Origins of the Pack Line Defense with Breakdown Drills
The Pack Line defense helped propel Virginia to a national title in 2019. The origins of the system came from Virginia head coach Tony Bennett’s father, Dick, a 28-year NCAA coaching veteran. The elder Bennett is best remembered for his time at Wisconsin where he led the Badgers to the 2000 Final Four.
In this video, Bennett shows you how to implement the Pack Line defense, a man-to-man defense that is designed to prevent dribble penetration and contest open 3-point shots. It is a system that allows less athletic teams consistently compete with superior offensive teams.
Why the Pack Line Defense?
Bennett begins with some insight behind his creation of the system and the keys to its success. Bennett identifies several points for those looking to improve their teams on the defensive end. These points include:
- Four things Bennett demands from his defense
- How to implement game changers
- Why the defense is so difficult for great offensive players to crack
- Why Bennett moved from push-to-baseline to the Pack Line concept
- How the Pack Line limits scoring opportunities against great teams
- Characteristics of great defenders
Push to Pack
To play the Pack Line defense, you must have an on-ball defender that pressures the ball and disrupts the ball-handler to get him out of his comfort zone. The on-ball defender must trust his teammates for help. Help defense is key to the Pack Line but different than traditional defenses. Help defenders are often closer to the basket and must straddle the seam in order to be able to close out on a shooter.
Bennett demonstrates how his players defend screens. His strategy is somewhat unique and his players must hedge, or double, the ball handler. Coach Bennett also teaches a technique where the screener gets smothered if the ball handler is not a great shooter or a threat to score.
Coach Bennett also teaches “back to attack,” which is a focus on transition defense. You will learn two full-court transition drills that address getting back on defense and preventing easy baskets. Players learn to communicate and stop teams in transition.
This presentation is from one of the great defensive minds of all-time. Learn the suffocating Pack Line defense from the man who created it!