Don't worry this is the last consecutive post on defense. Tonight, I watched a really good game between IUPUI and Oral Roberts for the Summit League Championship. I actually went to a few IUPUI games several years ago when I was working in Indianapolis for an extended period of time.

Anyways, both teams played very hard. It was well played on both sides that went back and forth though ORU held a slight edge most of the way. The biggest difference in the game that I observed came down to defense. IUPUI played a matchup zone almost all game while ORU played a solid M2M. At the end of a close game, I always give the edge to the better M2M team, because they can get out and defend, challenge shots and protect the paint, which is exactly what ORU did. Here are 2 key sequences at the end of the game that essentially sealed the win,

I know IUPUI head coach Ron Hunter thought he got a raw deal on a couple of fouls at the end of the game, but ORU was simply a little better down the stretch, especially in their defense.


One of those concepts we as coaches talk about all the time for half-court M2M. As a forward/center in helpside, you must be up the line in your flat triangle in the "ball-you-man", which means you see the ball and you see your man. When the penetration or cutter comes, it is your responsibility to step up and help on the ball.

Help and Rotate:

IUPUI runs a great play here as Hill cuts backdoor and looks like he's going to have an easy layup but ORU steps up with the help from the baseline. Another key here is that the other ORU forward drops down to cover the baseline so that Hill cannot get the dump off pass for the easy layup. Instead Hill tries to kick it out but the ball is intercepted and IUPUI has to foul,


ORU is very deserving of getting into the tournament. They don't have any gamebreakers but they play the game the right way. They play hard M2M defense, rebound well, and play disciplined on offense. They remind me a little of Butler which I watched a little of later in the day. They don't wow you with anything they do but they just play very well together.

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.