9/10/2013 2:18 PM
I'm wondering what people's experiences have been with changing defenses.
How long did it take?
How to coach in the transition?
Is it best to run the old D and practice the new or just go all in and take your lumps?
Is it worth it to pump up the practice time in the new set or too much of a sap on skills?
Do you think it was worth changing looking back on it?

I'm very early into a change from man to press. Thanks in advance for any input!


9/10/2013 2:39 PM
well, it takes just as long as freshman take in the old set, to grow. not an exact answer there, i mean, you basically feel most of the pain in the first 2 seasons. by the third season you have junior year IQ in your seniors instead of senior IQ and thats the only downside. so the pain is really over after 2, although if you are trying to win a title or something, that lack of senior IQ can definitely take you down a notch. 

i suggest you practice the new set and play the old. the improvement from playing something is VERY slight. i usually play the old set at least one whole season. the next season it depends, if you have a lot seniors i might still play the old set at first. juniors will have 1 season in each set starting the season so its a wash there to start and by end of season you have 2 seasons in the new set, to 1 in the old set, way better to play the new set (for juniors). for seniors you start with 2 in the old, 1 in the new, so only if you have a senior dominated team would i even consider starting with the old set. by the end of the year its a wash for them so you ALWAYS are switched by the end of the 2nd season. generally speaking i just switch for the second season and am done with it. if you have a very young team, you might want to switch earlier. how well suited your team is to the new set vs old can also be a factor, but really, if you just switch what you play after 1 season you are doing it well enough.

pump up practice time? not much. don't exceed 25, you can go from 20 to 25 if you like.

if it worth changing? cant answer that. depends what you want to do, what your goals are. if you want to move up ASAP to the next level, no, its not worth it. if you are trying to build a dynasty, its worth playing what you want to play so you enjoy that long time there more, and can build for what you want to build for. that is up to you.
9/10/2013 3:17 PM (edited)
To add to what billyg said, I'll offer my experience:  The times I've changed off/def sets with a school, I've done it after taking over a crappy Sim team that isn't going to win much anyway.  In one case, the team wasn't that bad but did not have the kind of players I usually go after.  So that first year was a good time to "waste" a year playing the old D while practicing the new while I recruited my own players. 

You can expect gripes from your assistant coach about not practicing a set you're using in games, but I usually just send his butt out for coffee and donuts.

The times I've switched, it's taken me about 1 season to get to a "B" IQ rating or so from an "F" or "D", then maybe another to reach the lower "A" range.  A lot of it depends on the WE of your players and how much game time they're getting among other things. 

The main reasons I've ever done this are if the team is playing a zone (which I don't care for, for personal reasons) or a FB offense that won't let me set tempo like I want.  Otherwise, I've gone from a stubborn Man/Motion "all day every day"  for years to accepting my current Triangle/Man set just because it has value, too, and I want to learn the subtle nuances of playing it.


9/10/2013 3:30 PM
Look at your prestige and use that to answer the question. If you're already near rock-bottom, switch over now, max out the team minutes on defense to 25 and just run it from the outset (with press you'll foul a ton initially unti the IQ's improve). On the other hand, if you have a team prestige that can be hit (and it looks like you do since you're at B and I see Baylor's dropped as low as C+ previously), then I'd still load up the practice minutes in press, but play man defense as much as you can as your IQs are probably better there among the guys that will get the bulk of your playing time. Use the old defense this season to get as many wins as you can and minimize/avoid a prestige hit. Next season you can either run press from Day 1 or definitely by the time conference play starts at 25 minutes you should be good to go.

The only times I've changed defenses was weaning a new team off a combo defense, which isn't really hard as it's just a matter of picking which half of the combo you want to go with and easing practice minutes over. Aside from that, I don't coach the team any different in transition...I just adjust my own expectations.
9/10/2013 4:14 PM
What rednu said. If you're already awful, run the new set. If you have a chance to make the postseason, run the old set and practice the new. 

I changed defenses once at a D3 team returning three human recruited (and very good) players but getting an infusion of EIGHT new recruits. I played the old defense for non-conference and played the new defense for conference play. Because the change only negatively affected four guys (and only three who were any good), it was worthwhile after just ten games. I did end up making the PIT, which is the best I could've hoped for in that scenario. 
9/10/2013 4:22 PM
Thanks for the input everyone. Definitely helps me think through a strategy. This is my first jump to the big 6 after having some good success with the press at low level d1, even against the big dogs in the NT. I'm hoping to take a similar blueprint, increase the talent level, and see if it can be effective on the big stage. I'm struggling because i have a borderline NT team this year and balancing the potential W's this year vs implementing the system I want long term. Sounds like I need to walk the tightrope and squeeze as many Ws as possible out of the man D this season while building up the press in practice until a full roll out next season.
9/11/2013 3:28 PM
Not to hijack yor thread but I'm thinking of doing this myself with my new team in d1 that I literally just acquired a few hrs ago. They currently run triangle/press and I'm thinking of making it FB/FCb. Seems like I'd read where Tri is the worst offense to run with fcp and I kinda want to keep fcp on this squad. It's been a sim team for 30+ seasons so its not going anywhere anytime soon anyway .. Whats e general consensus on Tri/fcp.?...

9/11/2013 3:54 PM
I think you have to take this on a case-by-case basis.  I have done it a few times and have done it a little bit differently each time.  It depends on:

1. The WE's of your players
2. How many players you have in each class.
3. If you are starting your upperclassment or if you are taking over a new program and planning to play FR right away.

The older the players who you will have on the floor, the more you should err towards playing the old system while practicing the new.  This is just my opinion, if you feel like your players have high WE's in general you can put a few extra minutes into team defense practice and get to the point where you can play the new system a little quicker.  I usually wait until all players have reached B- in the new system to make the switch to playing the new system.  How quickly they get there will depend on a lot of factors (playing time, GPAs and WEs mostly).  The biggest thing you need to do though is commit to the new system and practice it as much as you can in terms of minutes.  I usualy put 20 minutes into O and D practice each, but if I'm switching defense I might be inclined to go to 25 minutes there to get to B- IQs faster.

Good luck with the swtich.
9/12/2013 12:51 AM
Posted by pureh21 on 9/11/2013 3:28:00 PM (view original):
Not to hijack yor thread but I'm thinking of doing this myself with my new team in d1 that I literally just acquired a few hrs ago. They currently run triangle/press and I'm thinking of making it FB/FCb. Seems like I'd read where Tri is the worst offense to run with fcp and I kinda want to keep fcp on this squad. It's been a sim team for 30+ seasons so its not going anywhere anytime soon anyway .. Whats e general consensus on Tri/fcp.?...

the hands down top two d2/d3 runs of all time were both accomplished running triangle/press, so i would definitely disagree its the worst. that is just crazy talk! especially at low d1, where its more like d2/d3 than high d1. but even in high d1, triangle/press can be great. in this day and age, i feel like motion is honestly a bit overpowered compared to triangle/flex. in the olden days i felt motion was the least suitable offense for coaches not competing at the highest level, but the best team would clearly run motion. today i feel like with the shift from 3pt dominance to more versatile scoring options, with motion being the biggest beneficiary of that change of the big 3 sets, that motion is, by a very slight margin, the best offense (read: dont switch to motion over it, unless maybe you are trying to establish your program as one of the greatest high d1 programs of all time). but still, triangle is a very powerful offense and it allows you to focus your offense efficiently in the hands of a few players - which is a huge advantage given all the constraints of building a press team. 

fb/fcp you can really suffer from fatigue issues and you need to recruit amazing stamina on top of other things. its a challenging system for sure, but it can be very powerful. one major problem is volatility - its the most volatile set and nothing else comes close. this is good when you get a low NT seed going for an upset, but its awful when you have a top tier program.
9/12/2013 10:08 AM
I took over VCU a few seasons ago and changed offense (FB) and defense (FCP).  My results are as follows:

Season 59:  2-25
Season 60: 13-15
Season 61: 10-18
Season 62: 22-7
Season 63: 22-3


Takes a bit of patience...but worth it.
9/12/2013 8:22 PM
Ty CBG and Kyle.. I took over my alma mater marshall so I'm here for the long haul.. My brother has marshall in another world and he kept triangle/press and is in yr 2 or 3 of his "rebuild" and he kinda eched your thoughts CBG..
9/12/2013 9:09 PM
no problem. when im 75 maybe you can return the favor!
9/13/2013 10:34 AM
I actually run fcp/ tri at my Georgia tech team in Iba.
We made the final four or better four consecutive years, so I think it works fine.

Problem is we never won it all though we were the best team a few of those years. Trying to get stud press guys that can also score at will can be a problem, so I like to have at least one defensive stud who will never shoot on the floor at all times with 3 versatile scorers (at least one down low) and an outside shooter.

Here's my 2 questions...
1- Does it matter if my lp scorer plays the 4 or 5? Or can he be a 1,2,3?
I know in real bb, you want a lp player who can score in the blocks with the triangle o. Does it matter in this game?

2- I have a ridiculous team. Starting lineup of top ten players nationally on their given year and only 2 4-stars. A I winning despite my offense defense breakdown or does it even matter?

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