Aggressive 1-3-1 Zone Defense: Tom Blackford

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Adjust and disguise your aggressive 1-3-1 defense on the fly using these proven strategies and techniques
  • Get multiple breakdown drills for developing a trapping 1-3-1 defense
  • Learn effective trapping scenarios, including coverages for skip passes and passes out of traps
  • Get unique variations of the 1-3-1 to prevent opponents from getting into an offensive rhythm, including "Triangle & Two" or "Diamond & One"
with Tom Blackford,
Fayetteville Manlius (NY) High School Head Boys Basketball Coach;
distinguished member of the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame;
over 400 victories, 2x New York State High School Champions

Legendary high school basketball coach Tom Blackford opens his practice session to demonstrate his dominating 1-3-1 half-court defense. With over 30 years of experience and more than 400 career victories at two separate schools (Hamilton High School and Fayetteville Manlius High School), Coach Blackford has built programs that successfully contend for the New York state title year after year. In this exciting presentation, he shares his secrets to developing a smothering 1-3-1 defense.

In detailed manner, Coach Blackford teaches the responsibilities and actions of the chaser, wings, center and point guard. His primary emphasis here is letting players play without over-thinking their actions. He allows his players to trap and move freely within the parameters of simple rules.

When teaching this aggressive 1-3-1, Coach Blackford starts with two offensive players bringing the ball up against all five defenders. This technique develops the chaser's skills.

Next, the defense faces three offensive players with a focus on trapping and getting the ball out of the middle.

In the next phase, five offensive players set up in a 2-1-2 formation, the most common approach to attacking a 1-3-1 defense. Here the defense works on getting in the passing lanes, stopping dribble penetration, box out responsibilities, defending the high post, low post and dealing with the short corner.

To make the defense even more effective, Coach Blackford shows how the 1-3-1 can transform into a "Triangle & Two," "Box-in-One" or "Match-Up" defense in the middle of an offensive possession.

As a bonus, Coach Blackford spends 20 minutes on the offensive side of the ball demonstrating two shooting drills and three offensive plays. These plays include:

  • Secondary - an offensive set that can quickly be run out of transition
  • Syracuse - a play that uses multiple double screens
  • Michigan State Interchange - a 4-out 1-in play with the post player giving back screen and ball screen action

Coach Blackford also shares some of the proven strategies he's used over the years to build successful programs.

This season, adjust and disguise your aggressive 1-3-1 defense on the fly using these proven strategies and techniques.

96 minutes. 2015.

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