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Quentin Hillsman: The 2-3 Zone Defense with Pressure Variations

Quentin Hillsman: The 2-3 Zone Defense with Pressure Variations

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with Quentin Hillsman, Syracuse University Head Women's Coach;
2008 Big East Women's Basketball Coach of the Year; Coach for the 2012 Dutch National U18 Team

If there is one thing that Syracuse University is known for it's the 2-3 Zone Defense. Both the men's and the women's programs at Syracuse have developed a reputation for a smothering, trapping, aggressive style that has proven to be as hard to contend with as any man-to-man defense.

Quentin Hillsman provides a toolbox full of variations to use while running his version of the 2-3 zone. From sideline traps to full court pressure to dealing with screens, this video is the complete package for implementing various strategies to take your opponent out of its comfort zone.

The fundamentals of the 2-3 zone are covered in this unique look from the women's side of the Syracuse zone defense tradition. Coach Hillsman has learned to use subtle variations on the standard 2-3 zone to put his players in position to win games.

He begins the session by sharing his "Rules for Success" verses the ball screen offense. Ensuring the ball handler can't get a shot, preventing splits, and defending against the first pass are just a few of the keys he stresses when faced with a ball screen.

He covers many of the basic 2-3 concepts to establish the foundation for the real treat of this video. With his "ICE" call, Hillsman puts his players in a trapping situation that can easily force turnovers. With his "23 J" coach gets aggressive on the ball handler and allows his players to take a chance. The "23 J" will help you get a hot opponent out of rhythm without compromising the principles of the zone. These and other strategies in this DVD will surprise your opponents and keep them off-balance throughout a contest.

Coach Hillsman adds two valuable tools to this defensive package.

21 Press (2-1-2 full court press) - This press easily morphs back into the 2-3 zone, so your players won't have to scramble to find their positions in the zone after pressing. By looking for traps on the sideline or forcing a non-ballhandler to bring it up, you will see why the Orangemen are successful.
"Diamond" Defense - The Diamond can be used as a surprise attack verses sideline in-bounds. Just as your opponent gets comfortable with the standard 2-3 zone, they have to face this aggressive, attacking installment.
Regardless of your team's size, using this defensive scheme can stymie any offense. Break the traditional model of the 2-3 zone and add some surprises to your defensive package with these defensive strategies.
Produced at the Spring 2011 Verona (NY) clinic.

"I am convinced that I need to incorporate part of this DVD into my coaching philosophy. Coach Hillsman brought out a great point early in the DVD that made me realize how this would work for me." - J. Allen, Varsity Girls' Basketball Coach at Forsyth Country Day School in Lewisville, North Carolina, 20 years of combined AAU and High school coaching experience

73 minutes. 2012. DVD.

Overall Rating: 4.9 out of 5. Sports Nation Video Sales Rank: 2 out of 190 for the category Women's Basketball DVDs.

Fun Facts About Coach Hillsman: Hillsman led the 2012-13 Orange to its best winning percentage in the NCAA era of the program's history, going 24-8, advancing to the program's fifth NCAA Tournament, and finishing the season ranked 22nd in both major polls. SU's 11-5 conference record secured it the No. 3 seed in its final BIG EAST Championship, its highest seeding in 25 years. Senior Kayla Alexander was named an AP honorable mention All-American and first-team All-BIG EAST, while senior Carmen Tyson-Thomas won the BIG EAST Sixth-Man Award and Brianna Butler and Brittney Sykes were named All-Freshman.