One of the hottest teams in the mid-majors right now is Boston University. Never heard of them? They play in the little known America East Conference along with teams like MD Baltimore City, Albany, Vermont and Binghamton among others.

They have the conference's top scoring defense at 64.9. Though that stat is a little deceiving given that they are only 6th in their conference in FG% at 48%. Most likely the reason being that the Terriers are a possession oriented offense which invariably slows the game down. But still, they make teams execute for the whole shot clock, and they do it with sound M2M help and recover defense. Here is what that looked like in one sequence during the first half,

You play great defense with your feet. Everyone knows that. To be a great individual defender, you must be able to defensive slide quickly as your check makes his move. From a team perspective, your weakside defenders must be in a good position to help but recover in time on ball rotation. That is exactly what the Terriers do.

First, lets take a look at how they force baseline. It's all in the position of the feet. Notice how the defender has his right foot slightly ahead of the offensive player. You want to force the dribbler to go towards the baseline. Defensive slide to try to compress him to the actual baseline,

Inevitably, some of your players, your slow of feet ones, will get beat off the dribble. That is where the help comes in to play. Notice the placement of the weakside defenders. The 3 players form a triple 'I'. This means you have 3 players that are in a position to both help on penetration from the ballside wing and recover to their checks,

I wrote about some shell drills you can use to reinforce this concept of the base 'I' of the help and recover M2M defense. Being a solid M2M defensive team is fundamental, it's the only defense that cannot be beat. Presses, traps and zones all have their gaps and holes that can be exploited, a great M2M defense has none, except for the players themselves.

For a brand new video, check out Bob Huggins' DVD on M2M drills. Coach Huggins' Bearcats teams were always known for their incredible defensive intensity. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk hoops with other coaches.