I’ve watched Shaka Smart lecture about his “Diamond” press (1-2-1-1), and he come right out of the diamond into full-court man if teams go 4-across. We do what others above have said v 1-2-1-1. We’ll either use the read-n-react press break or if it’s an important possession, we’ll go 4-across.
interestingly, the 1-2-1-1 is about the only press our Read-n-React press break has troubles with. But when we have a great ball-handling PG, we can usually defeat it with the PG inbounding and then playing cat-n-mouse with our PG after — sometimes he’ll just step over the inbound line and get the ball back then dribble thru the middle of the press. other times he’ll inbound and cut the middle and we hit him further up the court. it all depends on how they defend that immediate pass back to the PG.
years when our PG isn’t able to dribble the middle, we’ll go 4-across. (and teams will usually switch their press) and we can still run the RnR press break out of it, or we’ll clear out if man.
I like to just drill it via scrimmages in practice. every trip down the court is a press break, whether you make or miss on the offensive end. You will be inbounding against the press again. So the same offense for as many possessions as you like. Some days we’ll diagnose each possession. Some days we’ll let them go down & back and diagnose. many times we’ll work on some sort of offensive action in the half-court, then make or miss they have to inbound against the press, i’d like them to score on the press break but if they don’t then they work on the same offensive action on the far end, then same thing back (press break, basket or offensive action) and then we’ll diagnose. so it’s a halfcourt action on the near end to start, then down and back — then diagnose.
i try not to add any comments until all 3 possesions are over. kids like it. and it gives them a little bit of a chance to figure it out on their own or coach each other.
I run a 1-4 against the diamond. if they man up, then it’s up to my best ball handler to beat one off the dribble.
We will typically attack a 1-2-1-1 with a 2-1-2… where we slide our inbounder, who is typically our 4 into the middle of the zone, and we make sure that we have 3 available receivers.. we try to look up the floor (sideline, middle/diagonal skip, reverse).
Thinking about this more deeply, @Tony Brown, more important to me than systems and strategies is simply teaching my players to be tough and calm with the ball. 3-pt contact, pivot 10-2 to own your space, eyes out, sharp elbows, passing out of traps, etc. I train these skills from day one, long before i teach our press break. until they are calm and confident with the ball, and understand pressure for the defensive gamble (and offensive opportunity) that it is, no system in the world will help them. Here are some drills I use regularly:
Beating pressure is about mentality–powerful, poised, and patient.