Lute Olson 1-1-3 Zone Defense
Even though we did not run the zone defense often, our defense was actually better when we ran zone from a statistical standpoint. It was 0.88 ppp (points per possession) with man to man defense and 0.72 ppp with zone defense during the season.
I like the Lute Olson zone defense because it provides a different look that confuses the offense and makes them hesitant.
We also used a variation of the Lute Olson defense in the state championship game that almost helped us pull out a huge upset.
x1 applies pressure on the basketball. x1 will not leave x1 until a pass is made.
1 passes to 2.
x3 applies a hard closeout to take away the shot.
x2 slides over to deny a pass into the high post via a post or a cut and help out on dribble penetration.
(Note: You can also have x1 slide down to deny the ball-side high post. I prefer to have x2 deny in this situation.)
x1 slides to the weakside.
x5 slides to ball side. x5 will full front any offensive players on the block.
x4 slides towards the middle of the lane.
1 dribbles to wing.
When the guard dribbles from the top to the wing, x1 stays on the guard. This is similar to positions on the pass from the corner to the wing diagrammed below.
x2 slides over and defends the high post. x5 defends the low post.
x4 protects the basket.
x3 is ready to defend a pass to the corner.
2 passes to 1
x2 defends 1.
x1 slides to high post.
x3, x4, x5 slide back to original positions.
x4 takes away shot (hands high!) and forces ball to sideline or corner.
x5 slides over to take away any passes to the post and help on baseline drive.
x3 protects the basket.
x1 takes away entries to high post area.
x2 goes to weakside.
3 passes to 4.
x5 sprints defends 4 and takes away the shot.
x4 sprints to protect the basket and weakside block.
x3 rotates over to defend the low post.
x1 drops to mid post.
x2 slides over to help.
4 passes to 3.
x1 defends the wing. The guard always takes the pass out of the corner to the wing.
x2 defends the high post.
x3 defends the low post and fronts if an offensive player is there.
x5 slides down to help.
x4 protects the basket and weakside.
4 dribbles out of the corner.
x5 stays with the ball until x1 slides over to defend the ball and calls him off.
x5 slides down to help.
x2 slides over to defend the ball.
3 passes to 2.
x4 defends wing.
x2 slides to ballside high post.
x1 defends weakside.
x3 fronts the low post.
x5 protects the basket and weakside.
2 passes to 5.
x1 and x2 defend 5. The guards collapse and have active hands.
x4 slides down, but is still close enough to close out on the wing.
x3 protects the basket area.
x5 is positioned to closeout on a pass to the corner or wing.
2 passes to 4.
x3 and x5 trap the ball.
x4 slides over to protect the basket.
x2 and x1 drop down a couple of steps to defend any cutters.
Zone Defense Concepts & Tips
2-3 Zone Defense Basic Rotations
1-3-1 "Lob Pass" Zone Defense
Thoughts on Rebounding in the Zone
What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...