Utilize "The Buzz" 2-3 Half Court Trapping Defense to Force Turnovers and Tempo

By David Jooss
Home > Coaching > Basketball Defensive Strategy > Utilize "The Buzz" 2-3 Half Court Trapping Defense to Force Turnovers and Tempo

This 2-3 half court trapping system has very simple rules and allows players to be aggressive and force turnovers while also forcing tempo. I have found this defense to be very beneficial to my varsity team and I think it is best utilized as a second defense to a solid man to man. This defense steals practice time from your opponents as they must prepare for this different look. Here are the simple rules.

  • Force Lob Passes

  • Play the Passing Lanes


  • Hard trap all catches at or inside the 3 point line

  • The 4 player stays between the ball and the basket

  • When ball is at top, we are “Home Base”

Player Positions:

X1: Smaller of the two guards, usually the point guard.

X2: Bigger guard, starts on the offense's right side as we want the first lob over a bigger player.

X3: Usually most athletic player, needs to cover a lot of ground.

X4: Post player, helps if this player has solid lateral movement as they also have to cover a lot of ground.

X5: Usually best rebounder and/or anticipator. This position has led our team in steals the last three seasons.

Ball At the Top: “Home Base”:

When the ball is out top we are in our home base alignment. We are trying to force lob passes and gamble and try and get deflections. With our initial alignment being right at the middle circle, we are automatically forcing the offense to start their offense away from the basket. X1 and X2 are playing the passing lanes, X3 and X5 have their backs facing the sideline, and X4 starts at around the top of the three point line or wherever the high post is positioned. X4’s job is to never allow the ball in the high post from the top.

Ball at Wing:

When the ball is caught in the wing area, it will be the ball side guard and forward working to play the passing the lanes and the weakside guard and forward working to be interceptors. The X4 player stays in line with the ball and the basket not allowing catches in the post area. When the ball is further out like in the diagram, it is X2's job to apply the hard sideline pin.

Ball in the Corner:

When the ball is in the corner, X3 hard pins the ball in the corner playing the passing lane out top and X4 plays between the corner and the basket. X5 is in position to help on the post if the ball is driven baseline while also being in position for a skip and for weakside rebound. X1 and X2 are reading shoulders and getting in intercept position.

Ball in Short Corner:

When the ball is caught in short corner, X3 and X4 trap the ball hard, X5 slides over and low side fronts the post. X2 gets into position to take the pass away to mid post area or the top and X1 sprints to opposite block area to cover the weak side area.

Closing Out to Gaps:

It is critical that defenders close out to the gap areas and not at the player. The only time the defenders should close out right at the offensive player is if they are preparing to shoot a three near the arc.


When a shot goes up, it is critical that the defense forms a weakside wedge with the two weakside defenders (X2 and X3). All 5 players rebound on every possession.

Other Variations:

  • Start in a ¾ court 1-1-3 alignment back into the buzz.

  • Start in 2-2-1 press and fall back into the buzz.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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Walt says:
6/11/2021 at 1:43:57 PM

Wondering why zone defence is allowed at the grade four level? Our leagues here in Ontario do not allow any zones until high school. To me it is a lazy way of winning games rather than developing players. Good man to man leads to great zones at upper levels.


Kelsey says:
1/8/2018 at 11:59:16 PM

How do you guard 2 high posts?

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
1/9/2018 at 12:53:44 PM

The weakside guard and the center are responsible for high post coverage. If players get hands extended it should be easy to guard two high posts. I don't image they are created much space for themselves.


Derek says:
12/31/2016 at 6:35:54 PM

I've been running this defense for a couple years now. I never knew it was called Buzz; that's a pretty good name (I'll attribute it to GA Tech; go Ramblin' Wreck; haha). Seriously though, it's a really good defense; and if your kids already know the base 23 defense (2-3 or 2-1-2), it's really easy for them to learn; it's just like a stretched out version of a long-time, go-to defense: 23. I like it a lot, for the success & simplicity.


Coach Rob says:
12/20/2016 at 3:43:55 PM

Do you like the "buzz" more than the 1-3-1?

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
12/30/2016 at 2:49:38 PM

Personally I think both defenses are good. I think it's what you as a coach are comfortable and confident with. There are many defense proven to be effective. The key is how you teach and implement the defense.


shane says:
12/18/2016 at 12:10:11 AM

This defense is awesome. You can morph into this from the 2-2-1 press very easily. Move it up and down the floor. Teaching it takes time. Number one,hands up. You''''''''ll be shocked at how many deflections you get. Today my team ran this the whole game. Turnovers come to YOU. The players will get this. You''''''''ll see some out of position or going for the steal. It takes time. I usually take a ball and walk around making sure each player is in the right location. It''''''''s important to make sure weak side post help is not further than half way across the paint.
Their faced with their backs to the sideline the guards and your 4 must always always 3/4 cover high post. But the 4 spot just follows the ball. You''''''''ll see teams have long possessions with no shots until they either lob a skip pass or put up a dumb shot. We get great transition offense off this too. Make sure your guards NEVER give up the middle and hard trap if a guard tries to dribble I''''''''m between them. Force them to play sideline to sideline. We also play packline. And teach man always but this defense I''''''''ve seen frustrate coaches like no other. They simply have no answer for it.


Charlie Stephenson says:
11/29/2016 at 12:23:54 PM

I have a weak team with a very low basketball IQ - any suggestion on how to teach this defense...tx

  1 reply  

Aguirre says:
1/1/2018 at 11:10:59 PM

Show rotations to both sides. Walkthroughs. Then practice 7-5. 2 post and 5 in the perimeter

  1 reply  

Aguirre says:
1/1/2018 at 11:12:50 PM

Must preach the defense to force lob passes to allow for rotations.


andrew says:
10/30/2015 at 12:24:56 AM

Good plan, worth trying.


mario says:
10/29/2015 at 9:59:14 AM

I find this defense so nice. It's new to me and i am willing to try this one to my team.
I'm gonna give you feedback on it's effect one day.
Thank you!


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