Another great day of first round action last night, better than Thursday with the Siena vs OSU game going to 2OTs, and what about Wisconsin beating FSU in OT, you can't under-estimate a Bo Ryan coached team. I watched most of the Louisville vs Morehead St. game and credit to Morehead St. for playing disciplined, patient basketball. Louisville just wore them down though.

Basketball is a game of runs, its all about momentum. Louisville is one of those teams that just pressures you the whole game and once they get on one of their runs, you can just about call it. Right out of halftime, Louisville put incredible pressure, forced a few turnovers, and in a span of about 5 minutes, it was game over.

Run and Jump:

Louisville runs a lot of what Rick Pitino is famous for, his full court matchup press. It usually setup like a box press, but it's half M2M too. They run a lot of run and jump too instead of a straight trap. Here, the dribbler goes hard up the left side. There is a defender coming up from the right side. The dribbler doesn't necessarily see the second defender coming because X1's body is shielding him and forcing left,

Once the jump switch is made, you can see the dribbler falls down. Maybe it was coincidental, but it was also probably due to the surprise of the defender who comes at him who he does not expect. Also, you can see that X1 is basically zoned up in order to anticipate a pass. The weak side defender is splitting 2 players,

The run and jump is preferable to a straight trap because you don't leave a numbers advantage for the other team. But it is harder to execute because you have to disguise the jump switch, and requires more attention to detail by your players.


Louisville's pressure defense is the best in the tournament this year. Most of their offense feeds off of their pressure defense, and because they pressure you all game with incredible athletes, they are banking on the fact that they will wear opponents out over 40 minutes. But it is a feedback mechanism of sorts because they get into their full court matchup press off of offensive makes. So they need to make shots, in order to get into their defense, which gets them more easy shots. If there is one vulnerability it is that their half-court offense is not incredibly efficient, relying more on outside shooting.

If you like Louisville and Coach Rick Pitino, then definitely check out Rick Pitino's 4-Pack DVD which included his press defense. A great deal at $79.99 considering it is 4 DVDs. Discuss your favorite defensive strategies at the X's and O's Basketball Forum with other coaches from around the world.