(Rental)-The Mayhem 2-2-1 Press
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The “Mayhem” 2-2-1 Press
University of Alaska-Anchorage head coach Ryan McCarthy created the Mayhem style of defense for one purpose – to force turnovers. Those turnovers translate into points and as a result of McCarthy’s defense, the SeaWolves have emerged as an NCAA Division II power. From 2015 to 2017, Alaska-Anchorage won 97 games and earned a trip to the national championship game. McCarthy’s teams have led Division II in steals per game and have finished in the Top 5 in scoring defense, turnovers forced, and turnover margin in multiple seasons.
In this video, Coach McCarthy uses white board, on-court demonstration, and game film to teach you the 2-2-1 Mayhem Press. He will get into roles and responsibilities, how to defeat the different press breaks you will see, and the practice drills that support the system.
Progressive Drills to Build the 2-2-1 Press
Coach McCarthy uses five drills that build on each other to teach the Mayhem defense. These drills teach the roles and responsibilities for each player on the floor. The drills include:
- The Points Game (1-on-1): This is the classic Zig-Zag drill with a twist. By adding some competition, players learn to stay in front of the ball, apply pressure, and not foul.
- 2-on-2 Drill: This teaches players up front the concept of the run-and-jump approach to trapping in this press. Players learn to trap and how to rotate out of the trap.
- 3-on-3 Drill: Players in the second row learn how to pick up an offensive player who has cut down the floor and has not received the ball.
- 4-on-4 Drill: Second row players work on denying opponents properly. They also work on picking up a guard who cuts up the floor after an inbound pass.
- 5-on-5 Drill: A full live drill where variations of press breaks are used so players become familiar with defending them.
Handling Common Press Breaks
In addition to roles and responsibilities for each player, McCarthy discusses the terminology they use for the geography of the court. This helps players understand the basic principles of the press. Players can then learn the different ways that offenses will attack their press. The common press breakers are:
- Two-Guard Front: The defense learns to switch screens and pressure the inbound to the corners with the two front line defenders. Players are taught to find their matchups before and after the ball is inbounded. You will see when the defense will trap, where an ideal trap is located, and who is supposed to trap.
- One-Guard Front: This approach is easily handled by pinching the point guard with two defenders.
Coach McCarthy’s system has transformed the Alaska-Anchorage program. Learn the system and the drills that help build it in this video.