Diamond 1-2-1-1 Full Court Zone Trap

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Defense Name Diamond 1-2-1-1 Full Court Zone Trap
Defense Nickname Diamond Press
Type of defense Zone Defense
Most appropriate age range is High School
Best used against Weak Ball Handlers, Post Oriented Teams


The Diamond 1-2-1-1 Zone is a high risk, high reward pressure defense that looks to create an up tempo and high stress transition game to disrupt opposing offenses. Utilizing this zone will help to promote a chaotic transition game so you will want your players to be accustomed to a fast paced game and rapidly changing scenarios.


Diamond Zone Pre-Inbound Alignment
  • D1 is your safety and basket protector. Some coaches will choose a faster player able to intercept long passes over the top of the zone or the alternative is placing a bigger player at the back to better contest transition layups. D1 general priorities are:
    • Protect the Basket
    • Discourage/Step in front of long cross-court passes
  • D2 is your sideline guard at the bottom of the diamond. This player has arguably the toughest rotation as they must beat ball rotation to get to the opposite sideline if the ball moves from one side of the court to the other. It's important for this player not to overcommit to one side but be in position to discourage the offensive advancing the ball directly up the sideline. D2 general priorities are:
    • Defend 1st pass up the sideline above ball level.
    • Awareness of where the basketball is
  • D3 and D4 are your wing players in the diamond. They have two simple assignments based on where the ball is located.
    • The Strong Side Wing is on the ball, looking to trap with D5. (In the case of Diagram 1 this is D4) D4 General Priorities:
      • No dribble penetration up the sideline
      • Don't get split down the middle when trapping
      • No "Half Traps" (Not committing)
    • The Weak Side Wing needs to shade middle and protect from any pass that would advance the ball up the middle of the court. This means protecting the middle off the inbound and closing out if the ball is inbounded to their side. This player should look to make a read if they can to take away reversal only if they are certain that the trap on the ball is solid. A pass that hits the middle of the zone will break it and put your safety into a transition disadvantage so taking away the middle is a priority. It's important to read the eyes and shoulder alignment of the ball handler - trust the movement of the body not the movement of the ball. General priorities for D3:
      • Protect the middle of the court - force reversal
      • Step in front/deny reversal pass if trap is solid
  • D5 is your front of the diamond, and preferably a long/athletic and active defender. This player simply looks to follow the ball trapping east/west and not allowing the ball handler back across the basket line once they have committed to one side of the court or another. On the inbound they should look to channel the ball to the strong side of the court and deny entry to the weak side. D5 general priorities:
    • Create chaos and disrupt the ball handler
    • Active traps with the wing players, don't allow ball handler to split the trap.

First Trap (Optional)

  • D3 make the read on where the first reversal pass is going. Priority is to protect middle. On ball rotation back to inbounder, D3 should quickly stunt (make a quick move towards the ball) then close out to their strong side sideline player. This allows D5 time to recover.

Adjustment off ball rotation

  • D2 must follow the ball and close out to deny first pass sideline.
  • If you have players capable of handling rotating reponsibilities, you can have the sideline player D2 to rotate back to the safety spot and have the safety D1 step up and take away first pass sideline on reversal of the ball.

Re-trap and take away sideline/middle

Diamond Zone Teaching Points

Referenced from VCU Asst. Coach Will Wade - 2011

  • Don't get beat sideline.
  • Corral the ball handler.
  • Active traps and rotations - Deflect ball movement back to D5.
  • Talk, Match Up, "Fix it" (If it breaks down)
  • Be strong with lower body in traps
  • Don't foul, don't get split
  • Stay in it till offense makes a deep, penetrating pass.