Where is the zone?

MtnWasp

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
346
When does Pastner un-cork the zone? We've only dabbled with the zone here and there but have predominantly played man-to-man (with so-so results).

So, what is the deal here, is Pastner holding back playing our signature amoeba zone because:

a. He is transitioning to being a Primarily Man-to-man team because this group of players play it better.
b. The current players are not doing well playing the zone in practice.
c. He has been concentrating on offense early in the season.
d. He wants the young players to master man-to-man principles first
e. he is holding back the zone for when the competition stiffens.
 

augustabuzz

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,993
When does Pastner un-cork the zone? We've only dabbled with the zone here and there but have predominantly played man-to-man (with so-so results).

So, what is the deal here, is Pastner holding back playing our signature amoeba zone because:

a. He is transitioning to being a Primarily Man-to-man team because this group of players play it better.
b. The current players are not doing well playing the zone in practice.
c. He has been concentrating on offense early in the season.
d. He wants the young players to master man-to-man principles first
e. he is holding back the zone for when the competition stiffens.
All of the above.
 

GT11

GT Athlete
Messages
292
It’s a complicated system. Not a normal zone. Takes time for young players to understand the principles to a a point where they can react and not have to think about what they’re supposed to do. If you have to think instead of react, then you are beat
 

Northeast Stinger

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Messages
5,708
When does Pastner un-cork the zone? We've only dabbled with the zone here and there but have predominantly played man-to-man (with so-so results).

So, what is the deal here, is Pastner holding back playing our signature amoeba zone because:

a. He is transitioning to being a Primarily Man-to-man team because this group of players play it better.
b. The current players are not doing well playing the zone in practice.
c. He has been concentrating on offense early in the season.
d. He wants the young players to master man-to-man principles first
e. he is holding back the zone for when the competition stiffens.
It’s called coaching. He’s doing it.
 

gameface

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
141
Based on the complicated system, I believe CJP is more intent on switching back and forth between zone and M2M rather than staying in the zone. The new players do not know the zone well enough to be as effective as last years team.
 

Buzzbomb

Mello Yellow-Jacket
Messages
8,991
Not that a, b, c, are not valid, however I believe it has a little more to do with:
f. & d. Young players tend to get or develop lazy habits, when primarily playing zone before they master “man” at this level. Yes, “m to m” first because it’s his main preference. If he had a small team or a squad that wasn’t very athletic, then he might adjust to the talent level and go zone more earlier in the season. Would have liked to show more zone when M. of Oh. kept driving in on us.
e. Yes again, you obviously observe the game at an “elite level.” Can’t show all of our cards when the sharks haven’t arrived at the table, yet.
 

Fatmike91

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Messages
1,170
Go re-watch last nights game. Early in the first half we were in the zone. Smith was in the corner near their best shooter (Chavez). The ball goes inside and Smith runs away from Chavez (their best three point shooter) leaving him wide open. Of course the ball rotated to him, and Smith was late getting back and he drained the 3. We're not ready to play the zone at a high level yet.

/
 

YlJacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,639
As a corollary to Fatmike, we don’t play the zone well enough to defend the three yet and we have been torched at times by the three when we tried to play the zone

We tried to play zone against CS and they beat us. On the other side I still think we will play a lot of zone in the ACC to hide our young uns
 

RyanS12

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Location
Flint Michigan
I think he’s playing a bunch of looks to see what we are comfortable with. We have a lot of new faces getting PT now and that zone is one you have to know really well or you’re gonna get burned. I think as the season goes on, we will be back to running it as our main defensive look. Right now we have the athletes to give man to man a look until they get the rotations of the zone down.
 

Fatmike91

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,170
I think he’s playing a bunch of looks to see what we are comfortable with. We have a lot of new faces getting PT now and that zone is one you have to know really well or you’re gonna get burned. I think as the season goes on, we will be back to running it as our main defensive look. Right now we have the athletes to give man to man a look until they get the rotations of the zone down.

We're all saying the same thing. In past seasons we've looked a lot better in the zone by around Christmas. We've got four big games between now and then so hopefully we progress. I think this team is the best I've seen any CJP Tech team look in November.

/
 

gt24

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
319
it is not a complicated zone. but it is tough to utilize effectively against quality 3pt shooting teams (esp from the corners). it requires great anticipation and rotations and *angles* on closeouts from the defenders. and those 3 things in the previous sentence definitely take a lot of time in practice for new guys. especially in the modern era of 3pt shooting, against weaker teams, when giving up too many 3s this zone (or any zone) can keep teams within striking distance. but this zone is not complicated. it is mostly a "23" zone, very similar to boeheims. but it is masked with a 131 setup. pastner calls it "20." they stack the guards, they elevate the wings. that is what makes it look like a "131" and different from a "23". but the responsibilities/rotations are very boeheim "23". on entry passes to the wing, the guard on the nail bumps the wing back (just like boeheims "23") while the guard at the point drops back to cover the nail. like boeheim, strong emphasis on preventing passes to the nail. on quick ball reversals that eliminate the wing bump on the weakside, the 5-man on the baseline has to rotate out to cover the corner 3 sometimes, and imo this is the toughest rotation in the design of pastners zone.

i hesitate to call boeheims zone a "23" because if you go based on the intial setup, boeheims is not a "23" - but because it goes back 30-40 years, everyone just goes with that terminology. boeheims "23" at the start of every possession is really a 4-1 or a 1/4 ct flat 2-2-1. pause the tv as the ball crosses hc in cuse games and take a look - 4 zone defenders on the arc, one very long and athletic big in the paint, daring teams to go to the baseline and short corner. so for both boeheim and pastner, it kinda begs the question: who cares what it is called or labeled? doesnt really matter except that the inner workings of the zones for most coaches align with certain historical responsibilities/rotations, which is why ours is mostly/primarily a "23". (some will say "no way that is a 23" but the rotations, bumps, etc are very very "23".)

pastners can be a little confusing on the surface because occasionally he goes traditional 131 with much different rules/rotations (traditional 131 zone that everyone learned in middle school). for GT, you know the difference before the ball crosses hc. instead of 2 guards stacked up top, and a 5-man on the baseline, as is done in pastners "20" defense, in his "traditional" 131 we put a forward at the point, the 5-man on the nail, and fill the other 3 spots accordingly. last year we very rarely used this. barely at all. most games we never used it. when we did, it frequently led to quick easy buckets and pastner switched out of it after just 1 or 2 possessions. so far this year we have mixed it in more often, but still nothing close to the hybrid "20".

side note: the "tell" for color analysts on TV is how they describe our zone. easy to see who has done their HW vs who is just making **** up. last year bilas was the best i heard at describing it accurately. he described it as a "hybrid" that starts as a 131 and then switches to a 23. also last year, one other guy (dont recall his name, only that he was a former cbb player and new to doing TV so they only gave him the streaming/online games) also nailed the description and details of it. i immediately wanted him to cover more of our games. separately, i really like babul on our games, he is far better than most of the national guys, and not just because he is a GT alum, he is just good at not talking too much like dan bonner et al... but i was disappointed last week when babul did not know how to describe or breakdown our zone.
 
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MidtownJacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
3,739
it is not a complicated zone. but it is tough to utilize effectively against quality 3pt shooting teams (esp from the corners). it requires great anticipation and rotations and *angles* on closeouts from the defenders. and those 3 things in the previous sentence definitely take a lot of time in practice for new guys. especially in the modern era of 3pt shooting, against weaker teams, when giving up too many 3s this zone (or any zone) can keep teams within striking distance. but this zone is not complicated. it is mostly a "23" zone, very similar to boeheims. but it is masked with a 131 setup. pastner calls it "20." they stack the guards, they elevate the wings. that is what makes it look like a "131" and different from a "23". but the responsibilities/rotations are very boeheim "23". on entry passes to the wing, the guard on the nail bumps the wing back (just like boeheims "23") while the guard at the point drops back to cover the nail. like boeheim, strong emphasis on preventing passes to the nail. on quick ball reversals that eliminate the wing bump on the weakside, the 5-man on the baseline has to rotate out to cover the corner 3 sometimes, and imo this is the toughest rotation in the design of pastners zone.

i hesitate to call boeheims zone a "23" because if you go based on the intial setup, boeheims is not a "23" - but because it goes back 30-40 years, everyone just goes with that terminology. boeheims "23" at the start of every possession is really a 4-1 or a 1/4 ct flat 2-2-1. pause the tv as the ball crosses hc in cuse games and take a look - 4 zone defenders on the arc, one very long and athletic big in the paint, daring teams to go to the baseline and short corner. so for both boeheim and pastner, it kinda begs the question: who cares what it is called or labeled? doesnt really matter except that the inner workings of the zones for most coaches align with certain historical responsibilities/rotations, which is why ours is mostly/primarily a "23". (some will say "no way that is a 23" but the rotations, bumps, etc are very very "23".)

pastners can be a little confusing on the surface because occasionally he goes traditional 131 with much different rules/rotations (traditional 131 zone that everyone learned in middle school). for GT, you know the difference before the ball crosses hc. instead of 2 guards stacked up top, and a 5-man on the baseline, as is done in pastners "20" defense, in his "traditional" 131 we put a forward at the point, the 5-man on the nail, and fill the other 3 spots accordingly. last year we very rarely used this. barely at all. most games we never used it. when we did, it frequently led to quick easy buckets and pastner switched out of it after just 1 or 2 possessions. so far this year we have mixed it in more often, but still nothing close to the hybrid "20".

side note: the "tell" for color analysts on TV is how they describe our zone. easy to see who has done their HW vs who is just making **** up. last year bilas was the best i heard at describing it accurately. he described it as a "hybrid" that starts as a 131 and then switches to a 23. also last year, one other guy (dont recall his name, only that he was a former cbb player and new to doing TV so they only gave him the streaming/online games) also nailed the description and details of it. i immediately wanted him to cover more of our games. separately, i really like babul on our games, he is far better than most of the national guys, and not just because he is a GT alum, he is just good at not talking too much like dan bonner et al... but i was disappointed last week when babul did not know how to describe or breakdown our zone.
Wish I had read this before I wrote out my comments in the OOC Schedule thread: https://gtswarm.com/threads/ooc-schedule.24358/#post-844806

Specifically the bit on our D. I agree with this post and respect the time it takes write it all out.

I am high on this team's ability to really play at a top level in conference play and am really excited to see how we play through December. We are really close.
 

YlJacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,639
it is not a complicated zone. but it is tough to utilize effectively against quality 3pt shooting teams (esp from the corners). it requires great anticipation and rotations and *angles* on closeouts from the defenders. and those 3 things in the previous sentence definitely take a lot of time in practice for new guys. especially in the modern era of 3pt shooting, against weaker teams, when giving up too many 3s this zone (or any zone) can keep teams within striking distance. but this zone is not complicated. it is mostly a "23" zone, very similar to boeheims. but it is masked with a 131 setup. pastner calls it "20." they stack the guards, they elevate the wings. that is what makes it look like a "131" and different from a "23". but the responsibilities/rotations are very boeheim "23". on entry passes to the wing, the guard on the nail bumps the wing back (just like boeheims "23") while the guard at the point drops back to cover the nail. like boeheim, strong emphasis on preventing passes to the nail. on quick ball reversals that eliminate the wing bump on the weakside, the 5-man on the baseline has to rotate out to cover the corner 3 sometimes, and imo this is the toughest rotation in the design of pastners zone.

i hesitate to call boeheims zone a "23" because if you go based on the intial setup, boeheims is not a "23" - but because it goes back 30-40 years, everyone just goes with that terminology. boeheims "23" at the start of every possession is really a 4-1 or a 1/4 ct flat 2-2-1. pause the tv as the ball crosses hc in cuse games and take a look - 4 zone defenders on the arc, one very long and athletic big in the paint, daring teams to go to the baseline and short corner. so for both boeheim and pastner, it kinda begs the question: who cares what it is called or labeled? doesnt really matter except that the inner workings of the zones for most coaches align with certain historical responsibilities/rotations, which is why ours is mostly/primarily a "23". (some will say "no way that is a 23" but the rotations, bumps, etc are very very "23".)

pastners can be a little confusing on the surface because occasionally he goes traditional 131 with much different rules/rotations (traditional 131 zone that everyone learned in middle school). for GT, you know the difference before the ball crosses hc. instead of 2 guards stacked up top, and a 5-man on the baseline, as is done in pastners "20" defense, in his "traditional" 131 we put a forward at the point, the 5-man on the nail, and fill the other 3 spots accordingly. last year we very rarely used this. barely at all. most games we never used it. when we did, it frequently led to quick easy buckets and pastner switched out of it after just 1 or 2 possessions. so far this year we have mixed it in more often, but still nothing close to the hybrid "20".

side note: the "tell" for color analysts on TV is how they describe our zone. easy to see who has done their HW vs who is just making **** up. last year bilas was the best i heard at describing it accurately. he described it as a "hybrid" that starts as a 131 and then switches to a 23. also last year, one other guy (dont recall his name, only that he was a former cbb player and new to doing TV so they only gave him the streaming/online games) also nailed the description and details of it. i immediately wanted him to cover more of our games. separately, i really like babul on our games, he is far better than most of the national guys, and not just because he is a GT alum, he is just good at not talking too much like dan bonner et al... but i was disappointed last week when babul did not know how to describe or breakdown our zone.
Was interesting to watch SYR in Atlantis as they really didn't worry about defending the nail. The guards extended and only collapsed on the nail after the pass was made and with minimal defensive focus on the ball at the nail. Against Indiana they switched at least in the first half and actually used the GT guard stack to keep Indiana out of the foul line area. Worked pretty well in the first half as they went into half up big. They switched back to their normal extended guard set and Indiana pushed a high low set down their throat. Surprised they never went back to the stacked guard set as Indiana wasn't really killing them from the perimeter.
 

gt24

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
319
Was interesting to watch SYR in Atlantis as they really didn't worry about defending the nail. The guards extended and only collapsed on the nail after the pass was made and with minimal defensive focus on the ball at the nail. Against Indiana they switched at least in the first half and actually used the GT guard stack to keep Indiana out of the foul line area. Worked pretty well in the first half as they went into half up big. They switched back to their normal extended guard set and Indiana pushed a high low set down their throat. Surprised they never went back to the stacked guard set as Indiana wasn't really killing them from the perimeter.
I dont follow Cuse closely (barely at all really) so perhaps @CuseJacket can chime in with more details... Boeheim certainly changes the focus and rotations of the zone against matchups, including intentionally allowing/funneling the ball to go to the nail vs some teams/players. I've seen comments before from Boeheim (I think) related to how poorly some players/bigs shoot from there. And also how much easier it is for them to rebound when shots go up from there. Against some teams/matchups it can e the exact opposite tho. Regardless, I think they generally use "fan out" rotations/matchups when the ball does get to the nail, meaning the guards do not collapse or dig down (usually), instead they fan out to cover the perimeter kickouts, and allow the center to matchup 1v1 against the ball on the nail. At that point it almost becomes a m2m defense while the ball is at the nail.
Just like any high-level m2m def, their zone definitely has adjustments and wrinkles based on strengths/weaknesses of opponents and can look very different based on matchups.
 
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CuseJacket

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
16,449
Was interesting to watch SYR in Atlantis as they really didn't worry about defending the nail. The guards extended and only collapsed on the nail after the pass was made and with minimal defensive focus on the ball at the nail. Against Indiana they switched at least in the first half and actually used the GT guard stack to keep Indiana out of the foul line area. Worked pretty well in the first half as they went into half up big. They switched back to their normal extended guard set and Indiana pushed a high low set down their throat. Surprised they never went back to the stacked guard set as Indiana wasn't really killing them from the perimeter.
I dont follow Cuse closely (barely at all really) so perhaps @CuseJacket can chime in with more details... Boeheim certainly changes the focus and rotations of the zone against matchups, including intentionally allowing/funneling the ball to go to the nail vs some teams/players. I've seen comments before from Boeheim (I think) related to how poorly some players/bigs shoot from there. And also how much easier it is for them to rebound when shots go up from there. I think they generally use "fan out" rotations/matchups when the ball does get to the nail, meaning the guards do not collapse or dig down at all, instead they fan out to cover the perimeter kickouts, and allow the center to matchup 1v1 against the ball on the nail. At that point it almost becomes a m2m defense while the ball is at the nail.
You both make points I agree with.

Last night was the first time I've ever seen the 1-1-3 look. My first reaction was, 'oh cool, he took some of Pastner's zone principles'. But sadly it wasn't executed the same. Boeheim said in the presser that Indiana made adjustments that forced 'Cuse to go back to the traditional 2-3 look (or really 4-1 look). I'm not sure I saw Indiana's adjustment real-time myself, so my impression matches what @YlJacket says in that regard.

@gt24 is also correct in that, particularly against teams with shooters, Boeheim prefers to die by the 2 than die by the 3. It's particularly useful, just like Wisconsin's defensive strategy, if you can get someone to shoot long 2's all game long rather than drive at the center or force a collapse. Syracuse is as good as any team at playing off bad shooters and compelling them to take shots, regardless of where they are on the court. More often than not though, all things being equal the guards do not collapse on the high post and fan to man, while the forwards are caught diving to low post or corner kick-outs.
 

YlJacket

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2,639
Indiana ran their big on the baseline and he did rim "runs" from the short corner. For whatever reason SYR would send the big to the foul line and have the ball lobbed over their head to an NBA level athlete who was grabbing it above the square. They ran that high low all second half. Not sure what adjustment Boeheim saw that kept him out of the stack guard look as their guards were not hurting Syr at all.
 
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