LOOK FOR: All five defenders picking up their men full-court, overplaying them or guarding "straight-up."
WHO USES IT: Duke and UNLV play full-court pressure man-to-man better than anyone. Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski has taken Indiana's Bob Knight's notions of half-court pressure and applied them over 94 feet. At Vegas, coach Jerry Tarkanian, who claims that man-to-man pressure is the most difficult to play, discourages his players from switching when their men cross. "The more you think." he says, "the slower your feet get." Georgetown and North Carolina use pressure man-to-man fundamentals for their multiple defenses.
GOALS: To isolate each offensive player and force the ball to be worked, rather than passed, up the floor. To shut down the passing lanes.
FORERUNNERS: When Kansas won the 1952 national title with an overplaying, pressure man-to-man, Jayhawk coach Phog Allen had a brainy young guard named Dean Smith, who would take the defense one step further when he moved on to Air Force as an assistant coach and. eventually, to North Carolina. Smith's 33 Run-and-Jump mixes zone and man-to-man principles. Like so many inventions, the run-and-jump owes a debt to serendipity: Smith credits Al Kelley, an overaggressive reserve on the '52 Kansas team, with unwitttingly serving as the inspiration for the run-and-jump. One day in practice. Kelley foolishly abandoned his man to go after the ball, but he earned kudos from the coaching staff when they saw the confusion he had created. Later, Smith simply imposed a little method on the madness.
SHOWN HERE: In North Carolina's 33 Run-and-Jump, Jeff Lebo steers the dribbler, 1, toward Ranzino Smith, who starts to follow his man, 2, upcourt. Suddenly Smith doubles back on 1, to double-team and force 1 to pick up his dribble. Steve Bucknall looks to intercept a pass from 1 to Smith's abandoned man, 2, while J.R. Reid steps into the passing lane on the opposite side of the court. Scott Williams plays goalie.
This is a variation on Carolina's Scramble, a form of man-to-man pressure that was once Smith's mainstay, but was "used sparingly last season because of the Tar Heels' inexperience. "When the three-point rule came in, I thought about taking the Scramble off completely," says Smith, noting that open jump shots are sometimes conceded in the forecourt. "Then I thought about how much fun I've had coaching it for 26 years." So the Scramble lives.