The 4-1 Chameleon Defense

by Tyler Whitcomb


Coach Tyler Whitcomb goes over the basics and options of utilizing the 4-1 zone defense.  The 4-1 is designed to give you defense a different look and create trapping opportunities in the half court.

This basketball article describes Coach Tyler Whitcomb's and Andrew Howard's 4-1 Chameleon defense. This half-court defense would be categorized as a "special" or "junk" defense. You would not base your entire defense on this scheme, but use it in special situation, not unlike how you would use the Amoeba defense.

Coach Tyler Whitcomb is the boy's head basketball coach at West Michigan Aviation Academy and was a former pro basketball GM and scout. In his young career, he already has over 100 high school coaching victories.

Why Use the 4-1 Defense?

It confuses the offense. The first thing the offense does is try to find out what defense you are in so they can get in the proper offense. With this defense nobody knows.

It's great after a timeout. When the opponent calls a timeout to draw up play, nobody has a 4-1 defense play.

You do not have to use all of this defense's variations (below) to successfully use the 4-1 defense.

Use the 4-1 as a complement to your regular defense(s)... not your main, primary defense.



The Coach


Tyler Whitcomb

Tyler Whitcomb Basketball Coaching Courses - Affordable master Courses for basketball coaches across the country


Athletic Director/ Boys Varsity Basketball Coach
West Michigan Aviation Academy – Grand Rapids, MI

Athletic Director/ Men’s Basketball Coach
Howe Military Academy – Howe, IN

Assistant Men's Basketball Coach
Kalamazoo Valley Community College

College Basketball Scout
International Basketball League - Portland, OR

Owner/ Director of Basketball Operations, Grand Rapids Flight (IBL)
IBL Final Four

Owner/ Director of basketball Operations, Holland Blast
International Basketball League

Phase 1 and 2 logger
Synergy Sports Technology - Phoenix, AZ

Varsity Girls Basketball Coach
Tri Unity Christian High School - Wyoming, MI


Bachelor's in Sports/ Recreation Management
Concordia University of Chicago


Registered Athletic Administrator Certificate - NIAAA

Human Resources Management certificate – Concordia University of Chicago

Pace Certificate – Program of Athletic Coaches Education - Levels 1 and 2

Basketball General Manager/ Scouting certificate - Sports Management World Wide


• Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Recreation Management – Concordia University
• Registered Athletic Administrator – NIAAA
• Basketball Coach with 18 years of experience
• 2006 International Basketball League - Executive of the year
• 40 under 40 business leaders (Grand Rapids Business Journal – 2006)
• Director of Basketball Operations ( Holland Blast/ Grand Rapids Flight)
• 2012 Regional Basketball coach of the year – Finalist (MHSAA)
• Team Consultant for Michigan Mayhem of the CBA
• Youngest Professional Sports owner in the United States (2004)
• Over 100 victories in Pro Basketball
• Certificate in Digital Video Editing ( SMWW/ Synergy Sports)
• Phase 1 and 2 logger for Synergy Sports Technology
• Have put over 60 pro players overseas

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Caterory: Basketball/Defense
Videos: 9