[2], In 1947, Henderson led Marshall to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championship title with his 2–3 zone defense and fast break offense.[3]. There are no secrets when a team confronts Syracuse. Here is another play attacking the 2-3 zone defense. Although, if you have a smaller team, you might require everyone to crash the boards. This means that as one player moves, he pulls the imaginary string (which is attached to every defensive player) and therefore pulls the entire defense in that same direction. 1. Note that in a 2-3 zone defense we don’t actively deny the pass to the wing players. The on-ball guard (2) should be in either a neutral stance or forcing the ball towards the baseline depending on the coaches preference. Gaps in the zone—there are a few areas on the court that often cause breakdowns in the 2–3 zone, especially at the high-. Capel is from a basketball family. With Syracuse being the top-ranked team in the NCAA, its 2-3 zone defense will be the focus of broadcasters, journalists and sports fans alike. The two forwards (3 and 4) must immediately. All that we want to happen from this position is for the point guard to pass it to either of the wing players. I’m not a big fan of trapping on the wing as I find the offensive player usually has enough options to make an easy pass out of it and then you’ll find your team in bad positions. As a result, it takes longer for an offense to take a shot, and therefore slows the tempo of the game. Great Outside Shooting – The biggest disadvantage of a 2-3 zone defense is that it can struggle against great outside shooting teams. It consists of a defense where each player is assigned to a zone, and then they have to move accordingly to where the offense sets up and where the ball is on the court. Ball Pressure – Ball pressure will depend on how aggressive of a zone your team is playing. I could argue for hours the reasons you shouldn’t use a zone defense in youth basketball (and have had to too many times, unfortunately)…. The image shows the normal positions for when the ball is in the corner. Since its 2-3 alignment allows teams to keep their big players inside, it is very strong in protecting the basket area and against dribble penetration. The 2–3 Zone Defense is a defensive strategy used in basketball as an alternative to man-to-man defense.It is referred to as the 2–3 because of its formation on the court, which consists of two players at the front of the defense (and closer to half court) and three players behind (and … The Orange has famously utilized a match-up 2-3 zone under Boeheim, which combines elements of man-to-man and zone that keeps the opponent guessing about which defense … Henderson developed this style of basketball successfully at Davis & Elkins College, before moving on to coach at Marshall University. The 2-3 zone defense is by far the most common zone in basketball and is more than likely the specific formation that will come to a coaches mind when they hear the term ‘zone’ relating to basketball. It is referred to as the 2–3 because of its formation on the court, which consists of two players at the front of the defense (closer to half court) and three players behind (closer to the team's basket). Offense Chooses Matchups – Though there will always be great help if they get beaten off the dribble, if the offense want to match their best player up against your worst player every time down the floor, they can. Rebounding must be a constant emphasis when coaching a 2-3 zone defense. Also situations against the pick n … What will be covered in this course: Breakdown of Each Player's Role in 2-3 Zone; Short Corner Trap And the weak-side forward (3) is trying to read the other players and pick off any skip pass that may be thrown. Players must not make it easy for the offensive team inside. Keep these in mind while you’re reading through the rest of the article. Since the weak-side guard is denying the high post, it’s a long way to recover if there is a skip pass thrown. 2 - 3 Zone Major strength along baseline and low post. The 3-2 Sliding Zone Defence places a number of players around the basket and limits the distance that players have to move while still engaging the player with the ball and those offensive players one pass away. Instead, we rely upon players moving on the air time of the pass and a tactic we call ‘bumping’ (I’ll discuss this is detail a bit later in the article) that involves the forward on the ball-side quickly closing out on the wing player before getting bumped by the guard who quickly recovers to the wing. This is accomplished by the center basically never leaving the paint and always having help very close. "Hiding" poor defensive players—because the 2–3 zone is so team-oriented, players who are less effective defensively are less likely to be exploited by the offense. In a 2-3 zone defense, we always want to keep the ball as far away from the basket as possible. He breaks down a detailed description of each player's role in 2-3 while shows the weak links of the defense and teaches how to avoid them. The weak-side forward is up the lane getting ready to pick off the skip pass. The ball-side guard (1) denies the easy outlet pass to the guard on the perimeter. Do not allow layups against your zone. Therefore, hypothetically defensive players have more time to catch their breath as a result. All we can ask is that our players box out, are relentless pursuing rebounds, and do their best to secure the basketball. Solving Miami’s 2-3 zone defense. We run into problems on passes to the wing, skip passes, and ball reversals, where the offensive wing players may be left open while the guard quickly recovers to them; long enough that they’d be able to take an open shot. For that reason, when the ball is passed into the post or short corner, we must immediately double and get the ball out of there! By using spread ball screen concepts versus a 2-3 Zone … 3. Structure when ball is on the wing and the corner is free. But I’ve found if used at the right time and against the right player, this trap can be very successful. You’ll find most teams rush and will often take contested shots, or they’ll turn the ball over trying to make fancy passes against the zone. This is a well-designed play to spread the defense and get Henson open in a favorable position in the paint. Should you deny the ball to a certain player? It’s not a lazy defense if played correctly and will definitely challenge your players mentally and physically, but the benefits can be enormous. 2. You might have noticed that we skipped the short corner/post section when we were going over general positions. 4 passes to the open man after reading x3. The center (5) is behind to half-fronting the post player. Fewer offensive plays—There are far fewer zone offenses than there are man-to-man offenses to prepare for as a defense. The two forwards (3 and 4) immediately sprint out to deny the wing players as this is where the point guard will often look to pass first. 4. Also players exert somewhat less energy in a zone than in man-to-man since they often cover less ground while playing defense. A 2-3 Zone Defense is usually employed against a team that struggles to shoot from the outside but has some effective post players. Run Shooters off the 3-point Line – As we’re stuck closing out often in a 2-3 zone, if you line up against a great 3-point shooting team, run the shooters off the three-point line and make them put the ball on the floor. To combat this, we have the closest forward help out by closing out on the wing player to prevent the shot, before getting bumped back down to their normal position when the guard responsible for that area arrives. Stress to your players that the steal doesn’t often come directly from the trapping players, it comes from the interception by the other defenders. Moving on the flight of the ball means we’re in defensive position when the offensive player receives the basketball. The ball-side guard is sagging into the lane to prevent a pass inside and to discourage the drive. This is to make the close out to the wing player quicker because it’s a shorter distance. The 2–3 essentially fills the middle of the court and is very effective at preventing penetration into the lane and heart of the defense, leaving the perimeter as an offense's most accessible option. Want a faster tempo? A great 2-3 zone defense requires just as much effort as a great man-to-man defense. Who’s the shooters? See Al Marshall's Aggressive 2-3 Zone Defense and 2-3 Zone Defense. Teams Aren’t Patient – The number one way to beat a zone is with smart passing and being patient until you get a good shot. If you have an athletic and quick team you should be trapping often and being aggressive on the ball. In 1914, Eli Camden "Cam" Henderson's Bristol High School first used a 3–2 zone defense against Clair Bee's team, Grafton YMCA, in West Virginia. If any player doesn’t fulfil their role, other defenders will have to compensate and it will lead to open gaps and usually easy scores for the other team. Offensive players closer to the basket take priority. Use Ball-Screens | 8 Ways to beat a Zone Defense. For example, if a player with the ball stood on the right wing (beyond the three-point arc), defensive players 1 and 2 would shift towards that direction. We discourage both of those options by making sure the guards are close enough that they are nearly able to touch hands. If you’re looking to add this defense to your team’s arsenal, there are three things you must decide on before implementing the 2-3 zone with your team. The widespread use of the 2–3 zone is likely due to its somewhat intuitive operation. See the diagrams below. We don’t want to give away what we’re doing or give them an easy pass out of it. Match up with him, no matter where he is. 2 - 1 - 2 Zone Major strength middle and low post. Players must communicate screens, cutters, bumping, who’s got the player with the basketball, etc. O5 back-screens the middle defender (X5), while O4 back-screens the weak-side low defender (X4). The 2–3 zone is a very effective defense when executed properly. After the ball has been passed to the wing player and the forward has been bumped down this is how we should be set up. This makes it much easier to play a 2-3 zone defense. Trapping the point guard as they cross half court. 2. Too often I hear coaches voice that “a 2-3 zone defense should ONLY used by big and slow teams”. As stated earlier in the article, I don’t recommend you use this as your primary defense, but it’s a great defense to throw at your opponent and see how they respond to it. 1. How often do most coaches practice their zone offense or set plays against a zone? Everyone must have active hands and be in stanceGreat passing is one of the weaknesses of the zone. Degree of difficulty—because the 2–3 zone relies so heavily on well-timed teamwork, each individual player must know exactly where to be at all times. The top two guards (1 and 2) must sprint at the ball-handler with high hands to prevent easy passes over the top and then trap him aggressively. The offensive team could end up with an easy layup. The center (5) is left guarding two players. The widespread use of the 2–3 zone is likely due to its somewhat intuitive operation. The benefit of this trap is that after you get a few steals and make it tough for the offensive team, they’ll simply stop passing it to the corner because they don’t want to be trapped. The main goal we want out of this trap is for them to pass the ball out and we can set up our defense again. Players should anticipate the next pass before it happens, so that when it does, each person knows where to go on the floor and fewer breakdowns happen. A 2-3 Zone Defense has players focused on guarding an area rather than specific player. When the ball gets into the short corner or the post it must be immediately doubled by the center (5) and the closest ball-side forward (3). If you’re not trapping (which we’ll talk about soon), the two main options you have to decide on is in regard to the ball-side guard. The defense must keep their hands up and active at all times to discourage passes inside and get deflections. Yes, it’s very effective in youth basketball. This page was last edited on 9 September 2020, at 08:58. 2-3 Rotation on Pass to the Wing. BFC Recommendation: Use this trap two to three times per game. The center has the toughest job and must try and predict where the pass will be made and play the ball accordingly. I’m not going to get into depth on the topic in this article (I’ll save that for a later post), instead, if you want to read further on the subject, read this article from Breakthrough Basketball and make sure to watch the video by Stan Van Gundy. Everyone must communicateCommunication is critical to every defense and that includes the 2-3 zone. The names given to zone defenses start with the number of players on the front of the zone (farthest from the goal) followed by the numbers of players in the rear zones. Most likely one in the high post and one in the short corner or the corner. That’s because we ALWAYS trap the short corner and post. Click the blue link to read the individual post Related Posts:Combination Defense AttackMan to Man 3 Point Shot PlaysDefenseBackdoor PlaysBaseline Inbound PlaysSideline Inbound PlaysBall Screen SetsHorns SetsDefensive DrillsCompetitive Drills It is very difficult to target just one defensive player in the 2–3 because the zone is always shifting and players work together. The weak-side guard (1) sprints all the way across the court to deny the easy pass back to the guard. The 2-3 zone defense, common in basketball, makes it very difficult for an offense to enter the paint, score a layup or get a rebound. This plays focus on creating 2v1 advantages based on the defense's actions. To effectively operate the 2–3 zone, a defense must move as a whole. That can happen by the point guard attacking through the middle of the guards or passing to a player in the high post. The zone defense was used because the gym floor was made of green pine and it was very slippery when wet, when the roof leaked.[1]. Congratulations, you’ve made it through a 4,000+ word article on the 2-3 zone defense and should now have a thorough understanding of how it works. Well I have good news, not many teams are patient. 6. Structure when there is a player in the corner. 2. 1 - 3 - 1 Zone Major strength across free throw line and down middle. In the same way, a team's forwards guard the sides of the zone and its center guards the lane and center of the defense. To help this, the ball-side forward helps out until the 2 guard can bump them back down. His father was the late basketball coach Jeff Capel II, former assistant coach for the Charlotte Bobcats and former head coach at Old Dominion University, and his younger brother Jason played basketball at Duke's biggest rival, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was the head basketball coach at Appalachian State University. The same rules apply on the wings, on any pass to the wing player the forward must help out and then be bumped back by the guard. The first and most common zone defense is a 2-3 zone. 4. Whichever guard is closest to the ball handler must call out ‘Ball!’ or ‘Mine!’ to prevent confusion. The 2–1–2 concept is used when the other team runs cutters to break down the zone. This is a surprise trap and should only be used a couple of times per game. BFC Recommendation: Use very rarely. The weak-side guard (1) denies the closest pass to the wing player, usually the point guard. Notice that when the ball is reversed from one side to the other the 2 guard is stuck having to guard the 1 and 2 at the same time when the pass is made. 1 - 2 - 2 Zone Major strength outside shooting. Perimeter scoring—because the 2–3 zone often leaves some parts of the perimeter wide open for the opposing offense's long-range shooters, offenses that excel at 3-point shots and mid-range jump shots always have a chance to keep the score even (or, to build large leads). Barely ever. 4. 3, 5, and 4 crash their respective sides of the hoops while 2 gets a body on the offensive 5 player. All great zones have great communication. While I don’t recommend using this as your primary defense, the 2-3 zone is a fantastic change-up defense to throw a different look at your opponent and see how they respond to it. Carolina Zone Set No. The corner trap in a 2-3 zone defense is by far the most effective trap you can use in a 2-3 zone. Since your players are guarding an area and don’t all have specific players, your team is at a distinct disadvantage compared to a man-to-man each time a shot is put up. Major weak spots middle and corners. Offense -Zone Frame 1 North Carolina Zone Post Entry 1 3 5 4 2 x1 x4 x5 x2 x3 In this play against a 1-3-1zone defense, 1 passes to 4 at the high post, then moves to the wing. He does some great X's and O's stuff from college and pro teams. Positions when a player is forced to take the ball. 2-3 Zone. Some teams simply can’t play against a 2-3 zone defense, so use it! The concept behind the 2-3 traditional zone is to pack the key so that teams settle for lower percentage shots on the perimeter. However, in the 2–3 zone, defensive players do not guard individuals, only areas of the court (zones); so, it is more difficult to quickly and accurately assess where the offensive players are, and which defensive players are supposed to block them out. Similarly, using a 2–3 more evenly distributes fouls throughout the players on defense, meaning foul-prone players are less likely to accumulate many fouls or foul out. As referred to earlier in the article, bumping effectively is absolutely crucial to running a great 2-3 zone defense. 5. Advantages of a 2-3 Zone Defense. BFC Recommendation: Trap the short corner/post every time. The 3-2 Sliding Zone Defence is a match-up zone defence that looks to create mismatches between interior and perimeter players. And now it’s up to the weak-side forward (3) to keep his eyes on the two other players and anticipate the high pass that will be made. 1. The offensive player with the ball is forced to make a very long and high pass in order to get the ball to a teammate if the trap is performed correctly. 3. Jim Boeheim at Syracuse has won nearly 1,000 games and made a career primarily out of teaching and running the 2-3 zone defense. You have to decide on your own philosophy regarding rebounding depending on the personnel of your team. This help from the forwards allows two guards to play against three offensive players on the perimeter. You can also use this trap against weak or unconfident ball-handlers. Two guards are at the top of the zone (1 and 2), two forwards a few steps out from the block (3 and 4), and the center in the middle of the key (5). Scouting Other Players – The more advanced your team, the more you should look at scouting the opposition and making adjustments depending on certain players. This consists of two guards at the top of the key, positioned at the elbows and three forwards down in the paint; 2 post players are on the blocks and 1 player guards the middle. When the ball makes it into the high post we’re now in a very vulnerable position. Break down the 2-3 zone defense into drills, so that rotations become a habit, without players having to think about it. As the opposing team moves with the basketball around the court, the zone as a whole shifts accordingly. This is crucial to running this trap effectively. In the video and diagrams below, you are given multiple ways to beat a 2-3 zone defense with a side ball screen. 3. You see, the problem with a 2-3 zone is that the two guards at the top are responsible for guarding three positions around the perimeter; the top of the key, and the two wings. The 3-2 zone defense implements perimeter ball pressure and heavy low post defense to limit scoring opportunities for the offensive team. It’s the trade-off this defense makes in order to pack the paint so well. If there’s is no shot clock, well, it looks like you can’t play zone anymore. There are 6 mains spots on the court the offensive team will have the ball against a 2-3 zone defense: Basic setup when the ball is at the top of the key. This is probably the 2–3's most obvious Achilles' heel. Similarly, if that player moved to the right corner, the 4 player would move to guard him and the rest of the defense would shift towards that direction. I prefer to channel the ball towards the baseline as this makes it harder to pass to the high post and forces the offensive player towards our bigger defenders. Everyone must move on the flight of the ballEveryone must move on the flight of the ball and not on the catch. If teams are able to effectively make passes inside the zone the whole floor opens up for the offensive team. Players must be extremely practiced and knowledgeable to run a 2–3 zone correctly. As a result, 2–3 zones often yield more rebounds for the opposing offense, which can tire out a defense, and/or put them far behind in scoring. Its strengths can easily become its weaknesses, which include: Coach Don Casey & Ralph Pim, Own the Zone – Executing & attacking the zone defense, New York: McGraw Hill, 2008, p. 18, Coach Don Casey & Ralph Pim, Own the Zone – Executing & attacking the zone defense by Charlie Halford New York: McGraw Hill, 2008, p. 19, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/ncaatourney03/story?id=1532389, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2–3_zone_defense&oldid=977516037, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The weak-side guard (2) is now playing the interceptor with the other two players and should back down as far as he needs to in order to see both players. 5. 2. The 2-3 zone defense is by far the most common zone in basketball and is more than likely the specific formation that will come to a coaches mind when they hear the term ‘zone’ relating to basketball. The weak-side forward (4) must now look after the paint. This is a great way to disguise a 2-3 zone or force the ball to a particular player or side of the court. Major weak spots wings and center of floor. The 2-3 zone is also effective against poor outside shooting teams. Either way, there will always be gaps and a zone will allow more offensive opportunities than a man-to-man. Playing from Behind – If you’re playing from behind teams can use up all of the shot clock on each possession. This trap also occurs on all baseline drives to the ring. Tempo Control – A good zone defense can dictate how fast the game is played. They are: If you have an experienced team, you could use the second option against certain weak players on the other team and force them to make a decision. Rebounding – In a zone players don’t have specific match ups, they guard areas. The player does this by coming across and making sure there isn’t anyone flashing down from the high post (a common pass). One great advantage of this zone is that you can protect your big from stepping outside as the wings can take any flashes to the high post. On the other hand, if you have a small and fast team, the most effective way to use a 2-3 zone may be to trap often, force the offense to take quick shots and make rushed decisions, look for steals, and keep the tempo of the game as fast as possible. Corner structure with the 2 guard sagging in. He is helped by ‘bumping’ of the 4 who temporarily helps out while 2 sprints and recovers to the offensive 2 guard. In 1938, Marshall University upset Long Island University, to snap their 40-game winning streak. Guard is sagging into the high post area to open shooters we want... 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