Call it what you will, I call it zone-Press. It was a text book defense we witnessed at SC game. We all know what a Full/half court press looks like and what a match-up zone looks like. If you noticed, we had a triangle under the basket with Moses at the point and two on the wings playing in and out. Two guards faced opposing ball handler to the point of trapping, forcing them to give up the ball. The Wings helped the two guards as ball was moved from side to side. When they managed to penetrate, were faced with big guys inside to defend and rebound. We were able to control the game, because we owned the inside. Sure, they got several offensive boards during the game especially on the run. Their problem came when we were set. On offense, we were patient, moved and pass the ball, found creases to penetrate for better shots; and we did not shy away from open threes. One thing I was most impressed with was our ball handling, Why? They were guarding us so tight that if you tried to pass the ball openly, it would be knocked off with active hands. Our guards on their movement had to practically hand off the ball like a QB to a Back put the ball under his belly with two hand over, to prevent them knocking the ball off. It was the most outstanding performance by this team so far. Now a few words on press:
During Nolan Richardson days, I use to say Press was a good equalizer. Others had all the all-Americans as in Kentucky, Arizona, Syracuse, Duke and North Carolina; but we had the press that everyone feared. It worked and we succeeded. We had the athletes that could do it well and others could not handle it. Now a days, every team has three athletic guards on the floor with ball handling skills that you can’t turn them over. At least not enough to pay for all the easy basket, put-back, dunks and rebounds you give. So, we leave it to the coach to decide, when it pays to run it.
I think we should run whatever works and not wait until the cat is dead. I welcome the Zone-Press. If we continue this way, we can play anyone, anywhere, anytime. Bring it on!

The trapping rotations have been killing us for years since we have not had the talent. I am happy that CMA proved he could let go of the 90’s and use a zone that supports fundamental basketball. Moses thrives in a zone defense and gets to stay under the basket.

In this morning’s paper, it was quoted that MA said he is not married to any one system; Rather whatever wins. That is a welcome statement. He is open to change things to whatever works. IN SC game the change came shortly after we gave up few put-backs and dunks and easy shots. That is also a welcome move. Not wait until we are deep in the hole. This zone is not your typical lazy zone when everybody stands around and takes a step up & down, to right or left. It double teams and traps. A little risky but not bad enough, you can recover and rebound. We are into something good. Let’s make the most of it!

Thanks for the post.

It’s hard to compare the press today to what Nolan ran, because the game is called SO much tighter now. I talked with Cory Beck a couple of years ago, and he said they used just maul opposing point guards. He said other guards hated to play the Hogs, because they were black/blue and exhausted at the end of the games from the physical play.

“Physical ply” - that is what they do not allow now. Putting hand on the hip is a call. You can not touch. Offensive player can run over you, as long as he does not extend his hand, call goes on defensive player. Fouls always been an issue with press. It’s worse now. You give up a lot of points fouling. It doesn’t worth it.
You mentioned “hated to play Hogs” - I recall in one game Bobby Hurley(Duke) throw up before the game knowing “40 minutes of hall was waiting for him”.