I watched the Seton Hall game against Monmouth earlier today which was a very exciting game. Early on, the Pioneers absolutely suffocated Monmouth with their 1-2-2 full-court zone press. They used it to build a double-digit point lead by half-time but allowed Monmouth back in the game through some hot shooting but again went to their pressure defense to win the game in OT. Bobby Gonzalez looks to have a very aggressive look this year for the Pioneers of Seton Hall so I recorded some clips (sorry for the blurriness) to share of their 1-2-2 containment press. They must've had 8 straight steals. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.


Much like Bruce Pearl's 1-2-1-1 press, it's a very aggressive look. The 1-2-2 is a little soft in the middle, but you bring up one of the other low players to help cover the middle as you've seen in the video.

X1 is challenging the inbounds which gives it a really aggressive look. As soon as the ball is inbounded, X1 will trap along with whichever wing the ball is inbounded to (X3 in this case). X2 shifts over to split the middle guy and the far wing. X4 needs to come up if the offense puts a guy in the middle. X5 needs to cover the far guy. The trap needs to be a good one so make sure you rep your players on trapping properly.


On the skip or ball reversal, you X1 must run to re-trap with the other wing (X2 in this case). Coach Gonzalez coaches his players to bump, so X3 will come up and bump X2 to go and trap with X1. I find that this is probably too slow, so the player must react while the ball is in the air and not on the catch. Obviously X1 needs to be your quickest defender.

X4 and X5 need to shift positions depending on how the bottom players move. If they move to the ball, shift over. If they stay stationary, they should remain to split the remaining players.

Secondary Trap:

This is a critical component of any press. You must trap, then re-trap. You'll see in the video that after the offense thinks it's beaten the full-court press, they get hit with the half-court trap and they turnover the ball again.

So, assuming O2 manages to bring the ball across half-court on the ball reversal. Your low-side wing player (X4) must come and cut off the dribbler at the sideline. X2, the high-side wing player will come and trap from the side. X1 must come over and take away the easy pass. X5 must shift all the way over to take away the sideline pass. X3 must shift over to cover the middle man but be aware of the far wing man.

Again, the secondary trap is vital, because once the ball is crossed half, they cannot reverse it. As you've seen in the video, once they get trapped there, they are truly stuck and turn it over. This is when the trap needs to be it's most aggressive, in this half-court corner.


We run a 1-2-2 half-court trap, but as you've seen, the 1-2-2 full-court containment press can be very effective. The secondary trap is a critical component and your players must not forget to do this.

Coach Gonzalez has his original 1-2-2 Containment Press DVD which goes through breakdown drills and explanations of how he runs the press. Definitely worth getting if you like what you see from his teams. As always, please check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to see what other notes are available to download.