Zone Defense Makes Rare Appearance

Tony Bennett used a zone defense briefly in Atlanta.

You’re more likely to spot a UFO or stumble upon Bigfoot than you are to see a Tony Bennett team play zone defense. Yet when his Virginia men’s basketball team needed something else to help pull out a 62-56 at Georgia Tech on Wednesday, there it was: a 2-3 zone. Don’t blame UVa fans for rubbing their eyes and doing a double take, though. After all, it was the first time the Hoos used a zone this season.

Bennett said he made the defensive flip to change the game’s rhythm and help deal with Iman Shumpert, who had started getting shots from off-ball screens. Mustapha Farrakhan spent most of the night defending Shumpert and the zone allowed him to catch a breather from that assignment as well.