(Rental)-An Effective 1-3-1 Half Court Defense
In this article, Coach Nick Pasqua delves into the intricacies of using the 1-3-1 half-court zone defense as a tool for changing the pace of a game and slowing down opposing offenses. He explains the positioning of players, their individual assignments, and movements within the defense, as well as key rules to follow. He also provides valuable insight into when to switch to other defenses, such as the 2-3 zone or man-to-man, depending on the situation.
Coach Pasqua begins by discussing the role of the top defender (#3) in the zone, who is positioned between the extended lane lines in the middle of the floor and is responsible for making the ball handler uncomfortable by stunting towards the ball. The forwards (#1 and #2) play flat across the middle, using the three-point line as a restraint, while the center (#5) stays between the ball handler and the basket. The bottom defender (#4) stays one step outside the lane line on the same side as the ball.
Coach Pasqua then delves into adjustments that offenses may make to the 1-3-1 defense, and provides ways to counter those adjustments, such as how to defend skip passes, passes to the middle of the floor, and ball screens. He also breaks down the installation of the defense, including drills to teach and perfect it.
One of the drills Coach Pasqua demonstrates is the 1-3-1 Defense 4-on-4 Drill, which emphasizes stunting at the ball, stunting at passes, and filling gaps. The key teaching points of this drill include close-outs on the ball with one hand and how to use "hit and get" technique during rebounding opportunities when a shot is taken.
In a 5-on-5 live-action sequence, Coach Pasqua teaches ball screen defense and stresses that when ball screens are used against a zone defense, man-to-man principles should be applied. He demonstrates several defensive slides and movements that can thwart these offensive attempts to open up scoring opportunities.
Throughout the article, Coach Pasqua provides valuable insight, drawing on his experience as the Head Coach at Converse University, as well as his tenure at Wesleyan University, where he compiled a 49-26 record over 4 seasons, led the Warriors to a 20-win season in 2020, and won the school's first ever Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship in 2020. He also shares his experience as Tusculum Head Coach from 2016 to 2017, where he set a school record for most three-pointers made and attempted in a season in 2017. He also played collegiately at King University.