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

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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

Thoughts on Making Coaches Game Plan for Your Team

I have been fortunate to be able to get out and visit lots of different coaches at practices and games this season.

I am always interested to see how D1/D2/D3 coaches construct their practice, relate to their players and teach their players.

Here was a recent exchange that I had with a coach regarding a defensive tactic that they had recently implement:

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Coach,

I tried to take your general rotations/principles and apply it to a variety of offenses you may see. Would need to see it operate against a cutting/motion zone offense (especially one with some great pace).

My general philosophy is that the more teams have to game plan for you two things happen:

1. It takes time away from the opponent from working on their fundamentals (shooting, ballhandling, passing, etc.)
2. It makes the opponents players see the coaches concern…IT SHAKES THEIR CONFIDENCE!

These are PRICELESS!

Just my thoughts,

~Bert

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Subject: Re: 1-3-1 Amoeba Zone Playbook
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2016 03:00:18 +0000

I like that!  To be honest my thought process at this point with the amoeba vs 5 out was that we would get out of it. Only because I just started playing with it and hadn’t gotten there yet. Saturday’s game is against a 5 out team so I was aiming to play it for next weeks games, but this could change that.
One reason I wanted to look into this amoeba was that our 1-3-1 has been so good for us the last couple years and teams in our league are game planning the heck out it. This looks a bit like it to start and then different rotations. What do you think of that thought process
 ——————————————————————————
On Feb 11, 2016, at 9:46 PM, Bert DeSalvo <desalvo99@hotmail.com> wrote:
Email 1:

Coach,

Check the 1-4 high rotation and 5-Out rotations…I know you didn’t get to this last night and I was just toying with these rotations.

~Bert

Email 1 Response:
 —————————————————————————–

Coach DeSalvo,

I like that!  To be honest my thought process at this point with the amoeba vs 5 out was that we would get out of it. Only because I just started playing with it and hadn’t gotten there yet. Saturday’s game is against a 5 out team so I was aiming to play it for next weeks games, but this could change that.
One reason I wanted to look into this amoeba was that our 1-3-1 has been so good for us the last couple years and teams in our league are game planning the heck out it. This looks a bit like it to start and then different rotations. What do you think of that thought process?
Coach
 —————————————————————————————

On Feb 11, 2016, at 10:09 PM, Bert DeSalvo <desalvo99@hotmail.com> wrote:

Email 2:

Coach,

I tried to take your general rotations/principles and apply it to a variety of offenses you may see. I would need to see it operate against a cutting/motion zone offense (especially one with some great pace).

My general philosophy is that the more teams have to game plan for you two things happen:

1. It takes time away from the opponent from working on their fundamentals (shooting, ballhandling, passing, etc.)
2. It makes the opponents players see the coaches concern…IT SHAKES THEIR CONFIDENCE!

These are PRICELESS!

Just my thoughts,

~Bert

Email 2 Response:
 ———————————————————————————-
Coach DeSalvo,
Good thoughts.  Especially the shaking of confidence, I so agree. I’ll tinker and let you know.
Thanks!
Coach
———————————————————————————–
 I have always thought that the more unique you can make your offense/defense/BLOB/Press Defense, etc. the more other teams will tend to prepare for you, which means that they will not be able to allocate as much time on themselves.
I also feel that the “pulse of the team” is a factor that cannot be understated. I have seen players not only get so much information regarding scouts and on-court sets, but also the way that coaches present it on the court or during film session can really shake a team’s confidence and make players second guess everything.
Coaches must be certain not to over prepare and build their opponents up too much. My guess is that the coach I was helping will run into this a bit, which may help them even more than the adjustment itself.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Finding the Positive: Why Coaches ‘Spin’

I recently I went to watch a practice of a program and head coach that I highly respect.

I arrived at practice just as the team was entering the floor and began to take notice of their body language immediately.

As I watched practice unfold, it was clear to me that the head coach was in charge of the practice and it was organized. The assistants also did a nice job meshing with the team, owning certain drills and staying on task. In addition, I noticed that the team was pretty loose, got to work (even when the coaches were not present) and competed throughout the entire practice. There was a level of respect for the coaches, each other and had a focus in the scouting report portion of the practice. More importantly, they were enjoying themselves and seemed to be genuinely having fun.

After the practice, as the players made their way out of the main entrance where we were chatting, they were all smiles and seemed energized. Many came to say hello to me and they were excited about a student development lecture that had just taken place for them (to fill up some of the free time that the had because school was not in session yet).

All in all, I think the atmosphere was very friendly and outgoing.

The coach and I spoke about a variety of topics, most notably how they were “right there” and did not feel as though their record reflected their actual reality. The coach mentioned how as coaches we get associated with our teams and that people taper their interactions with us based upon the performance of teams. For instance, if the team is struggling the general sentiment is “how are you doing, okay?”, or if the team is doing well the greeting is usually “Things are going well!”.

One thing we agreed upon is that especially when your team is doing subpar, we as head coaches feel the need to “spin” the conversation. As the coach said “I feel like I am constantly spinning it to land on a positive truth.” I responded with, “It’s almost like we are politicians to a certain extent.”

It’s true that coaches are many things. Coaches, trainers, psychologists, custodians, van drivers, father figure/mother figure, academic counselor, nutritionist, etc. The most important thing that we may be though is an optimist.

Being a optimist is imperative for coaches concerning:

1. Your program’s vision

2. Your team’s progress (in the current season)

3. Your career path

4. Most importantly, your current (and former) student-athletes state of being

Not only do we have our emotions to juggle, but we have a responsibility of balancing the desires, hopes and dreams of our administration’s, coaching staff’s and student-athlete’s as well.

Therefore, the head coach feeling that they are “right there” was accurate in my opinion, because I saw her student-athletes respond to them in a positive manner, despite a record they all wish was better. The head coach had a true pulse of their program.

However, even if they weren’t “right there” and were not capable of competing each and every practice and game, the head coach still is right because they are being a optimist for their team — although they just may be inaccurate of the reality.

If a coach has to be more patient, then they have to be more patient. If a coach has to allow more freedom, then they have to allow freedom. If they have to pull in the reins, then they have to pull in the reins.

The point is that a head coach is whatever their team needs them to be. It is up to the head coach to figure out what exactly that is.

Spin it coach, spin it.

(FYI – You aren’t spinning…It’s real!)

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

 

 

 

 

 

Fast Draw – Warm Up Drill & Box and 1 Set

Check out this warm up drill to work on getting your team loose and running the floor/converting early in practice. Coaches can add a consecutive makes element (i.e. “perfection”) and/or time to complete the drill efficiently.

http://www.fastmodelsports.com/library/basketball/fastdraw/114929/play-2-Pass-3-Pass

This is the Box and 1 action I have used during my tenure at Penn State Beaver to get my best shooter a look or create a “2 on 1”.

http://www.fastmodelsports.com/library/basketball/fastdraw/114924/play-Triple-Baseline

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Use the Rules To Your Advantage: A Look at Women’s College Basketball

Enjoy this article of mine that was published on the @FastModel website:

http://team.fastmodelsports.com/2016/01/08/use-the-rules-to-your-advantage-a-look-at-womens-college-basketball/

As always, your feedback is appreciated.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo