Learn the match-up zone defense that Jim Myers used en route to multiple state high school championships!
- Get breakdown drills that will help you build your match-up zone through better individual defenders
- Teach the different responsibilities within the match-up zone defense so players always know where to be on the floor
- Make adjustments to the match-up zone so you can run it in any situation against any offensive game plan
with Jim Myers,
former Barneveld High School (WI) Head Coach;
2017 WIAA Division 5 Boys State Champions; 6x WIAA Girls State Champion;
all-time winningest girls' basketball coach in Wisconsin
Jim Myers led his teams to state championships on seven occasions using his match-up zone defense that he used to build his programs from scratch. With this informative on-court presentation, Coach Myers gives you an inside look at how he was able to help win Barneveld High School multiple girls' state championships and the first boys' basketball state championship in school history.
Coach Myers begins by presenting the way that he builds his match-up zone defense: by utilizing the "Hash Drill." This drill teaches transition defense by starting out with a 3-on-2 half-court situation. As soon as the defense gets the ball, the two players that were standing out of bounds join the drill to create a 4-on-3 situation going the other way.
Also presented is a 4-on-3 box drill to teach rotation in the zone. While the offensive players must always be touching the lane line, the defensive players move to point the ball, but the same player may not point the ball after the ball has been passed.
Rules for Match-Up Zone Defense
In the interest of keeping the defense simple enough for the players to execute, Coach Myers presents three important rules that must be followed at all times:
- Players must be in a stance.
- Players must have high, active hands.
- Players must talk.
When guarding an offense, the defense matches the front of the offense and the on-ball defender must be able to contain for at least two dribbles. The defense is also designed to prevent ball reversal with gap help that must show early.
Finally, man-to-man defense principles are added with emphasis on the following rules that are applied to the match-up zone defense:
- Switch all screens.
- Follow all cutters.
- Help on the post.
Building the Match-Up Zone
Out of a 1-1-3 alignment, Coach Myers covers the details for each individual player in his match-up zone defense. Responsibilities are given to ensure the success of the defense using five defensive players against offensive players in eight possible spots.
The two guards at the top of the match-up zone defense are charged with applying pressure to the basketball and to work together as a unit. While the point guard is tasked with forcing the ball out of the middle of the floor and forcing to a side, the second guard must be ready to stop any dribble penetration if the point guard gets beat off of the bounce and covers the high post area. The option for a possible run-and-jump involving the two guards is also discussed.
With the forwards (#'s 3 and 4), the responsibilities include guarding the wing pass and taking away any possible baseline drive. Backside help is then charged to the forward opposite the ball. The center (#5) must then be able to front the low post and cover any pass to the corner.
Additionally, Coach Myers covers three adjustments that can be made to the match-up zone defense to deal with different situations that could arise in the course of a game:
- "Shadow" - Focuses on covering a dangerous perimeter shooter.
- "Glove" - An adjustment similar to a box-and-one defense.
- Any color being called to double team the corner on a pass from the wing.
The match-up zone defense can be a difficult 'nut to crack' when run well. Coach Myers' version is sure to help your team improve its defensive efficiency!
47 minutes. 2019.Basketball Videos