Breakthrough Basketball Newsletter:
Oregon State 1-3-1 Zone Upsets Talented Teams

April 7th, 2021

The Oregon State men's basketball team was VERY close to becoming the first 12-seed to ever make it to the Final 4 in the NCAA tournament!

One of their key weapons was the 1-3-1 zone defense.

In the first and second rounds, they beat 5-seed Tennessee and 4-seed Oklahoma State.

In their following Sweet 16 matchup, Oregon State stifled Loyola Chicago by switching between their 1-3-1 zone defense and man to man defense.

In the next game against 2-seed Houston in the Elite 8 round, you would've seen Oregon State erase a 15 point second half deficit using the same 1-3-1 zone defense.

After the TV timeout, Oregon State switched to man to man defense for the possession. Houston's Quentin Grimes then connected on a 3-point shot that ignited a 12-6 run. This helped Houston close out the game with a 67-61 victory.

I still wonder and I'm sure Oregon State's coach Wayne Tinkle does as well...

Would the outcome have been different if they had not switched to man to man defense after the TV timeout?

To be fair, it's easy to make decisions in hindsight!

But more importantly...

How did Oregon State play such an effective zone defense? And can you use the 1-3-1 zone defense to benefit you?

Well, if you're familiar with Will Rey's 1-3-1 Zone Defense, the tactics and strategies were eerily similar.

  • Oregon State plugged the middle of the court.

    Three defenders were almost always guarding against penetration into the lane. This also made it difficult to enter the ball into the post while providing excellent coverage of the 3-point line.

  • Oregon State positioned their wing defenders in the passing lanes with high, active hands.

    This made ball reversals very difficult and resulted in a stagnant offense for Houston. That's why Houston used more lob passes which allowed Oregon State defenders more time to recover on the pass.

    This even made it difficult for Houston to take advantage of passes to the corner which is a perceived weakness of the 1-3-1 zone defense.

  • The 1-3-1 zone defense is highly versatile and works with any personnel!

    Like Oregon State, you can use little counters and make adjustments throughout the game. This keeps the offense off balance. You can quickly trap with different coverages. You can even change coverages mid-possession to deter certain passes.

    This same versatility makes it very easy to adapt the 1-3-1 zone with different personnel (short, tall, quick, slow) throughout the game or even season to season.

Bottom line, Oregon State's 1-3-1 zone defense did exactly what it was meant to do…

It disrupted the offense's rhythm and resulted in defensive stops. That's why Oregon State almost pulled off a miracle comeback victory against one of the best teams in the country.

So whether you're a zone defense coach or just looking for a secondary defense to use at opportune times, the 1-3-1 zone defense is a great option to help you neutralize talented teams and get some upset wins.

And in honor of Oregon State's Cinderella run...

For today only, you can get a 30% discount on Will Rey's 1-3-1 Zone Defense.

Coach Will Rey gives you a step-by-step formula and practice plan, so you can easily and quickly implement this 1-3-1 zone defense. This coach's experience with the product says it all:

"Coach Rey gives you a clear, thorough, detailed way teach to the 1-3-1 defense.

The adjustments he teaches are priceless. With his adjustments, teams can play containment, deny shooters, or go all out trapping. I also like the freedom he gives his players to make in game adjustments as they get comfortable with the defense.

Plus, he is the only coach I've seen address formations other than your typical 2-1-2 offensive formation. This video will prepare you for what other teams will throw at you.

He also gives you a multi-day practice plan for establishing the 31 defense (1-3-1 zone) with your team. This past year, we used the 31 Defense (1-3-1 zone) as a change-up to our primary half court defense = m2m defense. The stats backed up that we are a better defensive team when we run the 31. This year the 31 Defense will be our primary half court defense.

- Coach J

Gain instant access and learn more about the 1-3-1 zone defense here.

All the Best,

- Joe Haefner
Breakthrough Basketball