Can you feel it? College basketball is right around the corner. I definitely prefer the college and to some respect, the high school game, over pros, because there's more strategy involved. In the pros, the players are just too good, so it's more about chemistry.

Yesterday I caught the second half between UMASS and a small school called Dowling. There is a lot of hype about UMASS because of their new assistant coach, Vance Walberg, creator of the dribble drive motion offense. Dowling played a 2-3 zone most of the way and it definitely frustrated the Minutemen late in the game with UMASS winning 91-87, only 4 points. The Minutemen tried to beat the zone with the 3-ball but went 2-11 on 3-pointers in the 2nd half, but finished a decent 36% from 3-point land overall (buoyed by a solid 1st half 3-point shooting). Watch some clips I took,

The Minutemen didn't run the dribble drive motion offense against the zone, from the clip you see that they ran a 2-1-2 with the '1' at the high post. But they certainly did try to drive into the zone at times and had problems.

2-3 Zone versus Dribble Drive Motion Offense:

Just wanted to point out the obvious of why driving into the heart of a packed in 2-3 zone. As you see, the UMASS guard starts out by beating the first defender using the dribble,

The UMASS guard tries a hop step into a jump stop, but surrounded by 5 defenders, the ball is stripped,


Obviously, it's still early. One exhibition game doesn't define a season, but certainly there's a cause for concern there. There was a poster on the forum asking about how best to defend against the dribble drive motion and I answered that the 2-3 zone or packline worked well. It forces DDM teams to try to beat you over the top and punish them for trying to drive into traffic.

For more info on the 2-3 zone defense, take a look at Wayne Morgan's DVD on the the 2-3 Zone. Coach Morgan used to be the head coach at Iowa State and former longtime assistant to 2-3 zone guru and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. Discuss this and the rest of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.