10 Reasons How You Know You Are a College Basketball Fan

10. You write it off as “work”.

9. You consider buying multiple 60″ flatscreens to view the games.

8. You give your television a good cleaning an hour before the Thursday games start because you realize it is going to get a “good workout” in.

7. You prepay your electric bill in February/March and watch the weather fiercely to make sure there will be NO interruptions during the games.

6. You stand up when you watch games.

5. You have an tablet, phone and two televisions all going so you can watch all the tournaments games at the same time.

4. You do the have done the “arrow” or “three goggles” when your team hits a trifecta.

3. You know the mascot for every low major.

2. You start sweating during the game you are watching (not like Sean Miller though!)sweat2_0

1. You are allowed to go to the Final Four in lieu of your wife’s birthday!

Any more? What silly things have you done?

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Whistle and a Clipboard Podcast Notes – Randy Brown

Here is a link to the Whistle and a Clipboard podcast by Jason Oates (Whistle – Randy Brown interview).

In this episode, Coach Randy Brown was the featured guest and shared some great observations, opinions and coaching musts!

If you would like my version of the notes in from the full 1 hr 20+ minute podcast, just follow me on @CoachDeSalvo and direct message me and I will be sure to email them to you.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

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

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

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.


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”.


Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Saban’s Culture Makes it a Smart Choice to Keep Kirby On


Tonight’s College Football Playoff National Championship features three college football head coaches: Alabama’s Nick Saban, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Georgia’s Kirby Smart.

Smart is currently the Alabama Defensive Coordinator who was recently named Head Coach at the University of Georgia.

Due to college football’s schedule, Smart has had to assume both roles, as Saban has allowed him to remain on staff and finish Alabama’s run at their fourth national championship in seven years.

Clearly, Saban feels comfortable that Kirby will be ultra focused on getting his defense ready to the best of his ability, even though Saban knows Kirby will be dedicating some of his time to putting a staff together at Georgia and recruiting against Alabama and other SEC rivals.

Here are a few articles that give some perspective on Kirby’s unique situation:



This dual role is interesting for me to fathom as a college basketball coach.

Due to the calendar/schedule, this is much more of a possibly in college football than college basketball. As a matter of fact, I have never heard of a team making a Final Four run with an Associate Head Coach/Assistant Coach who was already hired in another program, have you?

I think the sheer logistics on the coaching staff allow college football staff members to share some of the load of losing a coordinator or position coach. This would be much more difficult in my opinion on a college basketball staff because of 1) a small staff size and 2) the fact that in the tournament teams play Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Sunday on the first two weeks of the tournament. These back to back games would severely limit a coaches ability to do both jobs to the best of their ability.

Either way, the fact that Saban is allowing this shows the confidence he has in himself, his culture and Alabama as a brand.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo


Fast Draw – Xavier Horns Flex Pin

Here is a Horns Flex set that Xavier executed vs. rival Cincinnati on Dec 12th, 2015. The option allows for the cutter to come off a flex screen or pin down. Two-man game results while similar actions occur on the weak side of the court.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0dRRaehJsc


Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo