I received these set of notes the other day and since you don't see too much of the 1-1-3 zone I thought I would give it some pub. A couple of years ago we played against a team that used the 1-1-3 against us and since we didn't prepare for it initially, and we weren't a good overall shooting team from the outside, we struggled against it.

The 1-1-3 is a good zone to use against a team that doesn't shoot well from the outside and you want to take away drives to the middle from a penetrating point guard. In my opinion, it works better than a 2-3 zone because it takes away the gap at the point. It forces the ball to a perceived weakness at the wing and corner posts, and discourages drives to the middle and takes away the point.

Setup and Initial Pass:
There are 2 different coverage areas in this defensive system.
1. The guards, X1 and X2, cover everything above the free throw line.
2. The post players, X3, X4, and X5 cover everything below the free throw line and are interchangeable positions.

1. X1 picks up the ball initially, trying to influence the pass to the left side of the floor.
2. X4 or X3 take any pass that is free throw line extended or below. On the closeout, X4 tries to force the next pass to the corner and discouraging a ball reversal by staying on the high hip of the ball.
3. X2 slides to ball side high post.
4. X5 slides to ball side low block and full fronts any low post.
5. X3 slides to replace X5.

Wing and Corner Coverage:
From the first diagrams below, you can see that if the offense is quick and the ball is entered into the wing or corner, they will have an open shot or step up into an open mid-range. Superficially, this looks like a weak spot in the defense, and it is. But remember, the whole point of this defense is that prior scouting has shown the offensive team to be poor outside shooters, in combination with indecisive or weak perimeter wing/corner players. Emphasis is to rotate down to the block to prevent post-entry or drive,

Pass to Corner
1. X5 takes any pass to the corner using a good closeout.
2. The wing defender, X4, sprints back to the block to replace X5 trying to deflect any low post entry passes.

Corner to Wing Pass
1. X2 takes any corner to wing pass, while X1 moves to the ball side elbow.
2. Post players rotate back into position.

Against Dribble Drive:
Teams will inevitably try to dribble drive, especially if their point guard is the best player. The idea is to always have coverage up top (unlike the 2-3 zone) and everyone shades with the ball if dribbled either direction.

Wing to Point Pass
1. When the pass goes from the wing to the point, the guards work in a tandem. High post guards takes the point. The wing defender guard slides to high post.

Dribble Entry
1. On the dribble entry, the point defender stays with the ball.
2. Everyone else slides in the direction of the ball.

Against Skip Passes:
Because the wings and corners are most vulnerable, teams will try to run skips or pin and skips to disorient the defense. This is where most of your drills will work on, getting to those closeouts.

Corner to Wing Skip Pass
1. If a skip pass is made from the corner to the opposite wing, use the closest defender rule. In this case, X1 closes down on the ball.
2. Everyone else slides towards the ball.

Wing to Corner Skip Pass
1. The post player closest to the corner takes the skip pass.
2. Everyone else slides towards the ball into their perspective positions.

For more breakdown drills you can download the full 5-page notes here.

Final points of emphasis:
1. Apply tremendous ball pressure at all times.
2. Sprint to coverage areas with strong closeouts and hands held high.
3. Push the ball to the sideline alleys and corners.
4. The closest player to the ball takes the ball handler.
5. There always must be a player in the low post and high post.
6. All five players are required to rebound.
7. Once the ball is forced to the sideline, stay on the player’s “high hip” in order to keep the offensive players from reversing positions and dribbling to the other side of the court.
8. The defender stays on the ball until called off by a teammate.
9. All players must communicate verbally for this defense to work.

For more detailed info on the 1-1-3 zone defense, take a look at Bob Huggin's DVD on Pressure 1-1-3 Defense. Coach Huggins is the head coach at West Virginia University.