I manage to catch the second half of the Mizzou game against NC A&T. I went into the game eager to catch a glimpse of their pressure defense that is supposed to be really good as one poster had stated on the X's and O's of Basketball forum. The score was 41-35 at half, which was a little surprising. The second half was filled of great action and the Tigers would win 94-66. What was most interesting was that both teams went to pressure defense in the 2nd half, Mizzou absolutely destroyed NC A&T's press while the Aggies struggle to handle the Tigers' pressure. The Tigers used a multitude of presses, they were in a M2M full-court, then switched to a 1-2-2. But I felt the 3 quarter 2-2-1 press worked the best. Watch the video and read my thoughts below,


The 3 quarter trap is really great because it allows you to compress the area of where the offense can use to beat you by 1 quarter as compared to a full court press. What this means is that if the offense beats your press, they are less likely to score off of it, because you can recover much more easily.

Here, the right sideline defenders X3 and X2 are the ones that set the first trap. Mizzou likes to use a forward on the front line, so DeMarre Carroll would sometimes play up. On presses where he guarded the inbounder, he was terrific.

In the video, X3 and X1 actually start out just over the half-court line. They allow you to reverse the ball, then trap you in the corner. Or, they allow you to cross half, then trap you immediately like they do here.

Secondary Trap:

Any pressure defense must make use of secondary traps. Less than 50% of the time will turnovers result from the initial trap. Because teams are coached to reverse the ball, they usually can avoid, or pass out of the initial trap. It's the secondary trap which usually causes the most problems for the offense.

Once this secondary trap is set, the dribbler panics as he is so close to the half court line. He tries to pass out but because Mizzou has a forward playing up, X3/X1 is able to block the pass and steal the ball.

This press is a little different than the one that Seton Hall uses. Seton uses mostly a full-court press that is much more aggressive and takes a lot more chances. I wouldn't say one is better than the other, but depending on the situation. For example, I would say you could use the 3 quarter press the whole game, but the full-court version I would say is limited to building momentum and getting on like a 10-0 run.

The quintessential video on the 2-2-1 press defense is Jim Calhoun's DVD on the 2-2-1 press. Coach Calhoun uses a full-court soft version, but you can adapt it to a 3 quarter pretty easily using the same principles. As always, don't forget to check out the the X's and O's of Basketball forum to get all your hoops fill.