Wednesday, July 18, 2012


If you were to ask ten coaches about their philosophy on scouting an opponent it is likely you would get ten different responses.  There will be similarities but many many differences.  The reason?  Because scouting is personal.  Each coach scouts an opponent and sees things they do and how it applies to their own team.

One of the areas to study when scouting an opponent is how they execute their man-to-man defense.  Below are some questions to consider when scouting your opponent's man-to-man defense.

1. Where do they pick up the ball?  Full court? Three quarter court?  Half court?
2. Defending the ball:  Pressure?  Do they attempt to force ball a certain direction or to a spot?
3. Defending offensive player one pass away:  Deny?  Sag?
4. Defending the high post:  Allow catches?  Deny?
5. Defending the low post:  Full front? Three-quarter front? Play behind?
6. Defending ball screens:  Switch?  Hedge?  Go under?  Go over?
7. Defending screens:  Switch?  Help & recover?  Follow?
8. Defending cutters through the lane:  Free cuts?  Physical with cutters?
9. Help defense:  Protect the lane?  Rotate slow/quick?
10. Transition defense:  Do they get back and get set slow/quick? 
11. Individual defenders:
  • Poor on-ball defender(s) on point or at wings?  
  • Poor post defender(s)? 
  • Specific move/fake perimeter defenders can get beat on?
  • Specific move/fake perimeter defenders can get beat on?
Take the answers to the questions listed above and see how you can apply it to your game plan to give your team an advantage when your opponent plays man-to-man defense.

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