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Pressure Defense: Traps, Run & Jump, and Diamond Press


(See more by Mike Jones)

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Item Number: BD-05577

Pressure Defense: Traps, Run & Jump, and Diamond Press



Pressure Defense: Traps, Run & Jump, and Diamond Press

Make opposing teams uncomfortable when they have the ball by running aggressive schemes on defense!

  • Teach trapping fundamentals so your team can efficiently rotate in and out of traps without missing a beat
  • Utilize stunting as part of your press defense to give your players the extra time they need to fill gaps
  • Master the run & jump and "Diamond" presses that Coach Jones uses to induce turnovers


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with Mike Jones,
Radford University Head Coach;
2018 Big South Coach of the Year;
2018 Big South Tournament champions;
2011 NCAA Final Four (at VCU as Assistant Coach)

This video from Mike Jones demonstrates some of the pressure defense strategies his teams at Radford have used to find success. Coach Jones has been exposed to some brilliant coaching minds and philosophies during his career, including Shaka Smart (at VCU). In discussing the techniques of good traps, the man-to-man run & jump press, and the "Diamond" press, Jones presents a style of defense and drills that will increase tempo and create turnovers for your team.

Goals of a Pressing Defense

Before going into the pressing defenses his teams have used in the past, Coach Jones discusses what he wants to get out of using a pressure defense. These points of emphasis include the following:

  • Create turnovers as often as possible.
  • Force quick and bad shots.
  • Force tempo and disrupt flow.
  • Be difficult to prepare for.
  • Make the offense uncomfortable and fatigued.
  • Make offensive depth a factor.

One other aspect is the excitement that a pressing defense can create. Because of the increased tempo and ability to create turnovers that accompany a pressing defense, your fans will love the style of play.

Trapping Fundamentals

For any pressure defense to work, the players within the defense must be able to know how to trap the basketball. Coach Jones wants his team's traps to be "elastic". In other words, the trap must stay in place to prevent the ball handler from getting out of the trap with a pivot. Jones talks about maintaining verticality and not "breaking the glass" as a way to teach how not to foul someone with the ball.

To teach trapping, Coach Jones uses a 3-on-3 trapping drill that teaches rotations in and out of traps as well as good trapping fundamentals. The drill, "3-on-3 Circle Trap", utilizes two trappers and an interceptor who is taught to read the eyes of the ball handler. On the pass, the interceptor goes for a deflection or gets ready to trap the receiver.

To further pacify the offense, stunting is also discussed. "Roose Stunting" is taught with three offensive players against three defenders with off-ball defenders executing stunting technique.

Man-to-Man Run & Jump

Jones covers his man-to-man run & jump pressure defense from the ball to his basket. The ball is covered by the "mad man", an aggressive on-ball defender who must pressure the basketball. The remaining defenders are one-third of the way away from their man to the ball except for the deepest defender, who is deeper than the deepest offensive player. Once the ball is inbounded, the nearest off-ball defenders can stunt or trap the ball as the dribble comes to them.

With the trap set, Jones covers the responsibilities for the three remaining defenders: the interceptors and the goaltender. The interceptors split the difference between the three nearest receivers and read the eyes of the ball handler. Jones also covers how to react to passes out of traps.

1-2-1-1 Full-Court Press

Coach Jones finishes by presenting his 1-2-1-1 press, also known as the "Diamond" press. The inbound pass is invited to the "coffin corner" so that the trap can be made right away. Once the ball is in the trap, the interceptors read the eyes of the ball handler and slide to cover the most likely receivers who might get a pass. Designed to increase tempo, "Diamond" gives the opportunity to get traps right away on the inbound and chances to create turnovers that lead to easy baskets. This all-out pressure defense forces the offense to play at a faster pace than what they are accustomed to and turnovers become more frequent.

Finally, Jones covers adjustments, including the baseline runner and how to defend a reversal pass.

See more products by: Mike Jones

See related products: 1-2-1-1 Press Match-Up Press
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