"FIVE/ONE" Defensive Components and Concepts

Our "Big Three Defensive Components" are:
1. Make them shoot over you;
2. Only give them one shot; and
3. Do not foul.

Before we go further into the "FIVE/ONE" defense we will look at a few more concepts that are important to a successful "FIVE/ONE" defense. Some of these we will explain later and others we will show in the drills we use.

Defensive Concepts

The closer your man is to the ball, the closer you are to your man.

The farther your man is from the ball, the farther you are from your man.

You should play as far off your man as possible and still be able to recover to him effectively if he catches the next pass.

An offensive player is only a post player when he is located ballside in one of or in both of the bottom free throw lane spaces.

The only places you must deny your man the ball are in the lane and in the low post when the basketball is above the free throw line or free throw line extended.

When your man moves, you move (adjust your defensive position).

When the ball moves, you move (adjust your position).

Always see your man and the basketball.

Never let your man cut between you and the basketball in a manner that could lead to a score.

Help and recover back to your man.

Help the helper (sometimes called rotation).

Guard your assigned man close only when he has the basketball in his scoring range.

When your man has the basketball below the free throw line extended, never let him drive baseline.

When your man has the basketball above the free throw line, never let him drive directly toward the basket area.

Jump to the ball.

When you 'close out' on your man who is in his scoring range - close out with your hands high then adjust as you stop. We started using this concept after watching Dean Smith's North Carolina teams. While they used it mainly in their zone defense we've added it to our "FIVE/ONE" defense.

When guarding a player with the basketball that has not yet used his dribble the defender should have the fingers of both hands pointed upward. This makes the defender's hands quicker. We took this great concept from Dick Bennett at the University of Wisconsin.

The "FIVE/ONE" man to man defense is not difficult physically to play, yet it is very difficult to master.

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