Defence
Villanova 1-2-2 3/4-court


sketch
1
Jay Wright

A 1-2-2 3/4-court press, the two biggest guys are at the back, the best athlete is at the top, the next two guys are on the wings. They line up in a 1-2-2 but then do different things (they have calls for each).

1. Trap, go back man-to-man.
2. Fake trap, match-up man-to-man.
3. Fake trap in the (opposition) backcourt, match up, trap over halfcourt on a sideline (halfcourt blitz).

Press to create turnovers, shorten the shot clock, create energy for their guys (always want an aggressive mindset), and in time and score situations, e.g. slow up a team that is trying to get a quick shot. They want to press (get traps, deflections, steals, dives from behind), but not give up 3s.

Rules - no middle, trap only on a sideline. Traps should be on the sideline right before halfcourt and towards the end of the 10-second count, or right over halfcourt. Invite passes to the sideline.

If the ball goes to the middle of the floor by pass or dribble, it's an automatic convert and chase from behind, everybody sprints back to the paint, loads to the ball, takes away 3s, and gets matched up (someone says "I got ball", point to and call out their checks). If there are bad mismatches, just switch on the weakside, don't change on ballside. It's the same thing they do on a missed shot or a turnover in man to man.

The man behind the ball has to chase the ball and dive from behind, knocking it ahead to a teammate. Put so much pressure on the ball that he throws it to sideline, get the ball out of the middle of the floor (when the ballhandler is in the middle, if you spread out and try to take away 3s, he will go right down the lane to the rim).

They will also show a 1-1-2-1 (a more conservative press, it basically looks the same) and drop back into a 2-3 zone, instead of man to man.

See Defence - Villanova 1-1-2-1, also Oakland 2-2-1, 1-2-2 halfcourt press.

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2
1) Trap

They want to fake traps, make the ballhandler pick up the ball, and get back to denial positions, or get a trap and step up ballside.

Everybody plays between a man and the ball.

X1 and X3 attack small (fake a trap) and retreat big (hands up).

Weakside wing X2 takes away middle (the most important rule).

X4 invites a pass up the sideline.

X5 is the last man back, furthest from the ball, on the midline, he has a diagonal skip pass.

Although they don't want to trap 1 outside a trapping area, the fake trap doesn't mean anything if they don't trap sometimes, so they will yell "get one" if they haven't trapped in 4-5 possessions.

sketch
3
a) Trap right over halfcourt

As X3 attacks small, 1 throws it over his head to 5, X4 and X3 trap, X4 has to contain him first.

On a trap, everybody gets ballside and below the level of the ball (double-team and step-up), deny any ballside pass, allow a pass backwards and a skip pass (there is time to recover). Leave open the furthest man from the ball.

If 5 makes a quick pass before the trap to 3 in the corner, maybe 5% of the time X4 and X5 can trap (deny a return pass to 5), but on a good team, 3 will shoot or drive on the catch.

Rules are based on taking away what the best players will do.

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4
If the trap is split or a pass out is made, it's an automatic convert and chase from behind.

The most important part of pressing is not how many turnovers you get, it's the stops you get and not giving up 3s.


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5
b) Trap right before halfcourt

1 reverses the ball to 2, X1 is between them, X2 gets into the passing lane to 3 but first hangs in a little so X3 can get there (no middle). X5 steps up, inviting a pass to 3, X4 is now the last man back.

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6
2 starts to dribble it up, X1 and X2 get one (trap) right before halfcourt. Step up ballside.

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7
Let them throw it back to 1.

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8
2) Match up, fake trap

Any diagonal skip pass is an automatic convert.

Good passing teams will pass, pass, bring it up hard, and skip for a 3.

When teams start doing that, Villanova has a call, fake a blitz and just match up man-to-man, not giving up any 3s.

sketch
9
It looks like they are going to press but go man to man.

When the ball comes in X1 takes the ball (and calls "I got ball"), or fakes at the ball.

Here X1 fakes at 1 and takes 2, X3 takes the ball, X2 has the inbounder, everyone is matched up.

X1 and X2 are below the level of the ball.

sketch
10
With the ball in the opposition backcourt they have deep triangles, everybody is up the line (above their man), off the line.

The on-ball defender can really pressure the ball, other defenders fake, looking they are going to trap. If they can get him to pick up the ball, pass, then have to get the ball back to the point guard, they have got what they want out of it, they don't want a team coming up comfortable, running their stuff.

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11
If 1 blows by X3, X4 switches, X2 steps up on a pass to 5, it's run and jump, X3 has the furthest man from the ball.

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12
3) Match up, fake trap, halfcourt blitz

If a team is good at skipping and they keep doing it, the defence is basically just playing man to man, so there is a call to fake a trap in the opposition backcourt then double-team step-up on the sideline when they come over halfcourt.

The call is fullcourt press to the halfcourt call, e.g. red (3/4-court pickup) to white (e.g. an end of game situation where someone has a side-out and they want to trap in the halfcourt).

They can't trap them in the open floor because they are great passers. The defence has to get some surprise traps.

They may start a game by faking, then trap.

sketch
13
In the halfcourt, always trap from behind, never run at the offensive player (you can do it in the fullcourt because you're faking and in zone), it has to be a surprise. When they are in man-to-man they always trap and rotate from behind, in everything they do.

They have calculated risks to trap in their regular halfcourt defence, e.g., if your man brings you to the ball, or you are 6 feet from the ball, but only on the sideline or baseline, never in the middle of the floor.

In halfcourt blitz the concept of "loading early" is key. The defence is going to trap, if you know you have to step up, don't hug your man, get off him, load to the ball so you have a short step-up. It's not the two guys who are trapping who are most important, it's the three guys who are stepping up.

Always leave the furthest man from the ball open.

When 1 gets over halfcourt, if he passes to 5 (first pass) who then looks at the basket, X3 can run and trap on the sideline with X4, 5 doesn't see him. The other three defenders step up ballside (X2 denies 4, it looks like X1 denies a return pass to 1 in halfcourt blitz).

If 5 skips the ball to 2, they convert - sprint to the paint and load ballside - a good team is going to swing it to the corner.

If 5 catches and is a passer, putting the ball over his head and not squaring up, X3 does not trap, 5 can see him (don't trap if he's a passer).

See Defences - Tar Heels Scramble (42), Scramble halfcourt (Thumbs down).
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