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  #1  
Old 11-12-2017, 01:20 PM
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Man to Man vs. Zone

As I star this thread, I feel like one of the men of Hickory in Hoosiers who think they are smarter than the high school basketball coach. Bad way to start...

The last two coaches were absolutely stubborn about playing exclusive man to man. BG and AM would snap out of the zone as soon as the first 3 was swished. I'd love to see the total number of minutes played in zone during the last 15 years. I would guess less than 75 minutes total. (5 minutes a year). OP on the other had seemed to be brilliant at throwing a full court press and/or zone at times to throw the other team off balance.

Friday night, I saw AG switch to a zone in the second half and cringed. Ball State was firing up 3s at a scary pace, but the UD defense was playing ole defense against the dribble penetration. Did anyone else wince in pain also? AG did not stay in the zone for long.

Most coaches hate playing zone D. They like to play their man to man with zone principles. AM had a very difficult time getting his first two teams to play his defensive philosophy. The last classes master his defensive scheme with great results.

Conversely, UD teams going back to the Donoher era have always struggled against zones. There were a couple of exceptions of course.

Let's start a zone vs. man to man discussion.

My two cents.
1. I would like to see it used once in a while to disrupt the flow of the other team. I'm not into the Syracuse or John Cheney 100% zone effect.
2. I think zones are more effective with taller players especially at the guard position. DD with long arms would fit into a zone scheme. Kostas clearly would.
3. Zones are worthless against teams that have great outside shooters, like Davidson and St. Bonaventure.
4. Teams playing zone are vulnerable on the glass.
5. Since you have practice zone offense, shouldn't you practice zone D as well and become somewhat respectable playing it
6. A zone aligns better with a full court trapping press

For what it is worth.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:29 PM
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Im with what wins. I think both have plusses and minuses. With the way alot of kids would just as soon camp out at the line and alot have become pretty **** good shooters. Zone defense does make me cringe. If you are going to play zone you better master it.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:36 PM
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Zones

do not help recruiting. Player development at the college level requires one to learn to play solid man to man defense. Especially if one has NBA aspirations. Zone defense is a college coach's admission to his/her players that the players lack speed and quickness and are unable to move their feet.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SeasonTicketFan View Post
As I star this thread, I feel like one of the men of Hickory in Hoosiers who think they are smarter than the high school basketball coach. Bad way to start...

The last two coaches were absolutely stubborn about playing exclusive man to man. BG and AM would snap out of the zone as soon as the first 3 was swished. I'd love to see the total number of minutes played in zone during the last 15 years. I would guess less than 75 minutes total. (5 minutes a year). OP on the other had seemed to be brilliant at throwing a full court press and/or zone at times to throw the other team off balance.

Friday night, I saw AG switch to a zone in the second half and cringed. Ball State was firing up 3s at a scary pace, but the UD defense was playing ole defense against the dribble penetration. Did anyone else wince in pain also? AG did not stay in the zone for long.

Most coaches hate playing zone D. They like to play their man to man with zone principles. AM had a very difficult time getting his first two teams to play his defensive philosophy. The last classes master his defensive scheme with great results.

Conversely, UD teams going back to the Donoher era have always struggled against zones. There were a couple of exceptions of course.

Let's start a zone vs. man to man discussion.

My two cents.
1. I would like to see it used once in a while to disrupt the flow of the other team. I'm not into the Syracuse or John Cheney 100% zone effect.
2. I think zones are more effective with taller players especially at the guard position. DD with long arms would fit into a zone scheme. Kostas clearly would.
3. Zones are worthless against teams that have great outside shooters, like Davidson and St. Bonaventure.
4. Teams playing zone are vulnerable on the glass.
5. Since you have practice zone offense, shouldn't you practice zone D as well and become somewhat respectable playing it
6. A zone aligns better with a full court trapping press

For what it is worth.
Zone should be used sparingly to keep offenses a little off balance I believe. But it does seem that every team we play tops the last when it comes to 3 point shooting.

And I had to ask myself, why did Donoher's teams struggle against a zone? I don't remember this myself but something occurred to me. Donoher's teams probably wouldn't struggle nearly as much against a zone with the 3 point shot. That's the great equalizer. And Donoher's teams always seemed to have great outside shooters, they just weren't rewarded properly for it.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:15 PM
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I think AG used a zone on 2 possessions on Friday.

The last UD zone I really liked was a 1-3-1 with Chris Wright at the point. The 1-3-1 effectively cuts the court in half. It is weak, however, in the corners to 3-point shooting. I could see XW at the point in a 1-3-1. The problem with XW that high is it takes him out of rebounding position. Kostas at the point would be another option. With our overall length I think a 1-3-1 would cause opponents to have to throw over us to attack it - and IMHOP that would be to our advantage.

_avier played a 1-3-1 against us in Orlando a few years ago when they blew us out. We were helpless against it. Mack still uses it from time to time.

I really think a coach needs to have a couple of zones in the defensive arsenal to pull out from time to time. If nothing else, to give the opponent cause to have to prepare for it somewhat in practice before a game.

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  #6  
Old 11-12-2017, 03:36 PM
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It's the annual let's play some zone defense thread. Can the let's play Sinclair thread be far behind?
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:14 PM
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I never liked that Archie played zone so sparingly. That is maybe my biggest criticism of him.

I definitely think that coaches should play some zone every now and then to keep the opponent off-balance and/or to change the flow of the game and/or to keep certain players out of foul trouble.

Last edited by ud2; 11-12-2017 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ud2 View Post
I never liked that Archie played zone so sparingly. That is maybe my biggest criticism of him.

I definitely think that coaches should play some zone every now and then to keep the opponent off-balance and/or to change the flow of the game and/or to keep certain players out of foul trouble.
That sounds great, but is hard to execute. There are only so many hours of practice a coach has before and during the season. Having a serviceable zone defense requires a lot of practice time, which could be utilized for more important things. I am perfectly fine with us not playing a single possession of zone defense this year, as that tells me the coach is working on more important things.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
That sounds great, but is hard to execute. There are only so many hours of practice a coach has before and during the season. Having a serviceable zone defense requires a lot of practice time, which could be utilized for more important things. I am perfectly fine with us not playing a single possession of zone defense this year, as that tells me the coach is working on more important things.
No offense, but this seems like a really weak explanation. I think there is no excuse for not being able to play more than one defense effectively.
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2017, 06:15 PM
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Testosterone

in my opinion most teams have a tough time against a good zone defense. Really good outside shooting is what it takes...but how many teams have "really good" outside shooting? How many times has anyone seen the Flyers do well against a good zone?

I believe that coaches think "real men don't play zone"....it's a testosterone kinda thing.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:14 PM
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Has nothing to do with testosterone and everything to do with the principle of "If you can't play good man, you can't play good zone"

Zone defense should be used strategically IMO. If you are early in the season, the idea of playing zone consistently, with a team that most likely isn't where AG wants them in terms of man, will kill you later in the season. The time in practice now needs to be focused on man and not a zone that would be used for situations and matchup issues.

Yes...zone can work really well with certain matchups...like being undersized. But swarming man can be just as effective. Ball State is a team that wants to shoot early and often from the perimeter. Going to a zone may have encouraged better perimeter shooting.

The teams that I played for that were really good at zone...played really good man. The zone was played against teams that we needed it for personnel matchups or because we needed some pressure on certain players to cause turnovers.

The odds are against you if a coach plays zone to bail out bad man. You will not succeed long term. I guarantee Cuse can play good man.

I too like to see zone used sporadically...but preferably in the full court and in the half only when it is time to switch things up. Even 20% of possessions is too much IMO. Play kick ass man to man D and be done with it. It will lead to better rebounding, more steals, more contested shots...if the effort is there.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:24 PM
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Duke played a Zone most of last night, if not all of last night vs Michigan State. Last time I checked, Duke regularly sends players to the NBA, even some one and done type recruits. I'll assume Coach K is currently recruiting kids that are on a similar level as his past teams, but what the heck does he know about coaching????

Don't know if Ball St would have been the right team or not to play zone, but throw press or trapping into the conversation and I think all teams should be able to mix up their defenses now and again. If nothing else, just to make the opposing teams think for a few minutes, but it also allows you to adjust if your original plan "just isn't working" on any given night.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:44 PM
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Why doesn't the NBA allow zone? I know they allow somet kind of zone but not the zone we typically think of when thinking zone.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CE80 View Post
Why doesn't the NBA allow zone? I know they allow somet kind of zone but not the zone we typically think of when thinking zone.
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They do. They just don't allow for a defender that is not matched up with a player to be in the lane for more than 3 seconds...basically a help side defender that is loose.

Zone works really well against teams that can't burn up a zone with crisp passing and hitting gaps. A 2-3 zone at the youth and lower HS levels will give teams fits because the offenses typically can't pass and drive the gaps.

College is another level...which is why you don't see a ton of zone defense compared to man...the athletes at this level pass good enough and can beat the gaps in the zone easier than lower level players.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by shocka43 View Post
A 2-3 zone at the youth and lower HS levels will give teams fits because the offenses typically can't pass and drive the gaps.

.
You are correct, but you just hit a nerve. Youth or middle school teams who play 2-3 zone most if not all the time make me sick. Teach the kids to play tough man to man defense first, and the right way, to prepare them for higher levels. Lazy coaching or coaches who are more worried about 5th grade wins than teaching the game correctly **** me off.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:34 AM
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The zone was used to protect Kostas. He looked lost on defense in the Ball State game. He didn't show on ball screen's and was also late to fall back on the roll. With the zone he can set up shop in the paint and and alter/block shots. With his wingspan he can affect shooters in the corner which is the weakness of the 1/3/1. His defensive assignment is much easier in the zone. We will see a lot of this zone when Kostas is in the game.

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Old 11-17-2017, 09:52 AM
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It's early in the year.

My concern is focused on what AG wants the team to be good at. Are we going to develop Man to Man? Are we going to go zone? Rather be excellent at one vs. average at both.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:52 AM
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My experience is that a smart team can switch strategically from M2M and zone and be very disruptive.

But here's the catch, if you struggle to cover in M2M, then you likely will be lousy at zone coverage also. Zone's make boxing out a bigger challenge. No matter what defense we were in last night, our effort on 50/50 loose balls was pathetic. A zone doesn't help that issue either. We had guys standing around thinking someone else will get the loose ball or the rebound no matter what defense we were in.

These issues are fixable. Anthony has plenty of obvious things to fix. Unfortunately he has precious little time in this tourney to make changes.


Give me a smart player with court sense and he will play either defense well with little coaching needed.
Enter poster boy Kyle Davis.

Last edited by San Diego Flyer; 11-17-2017 at 05:22 PM.. Reason: Shout out for Kyle Davis
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ud69 View Post
I think AG used a zone on 2 possessions on Friday.

The last UD zone I really liked was a 1-3-1 with Chris Wright at t he point. The 1-3-1 effectively cuts the court in half. It is weak, however, in the corners to 3-point shooting. I could see XW at the point in a 1-3-1. The problem with XW that high is it takes him out of rebounding position. Kostas at the point would be another option. With our overall length I think a 1-3-1 would cause opponents to have to throw over us to attack it - and IMHOP that would be to our advantage.

_avier played a 1-3-1 against us in Orlando a few years ago when they blew us out. We were helpless against it. Mack still uses it from time to time.

I really think a coach needs to have a couple of zones in the defensive arsenal to pull out from time to time. If nothing else, to give the opponent cause to have to prepare for it somewhat in practice before a game.
Mack from _avier uses the 1-3-1 zone a lot because typically his players have the length and are very athletic. I was at that game down in Orlando and Sumner had a breakout game as a freshman because of his athleticism. J.P. Macura created havoc at the point with his long arms and Kostas can do the same thing. We are just now becoming athletic enough to be able to make the 1-3-1 effective.

However, in these first two games either AG isn't teaching the man to man properly or the players aren't listening. There is no help side defense! We need to remedy the man to man deficiencies fast because the A-10 guards like Jaylen Adams will cut through us like a knife through butter. Right now rollo could get a lane to the basket and make a bunny ala Tayler Persons from Ball State!

Last edited by CvilleFlyer; 11-17-2017 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:50 PM
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The zone determined the lineups later in the game last night. AG needed the length of Kostas and X. Josh just wasn't getting it done.
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