I watched about the first 15 minutes or so of this game between UConn and Quinnipiac. It was clear from the start that the Huskies were too much for the Bobcats but one of the great things that I saw was how the Huskies absolutely dismantled the 2-3 zone of the Bobcats. It was just really good ball movement and people movement. I'm sure Jim Calhoun was at least somewhat happy with the way they executed it. Anways, watch the video and read my thoughts below,

3-out 2-in, Zone Offense:

What I like about the way the Huskies did it was that it was so simple. A lot of times, we as coaches complicate things. I've seen Bo Ryan's X Zone Offense, and though I don't doubt that it probably works great, to be honest, I think it's a little complicated.

Here the Huskies give a 3-out 2-in look (which is great because that is their regular M2M look), and just move the ball and players are cutting and filling.

The first part of the offense is just passing the ball from wing to wing while the forwards look to gain position down low going from block to block. As I've mentioned before, most zone defense will breakdown when you work it for the whole possession.

High-Low Action:

The play is so simple but it's the details that count. First O3 cuts to the high post. O1 does a dribble drive to the wing. O1 skips to O2 on the other wing. If O2 has a good shot he can take it.

Instead the pass goes to O3. Notice that the pass is high so that O3 catches the ball above his head. That way all he has to do now is pivot towards the basket. Also, it makes it much more difficult for the collapsing defense to swat at the ball.

Now, it's the easy part. After the block to block action, O4 just curls around his defender and looks for the high-low pass and finishes it off nicely. Notice again that O4 has both arms above the shoulders looking for a high pass that he can catch turn and shoot.

Simple, right? Wrong. It does take a lot of practice and patience, especially when you are working with younger players that don't have the discipline. Be patient as a coach, and realize that good zone offense needs sufficient time to be good at. Kids don't just pick these things up, they have to be taught the right way and practice. That's why team basketball is so different from street basketball, there is structure and players have to learn to play within it or things break down.

If you want your team to execute zone offense like UConn, take a look at Coach Jim Calhoun's DVD on Zone Offense and his M2M defensive drills, that's 2 in 1. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.