Today's Quotes: "Defense is not a game of hands; it’s a game of feet. Your feet have to dominate on defense. Your hands put the other team on the free throw line." - Bob Knight
Today's Theme: Using the Full-Court Match-up Press Defense
The match-up press was developed by Coach Rick Pitino, at Kentucky years ago. At the high school level, coach Keith Haske has developed a complete system of match-up presses, applicable for athletic high school teams.
The match-up press is a more complicated "system" of presses, more difficult to learn than a zone press, and involves a fair amount of practice time. But it has the advantage of always having pressure on the ball no matter what press-breaker the offense uses. We start teaching it at the freshmen and JV levels so that players really understand it by the time they are on varsity.
The match-up press is different from a zone press in that defenders all match-up with someone when the ball is inbounded, much like man-to-man defense. So it doesn't matter what press-breaker the opponent uses. One tall defender is on the inbounder trying to tip the inbounds pass. The other four defenders match-up man-to-man behind their man (unless we are in a full deny press).
Rather than playing an area or zone, our defenders follow a set of press rules. In addition to putting pressure on the ball at all times, we use helpside rotations and interceptors and several other tactics: (1) force sideline and then "cut and double", (2) "run and jump", and (3) "run and double".
The links below will provide the details, press rules, numbering and terminology, specific situations and adjustments, drills, and more, and will get you on your way in using this defense in your program.
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Put in a new offense or defense this season.
Run a special inbounds or buzzer-beater play and look like a genius!
Use a special defense to shutdown a star player.
Teach your team how to break a press.