If you are a defensive minded coach like me, then you'll appreciate today's posts. I haven't had the opportunity to watch many Kansas games this season so far, but I did catch the second half of the Kansas game against Oklahoma. In my mind, just as impressive as the Jayhawks offensive efficiency has been their tough aggressive approach to defense. I know the Jayhawks have played zone in the past under Bill Self, but as far as I know this year, they're primarily a M2M team.

Probably what separates the Jayhawks from a lot of other good M2M teams is that they use a lot of double-teams all over the court. Compared to a team like say UCLA, the Bruins usually just use aggressive 1v1 defense for ball-pressure and only double down on the post. The Jayhawks trap the ball-screen exclusively, and double both on the perimeter and down low and they get their hands on more balls than any team I've seen recently. Watch the and read my thoughts below,

We played a very good M2M defensive team at an invitational tournament this past weekend. They played similar to Kansas, incredible ball pressure, aggressive double-teams and deny everything. We managed to win a close game with our offensive rebounding and clutch free-throws. Also, we played a pack-line on defense as we knew their tendency was to drive hard to the net and looked to take that away, which we did for the most part.

Multiple Trapping Defense:

The Jayhawks will trap anything and everything in the half court. As most teams use a ball-screen like a PNR to start their offense, the Jayhawks will start from there,

So they trap the ball-screen but what's different with what some other teams do, the Jayhawks allow the first pass to be made on the perimeter. The Jayhawks put a premium on protecting the paint so they don't want to rotate a defender to cover a perimeter player if it means leaving the middle open. So you'll see the players rotate but allow the first pass to be made on the perimeter.

The pass is allowed and O4 tries a dribble drive. This sets up the secondary trap by X5 and X3. X4 is coming back down to rotate to defend the middle.

X5 and X3 set the secondary trap in the corner on O4 and are successful in forcing the turnover. You'll notice on the weak side that X2 is splitting 2 defenders on the perimeter. They are the least dangerous players and so we only need to have 1 defender covering them.


Now, I realize that I only saw one half of a game that was already close to a blowout, but just from these short sequences it was obvious to me why the Jayhawks are so good defensively this season. Consider that the Jayhawks rank in the top 20, and in most cases the top 5 in most defensive categories, it's easy to see why they have the highest point-differential in college basketball and could quite possibly go undefeated through until March.

For more great ideas on the post-defense amongst other defensive topics, check out Jeff Lebo's DVD on defending the post. Coach Lebo is the head coach of Auburn University of the SEC. Be sure so check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to discuss your favorite basketball topics.