All Forums > Hoops Dynasty Basketball > Hoops Dynasty > A master in zone defense?
2/9/2013 6:19 PM
I'm not a master but more of an assistant sub-warden of zone defense with 7 or so teams running it now for decades and decades of seasons. I like gillispie1 method of going with a short roster with high minutes. Some practical things you will run into are...

IQ of some starters will be unusually low since they haven't had time to learn while on the bench.
Not only can you recruit a little higher quality because of $'s from schollie available, you can more often offer starts/minutes.
Redshirting is a little more difficult because of walkons and roster situation.
Getting higher rated players means losing said player to early entry. Nice problem to have though.
As with most things HD, be flexible. If you signed your recruiting targets and still have money and good recruits available -- go after them. It'll help in a few years to make a deeper run in the tourney.
2/9/2013 9:02 PM
I've run zone almost exclusively since I joined. I'm at Brown in Phelan and the zone has enabled me to hang in games longer against superior talent because I run a shorter bench and rely on my starters longer. It's taken many long seasons for me to figure out what has been spoken earlier. Zone is great for low to mid major team I think because we do not have the depth that the BCS guys usually have. I try (big emphasis on try) to always have 1 or 2 walkon's, a redshirt freshman with high growth potential (790-830), and 1 ineligible (if there is something good still lying around late that is better than anything I can get eligible. I'm sure I'm not the pioneer of the low level throw all cash left at an ineligible and hope he signs up, and if he doesn't pray he's close enough to get the preference next recruiting season. But I've been able to snag a couple of guys this way that have given me a fifth year .. that helps too.
2/9/2013 9:32 PM
Posted by chapelhillne on 2/9/2013 8:31:00 AM (view original):
I am thinking of sticking with the zone at the team I just took over at Fordham. If you have an 8 man rotation, have you ever had a problem with more than 3 players fouling out? Also, I read if you have more than 2 walk-ons, the players don't increase their ratings as much - have you found that to be an issue. The flip side, which probably offsets this would be that they get so many more minutes that it may not matter. I am going to give it a shot and see what happens. Thanks for the tips.
no, the practice penalty is negligible.

i wouldnt worry too much about that foul situation, yes you would have walkons come in, but you dont foul much in the zone, and i expect if you did foul out, its probably at the end in a game you are losing anyway. i really would be surprised if that attributed more than a quarter loss per season.
2/9/2013 9:42 PM (edited)
Posted by ixolabrat on 2/9/2013 9:02:00 PM (view original):
I've run zone almost exclusively since I joined. I'm at Brown in Phelan and the zone has enabled me to hang in games longer against superior talent because I run a shorter bench and rely on my starters longer. It's taken many long seasons for me to figure out what has been spoken earlier. Zone is great for low to mid major team I think because we do not have the depth that the BCS guys usually have. I try (big emphasis on try) to always have 1 or 2 walkon's, a redshirt freshman with high growth potential (790-830), and 1 ineligible (if there is something good still lying around late that is better than anything I can get eligible. I'm sure I'm not the pioneer of the low level throw all cash left at an ineligible and hope he signs up, and if he doesn't pray he's close enough to get the preference next recruiting season. But I've been able to snag a couple of guys this way that have given me a fifth year .. that helps too.
i agree with zone for mid/low d1, i actually think zone is at least as good as any other set, if not optimal for those teams to play, and i think in general it probably is the optimal defense for those situations.

people have this anti-zone mentality, in general, at least it seems to me. i think thats because in championship level play, it can be a bit of a disadvantage. i agree that is the case, especially in d1 where the top teams are SO talented, the advantage of getting more minutes to your starters (which is THE major benefit of zone) is so greatly diminished. however, most d1 teams have no shot in hell of winning a championship, and shouldnt care less what the preeminent set at that level is. i made an elite 8 with a low talent fb/zone team, a totally legit one, not like my recent elite 8 with a mid major (also in california, thought that was interesting). we'd have 1 of the top 10 players by talent compared with teams we were just as good at, or if you talk about the top 5 or so teams in the country, teams we were only a few points a game behind, on average. i think there are successful strategies in low d1 where press can be quite effective, but in general its really no contest to me, zone should be king of low d1.

even bottom half BCS teams, i just honestly cannot understand why people seem so into man at all levels of d1. or maybe they aren't, but it sure seems like it, at least in the BCS. anyone who isnt actively trying to win a championship, it seems to me, should not be playing it - all the guys who are run man, and it sure is hard to beat a great coach with huge advantages over you at their own game. now, there are a **** ton of high ath/def players. but the flexibility you get in recruiting and in the system you can run, by not running man, seems so significant to me. i know im sort of the "team planning junkie" of HD if you will, but man, it makes all the difference in the world. i think fully half of all human d1 coaches should run zone, if not more. most successful non-championship teams take walkons regularly, so why the hell not?
2/9/2013 10:28 PM
I think the ability to adjust 2/3 to 3/2 gives a lot of flexibility. When I set my guys to less aggressive I keep my fouls down to a minimum.
Zone with slowdown is a huge equalizer in my view :)
2/10/2013 9:03 AM
zone is also the right plan for teams in places where recruits are scarce - take Hawaii as the best example.  There, you will not see many strong local recruits.  You need to work toward keeping whatever comes along.  If you play man, then you have the problem of a very strong recruit coming along who wont fit in man - what can you do.  In zone, you find a way to use his skillz.

Hawaii is the extreme, but there are other places where geography and competition make it important to find a use for any strong recruit nearby - zone gives you the best chance to use any and every nearby elite player.  by the way, by elite here I mean the best overall ability that you can sign - not necessarily overall elite.
2/10/2013 9:30 AM
Posted by ixolabrat on 2/9/2013 10:28:00 PM (view original):
I think the ability to adjust 2/3 to 3/2 gives a lot of flexibility. When I set my guys to less aggressive I keep my fouls down to a minimum.
Zone with slowdown is a huge equalizer in my view :)
The Less Aggressive settings have been changed now, and I think you'll see that what you thought it meant isn't really what it meant at all.  It had/has to do with how aggressive you want to be in leaving a kid in the game when he is in foul trouble, not how ball-hawking you want him to be during the game.
2/10/2013 4:38 PM
Posted by jdno on 2/10/2013 9:30:00 AM (view original):
Posted by ixolabrat on 2/9/2013 10:28:00 PM (view original):
I think the ability to adjust 2/3 to 3/2 gives a lot of flexibility. When I set my guys to less aggressive I keep my fouls down to a minimum.
Zone with slowdown is a huge equalizer in my view :)
The Less Aggressive settings have been changed now, and I think you'll see that what you thought it meant isn't really what it meant at all.  It had/has to do with how aggressive you want to be in leaving a kid in the game when he is in foul trouble, not how ball-hawking you want him to be during the game.
+1
2/10/2013 5:12 PM
That's good to know ... I thought it was the latter. I changed everything to be neutral on that until I get a handle :)
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