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  • This year's Kentucky team, same as last--zone defense will be rare

    Recent Kentucky basketball teams have been noted for many things, but among them has been their length and quickness. Such length and quickness seems ideally suited to a stifling zone defense, suffocating opponents who won't be able to get passes or shots past those long arms. But Kentucky basketball head coach John Calipari has been a confirmed man-to-man defensive coach, and he reaffirmed that position today at Kentucky Media Day.

    "I told (my team), 'Why don't I like to play zone'" Calipari explained, before providing the answer the players would have given, "Because it doesn't prepare us." Calipari told them they were correct, and that in college would be the last time they would ever play zone, so it wasn't preparing them for the future. But Calipari didn't stop there.

    "Because you're not responsible for anybody (in a zone)," Cal added, as reason number two. And then Calipari hit the clincher with the players. "The third thing is, what's (a zone) going to make the other team do, play faster or slower?"

    Explaining that slowing the opponent down meant Kentucky would get "less possessions, less shots," and "instead of getting 70 shots, (Kentucky) would get 58 shots" a game, Cal then finished: "Which of you in here like to give up three shots a game?" he asked, knowing the answer.

    So this year's team, same as last year's team, and all the ones before. Chances of seeing Kentucky in a zone defense will range from rare to none. "So if we play zone, it's against a team that plays real fast," Calipari summarized. "If a team plays slow, you better trap and make them play faster."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: This year's Kentucky team, same as last--zone defense will be rare started by Darrell KSR View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. kybobcat's Avatar
      kybobcat -
      The problem, as I see it, is that a team that doesn't become proficient at zone defenses will always look awkward when they face one.

      Because they don't get quality practice against it
    1. kingcat's Avatar
      kingcat -
      If that’s part of his recruiting strategy and prepares these young men for the next level faster then I won’t argue with it
      I like the man defense but was always a big fan of the 1/3/1 when used occasionally to confuse an offense

      Using a zone for long stretches in this day and age allows too many second and third shots
    1. catmanjack's Avatar
      catmanjack -
      I guess all great coaches are stubborn!
      Cal is very stubborn!
    1. Hoss's Avatar
      Hoss -
      I understand what he's saying...can't fault him for the logic he's using in it.