Ages: High School+
This is a 1-3-1 zone defense similar to what Michigan used this year to baffle opponents. It plays the passing lanes and forces the offensive players to throw lob passes over the defenders. It forces the offense to play high and wide and confuses them into silly turnovers.
It's vital that the defenders move as soon as the ball as passed.
This defense does not require a certain type of personnel. However, athletes never hurt.
- Initial Set
- Ball on the Wing:
- 1 - Sets up higher than half court and forces the ball to one side of the court and does not allow the ball handler to dribble to the other side. Primary concern is to make the cross-court pass as difficult as possible.
- 2 - Has one foot in the lane to defend the lob pass over defender 5 and still get out to defend the corners.
- 3 - Faces the ball and is slightly above the 3-point line. 3 is in the passing lane to the corner player. 3 should not allow dribble penetration down the sideline or to the middle of the court.
- 4 - Is on the opposite side of the ball and drops down into the lane area to defend any players in the post.
- 5 - Stops any dribble penetration and fronts the offensive player in the high post.
- Ball in the Corner:
- 1 - Drops down to front the high post.
- 2 - Covers the corner.
- 3 - Faces the ball and tries prevent a pass back to the wing. Make it as difficult as possible.
- 4 - Drops down in the lane for weakside help. Still close enough to guard skip pass to opposite wing.
- 5 - Drops to front the low post.
- Skip Pass To Opposite Wing
- 1 - Rotates out to prevent the cross-court pass.
- 2 - Goes to the opposite side of the lane to prevent any lob passes and to cover the corner if a pass is made
- 3 - Drops down into the lane to prevent any passes into the post.
- 4 - Rotates out to guard the ball and stop dribble penetration.
- 5 - Blasts to front the high post to prevent any passes.
If you'd like to dig deeper and get more information about developing an effective 1-3-1 defense, we highly recommend Will Rey's 1-3-1 Zone Defense Videos. In our opinion, he runs one of the best zone defenses in the country and it gives you the most thorough explanation of zone defense we have seen.
Related Article: Zone Defense Concepts & Tips