10/25/2013 3:18 PM
I recently took over a new D1 team, which has been playing a zone defense.  My first thought was that I'm going to immediately start running the M2M defense that I've always ran (even though the defensive ratings aren't yet very good), but now I'm considering learning the zone and keeping it.  I searched throughout the forums and older "player bible" posts but haven't seen anything really comprehensive on the zone defense.  
Some of my questions would be:
1.  Exactly how important are stats like ATH and DEF to the zone?  Which stats are the most important to have (ATH/DEF for bigs, SPD/DEF for guards)?
2.  When is it better to switch to a 3-2 as opposed to a 2-3 with a + setting?
3.  Basically anything else that would be important to consider in recruiting and gameplanning with the zone?
4.  Can a zone defense compete with a top-tier D1 M2M defenses?  I've seen good teams run a zone, but is their championship percentages equivalent to the percentages of teams that run zone (ie 10% of teams use zone, 10% of championships were won by zone teams).  I ask this because I'll most likely need all the help I can get, and if I'd not play a defense which handicaps my team from the start.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 
10/25/2013 3:32 PM
2-3 +1 is essentially a 3-2.
10/25/2013 3:38 PM
Thanks.  So would running a 3-2 (+5) be equivalent to running a 2-3 (+9) or something to that effect?  Also, when switching to a 3-2, is it better to edit your lineup to include a faster player in the SF spot?
10/25/2013 3:49 PM (edited)
I don't have answers for you, but I'm doing the same thing.  I think there's logic to what billyg/gillispie says about Zone being optimal for low D1.  I'm switching my first D1 team over to it and picked up a new D3 team that plays zone just to test things out.

I plan on recruiting the same way as I would for M2M with a couple of exceptions - Absolutely emphasizing elite ATH/REB at the PF and C position and adding in SB for the C.

In theory I see 2 approaches, 2 solid G, 2 solid bigs with an exceptional SF that can swing either way OR two different lineups, one for 2/3 with 3 solid bigs and one for 3/2 with 3 solid guards.  In the second case you start whichever lineup you're going to play that night.  Everyone says the advantage of the zone is you can hide a bad defender (a 60 DEF and a 90 DEF in the backcourt will average out to a 75 at both positions), but I'm trying to NOT take a bad defender and see if the zone with solid D for the level I'm at plays that much different than M2M.  I've allowed myself an exception if I find a truly elite scorer that has mediocre defense.

I tweak +/-, but don't have much experience there yet.  I think there's absolutely more nuances and things to tweak in a zone, I guess to me it's more interesting at this point that running another M2M team.

If there is a big bonus to fatigue that's just another plus, I haven't really looked at that yet.

10/25/2013 3:52 PM
Thanks guyo... I was thinking the exact same thing regarding hiding a bad defender.  Sure, it makes that terrible defender a lot better (average wise), but it also brings down all of the other guys.  To me, that isn't worth it unless the one bad defender is an elite scorer.  I'd rather just recruit nothing but good defenders, even though its supposedly one of the advantages of the defense.
10/25/2013 4:28 PM
1. Exactly how important are stats like ATH and DEF to the zone? Which stats are the most important to have (ATH/DEF for bigs, SPD/DEF for guards)? ATH and DEF are very important although the DEF doesn't have to be at a M2M level. Also, as guyo said, REB and SB are essential for your bigs. A STA of 75 will allow a player just over 24 mpg at a FF using Fatigue setting.

2. When is it better to switch to a 3-2 as opposed to a 2-3 with a + setting? I only use the 3-2 setting 2-3 times per season but other coaches use it quite heavily. I use it when my opponent has 3 or more strong 3-point shooters. If he only has 2 strong shooters, I will play 2-3 at either 0 or a +1 setting.

3. Basically anything else that would be important to consider in recruiting and gameplanning with the zone? Since Zone allows you to play with a shorter bench, it is not uncommon to take 1 or 2 walk-ons and use the extra cash to go after better players. Zone players tend not to get in as much foul trouble, however, they will also create less fouls for you opponents.

4. Can a zone defense compete with a top-tier D1 M2M defenses? I've seen good teams run a zone, but is their championship percentages equivalent to the percentages of teams that run zone (ie 10% of teams use zone, 10% of championships were won by zone teams). I ask this because I'll most likely need all the help I can get, and if I'd not play a defense which handicaps my team from the start. I won a DI NT with a Zone and other schools have also, so it can be done. I have no idea about percentages but a quick search showed 5 of the Top 25 DI teams in Iba play Zone. However, only 1 of the Top 25 DI teams in Knight play Zone. You can draw your own conclusions from that.
10/25/2013 5:06 PM
Keep in mind on the percentages that less coaches play the zone, so in raw numbers, you will see less successful zone teams. You would have to make a comparison of # of successful zone teams vs total # of zone teams. Then do the same with man and press to compare % wise.
10/25/2013 5:17 PM
Don't know how much it is worth, but I have both heard and noticed the effects of having high shot blocking ability and that seems to be an important piece of running zone and having it work.
10/25/2013 9:01 PM
Posted by abitaamber on 10/25/2013 3:32:00 PM (view original):
2-3 +1 is essentially a 3-2.
How sure are you about this? I have two teams running zone, and that you mean a lot of the game-planning I'm doing is just flat wrong. 
10/25/2013 9:52 PM
Posted by tarvolon on 10/25/2013 9:01:00 PM (view original):
Posted by abitaamber on 10/25/2013 3:32:00 PM (view original):
2-3 +1 is essentially a 3-2.
How sure are you about this? I have two teams running zone, and that you mean a lot of the game-planning I'm doing is just flat wrong. 
I thought the same thing when I read this, Tarvolon. A 3-2 will defend against 3's FAR better than a 2-3 (+1 and +2), in my opinion. Rebounding *might* be comparable between the 2 choices.
10/25/2013 9:57 PM
I think there are some very important differences in three two and two three quite aside from plus minus. One is a significant difference if you use double teams based on who you are trying to double team. Another is where if you are trying to hide a weak defender you hide him. For example you don't want to try to hide a weak defending guard in a two-three zone, or a weak defending big in a three - two zone. If you play a two three I would want two fast and athletic defenders at guard, for example(obviously you want those anyway, but priorities) if you want a three two you need two strong posts, good rebound, blk, def and ath - or at least better than what the other guy has down there in that game.
10/25/2013 10:49 PM
I've made a living with a couple of my zone teams going 3-2 zone -4 or -5. Generally against teams with three guard lineups who don't shoot the three-ball much
10/26/2013 3:09 AM
I find that with zone, you can effectively use double teams against teams with only one perimeter threat or only one LP threat. If a team has one guy who shoots a ton of threes and the rest score from inside the arc, I'll sometimes play a 2-3 (-2) depending on the situation and double team the three point threat.

A lot of times, the box score will still show that the good per player had a good game when I do this, but I'll get the W. I've found that when I properly use the double team, it may not show in the box score, with missed shots for that guy and turnovers, but it often shows in the final score. It seems to bother their offense enough and I get the win against better opponents.

The same can be done with a 3-2 and then double teach the one LP threat.

If you look at my DII Bentley team, I think it's set-up relatively well for zone. I have a good defender at the three who can swing b/t the 3-2/2-3 (although he isnt fast). I recruit almost all C's bc they give me the REB/SB that I need. Right now I'm starting to guys with 90+ REB and SB who are average ATH and DEF. They seem to have enough in those cores to man a 3-2 on their own, and make up for the weak rebounder at the SF spot. I also have an 80 REB  and another in the 70s.

10/27/2013 10:47 PM
It was specifically stated by seble in chat a while back  that 2-3 +1 is a 3-2.  It is possible that he could have been wrong, or misunderstood the question, but that's what he said.
10/27/2013 10:54 PM
If that's the way it's programmed, the zone just doesn't make sense. Of course, that doesn't mean it's not the way it's programmed. Just that it wouldn't make sense. 
of 2

Terms of Use Customer Support Privacy Statement

Popular on WhatIfSports site: Baseball Simulation | College Basketball Game | College Football Game | Online Baseball Game | Hockey Simulation | NFL Picks | College Football Picks | Sports Games

© 1999-2014 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. WhatIfSports is a trademark of WhatIfSports.com, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.