I didn't catch any live basketball games today, I watched a replay of the HS game I posted earlier, then it was pretty much bowl watching the rest of the day. Man I love college football, but 10 straight hours is probably way too much to be a good thing. I recorded most of the Memphis game against Arizona the other day but I took these clips from Sportscenter of Memphis' 2-2-1 full court press.

I wasn't as much impressed with the press as I was alarmed at the lack of a reverse in the press break from Arizona. Now I don't mean this as a criticism of Arizona or Kevin O'Neill as I haven't watched the whole game so I don't know if Memphis switched defenses in between possessions, but on any press break, you must have a safety to reverse the ball to. To me, it's fundamental, or bad things happen like in this video,

Inbounder as Safety:

I like using the inbounder as the safety. Then bring one of the forwards up to the middle. Along with the primary ball-handler, those are really the only 3 players you need to break any kind of press.

Once the ball gets inbounded, the inbounder becomes the safety. If the primary ball handler faces a double, he should reverse the ball back to the inbounder.

Once the ball is reversed, the player should look to attack. If the defense is quick enough to set their secondary trap, you should look again to pass ahead or reverse again. O1 in this case is the safety. Basically, there should always be 1 player behind the ball so that reversal can take place. Each time your reverse the ball, the greater the chance of going over the top as the defense shifts.


Against full-court pressure, you want to eliminate bad passes and avoid dribbling through the press. If the worst thing that happens is a 10 second call, as a coach, I can live with that. Every time you reverse the ball, the defense has to adjust. Make the defense work sideline to sideline, they will eventually tire. Trust me on the tired part coming from a coach that likes to press most of the game.

For more great press breakers, check out John Brady's DVD on the press-break offense. Coach Brady is the current head coach at LSU. As usual, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to get your hoops talk fill.