I just took over Georgetown in Allen. They run press and at the DI level and I don't think it's a good idea at DI. I think it would be fine to beat up on the little guys but my team will get run out of the gym against top notch teams. I definitely want to change that and most likely to man. My question is what are my options? I have two but I need to know what is the best. My two options are..

1. Run man to man and just lose lots of games first season. (25 min practice)
2. Run press but practice man to man. (25 min practice)

4/7/2013 4:20 PM
option 1 but I think running press isnt the worst idea
4/7/2013 4:21 PM
I've only tried this at the D3 level, but I had some moderate success (i.e. made a PIT in my first year of transitioning defenses) by starting with option #2 for non-conference games and then switching to option #1 when conference play rolled around and those F's had mostly turned into C+'s. 
4/7/2013 6:05 PM
Or you could start out with the press and then go to press/man combo once you get some C IQs.
4/7/2013 6:50 PM
I've done this both ways.  You definitely want to make the switch.  Press in D1 is just not a good idea, especially when so many teams run lineups of 9-10 very good players rather than trying to build deeper teams.  It's all about quality over quantity.  Your current players have some pretty good press IQs, so I would run press while practicing man and maybe make the switch later in the season/early next season to halfcourt press/man and eventually M2M.
4/7/2013 6:57 PM
I don't understand why everyone thinks running the press at DI is such a bad idea. The press can succeed at all levels just like any other offense or defense, it just takes recruiting the right type of players for the system. I personally think that the press might be the best defense to pull upsets by taking advantage of the RNG and how truly random it can be when creating turnovers. As for the answer to your question, I would go with what tarvolon said
4/7/2013 7:19 PM
with enough players returning, i practice the new set an entire season before switching. at a new school, if you cut a ton, then you often want to switch mid way or so. but really its whenever the IQ gets close enough, you play the set that makes more sense.

slyman - i think you sort of made the point for the other side - the press IS the best defense to pull upsets, even in d1. 

i guess i should qualify here - there is likely a difference in what you are talking about, and the OP - d1 and high d1 are VERY different animals, vastly more different than low/mid d1 and d2 or d3. the previous posters just mentioned d1, but georgetown is a high end school, probably trying to become an A range prestige club, and thus i am going to assume the implied context was high d1.

in lower d1, press can be VERY successful, i actually prefer press or zone to man at low d1, because all the top teams are playing d1 (well, thats an extremely simplified version, but you get the idea). its at high d1 where press gets a bad rap, and its for good reason. there are quite a few reasons, but some of the core ones are
1) volatility - this is a friend to lower teams, but enemy #1 to top teams - and the press is synonymous with volatility
2) early entries - they make it very hard to plan consistent depth across positions,  which is vital to strong press teams. it also results in younger teams, which again, is not condcive to pressing.
3) recruit generation ratings - the ath and def ratings that make man defense tick are MUCH more prevalent in high end recruits than press driven speed
4) recruit generation disparity - the gap between the top d1 players and the "decent" d1 players is much bigger than it has ever been. at least for the last 6 years, until the new engine, it was never the case that the top players were so good, that there were always a group of maybe 15 elite d1 teams, with which virtually nobody could compete. the top teams are SO talented because the top players are SO talented, and then the dropoff is huge. so, top teams wont settle for less than spectacular recruits, and as a result, high d1 teams often take quite a few walkons. this makes it EXTREMELY difficult to run the press as effectively as man.

as you can see, these effects are much more present in high d1, than in low d1, if they are present in low d1 at all. by low d1 i really mean anything up to consistent NT team play, at least... anyway, because of this, press is much more viable for mid majors and low majors than for BCS schools. its actually a fine set for some BCS schools, lower end ones, if you play it right - but almost all BCS teams strive to get those top recruits, and man is really more suitable when that is the game you play. when i said 15 teams earlier, thats just in a single season - there might be 30 programs who can be one of those 15 teams any given season. so its really at the BCS level, not just A and A+ BCS schools, where press doesnt make a heck of a lot of sense. for lower BCS schools, where top players are less common and the dropoff between players smaller, and also, where volatility is more of a friend - you have something else working against you - with all that prestige other teams have on you, lower end BCS schools very often take multiple walkons every season, by design, to get some extra money, to help combat the major prestige disadvantages they have all over. press teams really need to be pushing to sign 11 or 12.
4/7/2013 10:23 PM (edited)
gillispie- I just assumed that we were talking the C+ range that Gtown currently is (and in general other teams below a B or wherever you would consider a mid major program to end) and the ability of the press to create that volatility as you mentioned in games where you might be the underdog. To that end, I know you have far more experience in HD than myself across all levels and have an understanding of how it works that is exceeded by probably no one but I think you are selling the press a bit short at the high DI level. I think most coaches are afraid to run the press because they fear some or all of the issues that you mention above. The way I look at the press in HD is the ability to increase the likelihood of turnovers per possession leading to fewer shot attempts per game for my opponent. With fewer shot attempts per game allowed than a m2m, even if my opp fg% is slightly higher I will be allowing approximately the same points per min over the course of a game/season. At the same time the difference in fg att per game by a press team can offset an off shooting night to some extent by giving you a few more shots to overcome a non-normal shooting night. Finally the small advantages such as creating opponent fatigue is a bonus late in tight games against teams that might not have the depth but have similar talent or the ability to create 4 extra fastbreak points can mean the difference between a win or a loss in the NT. 
I could be totally off on my thinking but thats how I look at it and I have been decently successful as of late moving around and rebuilding different teams at different levels so its not going to change. The other thing of note that has changed my outlook on the press was reaching the Final 4 with only 9 scholarship players as it thought me to not fear the impact of fatigue nearly as much and I think has opened my eyes a little bit
So to sum up what I attempted and probably failed to explain is, I rather take the volatility that stems from the depth and random recruit generation if allows me to create in game volatility in my favor during the season when I might not be the best team and need a little extra something to get me over the hump
4/8/2013 12:37 AM (edited)

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