Sean Miller's Way to Attack the 1-3-1 Zone Defense
This zone offense against a 1-3-1 comes directly from Arizona Wildcats men's basketball coach Sean Miller. Miller presented this strategy of attacking the 1-3-1 defense at a Nike coach's clinic in Las Vegas. This zone offense is predicated on moving the ball, attacking the defense's weak spots, and exploiting mismatches in the low post.
The positions are as follows on defense: X2 is at mid-court, X3 and X4 are on the wings, X5 is at the high post, and X1 runs the baseline. The defense will look to make a trap in the “coffin” corners.
Avoid the coffin corners by lining up in a 1-3-1 offense. The best post player should run the baseline. The best shooter should be at the high post.
Initial Pass to Wing
4 and 3 will need to v-cut or seal to get open. 1 can pass to either side. In this case, 1 passes to 4 at the right wing.
2 moves to the strong-side corner. 3 flashes to the high post. 5 posts up.
Now the defense must “pick its poison” because X1 and X5 have to cover three players.
The offense has several options based on the defense’s reaction to the initial overload.
If X5 and X1 choose to cover 5, pass it to 2 for an open shot. 5 seals off X1 to use as a screen.
Low Post Option
If X5 covers 3 and X1 chooses to cover 5, pass it to 5 for a mismatch down low.
High Post Option
If X5 covers 5 and if X1 covers 2, pass it to 3 at the high post for an open jump shot.
Skip Pass Option
If X3 slides over to cover 3, 3 should set a flare screen for 1. 1 should get an open shot and/or driving lane on the left side since the entire defense is on the right side.
Reset Offense if No Options Available
If none of these options are open, pass back to 1. 2 flashes to the right wing. 3 moves to the left wing. 4 flashes to the high post. 5 moves to the left block.
No matter what your offensive philosophy, it is crucial to have a few set plays in your back pocket during games. This comprehensive eBook has 75 set plays to attack zone defenses such as the 2-3, the 1-2-2, the 1-3-1, junk defenses, and even man-to-man defenses. Each of these plays adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of your team.
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