Friday, April 3, 2009

Playing to Win

First off, I apologize for the break between posts! It was state tournament week last week so I spent four straight days at the Target Center and "The Barn" watching a great high school tournament unfold. I think it is important, as a coach, to be able to truly enjoy this time of year and kind of revert back to being a "fan of the game" after your team has bowed out for the season. This time of year always re energizes me. After the state tournament, I am ready for June and summer workouts!

There was something that happened at this years tournament that was kind of controversial and I wanted to comment on it. When St. Cloud Tech played Hopkins (who was heavily favored to win it all), Tech decided to go with a stall to win the game. Because they were on the Target Center floor, which is an NBA floor, they had everyone at or above top of the key extended and were working a Princeton style backdoor offense to try to get baskets and slow the tempo down. At halftime they went in down 15-16. They came out in the second half and finally lost as Hopkins got a sizable lead that forced Tech to play.

Many people criticized Tech for trying to slow it down to win, commenting on how it was not basketball, and how we needed a shot clock. I totally disagree with these statements. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not the type of coach who loves to slow it down, but Tech was doing what they thought they had to do to win in that situation. So all in all it is the right call. And if Hopkins did not have a 6-9 D1 center who came from the weak side to block many of the backdoor layups, Tech may have had a chance down the stretch. But to me the bottom line is Tech was trying to win the game by slowing it down. How is that different than if a team would have tried to beat Hopkins by playing Grinnell style because they had good shooters and quick guards?? No one would be complaining then. And this is my biggest reason I don't want a shot clock, why favor one style of play over others? I love to get up and down the floor with my teams, but why should my style be favored over someone like Coach King the former Orr coach who won lots of games with a patient slow down offense?? I think as a coach you play the style that you feel will help you win, no matter what style that is!

To the four people that read this blog: Have a great week and enjoy what is left of MARCH MADNESS!!!


JRMurray said...

I agree that if a team tries to speed it up nobody would care. I do think a shot clock would be nice in H.S. basketball (we have none in NV), but like a 45 second shot clock or even a minute. With that long a team would be able to still stall a bit, but the game would still keep moving.

JohnCarrier said...

I wouldn't mind a shot clock either, but that is because my tempo is not slow down. If we did get one however, the shortest one I would possibly want is a 35 second one that does not start until the ball crosses half court making it closer to 45. Or a 45 second clock that started right away. I think 60 seconds would be perfect (if we HAD to have one) simply because then you can still run a stall, but can't do it forever.

Again, for me, it comes down to the rules starting to favor one style over another. I understand why you do it in college and the NBA because that that point it is more about enteraining and putting butts in seats, but why in HS?

The only reason I am against a shot clock is it is one more thing to screw up and a critical time. Forgetting to reset it at the end of a game, etc.

Anyway, I appreciate the comment! Thanks!

John Carrier