(Rental)-2-3 Zone Defense: Taking Away 3 Pointers & Creating Turnovers
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2-3 Zone Defense: Taking Away 3-Pointers & Creating Turnovers
Joe Gallo coached Merrimack College to an NCAA record for most wins by a program in its first year after reclassifying to Division I. Merrimack went 20-11 in 2019-20 and 14-4 in the Northeast Conference which was good enough for first place.
What has been part of Gallo’s success as a head coach is a defense that routinely was in the top-5 in the nation in turnover percentage and steals. In this video, Gallo goes into the coverages and positions of his zone defense and how to defend different offensive alignments. He begins with a look at his philosophy.
Philosophy & Mindset
Gallo’s defensive philosophy is to use a zone defense and prevent easy shots. Players are taught to develop a mindset of allowing no 3-pointers, no easy layups, and only giving up contested 2-point shots. Offensive players can never simply catch and shoot.
Coach Gallo’s zone defense has five main rules:
- Move on the flight of the ball.
- Hands never drop below your waist.
- Stay down (no ball fakes, no shot fakes).
- Don’t get screened.
- Nobody shoots from where they catch the ball.
Using Zone Defense
Going through each position, Coach Gallo reviews the different slides, closeouts, and responsibilities. He explains the angles players should take when closing out, how to move and what actions to anticipate. For the zone to work, all five players must be in the correct position at all times.
Coach Gallo talks about the different ways the zone defense can be beaten. He reviews what to do when the ball goes into the short corner, the middle, and when dribble penetration occurs. He also shares drills and breakdowns that work against stopping each of these stresses on the zone defense.
If you are a coach looking for a stifling zone defense, this is it. Coach Gallo does a great job of breaking down each piece of the zone puzzle in an easy and understandable way. This is must-have for your defensive library.