Pack-Line Defense | Learn from Chris Mack and Xavier University Basketball | High School Basketball Hoop Talk

I think that basketball coaches can learn a lot from Chris Mack and Xavier’s Defensive Identity:  Pack-Line Defense.  Chris Mack was an assistant to Sean Miller at Xavier University before he got the head job.  Chris Mack has continued the school’s program at a high level.  Coach Mack is a guy that is one hundred percent basketball.

When Sean Miller was in his first season as a head coach, he used a number of different defenses, depending on match-ups, game strategy, and so on.  They didn’t have a defensive identity at all.  Sean Miller started calling the best defensive coaches in college basketball to determine what he needed to do.  Miller decided to be a pack-line defense team and would implement the scheme’s principles and philosophy at every opportunity.  He hired James Whitford to help with the transition.  James Whitford played for Dick Bennett and coached with Miami of Ohio’s Charlie Coles, both of them loved the sticky, lane clogging defense.

What is the Pack-Line Defense?  It’s a man to man defense that keeps the ball out of the lane, it doesn’t let your team get spread out defensively, it’s not worried about denying in the passing lanes or taking risks to make the game frenzied.  You want to make sure that every shot is outside the lane and contested.  The pack-line defense demands intense individiual defense, because you are going to pressure the ball really hard.

Chris Mack believes in the defense, because it gave the players the answers that they needed and the coaches knew what they needed to teach to have the team play better.  You might not be the most talented team, but you can be good on defense.  I think that you will be able to learn from Stephen Dale’s Notes on the Pack-Line Defense.

Stephen Dale is one of our excellent basketball contributors for Men’s Basketball HoopScoop.  He is the assistant varsity boys basketball coach at University High School in Baton Rouge, LA (on the campus of LSU). 


Coach Dale is doing a great job with his blog.  It is a must to read everyday!

Take a look at Coach Dale’s Blog:  http://www.coachdalehooptalk.blogspot.com/

Follow Coach Dale on Twitter!

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Pack-Line Defense | Learn from Chris Mack and Xavier University Basketball | High School Basketball Hoop Talk