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Stuhoo

The Pack-Line Defense

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Defense will be the key to the change we'll see with the Archie Miller era. I've watched some Crean era games in the past few weeks, and now that I understand the pack-line principles, the pack-line that Archie uses will be a 180 degree difference from what we are used to.

Pack-line has an absolute rule that NO defender gets out past about 17 feet from the basket, unless they are on-ball. It allows for perimeter passing, but dictates that as each pass is made, that new on-ball defender closes out quickly (with hands high to prevent a quick three pointer), and the replaced prior on-ball defender drops back into the "within 17 foot" pack. The on-ball defender guards aggressively, and unlike most defenses, forces drivers toward the lane (and into the pack) instead of toward the baseline. Pack-line places very little emphasis on offensive rebounding, preferring to ensure that all defenders are back to establish the helping pack.

Crean's teams were very good on the offensive boards (defensive strike one), pressured the ball AND the passing lanes, and had bigs routinely hedge way out on screens. That was effective with defenders like Cody and Vic, but was a terrible way to cover for players with lateral quickness deficiencies like Jordy or Thomas. 

If the Hoosiers are to improve, players that can close out quickly, have length, and recognize defensive help opportunities will be critical, and will go a long way to determine playing time. 

 



Why is your ability to rebound effectively on the offensive end a defensive strike?

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28 minutes ago, 8bucks said:

 


Why is your ability to rebound effectively on the offensive end a defensive strike?

 

It makes it easier for teams to run on you.  I am not sure about Dayton, but Virginia is always among the nation's leaders in fewest transition points allowed, because they prioritize getting back to prevent transition opportunities over offensive rebounding.  That is a big reason why teams like Louisville and UNC have struggled to score against them.  It will be interesting to see if we are far enough along with Archie's defense by December to give Louisville similar trouble, or at least the makings of it. 

Edited by HOOsier Thunder

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So it sounds similar to a match up zone or saggy man as they like to call it these days. The difference is forcing the ball into the middle vs baseline. I would assume Arch's defenses don't do a lot of trapping.

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32 minutes ago, schoosier said:

So it sounds similar to a match up zone or saggy man as they like to call it these days. The difference is forcing the ball into the middle vs baseline. I would assume Arch's defenses don't do a lot of trapping.

 

Not necessarily like a match up zone or a sagging man to man, though there are commonalities:

A matchup zone usually pressures more than this defense off the ball and relies on regular switching to allow for help defense. This defense relies on help, not switching.

A sagging man to man does not pressure the ball or the immediate pass recipient so heavily. The pack-line pressures the ball handler heavily and dares the pass recipient to drive, while forcing that pass recipient into the pack.

This defense doesn't "trap" per se, but it is designed to constantly create help situations whereby multiple defenders are available to maximize the defense near the basket. Can be susceptible to a great catch and shoot player, and doesn't produce as many turnovers and transition opportunities. 

 

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So a good perimeter passing team with decent shooters can break this defense down just like one would a zone? I'm thinking good ball movement would always be faster than help defense and eventually open the floor or give an open shot.

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So a good perimeter passing team with decent shooters can break this defense down just like one would a zone? I'm thinking good ball movement would always be faster than help defense and eventually open the floor or give an open shot.



Not necessarily. This is why we will have long, athletic players. To aid in closeouts. It's nothing like a 2-3 zone because their aren't as many gaps. No matter what defense you use, you will always give up something.

Sent from my SM-G935P using BtownBanners mobile app

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Always lose something to gain something. Makes sense I was watching a video and the other thing that stood out was a dominant big could wreck a lot of damage if our 4 and 5 can't over power and maintain position.

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7 minutes ago, Fkfootball1 said:

 

 


Not necessarily. This is why we will have long, athletic players. To aid in closeouts. It's nothing like a 2-3 zone because their aren't as many gaps. No matter what defense you use, you will always give up something.

Sent from my SM-G935P using BtownBanners mobile app
 

 

 

 

^^This^^

Which could also mean more CuJo, Al Durham, and Clifton Moore, and less Devonte Green and Josh Newkirk.

 

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1 minute ago, Stuhoo said:

 

^^This^^

Which could also mean more CuJo, Al Durham, and Clifton Moore, and less Devonte Green and Josh Newkirk.

 

Devonte was one of our best defenders last year, CuJo, not so much. Things can obviously change in a year, but I feel much more comfortable with Green's defense

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Devonte was one of our best defenders last year, CuJo, not so much. Things can obviously change in a year, but I feel much more comfortable with Green's defense

I think he was referring to length. Green doesn't have the same length as a Durham or Jones. He had a knack to get into passing lanes though.

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It sounds like 3-point defense will be the biggest challenge with the pack line.  I don't think perimeter passing should cause too many problems, simply because by sagging off the offensive player when they don't have the ball, an alert defender can hedge more effectively and decrease the opportunity for off the ball movement and screens to create large separation and easy shots.  However, I do think drive and kicks will cause problems for this defense, because the pack line encourages opposition players to dribble into the teeth of the defense in the paint, which will often require help defenders from the perimeter and provide opportunities for good spot up shooters.  I agree with Stuhoo that this defense will be less physically demanding, but at the same time it will likely require a higher level of mental awareness.  I also think disciplined defensive recovery and close outs will need to be an emphasis for our players.

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50 minutes ago, HoosierAloha said:


I think he was referring to length. Green doesn't have the same length as a Durham or Jones. He had a knack to get into passing lanes though.

I know. I get the length part, but it isn't everything. Positional awareness and as you said, having a knack for getting into the passing lanes. Also, quickness and agility play a big part. 

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