Jay Wright, Villanova MBB – Coach & Athletic Director Article

Here is an article from April 2010 on Jay Wright and Villanova men’s basketball as they tip off in the Sweet 16 vs. Miami (FL) in just a few minutes!

Jay Wright’s 4-Out, 1-In Motion Offense – Coach & Athletic Director – April 2010

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Confessions of a Coach

This confession by former University of Cincinnati Graduate Assistant, Al Hmiel, is sure to grab your attention.

Here Tim Sullivan gets a candid interview from the ex-coach and provides the audience with an eye opening piece for those not involved in college athletics at its highest level.

Having coached at the D1 Men’s Basketball level, I have heard stories like this, which I why I would tend to believe Hmiel’s account.

Link: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/tim-sullivan/2015/12/24/confessions-college-hoops-slimeball/77318732/

I would like to thank Joe Ticotsky, CT Starters AAU Girls Basketball Director, for sharing this article with me.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

“After Further Review…” – USC (Finally) Makes the Right Call & What Their Decision Can Teach Others in College Athletics

Yesterday, the University of Southern California announced that  Clay Helton was being named the permanent head coach, removing the interim tag he has assumed since replacing former head coach Steve Sarkisian on October 12th.

Helton went 5-2 since replacing Sarkisian as the interim head coach, and will play in the PAC-12 Championship game vs. Stanford this weekend.

Nevertheless, USC’s decision to keep Helton has raised some eyebrows. Many media members and alumni have said that USC needed a “big name” for a job this prestigious and that Helton was not a worthy hire.

However, based upon the student-athletes’ reactions I would beg to differ. Did you see the reaction of the USC player’s when USC Director of Athletics, Pat Haden, told them that Helton was being retained? (USC Player’s Reaction to Helton Being Named Head Coach)

Haden noted that, “after observing Clay in action the past seven weeks, it became abundantly clear that what we were searcing for in a coach was reight here in front of us.”

This hire is a risky one for Haden, who himself is on the hot seat for the hiring of Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin and how both of those tenures ended. Haden also hired former Florida Gulf Coast University Men’s Basketball Coach, Andy Enfield, who has not produced since his arrival in April of 2013.

Nevertheless, I believe that Haden observed Helton, listened to the student-athletes and saw immediate results, on and off the field.

Let us not forget that Haden had the chance to hire another interim head coach in Ed Orgeron, back in 2013. Orgeron replaced Lane Kiffin just five games into the 2013 season. Orgeron went 6-2 during his interim stint, bringing life back to the USC football program and was widely supported by his players.

Despite Orgeron’s efforts and popularity, Haden went with Sarkisian. Sarkisian was one of the key members of the staff during the Pete Carroll era, an era Haden desperately wanted to rekindle.

However, for USC that era was long gone. Haden was essentially hiring an alum thinking that would be a quick fix to get back to the glory days. He was wrong. Very wrong. Just like the Carroll era that ended with shame, so did Sarkisian’s short tenure.

Plain and simple, Haden learned from his mistake. Haden clearly hired the person who EARNED the job. It was not about politics or personal agendas or getting a “big name.” It was about hiring the best fit for the program at that particular point in the program’s history.

Helton PROVED that he can run a program by getting the student-athletes to buy in to his coaching philosophy, by recruiting at a high level and by winning games the right way.

Kudos to Pat Haden for making the right choice. Maybe his decision to listen to what he observed will influence other athletic directors to make decisions with their head versus media hype, political/personal  agendas or alumni/booster pressure.

Give ’em hell, Coach Helton!

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo


College Coaches Get Recruiting Tip From Kobe

Today started the NBA Free Agency period where players can now talk to prospective teams and find the best deal for them.

With the hiring of Doc Rivers, the Clippers signed Chris Paul with ease and now Dwight Howard stands alone as the most prized free agent.

The Howard saga has been going for quite a few years now, with his on-again off-again two year episode in Orlando and his turbulent year last season as a Los Angeles Laker.

The Rockets, Hawks, Mavericks, Warriors and Lakers are all courting Howard…recruiting Howard that is.

Howard was one of the last players to go to the NBA straight out of high school. This meant that he had no real college recruiting process and now he gets to see what 5-star high school athletes like Andrew Wiggins get to experience.

And teams have not disappointed.

The Rockets brought in Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler to personally meet with Howard, while Dikembe Mutombo sent a video recording and Yao Ming talked with Howard via Skype.

The Lakers, in a desperate attempt to retain Howard, even put up billboards around the city with the #StayD12 plastered on it. Despite their efforts, the Lakers are said to be an “unlikely” destination for Howard.

With all of this swooning and stroking of Howard’s ego going on, Kobe Bryant took a different approach. Bryant, who had his conflicts with Howard this past season, will be one of the representatives to meet with Howard tomorrow.

However, Bryant will not be begging Howard to stay.

In fact, according to recent comments that the the future Hall of Famer made, Bryant insisted that “It has to be his (Howard’s) decision. The last thing you want to do is convince a person that they want to be here. If you have to convince them, when challenges or adversity comes up next season, it’s very easy to say, ‘Well, they had to convince me to be here anyway. I don’t really want to be here. I’d rather be [somewhere else], but they sold me on it.’ “You want it to be his decision. When it’s something that’s rooted inside of him, it’s something he champions. I just want to be there to assist his decision.”

This is refreshing to hear.

Amongst all of his crew telling him how great he is and all of the teams vying for his services, it is nice to hear Kobe using good common sense.

College coaches should heed this warning from Kobe.

Of course you want to sell the benefits of your school and show each recruit how they would fit in your program. However, when it is at the risk of forcing the players decision that is a recipe for disaster, for them and your program.

The final choice has to be the players, be it in the NBA or college.

Make your best pitch for your school, but don’t plead. Let them know how important they could be if they choose to join your program, but don’t beg.

You have to communicate, but you shouldn’t have to convince.

The recruiting process should be about developing a relationship that enhances how great a fit is for the recruit both academically and athletically.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case which is why so many student-athletes end up transferring.

College coaches must be sure that recruits are told what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear. Instead, the recruiting process should be  about transparency, honesty and vision.

I am sure Coach Kobe will communicate these to Howard, but it has to be Howard’s decision….Lakers, good luck!

(you will need it)…

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo