Tennessee men's basketball team says 1-3-1 zone is more than a one-time thing

Alabama guard Trevor Releford (12) goes inside for two as Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) and guard Josh Richardson (1) defend during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt) MAGS OUT

Photo by Vasha Hunt, lead

Alabama guard Trevor Releford (12) goes inside for two as Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) and guard Josh Richardson (1) defend during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt) MAGS OUT

Cuonzo Martin explained Saturday night’s big surprise as Coleman Coliseum emptied.

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Comments » 5

oldster writes:

I once had a youth league coach tell me that anyone who used a 1-3-1 was an idiot after I had used it and a man against his team in a game they thoroughly dominated.

OldGolfer writes:

Another old coach by the name of Ray Mears used a 1-3-1 zone fairly effectively.

johnlg00 writes:

I hope Martin isn't dimming down the brilliance of his recent insight. The point of defense is to stop the other team from scoring AS MUCH AS YOU DO, whether that means a high-scoring game or a low-scoring one. It may be necessary to play other defenses so guys who can score but can't shut a man down have a chance to contribute. It doesn't MATTER how physically intimidated your opponents feel after the game if they win! That does YOU no good! You have to challenge an opponent mentally as well as physically. That is why a team should use a VARIETY of defenses so the opponents are having to diffuse the focus of their pregame preparation and force them to make timely on-court adjustments. Uncertainty about what they will face is as debilitating as any fear of physical domination, especially since you can't actually rough guys up on the court anymore without creating a free-throw parade that also leaves you short-handed in the late going. You also gain confidence in playing AGAINST a variey of defenses. A sound, evolving PHILOSOPHY of the game beats a rigid, received IDEOLOGY of the game every time!

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I hope Martin isn't dimming down the brilliance of his recent insight. The point of defense is to stop the other team from scoring AS MUCH AS YOU DO, whether that means a high-scoring game or a low-scoring one. It may be necessary to play other defenses so guys who can score but can't shut a man down have a chance to contribute. It doesn't MATTER how physically intimidated your opponents feel after the game if they win! That does YOU no good! You have to challenge an opponent mentally as well as physically. That is why a team should use a VARIETY of defenses so the opponents are having to diffuse the focus of their pregame preparation and force them to make timely on-court adjustments. Uncertainty about what they will face is as debilitating as any fear of physical domination, especially since you can't actually rough guys up on the court anymore without creating a free-throw parade that also leaves you short-handed in the late going. You also gain confidence in playing AGAINST a variey of defenses. A sound, evolving PHILOSOPHY of the game beats a rigid, received IDEOLOGY of the game every time!

John.. in today's game a coach has to do everything he can to give his team the best chance to win and not give any edge to his opponents..Martin was giving his opponents an edge by being predictable on defense..today's game is becoming more and more a chess game for coaches..now the question some are asking is why did he wait so long to see something so obvious..

johnlg00 writes:

in response to underthehill:

John.. in today's game a coach has to do everything he can to give his team the best chance to win and not give any edge to his opponents..Martin was giving his opponents an edge by being predictable on defense..today's game is becoming more and more a chess game for coaches..now the question some are asking is why did he wait so long to see something so obvious..

As I have tried to express in several different ways, it has at times seemed that Martin believed 1) that there is one and only one "correct" way to play basketball and any other is only a poor copy or a compromise; 2) the only way to dominate your opponent is to physically and directly shut him down; 3) the "correct" way has already been invented and no one can improve on it conceptually; and 4) a player who can't play effective man-to-man defense can't play college basketball. The idea of being tough and direct about everything you do seems to be more important even than winning a given game. It is easy to imagine why a man like Martin might see his system as all of one piece--fiddling with any part of it unravels the whole structure--and it would be downright disloyal to his respected mentor to think he was smart and bold enough to stretch beyond those original ideas. Happily, this no longer seems to be the case...I hope!

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