Joe Raso: Zone Attack!
Looking for ways to score against a zone defense? Former McMaster University (Canada) head coach and Canadian National Team Scout Joe Raso has been studying zone defenses his entire career and has developed an attacking mindset that will make opponents regret the choice to play zone against your offense.
Raso is the winningest coach in McMaster history (440 victories) and competed for 12 CIS national championships. In this video, he shows you how to have an effective transition offense, which can help you beat the zone. You will also learn techniques like pins, seals, and ball screens to help create scoring opportunities against any zone defense.
Any good offense begins with a strong transition game. You should attack using dribble penetration right from the start. You will see transition buildups to teach dribble attacks in a 2-on-1, 3-on-2 and even a 4-on-3 setting. Each situation teaches players how to find gaps with ball movement and attack closeouts.
Attacking the Middle of the Zone
Another great way to beat the zone is to get the ball to the middle of the zone defense. This will eventually open up the floor and give you a number of options. You can use a pin screen for a shooter, seal the low block and create a lob pass scoring opportunity around the rim. You can also use ball screens to create mismatches.
Attacking from Behind the Zone
The most important element for attacking zone defenses is to do so from behind the zone. You will see a number of actions where players catch the back-side of a zone watching the ball. Moving the ball off of skip passes, ball reversals, and drag dribbles are other ways to create scoring opportunities. Overloading is another option that can get you scoring chances in the paint.
Whether you are playing against man or zone, Coach Raso believes there are three common denominators for effective scoring.
- Knowing what your transition break is
- Knowing your rules on penetration and reaction
- Knowing what to do if the ball goes in to the post
Coach Raso gives you plenty to think about when designing a zone attack. For coaches looking to score effectively against zone defenses, Coach Raso’s video is a strong addition to any collection.