Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

3-2 Foster

Jim Foster (and Don Casey)

See YouTube playlist - 3-2 zone defence.

Work on 3-2 zone slides, using 6 players on offence plus chairs on the blocks as low-post attackers.

X1 does not extend beyond the top of the key, the further out the easier it is to get the ball into the high post. Every defence is most vulnerable when the ball is in the high post, you can't help when the ball is in the middle of the floor.

X2 and X3 have one foot in the lane, one foot out. Everybody has high hands and moves on the flight of the ball.

Don Casey

- protect elbows and blocks at all times
- keep X1 inside the 3-point line, if he steps out it makes the high-post pass easy
- the back guys are a step above the blocks or as high as the offence will allow them.

Tim Jancovich - 3-2 zone - the point of pick-up is the 3-point line, but you can extend to play it much more aggressively, X1 takes the ball between the lane lines, X2 and X3 take it outside the lane lines. The number one job of the middle man is to keep the ball out of the high post, it's the weakest area of the 3-2 zone (the corners are second weakest).

A ball on the wing is X2's, Foster likes to play it hard. X1 protects the elbow, they don't want the ball into the middle. X4 is outside the low post, X5 is inside and above, both are ready to slide. Weakside wing X3 has backside coverage.


- X2 attacks the ball, pushing 2 to the baseline or not influencing any particular way, it's man to man until 2 gives up the ball.
- X4 is in a cheat position, crowding up the post area in position to cover the corner (he protects his box inside-out, with his inside hand). His commitment is the block, if he comes up too high, someone will come under to hurt you.
- X1 protects the elbow (how low depends on who is there, and who is out top, he and X4 give the feeling that it's crowded).
- X3 has the next play that comes to his side, e.g. a lob pass to 5 or a pass to the wing or corner. When a shot goes up, he's got to protect his block.

X4 comes out with the ball in the corner and plays straight. X5 fronts the low post, has to be in position to help on a baseline drive. They want to front continually.

Casey - X4 crowds 5, plays him to coach's desire, e.g. push baseline, X5 is always in front of the block, especially if there is no low post there, if a high post slides down and gets in front, he is further away from the basket.

Options for ballside wing X2

a) Plug (Box)

X2 sinks down, especially if the low post player is pretty good, and must be able to help and recover on a middle drive.


- Box plug - if there is a strong inside player, X2 clogs up the middle, helping the guy fronting the low block. Top guy X1 backs up (to the nail) when X2 plugs.
- If 2 cuts through after passing to 5, X2 goes with him, passes him off, stays and plugs, will come back out on a pass to the wing.

See Defences - 32 match-up, 3-2 Gamecocks (X5 plays behind a low post).

b) Deny

X2 can deny a pass back out to 2, facing the ball so he can help and recover on a middle drive, they don't care if it is thrown over his head, they will recover.

X2 can decide to plug or deny, it doesn't have to be a call, X1 adjusts, the high post is a little more vulnerable when denying.

c) Trap

On a call, X2 double-teams with X4, X1 denies a return pass, X3 takes away the high post, X5 fronts the low post, they're trying to go after the ball.

Do not foul in a double-team.

Skip passes

Weakside X3 takes a skip pass. A wing-to-wing skip pass is easy.

On a corner skip pass, X3 goes to get it


X5 can bump him back, probably to a plug position.

Kevin McGeehan - Adjustable 3-2 match-up zone - they want X5 to be helping on a ballside low post. X4 plays on the low side, and can help on a baseline drive. They're not that worried about the corner skip pass, usually X5 can get to it, there should be a little bit of ball pressure. If they're really worried about a ballside low post, X5 is surrounding him, they might X on a corner skip, X3 goes out on the ball and X5 finds 3 (X3 is the "have two" guy).

Chris Mooney - 3-2 matchup zone - X5 is all the way in (even a step past the split line) helping on the low post, X4 defends the low post on the baseline side, so it's easier for X5 to help, he doesn't have to be towards the baseline. They are almost pre-doubling. If the ball is skipped to the corner, X3 is closer and gets it.


If X5 doesn't get there quickly enough and 4 makes a pass to 3, X1 takes it, X3 covers the elbow (X-cut action).

High post entry

The back line guards the high post on an entry pass, if there is a low post the other guy slides up, it's pretty easy.

The wings slide back, X1 comes back.

If a shot goes up, X1 and X2 cover the elbows, X3 and X4 cover the blocks.



On a high-post entry from the wing, it's always the opposite back guy who comes up and covers the high post.

X1 covers the opposite elbow, X2 drops to the block, ballside X3 drops below the ball, X5 covers underneath.


Dribble penetration

On a middle drive to the elbow, the opposite back defender meets the penetration, the top guy covers the opposite elbow to dissuade the kick-out pass.

Toronto Raptors 3-2 zone - X2 helps the helper (shown).

c) Double the post

You will get beat at times with a bounce pass into the post, X4 chases it down and doubles with X5.

On a pass back out, X4 comes back to play his man and X5 tries to front, or X5 goes out to take the ball and X4 stays to front the low post (shown).up

This page was made with Basketball playbook from Jes-Soft

2007-23 Eric Johannsen