Breakdown: Kermit Davis Morphing 1-3-1 Zone Defense

By Matt Barnthouse

August 9, 2018 - Ottawa, ON, U.S. - OTTAWA, ON - AUGUST 08: Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis shouts instructions during pre-season college basketball play at Carleton University's Raven's Nest in Ottawa, Canada. The Carleton Ravens defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 81-69 in the game played on August 8, 2018.. (Photo by Sean Burges/Icon Sportswire) (Credit Image: © Sean Burges/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Go inside the action of coach Kermit Davis’ morphing 1-3-1 Zone Defense that has led to multiple NCAA Tournament runs.

First-year Ole Miss Head Coach Kermit Davis is famous for using an aggressive style of 1-3-1 Zone Defense that helped his Middle Tennessee State squads to multiple NCAA Tournament appearances.

This post outlines the principles of the defense, as well as the personnel needed to execute it effectively. Scroll down to view the FastDraw diagram showing the basic rotations along with frame descriptions, and download it to your  library.

This video, courtesy of Championship Productions, shows the action in more detail.

Personnel:  

  • 1 and 2: Defend the wings 
  • 3: Most athletic wing player
  • 4: Long, athletic, and around 6’6” or 6’7″
  • 5: Always stays between ball and rim 

Goals: 

  • Early traps; force the offense up and out away from paint.
  • Aggressive defense forcing mistakes. 
  • Prevent easy straight line passes, force offense to make lob passes that allow time for recovery. 

Principles: 

  • TAKE UP SPACE.
  • Active, high hands (once again, trying to force lob passes).
  • Force lob passes, avoid giving up straight line passes.
  • Play with constant energy and make the offense panic. 

Morphing 1-3-1 Zone Defense (click to download to FastDraw)

Kermit Davis Morphing 1-3-1 Zone Defense w descriptions


More defensive content: Help Defense | Post Defense | Defending Screens | Perimeter Defense

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Matt Barnthouse

Matt Barnthouse

Content Intern at FastModel Sports
Matt Barnthouse is a content intern at FastModel Sports while completing his Master's Degree in Organizational Communication and Leadership from University of Cincinnati, where he teaches Public Speaking and works with several D1 teams helping them with recruiting graphics and advanced statistics. Barnthouse has over seven years experience working at the youth, high school, and Division I levels of basketball, including four years as a student manager at Ole Miss, as well as coaching stints at Mick Cronin Basketball Camps and Camp Androscoggin. Barnthouse is seeking a job in basketball following the 2018-19 season. You can follow Barnthouse on Twitter @MattBarnthouse.
Matt Barnthouse

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August 9, 2018 – Ottawa, ON, U.S. – OTTAWA, ON – AUGUST 08: Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis shouts instructions during pre-season college basketball play at Carleton University’s Raven’s Nest in Ottawa, Canada. The Carleton Ravens defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 81-69 in the game played on August 8, 2018.. (Photo by Sean Burges/Icon Sportswire) (Credit Image: © Sean Burges/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)
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