More Zone Defense in College Basketball

Likely due to the rules changes and excessive whistles in college basketball this season there is statistical data of college coaches embracing the once taboo zone defense.  According to an article in the Wall Street Journal there has already been a 6% increase in zone defense possessions this season in college basketball - up to 21.6% of possessions from 15.6% last season.  My initial reaction is this could just be an anomaly but when the author cited a recent game where Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski used a zone defense:

But in a loss last week to Arizona, with Duke desperate for a stop late in the second half, Krzyzewski ordered up Boeheim's old reliable.

This thing might have some legs if Coach K is using a zone.  Here is a chart from the WSJ article of the top 5 times and the percentage of zone defenses they have faced.

What are your thoughts on coaches using the zone more this season?  I would personally like to see some data on team shooting percentages over the years - do teams shoot it as good or better as in the past?  Does a team's effective field goal percentage go up drastically against a zone?


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Tags: stats, zone


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Comment by Brian Kirby on December 6, 2013 at 9:46am

I'm suprised more teams don't use zone especially when the other team has superior talent.  Regardless of talent, I've never understood why teams play man-to-man against BLOB's?


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