Information taken from YouTube video by Coachbase.
This is the famous "Pack Line Defense" that Virginia uses to suffocate their opponents.
The concepts are pretty simple: Never let the offense inside of the "post box," and never allow dribble penetration. Basically, if a team is to beat a well-disciplined Pack Line Defense, they're going to have to do it from the perimeter.
The basic concept is that the ball handler faces pressure from his man, and everybody else is in "help," preventing dribble penetration. The exception to this is when a player is cutting off ball in the post area. Then the defender "attaches" to the cutter (once again trying to prevent post opportunities), only to release when the player goes back out to perimeter.
Things to note:
- Virginia in particular hard hedges and switches on every ball screen. This only works if you have defenders that can guard multiple positions, otherwise the offense has a mismatch to attack!
- This offense is designed to allow the three-point shot, so a terrific three-point shooting team could beat this style of defense. Closeouts are SO IMPORTANT to make this defense work, otherwise perimeter-focused teams will drain shots all day.
- NEVER LET THE BALL ENTER THE LOW POST. If it does, you double team immediately, and force a pass back to perimeter.
- Once again, because this defense involves very aggressive help, it also involves a lot of closeouts. Having personnel with great length and foot speed is advantageous for this kind of defense.
- An undisciplined version of this defense that gives up possessions in the "post box" is susceptible to giving up easy buckets.
- It is important to "move on flight" of the ball when in help. If you wait until ball is in hands of offensive player, it is too late. Once again, anticipate and CLOSE. OUT.
- Defense pressures ball handler
- All 4 Off-ball defenders in "help" preventing dribble penetration
- Main Goal: Keep offensive players out of the "post box" at ALL-TIMES.
- Once again, trying to keep ball out of post.
- 1 passes to 3, 5 defender DENYS in the post.
- If ball is above free throw line: 3/4 top denial.
- If ball is below free throw line: Full denial.
- 1 defender now off ball, sags into help.
- 3 defender rushes to pressure new ball handler.
- 2 defender sags a little more to protect rim.
- If ball is at top of key, full denial in post.
- Note high pressure on ball, sagged off defenders on off-ball perimeter, and full denial inside that "post box."
- Second ball goes into low post the help defender "chokes" the post man, forcing a double team.
- Goal is to force post man to pass it back out.
- Remember, NO LOW POST LOOKS.
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