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Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills
 

Zone offence
Principles, sets and options


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Zone offence progressions - basic sets, tilted sets, running the corners, and post x-cuts:
 
3) 2-3
 
Principles of zone attack

- fast break (beat the zone up the floor)
- line up in the gaps
- shallow cut
- drive the gaps (get two defenders on the ball)
- freeze dribble (right at a defender)
- quick ball reversal (with full reversal to the corner)
- skip pass
- pass fake
- shot fake
- jab step
- misdirection dribble
- attack from behind
- inside-out
- attack the short corner, high post
- overload
- screen the zone
- crash the boards.

Bill Self - the ball moves the zone.

Mike Dunlap - the zone hates full reversal to the corner.

coachesclipboard.ca - getting the ball into the middle of the zone is a fundamental principle, this can be done by dribble penetration, flashing into the middle, or posting at the elbows. Flash from behind the zone with your back to a sideline, hands up, stop or pause in a gap between the top and bottom rows of the defence.
 
Randy Sherman - flash middle from weakside, aim for the bottom of the "dots" (jump circle), can fan the ball opposite.
 
Coach Daniel - drive the gaps or baseline behind the zone.
 
Kirby Schepp - you want to change sides, get paint touches, and attack with the dribble then pass-pass.

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1) One post player
 
a) 4-out 1-in

This typical man-to-man set can be used against any zone, but especially a 1-2-2 or 1-3-1.

Jay Wright - try to run your man-to-man offence against zones. Ballscreens are highly effective, especially with shooters.

Jeff Bauer - 5 begins behind the zone on the baseline.

Randy Sherman - against a 1-2-2, filling the gaps means lifting 2 and 3 above the dead corners.

See Zone offences - Duke, Villanova, USA, Bauer.up
  

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b) 2-1-2

5 has the high post when the ball is out top, dives on a pass to a corner.

Use against a 1-3-1 (or 1-2-2) zone defence, or against any halfcourt trapping pressure.

Options

- against pressure defence, have weakside 3 flash to the high post on a pass to 2
- use two high posts to enter the offence.

See 2-1-2, 5star 2-1-2, Offence - Wootten four to score.

Variation - 5 stays low for rebounding, see Pitt vs. 1-3-1.up

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c) Tilted 4-out 1-in

Against an even-front zone, here 1 pushes a shooter to a corner, 4 has the top.

See Greece, Duke, also Maryland.up



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d) Duke runner

The corner shooter runs the baseline.

Can be used against most zones.

Look to get full ball reversal (corner to corner).

1 has three short pass options (an overload).

4 can ballscreen to help reverse the ball, or 3 can flash to the high post from weakside.

See Duke runner basics, Duke, also Florida ballscreen 3s.
up

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2) High post, low post
 
a) 1-3-1

5 goes short corner to short corner (but can first flash middle), 4 has the high post.

Use against an even-front zone (or trapping odd-front zone).

Tom Izzo, Jack Bennett - never have 1 and 4 in a tandem.
 
Coach Daniel - 1-2-3 are free to move anywhere along the perimeter so long as they keep good spacing. Go inside to score, or inside-out to get good looks at 3s.
 
Kermit Davis - use a 1-3-1 set against a trapping 1-3-1.
 
Ken Atkins - use a 1-3-1 set if the defence is trapping a two-guard set.

See 1-3-1 basics, Grinnell, also Kermit Davis vs (trapping) 1-3-1, Press breaks - Halfcourt Atkins.up

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b) High-low

From a 1-3-1 set, 1 passes to a wing and spaces away into a high-low, reverse the ball by skip pass or through 4.

Can be used against most zones.

See High-low basics, High-low, Geno Auriemma, Hubie Brown 1-4, also Offence - High-low.up



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c) Offset 2-1-2

Two guards, high post, shooter on one side, low post opposite, use against a 1-2-2 or 1-3-1 zone.

Look to get the ball to 4.
 
Option - 4 can step out to reverse the ball.

Tilted 1-3-1 - 5 comes ballside on the pass to 2, goes back on a return pass to 1.

See Michigan State vs 1-3-1, Dave Odom vs 1-3-1, Schepp vs 1-3-1.up

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d) Two-guard runner

Two guards, high post, ballside low post (on the baseline), a shooter is the runner.
 
Variation - 5 goes block-to-block, 2 runs the baseline below 5.

See Dave Odom 1-3-1, also Overload, below (4 and 5 x-cut).
 
Option - the high post can ballscreen to reverse the ball (or step out).
 

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Option against a 1-3-1 zone

5 starts weakside, comes ballside on a pass to 2, stays on a return pass to 1, and will cross the lane again only if 3 finishes a swing to 2 on the other side.

Variation - 5 is always weakside when 1 or 3 has the ball.

See Dave Odom vs 1-3-1, Press breaks - halfcourt Atkins Wisconsin.up

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3) 2-3 (two low posts)

Two-guard front, 4 and 5 on the baseline with a runner.
 
Options
 
- 2 can start in the high post
- the weakside post flashes high on a corner touch
- 2 can cut up the middle.

See Duke (three deep), Atkins baseline, Runner (double low posts), Dave Odom rover (against a 2-3 zone), Heath Millar continuity, 5star baseline, also Kermit Davis vs 1-3-1, Schepp vs 1-3-1.

Without baseline running, see Pitt vs 1-3-1, Syracuse vs 1-3-1.up

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4) Post X-cuts
 
Also see High-low basics.

a) 3-out 2-in

4 and 5 x-cut on ball reversal, see Pitt, Hurley basic set (start with 4 and 5 on the baseline).

Other post-movement options

- x-cut low post, high post (Bill Self, Memphis)
- the low post steps out to the short corner (Self, Heath Millar, UConn)
- x-cut short corner, mid-post (Kermit Davis zone motion, Bruce Weber)
- stay on ball reversal and screen the back of the zone (Canada Basketball).

Sherri Coale - the weakside post attacks the area where the (on-ball) defender comes from (high post or short corner), the ballhandler must know where his defender came from.

For other options (e.g. motion, drag action, bleeding on a skip pass, screening), see Self, Pitt, 5star high-low, Davis, Millar.

For other entries, see Geno Auriemma (shallow cut), Izzo arm chop (4 ballscreens), Memphis (1-4), UConn (4-out with trailer), and Maryland Women (dribbling off centre).up

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b) Overload

Two-guard front, baseline runner, 4 and 5 x-cut.

See T-game (double-post), Steve Bzomowski.

For other options (e.g. entries, ballscreens, drag action), see Huggins dive and fill, Atkins North Carolina t-game, Kermit Davis four high, Atkins high, Heath Millar, also Dave Odom vs 1-3-1.up

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