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Zone defense is a pretty hot topic in Kentucky right now


“Zone” is a curse word to Kentucky basketball fans right now because it is the Wildcats’ kryptonite.

Offensively, Kentucky has no idea what to do against one. Want to slow down the Cats’ offense? Zone ’em. That’s it. They don’t know what to do.

Defensively, maybe Kentucky should try it. That’ll never happen because Calipari had some traumatic moment in his past involving a zone defense and he refuses to do it, but of all the teams that should consider it, this is one of them.

After tonight’s debacle, Kansas head coach Bill Self credited his team’s zone defense in the turning of the game.

“We would not have won the game unless we switched it up,” Self said.

He ain’t lying either. That zone completely ruined Kentucky’s flow and the game was over from there. End of story.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

23 Comments for Zone defense is a pretty hot topic in Kentucky right now

  1. hweathers
    9:38 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    Sounds like Coach Franklin’s ire is up a little bit.

  2. Wildcat Sheli
    9:41 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    ummm…..I can think of a “traumatic moment in every UK fan’s past” . . . 2014 vs UConn . . . we lost because we DIDN’T play zone….

    Adapt & Adjust!!!!!!

  3. CATilactica
    9:44 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    40+ POINTS IN THE PAINT. 40!!!!

    • WeareBBN
      9:49 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

      Why are you posting that like you are surprised? Has been that way several games vs much worse teams. This group has not played defense all year.

    9:51 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    How dare you, as a non-coach question the coach’s decisions? Blasphemy!

    • UKPROF
      10:03 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

      Too funny, “how dare you”. Unfortunately, Coach Cal’s only glaring weakness is his refusal to adjust his game during a game. If he can’t win ‘his way’ then the Cats will take the loss and Cal will put the blame on the players. At some point Coach, ya got to give in and teach these kids how to beat a zone defense. We are quicker than 90% of the teams we will play. With that in mind, I would just suspect to see a lot of zone…right!!?

    • LOL @ C & M.

  5. Joe B. Y'all
    9:55 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    This team’s issue is not about half time adjustments or zone D. It’s about personnel, and Willis and Briscoe, a title team do not make. To quote Matt, we’re not elite.

    • justaguyinthebackrow
      10:14 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

      This is right. We just don’t have the upperclassmen leaders to pull the team together. We may still make a run if they can get it together. 13-14 didn’t have much upperclassmen leadership either.

    • JusSayin
      10:20 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

      Briscoe and Willis were the most efficient players on the court tonight for us.

    • Jack Nicklaus
      8:25 am January 29, 2017 Permalink

      Willis was the guy that kept us in the game.

  6. justaguyinthebackrow
    10:03 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    End of story as soon as they went to zone? Because UK didn’t retake the lead in the second half? while it gave them some problems, I don’t think the zone made them throw the ball away or give up on defense or miss free throws.

  7. JusSayin
    10:19 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    Offense was not the problem…

  8. henderblue
    10:19 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    Defensively, we should definitely try it. KU did to us what we try to do to other teams.. broke us down with their guard’s penetration. Any team that has a decent guard or two will also do it. Tennessee did it. Dom should play more. He plays defense

  9. henderblue
    10:22 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    It absolutely was “end of story”

  10. UK Maine-iac
    10:26 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    Self doesn’t like playing zone either, but he did and look what happened. Why is Cal so against playing zone? Legit question.

  11. ScoggDog
    10:33 pm January 28, 2017 Permalink

    Player: “Coach, they’ve got three dudes going to the NBA. They’re tall. They can dribble like Hell. We’re screwed”

    Coach: “No, my young Player. I have a plan. Look at this Ancient Scroll.”

    Player: “I … I do not understand. Where is the Switch ? How do I Play the Screen ?”

    Coach: “My child … you do not. You will play your Area. There is no Switch. This is a new defense. I will call it …

    … THE ZONE !!!”

  12. Even Slickie Rickie, with his famed full court press, would play zone when he thought it was necessary.

    I don’t know if it would have worked today, but Cal’s aversion to it is maddening.

    • Luether
      12:43 am January 30, 2017 Permalink

      And Slickie Rickie would have won the game were he still Ky’s coach…

  13. sp
    12:04 am January 29, 2017 Permalink

    Even if he doesn’t want to run it on the defensive end, he should teach them to play it well so they can at least practice against it so they don’t look so lost on offense during the games.

  14. jaxblue
    12:27 am January 29, 2017 Permalink

    Coach likes to quote Brady, well why not Belichick… Belichick will change everything about his game plan to win and he does it from week to week. Why won’t Coach Cal stop being so stubborn. I love Coach Cal, but this loss is 100% his. Play zone, learn how to beat a zone, and stop forcing it to Bam. You have the best offensive player in the country…Monk. Force it to him!

  15. catsarerunnin
    8:16 am January 29, 2017 Permalink

    Please help us! A good team changed defenses and it worked! That’s never happened in the history of sports! Let’s just notify the NCAA that UK will no longer play basketball ever again because of this unprecedented episode!

  16. Jack Nicklaus
    8:23 am January 29, 2017 Permalink

    Right now we are in “definition of insanity” mode.