Bill Self, head coach at the University of Kansas and winner of 11 straight Big 12 regular season championships, explains two sets he runs against a 2-3 zone that will give your team a quick look at the basket. These plays work especially well for teams that have athletes who are great at catching and laying in lob passes.
Drill Summary: For Self #1, the point guard starts with the ball at the lane line extended on the right side. To begin, the point guard passes to the right wing, which brings out the defender at the bottom of the zone. After receiving the ball, the wing skips a pass across the court to the opposite wing. While the ball is in the air for the skip pass, the post on the right side block flashes to the strong side block and the left side post comes through the lane and sets a back pick on the defensive player who jumped out to guard the right side wing. As that pick is being set, the right side wing cuts to the hoop and gets a pass at the rim for a layup or dunk.
For Self #2, the point guard starts with the ball at the top of the key and passes the ball to the right side wing. As the initial pass is made, the near side post drops to the short corner and the backside post flashes to the strong side block. Next, the wing reverses the ball back to the point guard at the top of the key and the other wing spaces to the corner. After the point guard receives the ball, the wing in the corner comes through the lane and sets a back pick on the man at the bottom of the zone on the far side. The post at the block cuts in front of the man in the bottom middle of the zone and the post on the short corner goes to the rim and receives a pass for a layup or dunk.
Keys to the Drill:
2) Good screens.
3) Accurate passes.
This clip came from Championship Productions’ video, “BasketballCoach.com Presents: 50 Set Plays for Attacking Zone Defense.” Browse over 900 basketball videos online at ChampionshipProductions.com!
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For coaches looking to find a set play to break down the opponent’s 2-3 zone defense, look no further than this play from Iowa City High School head coach Don Showalter. To open up a shot at the basket, the set focuses on screening the back side of the zone so one of your players can receive a pass near the hoop.
Drill Summary: In this set designed to attack the 2-3 zone, begin with a point guard at the top of the key with the ball, a player at both wings, a post at the elbow of the side you’d like to run the play on, and the other post on the same side block. The point guard passes to the wing on the same side as the two post players, then interchanges with the other wing. After the guards have switched positions, reverse the ball twice. After the ball is reversed, the wing that received the initial pass cuts through the zone to the opposite corner, trying to draw a lot of attention from the defense. Once the defense shifts over to cover the overloaded side, the post on the block sets a screen on the backside defender and the post at the elbow cuts to the hoop and receives a lob pass for a layup or dunk.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Wing making the pass should be a good shooter.
2) Big, wide screens.
3) Sell the false cut.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Don Showalter: Building Team Culture and Continuity Zone Offense.” View other world class Basketball videos!
Slice and dice through your opponent’s zone defense using “Special” and “Special Down” from St. Edward High School head coach Eric Flannery. Both sets focus on targeting the middle of the zone to open up room for the post to take a high percentage shot.
Drill Summary: In “Special,” start with two stacks (one above each block) of a guard and post. The posts should be at the front of each stack. If the coach wants to get the post on the left side of the court, the point guard dribbles to the right and vice versa. Once the point guard picks a side, the opposite guard cuts to the ballside corner off a double screen. After setting the screen for the guard to the corner, the players set another double screen on the middle of the zone to open up the opposite post flashing for a layup. For “Special Down,” both guards cross underneath the hoop and pop flat. Whichever direction the point guard chooses, the ballside post seals the middle of the zone and the opposite post flashes high.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Head hunt the middle of the zone on the double screen.
2) The big reads the defense to determine whether to go above or below the screen.
3) Guards pop flat on “Special Down.”
4) Big seal on the middle of the zone.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Eric Flannery: Zone Offense Sets and Ball Screen Continuity.” View other world class Basketball videos!
University of Toledo head coach Tod Kowalczyk demonstrates a set play for the zone offense that will open up a 3-point look for the best shooter on your team, or a shot for the low post. Coach Kowalczyk uses this play, which originated from University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari, along with other sets to attack the zone and force defenses into submission.
Drill Summary: The point guard begins with the ball at the top of the key. The best shooter on the floor starts on the weak side block, with the worst shooter on the weak side wing. To begin the set, the point guard passes the ball to the strong side wing and sprints to the block. Meanwhile, the ball-side post sets a side screen for the wing with the ball and executes a forceful dive towards the hoop. The wing coming off the screen dribbles to the middle, then passes back to the point guard, who has filled the position on the wing. As the pass to the point guard is being thrown, the post who dived sets a screen on the middle of the zone and the shooter on the weak side block gets to the corner and sets their feet for a shot.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Be aggressive and confident with the ball.
2) The post screen on the middle of the zone must be big.
3) Force the defender on the island to decide between someone to guard.
4) The shooter must be ready to knock down the shot.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Tod Kowalczyk: Zone Offenses & Set Plays for Attacking Any Zone Defense.” View other world class Basketball videos!
Former Division I college basketball coach, Fran Fraschilla, describes the importance of recognizing what kind of zone defense you are facing before attacking it. He demonstrates how all zone defenses end up looking like 2-3 zones when the ball gets to the corner. Therefore, it is best to teach your players to attack the zone from the sideline down because they will all look the same from that area, thus keeping all concepts and principles the same regardless of what zone you are facing.
This video came from the Championship Productions’ video “AAU Coaching Boys Basketball Series: Zone Offense and Specials.” See how you can learn more from our Basketball Digital Video Downloads.