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Brian Giorgis: Strategies for Beating Zone and Man-to-Man Full-Court Pressure


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Item Number: BD-04996

Brian Giorgis: Strategies for Beating Zone and Man-to-Man Full-Court Pressure



Brian Giorgis: Strategies for Beating Zone and Man-to-Man Full-Court Pressure
Don't settle for just getting the ball over half court - attack presses to score
  • Learn how to use a 1-4 "Regular" press breaker that features multiple pressure release options
  • Get a late-game press breaker that will get your top free throw shooter the ball when your opponent needs to foul
  • Learn how to attack both a full-court and a half-court 1-3-1 trapping zone


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with Brian Giorgis,
Marist College Head Women's Basketball Coach;
7x Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, 12 straight MAACC tournament championship games, 11x postseason appearances, Top 15 in fewest Turnover's the past 12 seasons (2004-15) with 2 years being tops in the country

As the all time leader in wins are Marist College, Brian Giorgis knows how to win and handle pressure. Despite facing teams with a greater athletic advantage, his teams have twice lead the country in the fewest turnovers committed. A direct result of how they are able to break pressure defenses.

Beginning with a checklist of how to attack each type of pressure, Coach Giorgis creates an attacking style of play allowing any player who touches the ball during the press break to have three options: one behind them, one in the middle, and one ahead of them. He uses these concepts to demonstrate how to beat a diamond, 1-2-2, 2-2-1, 1-3-1, and 2-1-2 full court press.

Roles and Responsibilities

Coach Giorgis begins with each player's role and responsibility within the press attack. He uses his 1-4, or Regular, set up to break any style of press. The purpose of the 1-4 set is to create mismatches in the open court along with advantages once you get past half court. Against a diamond, he demonstrates how to enter the ball into the wing, point guard, or post player and still feel confident that you will be able to attack the press every time down the floor.

Press Breaks vs Odd and Even Fronts

Using the same set up, he demonstrates how to attack various presses. By distorting the middle defender once the ball has entered play, your players will learn to read that ball reversal or skip passes are important in creating every mismatch. As you look to attack each press, your point guards and off guards must know what to do with ball once they cross half court. Picking up the ball just past half court is not an option that he emphasizes.

  • 1-4 Rotations vs a Diamond Press deals with odd front pressing defenses that try to deny all passes. He explains the reads, rotations, and replacing movements as well as the use of the short and long corner. He allows shows how you can get your point guard the ball in the middle of the court.
  • 1-4 Rotations vs a 1-2-2 Press the key is distorting the back of the zone press and he shows how certain actions can do that and leave the defense exposed at their rim.
  • 1-4 Rotations vs a 2-1-2 Press. Here he shows how to deal with the middle trapper to easily defeat this press.
  • 1-4 Rotations vs a 1-3-1 Press. After the ball is inbound he shows how his team takes a 2-1-2 shape in order to attack the back of the defense. He points out how important it is for your back to players to draw the baseline defender away from the rim releasing pressure
  • 1-4 Rotations vs a Man-to-Man Pressure. The key for this press break is determining if the in bounder is being guarded or if they have a floating defender. He shows how to take advantage of a speed mismatch and various screening actions to get certain players the ball are demonstrated.

Once your team has mastered how to beat full court pressure defenses using the 1-4 Regular set, he gives you multiple options for when your opponents make adjustments to your press attack. With a Florida option, he demonstrates how to bring all of your players close the baseline and run the straight out away from the rim allowing you to get set into your Regular press attack. He will also demonstrate several out of bounds sets that you can use to break man pressure in the full court.

Leading the country two years in fewest turnovers is a tough assignment for any team. Coach Giorgis has mastered a press attack. His ability to teach his players to read the defense and come away with a scoring opportunity is one of the best in the country.

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