Layer 1 – Control Half

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We control the game by controlling the space. We control the space by speeding up the pace, the faster we make the ball play the less space and time they have. We shrink the floor by controlling and influencing the ball to cross half on the left-hand side of the floor at full speed. We also deny all passes to the right of the ball with the most aggressive open stance deny possible. Once the ball crosses half we LOCK the ball to the left hand side of the floor for the rest of the possession. Our principle is, speed up the ball, force a shot or turnover within the first 12 seconds of the shot clock.



  • Best on-ball defender, quick and tenacious. Must be a “dog” that can influence the ball without fouling. You will need multiple controllers that rotate through this position as it takes maximum effort in 2-3 minute stints. 
  • Picks up the ball as early as possible. Speeds it up, forces the ball to cross half on the left-hand side. Does not get beat right or on a blow by to the left. Looks for ways to “gnaw pocket” if they get behind the ball. Controller gets a reward for their effort, they do not have any rebounding responsibilities. They get to leak out and sprint for a layup on every shot attempt. On offensive shot attempts, the controller drifts to the left elbow for offensive rebounds, then is ready to influence the ball. 
  • #LockLeft has defensive substitutions so you would send in a new “controller” in your substitution pattern.
  • One way to get buy-in is to tell players they can be guaranteed playing time by being one of the top two controllers on the team, you will need 2-3 players who can play this position. 

Deny Right

  • When a player is one pass away to the right of the ball they are in deny position not allowing the ball to come back to the right. As the base of the #LockLeft we play aggressive up the line with an open stance to the ball with the defender’s chin on the high shoulder facing the ball. This forces backdoors over ball reversals and encourages controlling the half-court.