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Saturday, April 6, 2013


Back in 2003 I flew to Columbus, Ohio to spend a couple of days with Coach Jim Foster. He was kind enough to open his program up and spend time with me discussing a variety of topics. I have always had a great deal of respect for Coach Foster back from his days at St. Joe's through his time where we competed against each other during his tenure at Vanderbilt. Over the next few days I will share some of the notes I took from our discussions.

To play good zone defense, you must teach it and work on it everyday.

Out of 2 1/2 hours of practice each day, OSU will spend 30 minutes on defense...10 of those minutes will be on the slides of their 2-3 zone...he likes to work on the zone slides against 7 and 8 offensive players.

Keys for good zone play:
1. Getting 5 to move as 1
2. Blocking out

The second 10 minutes of their defensive work goes toward "staying in front of the ball."

OSU does not influence the ball anywhere..."influencing the ball creates excuses."  If you influence the ball you'd better demand accountability.

OSU was 4th in the nation in fewest fouls this particular season..."we don't tolerate hand checking in practice.

The final 10 minutes of defensive practice can be given to an area Coach Fosters deems important that day (screen defense, etc.)

4 Key Components to OSU Defense
1. Stay in front of the ball
2. No hand checking
3. Hand up on every shot
4. Blockout

Pat Riley once had a stat that stated that shots that were uncontested hit for 54% and shots that were contested hit for 34%.

"Don't expect players to do it if you don't drill it."
-Hubie Brown