Re: Playing zone D in HS? Good or bad?

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Posted by G on September 14, 2019 at 23:10:28:

In Reply to: Re: Playing zone D in HS? Good or bad? posted by Coach on September 14, 2019 at 18:57:24:

: : : You seem to believe that all high school coaches who play zone defense are lazy. That's a gross mischaracterization or assumption with no evidence provided to back that statement up.

: : You are not there in practice daily to see what goes on. How do you know that the coach in question doesn't teach all the correct man to man defensive principles? Perhaps the physical make-up of the team (long and slow, short but very quick, etc...) necessitates them playing zone to "even the odds".

: : There are so many different factors that occur in a high school basketball game that dictate to the coach that a zone is the best defense to win the game.

: : It's a very misguided "fake macho" argument to say that teams who play zone are poorly coached. There are a variety of different ways (totally within the rules of basketball) to defend teams on the court. If the point of the Varsity game is to win the game, then the coach should do whatever they need to (within the rules) with their personnel to achieve that goal.

: : And by the way... teaching zone defense is also a difficult thing to do. Different rotations versus different offensive fronts. How to shift on certain passes, how to play the offensive post players, seeing all the possible cuts in your area, not focusing on just one guy, etc...

: : The United States Mens National Basketball Team always seems to have trouble in national competitions (Olympics, FIBA World Cup) playing other nations teams who play a strong physical zone defense. We just finished in 7th place in the FIBA World Cup. Our superior athletes don't know how to attack a zone because they don't focus on that in AAU, or youth leagues.

: : I think both man and zone need to be taught. But on game day - you go with the best strategy and the best 5 guys to win the game. If its' man to man defense - great... if it's zone - great.

: Exactly. Well said. Jim Boeheim has done well playing zone. If you play it right, it's effective. The job of the coach,on top of player development and teach man defense, is to put team in best position to win. Based on personnel, it that means zone, so be it. Tell Syracuse National Championship team that they are weak. Saw a lot of zone in NCAA Tournament last year. More NBA teams are doing it now too. Whatever works. That guy says lazy coaches play zone, well how about the coaches that can't teach zone offense!?

The issue is the teaching. Yes, there are many coaches who are lazy and don't spend time teaching and just sit back in a bad zone. But, if you teach it right and have high expectations and accountability then it is a great defense to use. Some years I use it more than others, but I always spend time working and teaching it. A well run zone teaches the same principles as man, keep your man in front, rotate, closeout, etc...

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