I watched the first half of UNC against NC State tonight and I was expecting a good game from the get go, and State came out fired up. After that blowout earlier in the year, where they just got run out of the gym, you knew they would be ready to take it to the Tar Heels right out of the gate.

For the most part, State played UNC pretty tight in the first half. I thought both teams played well, State didn't allow UNC to get too many fast breaks while UNC did their best to contain the big men of State like JJ Hickson. One of the things that UNC did a lot of in the first half was trapping in the half-court. Here are a few sequences of that high trapping action,

Half Court High Trap:

What they do is bring one of the wing defenders up to trap and the post defender comes up to cover the ballside wing. This leaves X3 to cover both the middle man and O5 down low,

It's a very aggressive trap that leaves some guys wide open (2 passes away). But the key in the trap are the 2 trappers. You need to have a wing defender that can get from free-throw extended to the half-court line in about 2 seconds. Your ball defender must be extremely aggressive in containing the dribble and forcing sideline. If executed properly, it will create a lot of turnovers and can get your opponent out of their comfort zone of their half-court set.

If you're looking for more info, I recommend Jeff Lebo's DVD on half-court trapping techniques and doubling down. Coach Lebo is head coach at Auburn and provides a ton of great info on trapping and doubling. 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.