Virginia Tech Basketball Preview, Part Three

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Mike Young, Virginia Tech
Mike Young’s defense is easier to pick up than his offense. (Ivan Morozov)

The good news is that Mike Young’s defense is much easier to pick up. There are two typical types of man-to-man defense in college basketball: the traditional defense that forces the offense away from the middle of the floor and to the sideline/baseline (Buzz Williams), and the other is the “pack line” which forces offensive players into help defenders who are sucked in the paint helping on drives (Tony Bennett).

Mike Young’s defenses resemble the pack line more than the traditional defense, even though they don’t have the same pack line principles. His teams do not have much ball pressure, and do not chase screens, which gives it the pack line feel, but they are very active in trying to create deflections and use positioning to keep the ball out of the paint like a traditional defense.

The biggest difference among defenses comes down to how people choose to defend ball screens.

There are quite a few ways to defend a ball screen:

  • Hedge
  • Hard Hedge
  • Blitz
  • Double
  • Down
  • Switch
  • Push Up and Go Under
  • String Out

For the sake of brevity in an already insanely long series of articles, I’ll concentrate on the most popular and the ones a novice fan

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