Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The "Stick and Three"

Was visiting with a college coach the other day and he told me about a defense he played from time to time last year called the "Stick and Three". This defense was very basic, almost silly, but at the same time, it threw some of the better teams in their conference for a loop.

The basic premise of the Stick and Three is that you match up against their three best players (usually perimeter) and zone with the other two guys in a "stick" formation. The guys guarding the three guys man on man are in all out denial, they don't let them catch. If they cut backdoor, the stick is there to help hopefully. On the stick, one guy plays the top, the other plays the bottom. Ball goes to the wing, the two slide over, ball goes below the FT line extended the high guy on the stick drops to the level of the ball to protect the paint.

This is a GREAT defensive look if your opponent has a couple of players (usually posts) who simply can't shoot worth a lick from the outside and can't really handle the ball. It's also a good thing to throw at a team and make two players who aren't used to doing much carry the load in terms of handling the ball and shooting. The opponent may have a guard who's more of a defensive guy, make him bring the ball up, take some shots, and make some passes. I bet something good comes of that for you.

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