Yes, Zone Offense Works vs Junk Defenses – Here’s How

By Rory Hamilton

Junk Defenses, Zone Offense, Triangle & 2, Box & 1

Several examples of zone offenses that will provide success against junk defenses, such as a Box & 1 or Triangle & 2.

When looking at attacking junk defenses, there are a few questions coaches should ask themselves:

  1. Do you run normal offense versus junk defenses?
  2. Will you use quick hitters, continuities, or special offenses versus junk defenses?
  3. Is your goal to get your best player(s) shots, or do you run offense to create scoring opportunities for your other players?

Personally, I feel it’s best to use a combination of both. Mix in a few easy quick hitters to get top players scoring opportunities along with a simple offense that will open up looks for all players. Below are a few of my favorites for attacking these types of defenses.

Click on a diagram to download it to your FastDraw library.

Trips vs Box & 1

Trips is a continuity offense that looks to free up your shooter along the baseline using a back screen and baseline double screen.  It also looks to overload the bottom  part of the junk defense.  It has great spacing and continuity and it will allow your players some freedom in their attack.

OU vs Triangle & 2

OU  is a continuity junk offense I saw Lon Kruger use when playing against a triangle & 2.  OU was playing UTEP who ran a lot of triangle and 2 that year under head coach Tim Floyd.  The premise of OU is to play three on three with the guarded players staying in the corners.  Although your star players may not be part of this attack, it has great movement and puts your players in great positions to attack the triangle and 2.

Flex vs Any Junk Defense

Flex has great spacing, player movement, and ball movement and may be a perfect fit for your team if you want to simplify your attack versus junk. Players have simple reads in this offense, allowing your team to make plays and be successful.

I hope these zone offenses and concepts will help you be more efficient and effective versus zone defenses next season.  If you have any questions or would like to share your ideas for attacking odd front zones & junk defenses, feel free to email me at or follow me on Twitter @twolveshoops. Happy Hoopin!

More from Coach Hamilton: All Plays & Drills | All Blog Posts | Attacking a Match-up Zone | Man-to-Man Defense Series

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Rory Hamilton

Rory Hamilton has 21 years of basketball coaching experience at the collegiate and high school level. Coach Hamilton is the current girls basketball coach at Norman North High School. In 5 years his team has posted a 85-49 record, won four mid-season tournament titles and appeared in five 6A area tournaments. In 2019, Norman North won the silver ball losing in the 6A state championship game to Norman High School. Coach Hamilton was named Central Oklahoma Conference girls coach of the year along with earning Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association Large Class All-State coach. Prior to Norman North, he served as the head girls coach at Mount St. Mary Catholic High School in Oklahoma City, OK. In seven years at MSM, he posted a 108-75 record and is the winningest girls coach in school history. Coach Hamilton led the Rockets to three consecutive 4A state tournament appearances. In 2011-2012, the Rockets had a 20-7 record and made it to the state tournament for the first time in school history. The next year in 2012-2013, the Rockets posted a 25-6 record and earned the silver ball, losing in the 4A state championship game to Fort Gibson. In 2013-2014, the Rockets posted a 23-7 record and lost to Anadarko in the 4A state tournament semifinals. Coach Hamilton was named Central Oklahoma Conference coach of the year three times and was selected to coach the Little All-City all-star game three consecutive years from 2012-2014. Coach Hamilton has coached 6 NCAA Division 1 players, 6 NCAA Division II players and several playing at the NAIA and NJCAA levels.

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