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Steve Demeo: Multiple Defensive System


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Item Number: BD-05725

Steve Demeo: Multiple Defensive System



Steve Demeo: Multiple Defensive System

Learn to run a switching man-to-man defense as well as multiple ways to cover ball screens!

  • Teach your players how to switch within your man-to-man defense to prevent easy shots and prevent dribble penetration
  • Discover how Coach DeMeo uses a multiple defensive system to keep the other team's offense off balance
  • Devise a plan to neutralize ball screens through various effective coverage tactics


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with Steve DeMeo,
St. John's Assistant Coach;
former Northwest Florida State College Head Coach;
2015 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I National Champions;
2015 Spalding NJCAA Division I National Coach of the Year;
2017 Red Auerbach Coach of the Year;
2017 Panhandle Conference Coach of the Year;
3x Panhandle Conference Champions

A national champion coach at the junior college level, Steve DeMeo built a reputation for developing numerous NCAA Division I basketball players during his time as a head coach at Northwest Florida State College. Now an assistant at St. John's University, Coach DeMeo displays the defensive side of his success in this on-court clinic presentation showing the numerous ways in which his teams play tough and aggressive defense.

Switching Defense

DeMeo begins by utilizing the dribble hand-off as the first way to switch on defense. In a 3-on-3 drill, he shows how to switch this offensive tactic. A major point of emphasis is the importance of making contact between defenders when switching the dribble hand-off.

Another point of emphasis that Coach DeMeo discusses is the need for high hands for the dribbler coming off of a hand-off. Following the switch, the on-ball defender needs to get their hands up so that they can be ready to contest a possible 3-point shot. In what he calls "3" defense, DeMeo uses this tactic late in games against teams that need to make a 3-pointer.

The switch becomes a particularly effective defensive weapon at the end of a shot clock. Using the code "Yellow," Coach DeMeo's defense takes the key of switching all screens and hand-offs to force a difficult shot as time winds down.

Multiple Defenses

Against teams that like to use a baseline runner, DeMeo uses "Freeze," a variation to the 3-2 zone defense. In what would normally be a 3-2 zone, one of the defenders becomes the shadow against a baseline runner. Freeze is also an effective defense against the ball screen. Many zone defenses use a switch or a defender going underneath on the ball screen. However, Coach DeMeo places an emphasis on taking away dribble penetration against the zone when guarding ball screens by fighting over the top.

In mixing up his team's defenses, DeMeo shows how a 1-2-2 soft press drops into a 3-2 zone defense. Another defensive possibility demonstrated is the 1-2-2 soft press dropping into a man-to-man defense once the press is broken.

Ball Screen Defense

Against ball screens, Coach DeMeo uses "Ice" coverage. This easy-to-teach ball screen defense is designed to keep the dribbler from using the ball screen and cover anyone else who might be a threat. The remaining defenders on the same side as the ball will close and deny passes while the help defenders cover the free throw line and the goal.

If the ball is in the middle third of the floor, the call is "Weak." This call, demonstrated out of a 1-4 low look into a middle ball screen, forces the dribbler to their weak hand. A ball screen set too far out from the 3-point line sees the on-ball defender being told to go under the ball screen and close out just as the dribbler arrives at the 3-point line.

The multiple defenses and coverages that Coach DeMeo demonstrates show why he's been so successful. This video puts his expertise on display for your benefit!

73 minutes. 2020.

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