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Chalk Talk: Key Responsibilities and Roles for the Michigan 1-3-1 Zone Defense

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The 1-3-1 Zone Defense is quite unique in nature. Overall, it’s a spread out defense that aims at cutting down the floor and restricting ball movement between teammates. It’s all about creating disruption, anxiety, steals, and simply stopping an opponent in its tracks.

It’s also an intriguing defense to implement during the course of a game to change the flow. For instance, former University of Georgia coach Dennis Felton has called upon it time and again to change a game entirely by creating a sense of desperation out of opponents and leading to steals, fast break baskets and an overall change in momentum.

The defense uses some unique slides and takes a serious commitment in order to implement it and teach it so that it’s effective. It can be particularly successful at the high school level, especially with less experienced players on the court that might get overwhelmed by the defense.

Top and Center Responsibilities

There are four positions within the 1-3-1 Defense: top, wings, center and warrior.

With the Top player, his first responsibility is to get the ball out of the middle of the floor and keep it out. We never want the offense to play in the middle of the floor as there are too many holes. Once the ball is on one side, the top guy should make it as difficult as possible for it to get to the other side of the court.

Also, he must constantly keep up with who is behind him and play with wide hands, feet, and legs. This player is hoping for a slow lob or bounce pass that he can deflect or steal. All the while, he must also check over his shoulder so he can stay in between the two offensive players up top. If that opposing guard sneaks away, the top must adjust his positioning. And when the ball is passed down to the baseline, the top guy’s responsibility is to protect the elbow.

As for the Center, his job is to always stay between the ball and the rim and to keep the ball out of the middle guy’s hands. It’s key that this player shades his opponent with his wingspan to discourage inside passes being made. And when the ball is thrown down to the baseline, he must sprint to the bottom and get his bottom arm across the low post. When the ball is driven to the middle, the center must step up and stop the funnel.

 

Responsibilities of the Wings and Warrior

There are two wings within this defense. When the ball is up top, it’s the job of the ball-side wing man to stay on a passing line between the ball and the baseline player. This will encourage a slow bouncer or looping lob pass. Meanwhile, it’s the job of the weakside wing to sprint to the weak side of the rim to prevent any passes there. He must make sure that the opposite guy can’t catch any lobs or passes. This is a physical task, and he will likely find himself jockeying with opponents down low and ultimately must block out that player.

As for the warrior, this player needs to be your toughest, most physical and smartest player on the court. Often, this player is even a point guard. It’s key that he’s tough, smart, quick and fast. His job when the ball is out front is to protect the ball-side low post. When the ball makes it to the corner, he must close out the baseline side and should never give up the baseline drive. He must force the ball to the middle where he has teammates, traffic and the opportunity for steals.

 

The following clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “The Michigan 1-3-1 Zone Defense & Drills.” To check out more videos featuring defensive sets, click here.




Learn the Michigan 1-3-1 Zone Defense and the Two Guard Front Offense!

By nate.landas - Last updated: Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We have recently released two new basketball DVDs titled How to Run the Michigan Two Guard Front Offense and the The Michigan 1-3-1 Zone Defense & Drills.

Tom Jicha, head coach at Sunset High School (FL), shares his interpretation of the Two Guard Front Offense, which is based on the offensive system made famous by John Beilein at West Virginia and now at the University of Michigan. This perimeter-based offense is designed to provide scoring opportunities for smaller teams that lack a “true post” player.  In over 4 hours of instruction, Coach Jicha introduces his three main sets: motion, shuffle and chin and blends them together to form one of the most difficult to defend offenses in the game today.

Dennis Felton, the former University of Georgia head coach, had the opportunity to learn the John Beilien Michigan 1-3-1 Zone Defense from the ground up.  Coach Felton unveils an overview of this innovative defense, drills, and the inner workings of this secret defense.

Purchase The Michigan Basketball 2-Pack today and Save $10!




New Basketball DVDs: UNI’s M2M Defense & Michigan 1-3-1 Zone Defense!

By nate.landas - Last updated: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We have recently released two new basketball DVDs featuring Ben Jacobson and Dennis Felton

Jacobson and the UNI Panthers shocked college basketball in the 2010 NCAA Tournament by forcing turnovers and contesting shots.  The DVD titled, Competitive Drills for Man-to-Man Defense, will show you how to create a defensive identity for your team, improve ball pressure, and shore up your baseline defense. 

Felton’s DVD,  The Michigan 1-3-1 Zone Defense & Drills, provides you the opportunity to learn basketball’s most popular defense, drills and the inner workings of this secret defense that no one outside the John Beilein coaching tree knows.  Felton has learned the John Beilein 1-3-1 from the ground up, and shows you how to disrupt your opponent’s offense.




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