While aggressive M2M defense is at the core of Ben Howland and the Men's UCLA basketball team, aggressive M2M defense is the heart of the Kathy Olivier and the Women's UCLA basketball team as well. The UCLA women's team doesn't quite have the recruits yet, but their defense is going to allow them to win most games this year, so far they are out to a quick 2-0 start. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.

Now, I realize that Cal-Poly isn't the toughest of opponents, and that UCLA doesn't have the quickness to stay with a team like Stanford. But defense is defense. If you work hard, closeout, and get chest-to-chest with your check, you will limit your opponents open looks. I really like how the UCLA defenders are all denying 1 pass away and forcing the dribblers baseline then cutting off the penetration. Also, they get their hands in the passing lanes and get a ton of deflections.

And just like the UCLA men's team, just because you play M2M defense, doesn't mean you won't force turnovers and steals.

The new DVD from coach Geno Auriemma on the Four Cornerstones of Half-court Defense is really a must see, regardless of whether you are coaching men or women. As usual, check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk hoops and exchange notes.