Bo Ryan Wisconsin Badgers Basketball Zone Offense by Mark Chapman

Chris Petersen

Written by Coach Peterman

I have coached at the NCAA Division 2 (Southwestern Oklahoma State University), NAIA (USAO), and JUCO Levels (Blinn College and Carl Albert State College) as well as high school. I just felt that fellow coaches especially young coaches need to constantly work on their “game”. Just like the basketball players that we coach. We as coaches need to improve ourselves. That is my story and why I do this blog.

September 1, 2014

Bo Ryan Wisconsin Badgers Basketball Zone Offense by Mark Chapman
2014 NCAA Tournament Part 1

This past spring I recorded some of the NCAA tournament games and had the opportunity to watch one of them last week. The Wisconsin Badgers Basketball Team played the Baylor Bears, in the sweet 16, which was a matchup of what looked like opposites. Baylor was a team that wanted to pick up the pace, get easy turnovers that turn into layups, frustrate offenses with the aggressive zone, and beat teams with their athleticism. Wisconsin, under Coach Bo Ryan, is a very disciplined team that emphasizes great fundamentals, low turnovers, boxing out to increase rebounding margin, and passing up good shots for great shots.

This is part 1 of what I saw while watching this game and is specifically about Wisconsin Badgers Basketball Zone Offense against Baylor’s 2-3 zone:

1. Use of the short corner: Wisconsin used their bigs very effectively with their back to the baseline about five feet outside the lane. Kaminsky had a field day with both the high low action when the opposite post flashed to the high post and forced the rotation of the zone. The high post broke Baylor’s zone defense with ease.

2. Pass up a good shot for a great shot: This is talked about a lot but many times hard to teach to our younger players. Look up shooting %, assists, OER to get a gauge on whether your team is able to get the great shots. The Wisconsin Badgers Basketball Team shot 6-15 from 3 but that was because they got great shots inside early from passing and their 3’s later in the game were relatively uncontested. They also had around 20 assists for the game – TEAM!

3. Limit dribbling vs zone: This must be EMPHASIZED in every practice and drill that is done from the beginning of the season. I talk with our players about using the dribble for two reasons, to shorten the pass or attack the basket. Wisconsin was very effective with their dribble and they were able to get Baylor out of position. When playing a zone it’s vital that the dribble is saved and used for getting the zone out of position and attacking the gaps to draw two players to the ball and open up one of your teammates.

4. Ball reversals: Coach Bob Knight use to talk about a ball reversal not counting until the ball hit the middle of the floor. Many teams will pass from the corner to the wing and then back to the corner. This doesn’t make the defense, let alone a zone defense, move or guard a very big area. By getting the ball to the top of the key or even better the opposite wing the zone must shift and communicate to cover a new area. This combined with punching the gap with the dribble and pass was how the  Wisconsin Badgers Basketball Team shot so well from the outside.

5. Push the ball up the floor: Wisconsin Badgers Basketball Team is not known for their ability to get out and run nor do I think that is something they want to be known for. But during this specific matchup they made an effort, when it was in their favor, to get out and run the floor. Most people look at this as a chance for easy buckets but it also forced Baylor to play transition defense in man rather than being able to set up their zone. When playing against a good zone don’t let them get set up.

Mark Chapman is the Head Boy’s Basketball Coach at Hamilton Township High School in Columbus, Ohio. Coach Mark Chapman always has great basketball plays and basketball coaching clinic notes to share with the basketball coaching world. Make sure that you check out his basketball X’s and O’s material. You will love some of his coaching ideas.

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Click on the pdf link to download the Bo Ryan Wisconsin Zone Offense Notes:

Bo Ryan Wisconsin Badgers Basketball Zone Offense by Mark Chapman

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