How to Attack the Diamond Press

By Kevin Germany


The Diamond press is one of the most effective full-court presses at the youth level. It takes advantage of the fact that most youth players cannot throw cross court passes.

Diamond Press Initial Formation

X4 lines up in the middle. X2 and X3 are on the side. X1 plays a centerfield-type role at half-court. X5 is the last line of defense.

How to attack it

Breaking the diamond press requires quick passes along with getting the ball to your best ball-handlers. Your players must be able to quickly inbound the ball before the defense can get set.

Initial formation

4 inbounds the ball. 2 and 3 are on the wings. 1 is in the middle of the diamond.

4 passes it to 2. 3 goes out to the left side to spread the defense.


As soon as 2 receives the pass, 1 sprints to the side. 3 flashes to the middle of the diamond.

2 passes it to 1. 1 dribbles it up the side.

This should present a 2 on 1 opportunity for an easy basket.

Note: it is very important to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible. X2 and X4 will look to trap the ball as soon as it is inbounded.

If X1 slides over to cover 1, 2 makes a quick pass to 3 in the middle. 3 dribbles it up the middle for a 2 on 1 opportunity.

Related Resources

Universal System of Attacking Presses
Zone Press Offense - Overload Drill
Larry Shyatt 3 on 3 Trap Drill - Improves Passing and Defense

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


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James says:
8/29/2015 at 10:48:13 AM

This seems like a good way to break the diamond press and get into a half-court set, but I don't see the opportunity for a 2-on-1 when passing to either 1 or 3 unless x1 or x3, respectively, fall asleep on their assignments.

  1 reply  

Kevin Germany says:
9/1/2015 at 4:28:12 PM

Hi James, thank you for the comment.

2 on 1 opportunities for this press break will only happen if the defense overplays the passing lanes. If X1 and X3 retreat, then the offense will have to get into a half court set.

But if X1 and X3 do overplay the passing lanes, X1 and X3 will have a difficult time stopping the ball in transition. 1 and 3 will have the forward momentum to blow by them in transition upon receiving the pass out of the trap. Unless if the defense is exceptionally quick, 2 on 1 opportunities should arise provided there is good spacing on the press break.

I hope this addresses your concern.

  1 reply  

James says:
9/2/2015 at 8:15:54 PM

Got it. That makes sense. Thanks, Kevin.


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