As they say, good defense usually leads to good offense. UConn consistently ranks as one of the top defensive teams in Div 1 basketball and this year is no different. They are 6th overall in opponent FG% at 37.7%. Now, when you have a 7-foot-3 center in Hasheem Thabeet, defense should come easy.

In this UPS whiteboard segment from ESPN, Stephen Bardo breaks down UConn's transition defense. Watch the video and read my thoughts below,

UConn uses a 2-1 zone setup to defend the fast break. They do this because with Thabeet down low, they are confident that he can defend the paint by himself. The other 2 defenders can then get out to challenge the shooters.

Most teams I know though don't have a 7-foot-3 shot blocker, after all, those kinds of players don't exactly grow on trees. I recommend a 1-2 zone setup on the break, similar to,

In any case, transition defense is crucial. If you can stop fastbreak teams from scoring quickly and forcing them to play at a slower pace, that can favor the less athletic team that likes to execute in the half-court.

For a great video on competitive drills for both offensive and defensive transition, take a look at Bruce Weber's DVD on Competitive Drills. As always, head over to the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk with other coaches about your favorite basketball topics.