The 1-3-1 half-court trap that turned the tide and stymied Bradenton Christian in its Class A-Region 2 championship game Saturday night, is something Orlando Christian Prep head coach Reggie Kohn was a part of when he played at the University of South Florida from 2000 to ‘03.
He played for the Bulls under Seth Greenberg and it was a weapon the coach, now head guy at Virginia Tech, loves to utilize. It involves putting three of your biggest players just below the mid-court line and trapping the opposing guard after he crosses it.
When Greenberg used the 1-3-1 he had Sarasota Riverview High graduate Altron Jackson in the middle at the top near midcourt. Jackson was in the 6-6, 6-7 range with long arms and adept at either causing havoc or getting steals at the top of the press that he would convert into easy layups.
Using that defense, Jackson set the school single game record for steals with 10 against Florida State in January of 2002, which still stands today. It was during Greenberg’s rein that USF set the single season team record in steals with 321 in the 1999-2000 campaign.
Kohn, one of the smaller players on that USF squad at about 6-1, was usually underneath the three big guys when he played it at USF. He learned the defense well from Greenberg, who he still keeps in contact with, and refined it a bit to fit his team.
The basic concept is to wait until the guard crosses mid court and then jump him with two of your bigger players. It turned the tide of the game against Bradenton Christian putting the Panthers in a hole they could never recover from. The Warriors scored 17 straight points when they went to the scheme and never looked back in their 83-59 victory.
“It’s been one of our better defenses throughout the season,” Kohn said. “We started in our man to man because that is what we usually do and from there we try a little bit of everything. Whatever works that game we try to stick with.
“In that defense, you try to take away the angles and the easy baskets and direct passes and make them lob the ball, which is what we were able to do. That was the key obviously because we didn’t shoot the ball very well.”