I actually did watch most of the UConn vs Pitt game earlier, what a terrific game, a terrific finish. But since I did a post about Coach Jim Calhoun yesterday, I thought I would switch it up a bit and go with Texas vs Texas A&M in the later game. After a great start, conference play has been pretty rough for A&M so far, they've been competitive, but just haven't put together a complete game. I thought they did that tonight against Texas and as a result pulled out a huge win.

One of the big things A&M did was that they went with a junk defense to take away the scoring threat of AJ Abrams. And it worked too, Abrams only finished with 7 points on 3-for-12 shooting including 1-for-7 from the 3-point line. The junk defense they went with was the diamond-and-1 defense. I took a few clips from the second half,

Diamond and One Junk Defense:

I've never used a diamond and 1 defense, when I've gone junk it's mostly box and 1. But I think the diamond has some unique advantages. In the box and 1, you are vulnerable to penetration of the gap from the top and the shot as well. Like the 1-1-3 vs the 2-3, the 1 man front up top allows you to put pressure on the ball up top easier, against penetration and the shot,

While the diamond and 1 did take away Abrams as a scoring threat, I thought Texas did a decent job (obviously not good enough though because they lost) exploiting the middle of the diamond. That is where the box is probably stronger, against the middle area.


I usually don't like junk defenses. But I think if you are playing against a team that has that 1 dominant threat (I know, that is pretty much most Varsity teams), then it works well in stretches. Like anything though, teams adjust, especially late in the season so good teams have usually seen every kind of defense thrown at them. Still, I think it can be an effective change-up to use, something to keep in the repertoire.

I don't think there's any video out there teaching the diamond and one, but if you're interested in the junk stuff, you might want to look at Homer Drew's DVD on the Box and 1 defense. As always, don't forget to check out the the X's and O's of Basketball forum to get all your hoops fill.