3-2 Zone Defense

The 3-2 defense provides tremendous pressure on wing entry passes from the top of the key along with great coverage against perimeter shooters.

This defense can be disguised initially as a straight man-to-man by extending the point-defender into the backcourt. The high-post and center of the defense are vulnerable in this type of setup, so this defense is best applied to perimeter-oriented offensive teams.

3-2 Zone Covering Skip Passes Into Corner

This video clip comes from Keno Davis’ 3-2 Extended Match-Up Zone DVD. In this clip, Coach Davis demonstrates a slight variation in using the wing defenders to drop to the corner on a skip pass to that spot.

Handling Cutters in 3-2 Zone

This video clip comes from Paul Hewitt’s The 3-2 Point Zone Defense DVD.

Break Down Drills

This video clip comes from Jim Larranaga’s The 3-2 Disrupting Camouflage Defense DVD.

3-2 Zone Defense Rules
  • The 3-2-2 zone has five primary areas of coverage:
    • The point-guard covers the center of the court, from the high-post area to the top of the key.
    • The other two perimeter defenders guard the wings
    • The two post-players cover the middle of the court to the corner on their respective sides.
  1. Key vulnerabilities:
    1. High post.
    2. Short-corners and low post.
  • Wing Coverage:
    • Ball passed to 2 on the wing.
    • x2 must covers the ball.
    • x1 drops immediately to cover the high-post area. This movement needs to immediate and is critical to closing out a key vulnerability.
    • x3 moves in tandem with x2, covering the middle of the paint. strong-side low post.
    • x5 slides over to middle of paint.
  • Ball in Corner:
    • When ball goes to 3 in the corner, x5 jumps out to cover.
    • x5 will rotate over to deny entry pass to low post.
    • x2 sags to help defend penetration or the low post if necessary.
  • Optional Corner Trap:
    • When ball goes to 3 in the corner, x2 and x4 immediately trap the ballhandler.
      x5 will rotate over to deny entry pass to low post.
  • Optional Extra Inside Coverage:
    • When ball goes into the corner, x2 can also drop to sit right on top above the low post to provide x5 with extra interior support.
  • Optional Wing Denial from Corner:
    • If ball is in corner, x2 can full deny the reversal pass back out to 2 at the wing.


Helpful DVDs
3-2 Extended Match-Up Zone
Offense leads to defense in Coach Keno Davis’ system. This successful spread 3-2 match up sets up by converting from offense to defense quickly. Davis stresses that this zone is built on solid fundamental man-to-man principles. Coverage areas are key to being successful in the 3-2 match up. Areas include wing ball coverage, ball pressure, weak side help, inside and outside rebounding areas, block responsibilities, corner trapping, post double down with 4 and 5 and corner coverage with mismatches.
The 3-2 Point Zone Defense
In this instructional DVD, Coach Paul Hewitt introduces you to his innovative 3-2 “Point Zone Defense”. This defense is built around the “point”/”hole” philosophy, which means that there is always a defender on the ball (point) and one defending the basket (hole). Hewitt demonstrates how to guard different situations such as: ball in high post, dribble rotation, cuts, on and off ball screens, and penetration. The “Point Zone Defense,” is perfect for any team because it is easy to install, has basic and simple principles, allows for a defender to be in the face of the offensive player at all times, assigns box out responsibilities to each player, prevents easy baskets from baseline out-of-bounds situations and will break up a team’s offensive rhythm!

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