Zone Defense

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Zone Defense

Postby uofdfan1983 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:27 am

Let me start by saying that I have had family issues that have prevented me from being my usual self, closely following my beloved Titan Family. However, circumstances changed recently and I was able to attend both of the games this week in the Hall and watch our new team play for the first time.

Which brings me to Zone Defense.

I have never been a fan of the Zone, mostly for these reasons:
1) Man to Man allows the Defense to set the tempo/dictate what the opposing Offense is able to get.
2) Man to Man requires individual "man up" responsibility, which I believe is important to the team concept and developing character. It also fits the "Detroit" style of basketball' and the "We are Detroit" personality.
3) Man to Man allows you to let your offensive opponent know who you are and what you're about. If you want to be a thorn in the side, or be physical, or "stalk" a hot shooter, it's much easier to show your true personality and let the opponent know you mean business, and that they don't really have a chance tonight when you're guarding Man to Man.
4) I would never want to guard a guy like A. Davis in a Zone. Too many open seams. There are plenty of good shooters in the Horizon, and when we play teams like NKU and Wrong State those long range shooters will love going against a Zone.
5) In a Man, you have some control over where the PG enters your zone and what he does next (first pass, etc.). In a Zone, the opposing PG pretty much gets to dictate how to start his offense
6) If you move the ball around the perimeter sharply with good passing, you can beat ANY zone if you have shooters. In our league, the better teams are disciplined squads with good shooters
7) It's harder to rebound playing Zone, although nobody really matches up and boxes out anymore anyway. Rebounding has become a matter of who's taller and who wants it more. Everybody going after the ball and the biggest/most aggressive guy coming away with it. That said, we are a small team and rebounding will be a problem all season long.
7) Can you win a big game against a good team (like Mike Davis I expect to be playing in NCAA tourney games again soon) playing Zone?? Or do you need a really unique "tempo & attitude driven" defense like PW had to beat a UCLA or a St John in the NCAAs? I think the underdog has to be different to win on the Big Stage, but maybe having a well-oiled unit, go-to players/scorers, veteran top-rate guards and good coaching are all you really need?

Having said that, I think there are advantages to a Zone:
1) keeps guys out of foul trouble better (fewer ticky tack fouls 40 feet from the ball). Despite his foul troubles last night, I think the Zone helps Blackshear stay in the games longer, and we desperately need him out there.
2) Allows your guards to rest more on defense. This could prove important when we rely on such heavy minutes from both Davis and McFolley. Not only at the end of games (Davis cramped up in both games this week) but also over the longhaul of the season.
3) Sometimes, teams aren't used to well-crafted zone defenses and it can mess up their offense

Bottom line is we played about 60 minutes of good defense this week, 2nd half of Loyola MD and entire game vs BG. And we won both games handily, so ultimately that's what matters. We appeared to make good adjustments to make our Zone more aggressive and harder to beat. The guys seem to be buying in. That's more important than the system we run.

Other thoughts?
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Re: Zone Defense

Postby titanmac » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:50 am

its fun to watch any well executed scheme. its been a long time since we had an opportunity to see a zone scheme develop over a period of time and anticipate the kinds of wrinkles coach might add as the development matures. anything coach does now will be exciting! we will still lose our share of games this year but i for one don't get the feeling the program is floundering like it has been for quite awhile. Kudos to vowel and to garibaldi for making this happen.

a well executed zone can mask a multitude of sins. i didn't see either of the teams this weekend abusing us from the long line. here's the season stats:

western 33.0%
temple 40.7%
butler 26.9%
loyola 20.0%
bg 21.7%

if anything, i thought we we're subject to penetration more often than i would like to see? a lot of scoring from our paint. i'm thinking we will get better at denying the passing lanes as this defense matures? nevertheless i'm content with it for the present.
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Re: Zone Defense

Postby ptctitan » Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:03 pm

On the FloHoops telecasts both nights, the announcer said that Davis decided to use zone this year because it was easier to install effectively given the short time he had to recruit the team.

Of course, he hired Eric Devendorf from Syracuse which has produced a pretty good track record using the zone defense for the past 30+ years.
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Re: Zone Defense

Postby titanmac » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:21 pm

add eastern to the “victimized by the zone” list. they shot 6-27 or 22.2% from beyond the arc. thats three teams in a row held to under 25% and butler just over that mark. not too shabby.
In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power! Well that basketball court out there tonight, that's our universe. Let's rule it like Titans! (with apologies to coach boon)
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Re: Zone Defense

Postby UDDRUMMER » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:35 am

Seems to be working. We don't have the size to match up in a man defense
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