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Chris Mack: How to Beat a Zone Defense


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Chris Mack: How to Beat a Zone Defense



Chris Mack: How to Beat a Zone Defense

Learn Chris Mack's keys to breaking down zone defenses!

  • Discover Coach Mack's five core principles to attacking any zone defense
  • Use ball screens to force defenders into areas they're not supposed to be
  • Get set plays that will provide high-percentage shots at the rim


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with Chris Mack,
University of Louisville Head Coach;
former Xavier University Head Coach; 2018 Big East Coach of the Year; 2018 Big East Champions;
2016 USBWA Henry Iba National Coach of the Year;2011 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year;
2x Atlantic 10 Conference Champs (2010, '11);2009-10 Basketball Times Rookie Coach of the Year,
tied the school record for the most wins ever by an Xavier rookie head coach (26).

In this on-court presentation, University of Louisville head coach Chris Mack passes on some great insights and plays that you can use to attack zone defenses. He shares his five principles to concentrate on when facing a zone and gives you a couple of effective continuity sets. Additionally, you'll get inbound plays designed to be used against zone defenses.

Five Zone Offense Principles

Coach Mack begins with some important thoughts on his five principles to beating zone defenses. It all begins with having an attacking mentality, which is echoed throughout the rest of the video in everything he shares. Mack then breaks down the other four principles, which include: ways to get the ball to the logo, running set plays, picking on the gray areas, and getting second shots. Each of these topics are covered on the court as the video progresses.

Next, Coach Mack gets into some of his essential offensive concepts. He talks about a few of the goals he has with his own offense, including getting the ball to the logo or free throw line area. You'll see him demonstrate why having your baseline athlete stay below the defense can get the zone to flatten out, as well as ways to get players open on the perimeter as the ball goes into the logo area. One quick option that he passes on is called "Carolina Wheel," which is a simple action that drags the defender away from the corner and creates a wide open 3-pointer.

Sets Versus the Zone

Coach Mack gives you some great set plays to use against a zone. All of the plays he shows are simple and offer up easy scoring opportunities at the rim. He explains that getting a set play for a 3-pointer isn't his goal. Rather, he wants his team to work hard at getting high-percentage shots from close range.

Next, Mack progresses further into his five principles and talks about the "gray areas." These important areas are key to getting the defense off-balance and you can learn to exploit them by using "step outs" and "sneak cuts" to create opportunities. Mack then shows how to use ball screen action to move the defense to places its not designed to go.

Rebounding and Inbound Plays

Rebounding is an effort area of the game. Coach Mack shares strategies that his staff uses to hold players accountable for this important concept. By tracking his players' rebounding in games and during practice, he is able to show them who is and who isn't doing their job on the boards.

Finally, Mack passes on inbound plays to score from a dead ball situation. Free baskets can be gained when running these plays.

Take advice from one of the top coaches in the game today on what it takes from your players individually and as a team, and the kind of feedback and observational coaching/feedback needed from your staff, to put together an offensive attack to beat a zone defense!

62 minutes. 2018.

See more products by: Chris Mack

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