Do Your Job . . .

  • Intensity

  • Toughness

  • Discipline

  • Accountability

Defensive Overview

Overall Philosophy 

Our goal defensively is to apply pressure to the offense and take them out of what they are comfortable with. We’ll use a variety of defenses and presses. The goal of every defense will be to disrupt and control the tempo, forcing the offense to make mistakes.

Man Principles 

  • Stance – Must be a priority. Focus on being in a defensive stance at all times. 
  • Talk – We must always communicate on defense, call out screens and cuts, talk in defensive transition, communicate switches, and make it a priority! 
  • Vision – Must have vision of the ball and your man, continually ready to help prevent the ball from getting to the lane. 
  • Position – on ball force to sideline and baseline, 1 pass away on penetrating passes, we are up the line on the line to deny; on non-penetrating passes, we are showing on the ball to deny penetration, 2 passes away one foot in the lane to help on any penetration, screens, or cuts. 
  • Block-out (Hit & Get), Rebound, and Finish All Plays – the defensive possession is not over until we have the ball! Be the first to every loose ball and rebound.

Man Defenses 

  • 5 – Straight Man
  • 5 Fist – Switching on every screen
  • Fire – Calling out a player’s name to go trap the ball.
  • 5 Scramble – Trapping and rotating
  • Red – immediate foul

Half-Court Zones 

  • 23 – 2-3 meant to pack the lane when playing a team we don’t match up well against upfront.
  • 21 – Our Match-up zone in a 1-2-2
  • 13 – Base 1-3-1
  • 13 Fire – Trapping the corners
  • Diamond and Box – Used when we want to face-guard or play man against a talented scorer and play zone.
  • Pyramid – Used rarely and against a team with a dominant player that we’ll struggle to guard. Play a zone Triangle (can be 2 high or low depending on the other team) while man-up with a spy on the dominant player.


  • 55 – pick up your girl full-court
  • 55 Scramble – Trap and rotate out of full-court man 
  • 13 Extended – 1-3-1 Delaying and Trapping
  • Diamond Extended – 1-2-1-1 (used to delay and run shot clock)

    We Will Be A Great Defensive Team!

    We will understand what the other team does well and will take that away from them. We will pressure the offense and dictate the tempo that we want; this is how we will compete every night. 

    How to Talk 

    • ELO – Early, Loud, Often – In everything we do
    • Always yelling “Ball,” “Deny” or “Help” when we’re in man.

    Footwork – this is where it all starts. We will practice this every day and be good at it.

    • Slides – feet don’t touch, “bottom down, chest up”
    • Close-outs – chop your feet, get wide and low, 1 hand high
    • Turning ball handler – redirect the ball handler to their weak hand, make them uncomfortable
    • Rebounding – hit and then get


    • Footwork (push up and contain)
    • Distance – close the gap and force them to kill their dribble, then suffocate
    • Hand position – deny the site line and deny the passing lane 

    On Ball

    • Pressure, Pressure, Pressure
    • LOUD! “Ball,” “Ball,” “Ball”!
    • Force to the sideline
    • Hand position

    Off Ball

    • Deny all passes!
    • Be ready for help on dribble or to trap on non-penetrating passes
    • No easy reversal – make them play on one side
    • Know where the ball is at all times.
    • Hand and foot position
    • Help – 2 Passes Away, up the line
    • Two feet in paint
    • NEVER help up, only and always help across
    • Make dribblers pick it up
    • Take charges – proper technique

    Rules for Defensive Rebounding

    • Make visual contact
    • Make physical contact (with everyone inside 3 pt line) – hit and get
    • Everyone rebounds on defense