3pt Rate in College Basketball & Navy Shooting

3pt RateThis article by Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn discusses the 3pt rate in college basketball and specifically if previously No. 1 Oklahoma can win a National Championship by being reliant on the 3pt shot (Arc Madness Sports Illustrated article)

Winn’s article also mentioned how Michigan’s Head Coach John Beilein thought outside of the box and brought in a D-III transfer to fill 3pt shooter void on his roster and how he qualifies his players to shoot the 3pt shot. According to Beilein, ” ‘We needed somebody who was a proven shooter.’ Beilein requires his players to meet a minimum standard to get green-lit for games: making 60 threes in a five-minute, one-ball, one-rebounder drill that’s an adaptation of a workout Bryce Drew did as a Valparaiso guard.” This type of testing is a great standard to set for any program (adjusted to your level of coaching of course) because it gives players a concrete goal and leaves room for no wavering on the rewards: THE GREEN LIGHT!

On an aside, Billy Lange, who was mentioned in the article, I had the chance to work camp for when he was the head coach at Navy. Even then (2008), Coach Lange promoted shooting rate and working on efficiency from the behind the 3pt arc. He did this by tirelessly working on shooting repeatedly in practice with a great warmup drill and another spot shooting drill called “21”.

I have adopted his theory with my teams as we do “Navy Shooting” daily and incorporate it into my individual workouts as well. Nothing is more valuable than having multiple shooters to stretch the floor and take advantage of the 3pt shot.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

EOH Situation #1

This past Monday, Oklahoma State lost against #2 Kansas at legendary Phog Allen Fieldhouse, 94-67.

OSU, who beat Kansas by 19 points in Stillwater, Oklahoma just a month ago lead the Jayhawks early in the first half, 25-17, but Kansas made a 30-9 run to end the first half to give them a 47-34 halftime lead.

The final points of the half came at the hands of Kansas’ sharpshooter Brannen Green, who hit a buzzer-beating 3pt shot to give the Jayhawks a 47-34 advantage.

See video of Green’s buzzer-beater.

This shot was a huge momentum swing in favor of Kansas as OSU just made the back end of pair of free throws, but allowed Kansas to hit the three down with 5.0 seconds remaining.

With the score 44-34, and OK State’s Joe Burton at the line, both Kansas and OK State made substitutions, including Brannen Green, to set their ensuing offense and defense, respectively.

Although OK State did not have any fouls to give (Kansas was in the double bonus), Kansas went small placing four outside shooters onto the floor to stretch the OK State defense.

The Cowboys’ End of Half (EOH) defense failed on several fronts:

  1. They were rushed because they did not substitute Burton after the made free throw: OK State should have substituted Burton out of the game to set their defense, get the matchups they wanted.
  2. They allowed an easy inbound and north catch: If OK State had substituted them could have pushed up on Kansas and defended the inbound pass. By doing so they could have also made the receiver step towards their defensive baseline to make a tougher catch and therefore wasting precious time in order to get the ball inbounded.
  3. They did not make the ballhandler go east-west: Even without executing #2, OK State could have still forced Kansas’ Frank Mason Jr. to take an east-west (side to side) dribble instead of allowing him to merely take two uncontested dribbles and pass to a wide open Green. Again, this stems from #1 because there was no organization in this defensive possession.
  4. They did not push up on the shooters to make them dribblers: Lastly, OK State completed this poor defensive possession by not pushing up on Green. They got caught in the middle of the floor (due to #1 and #2) and did not look organized. In addition, although it is understandable that they do not want to foul a shooter in that situation, if the defense is there prior to the shooter elevating, they will either have to either (a) initiate contact, (b) take an awkward shot or (c) dribble around the defender.

Not executing these factors cost OK State three critical points, which could have kept the game at 10 points going into the half and also keep Kansas’ momentum down. Instead Kansas had confidence and the raucous Jayhawk crowd fully behind them.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Basketball Coach Weekly – Issue #125 – DeSalvo Article

Here is my article that was just published in this week’s Basketball Coach Weekly – Issue 125 – DeSalvo Contribution.

Specifically I want to touch on my second point “Don’t Be Afraid to Change”. Here is the story behind this important point.

Last season, as the Head Coach of Southern Connecticut State University, our team was struggling due to an injury to Mariah Hankton, the team’s senior co-captain, 2nd leading scorer and end of shot clock shotmaker.

The loss of Mariah not only hurt us from an X and O’s standpoint, but our players were demoralized and emotionally void. Before Mariah’s injury we were an impressive 10-5 in the NE-10, with five games to go.

Predictably, we struggled without her, but needed just one win to secure the three seed and a first round bye in the conference tournament.

I told our team “we will not lose the same way” which is one of my philosophies as a coach. It is my responsibility to figure out a way to not keep repeating the same mistakes and do whatever is necessary to help our team be successful.

With that in mind, we played zone defense again the College of Saint Rose, something we had not done all season long. This bold strategy kept Saint Rose off balance for the entire first half and without Mariah, we won a buzzer beater (who had 26 points in our first meeting in a 78-75 road win at Saint Rose) against the Golden Knights, 65-63 (see buzzer beater), on senior day. This strategy coupled with expanding our bench, specifically with contributions from Abby Hurlbert, was really the difference in the outcome of the game

This philosophy held to one our team’ standards of “Flexibility”. I think it is very important to be flexible with your players in all aspects. I think our staff did a nice job of being flexible with players who were late arriving from class, allowing some to miss community service if they had a nursing test to study for, and listening to them as a whole regarding practice intensity/duration.

I hope this personally story helps some coaches have some confidence in being willing to change.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Duke Vs. Carolina: A Case Study in Your EOG Basketball Philosophy

College basketball fans were treated to another classic Duke-North Carolina rivalry game where Duke found a way to “hang around” despite being suffering a 1st half injury and playing with a limited bench.

The end of the game saw UNC with the ball, down one and timeouts remaining. Tar Heels Head Coach Roy Williams elected to not call a timeout and try to catch the defense off guard. That strategy obviously did not work and Duke pulled off the shocker.

Coach Williams stated after the game, “I think you should always attack before the defense gets set. I’ve always believed that, always taught that, and the way I’ve always played. I told the kids I should’ve called time out…If we had to do it all over again tomorrow night I’ll probably do the same thing cause I think that’s the best way to play.”

It is because of this reason, that fact that Coach Williams has played this way throughout his Hall of Fame career, that I do not have a problem with how the EOG (end of game) situation was decided. Although I do not personally agree with it, I do not take issue with this decision because if not calling a timeout and attacking is what Coach Williams does (AND has done) at practice then the team was prepared for that situation, merely the execution was just not up to standards.

If however, UNC normally did call timeouts to set up certain actions, then I would wholeheartedly disagree with Williams decision.

Personally, I feel like Coach Williams should have stuck with his initial instinct to attack without calling a timeout, but once it was evident that a quality shot was not going to be obtained, Williams could have had a player signal a timeout to then set a play up to get to the rim and/or draw a foul.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo