Overloading Your Offense Against Zone Defense


Written by Wes Kosel

Wes Kosel will enter his first season as an Assistant Coach at Augustana University under Tom Billeter in 2016-2017. Kosel came to Sioux Falls after two season at Colorado College as the lead assistant. Kosel, a native of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, served as an assistant coach at Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Texas Lutheran University from 2012-2014. Kosel graduated from the University of Kansas in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. He also has a master’s degree in physical education from the University of Houston. While attending Kansas, Kosel served as an assistant coach at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. A life-long student of the game, Kosel honed his coaching skills by working summer camps for various programs in Texas, Colorado, Missouri, and New Mexico. Kosel also is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Certified Personal Trainer, both of which are certifications earned through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Kosel and his wife, Molly, live in Colorado Springs.

August 31, 2016

Overloading Your Offense Against Zone Defense by Wes Kosel

There are many ways to beat a zone defense, but one that I have seen be incredibly effective is to create an overload set By overloading against zone defenses (2-3, 3-2, 1-2-2, 1-3-1, etc.) forces the defense to have some defenders guarding more than one player and often a defender guarding no one on the weak side. Overloads work well against man defense too, especially when creating an isolation opportunity on the weak side of the floor. Against 2-3 zone defenses, a simple overload will have an offensive player in the corner, on the block, in the slot, and on the wing. This formation forces the bottom zone defender to choose whether to guard the wing player or the corner. Smart defenses will adjust by moving the top two guard defenders over, but if the play is ran effectively it can be difficult for this adjustment to be made on the fly.

Overloading Your Offense – Zone Overload Plays

Green Bay Phoenix – Zone Shallow Overload

This play overloads the left side and forces x4 to choose whether to guard the wing or a shot in the corner.


Gonzaga Bulldogs – Zone Overload Slot Screen

After overloading the right side, 5 screens the top zone defender putting x2 in a position to stop the ball or guard 1 on the wing.


Oklahoma Sooners – Zone Overload Pick & Pop

This play is similar to the last but puts the ball screen on the weak side. The pop man may be open for a shot with the defense shifted to the right.


Fairleigh Dickinson Knights – Zone Overload Ball Screen

FDU got a shot in the left corner by overloading and setting a ball screen in the slot.


Texas Longhorns – Zone Overload

The Longhorns overload the right side and have 5 post up the middle defender putting x4 in a position to guard two guys.


Click on the pdf link below to download the Zone Overload Plays Playbook:

Overloading Your Offense – Zone Overload Playbook

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