Swarm Defense Review

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.

November 30, 2007

I had heard a lot about the Swarm Defense by Wayne Walters. I contacted him and he sent me a bunch of information on the Swarm Defense. I must say that I have been impressed by the coaching packets that he sent me.

Swarm for Dummies: It was right up my alley. It told me about the Basics of the Swarm Defense and it would let me know if I would interested in running the Swarm Defense. I honestly think that it would be a great addition to the Vance Walberg offense. I think that those two systems would fit great together.

I know that VMI is running the swarm and coach walberg’s offense this season. Here are some comments from some girl’s coaches running the “Swarm”.

“We had our first scrimmage last night and used the swarm against an opponent who made it to their regional tournament and won 18 games last year with everyone coming back, we only won 11 and lost two key players. For the first six minutes we held them scoreless! We were talking and switching and flying out with our hands up and they couldn’t get shots off! … It just takes time and I understand that but for six minutes we looked like we were the Tennessee Lady Vols with kids flying everywhere and talking a mile a minute. The final two quarters we picked up our communication and movement and it was an 8 point game during that stretch. It works. ”

Here is what one coach that played it this year with his girls team in NE had to say …

The genral philosphy behind the SWARM is that it dictates to the offense, it forces the offense to a sideline, the basic premise is get the ball out of the middle of the court and keep it there. Once the ball is to a side it stays do not allow penetration to the middle and do not allow reversal. The pressure points occur upon the dribble of the ball, you force the ball handler to dribble to the baseline and double team her but release off and rematch up 5 on 5. A disadvantage is getting the kids to recover differently from what they may be used to. An advantage is that the defensive principles of help, and rebounding, and pressure on the ball are very much alike, there are slight differences in rotation but I believe they are easier rotations, which can cause more turnovers. Any team that works hard at defense can flourish in this defense, but an athletic team would be very good with this d efense. Mismatches will happen but they happen any way this way you control how and where the mismatch will occur. As far as what has it done for my program, we have not totally seen the benefits of it yet, thsi was our first year running it, I liken it to Weight training you don’t see the results of the training right away, but down the road you do. We will be better at it next year than this year we are going to keep running it, I believe it will be a difference maker for our team in the next couple of years. Hope this ansywers your questions, I will also tell you Coach Walters is a great resource, he will answer any questions about the defense and help with the X’s and O’s Hope this will help out keep refering them to me I will do what I can to help promote it.

SWARM on ESPN / TV (2007) : 1) NCAA DIV I Virginia Military Institute has joined SWARM Mania … they play in the Big South Conferanceand their conferance Tournament istelevised by ESPN during tournament week. Last year they played foran NCAA berth against Winthrop on ESPN. VMI MBB Head Coach, Duggar Baucom, is an innovative coach that plays up tempo on both ends of the floor. 2) In addition, VMI may also be seen on the MASN (Mid-Atlantic Sports Net)during the regular season plus they are scheduled for a game on the BigTen Network against Ohio State on November 25 at 8 pm. 3) NCAA DIV II Ohio Valley University has joined SWARM Mania … the playin the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conferance (WVIAC). They will play the University of Buffalo on November 7 and the winner will playUConn on November 8 on ESPN as part of the Coaches against Cancer Tip Off. OVU MBB Head Coach, Bill McGee was looking for an innovative way to play defense and called the SWARM “exactly what I was looking for”.

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