Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why You Always Guard the Inbounder

Here is another thought on late game execution. This video has been circling the
internet for sometime now. It's a great example of why you either need to face
guard the inbounder or back completely off so that the ball can't be thrown off
the defender's back. As you can see in the clip. the other defender is standing
in front of the inbounder with her back to the ball. If she would have turned
around, College of Idaho likely would have won.

Harvard vs. Princeton

Loved the ESPN Sports Center quote on the Harvard vs. Princeton game:

One will move onto the NCAA Tournament, they will all move onto great

It's a great quote to remind your players who are going off to play college basketball. Truthfully, for most of them, it shouldn't be about the basketball program, instead it should be about the business, education, chemistry program. That's why I give a big hats of to Jonah Travis from DLS high school in Minnesota. Jonah will be going to Harvard over other schools that he could have attended. For him it was a decision based on academics. Hopefully more players make that decision down the road.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Quick Back Cuts Out of the 1-4 High

I love the 1-4 type set because it compliments what I like to do with five out motion and read and react type offenses. One of the great things about the 1-4 high is the backcutting opportunities that it presents for you. Here are some of the quick hitting back cut options out of the 1-4 high.
High Post Entry I
This is a pretty standard part of the 1-4 tool box. On the pass to the high post the wing back cuts hard to the rim for a layup.
High Post Entry II
This is a different take on the high post entry. Here the ball is passed and the point basket and corner cuts. The wing takes 2-3 steps down like he's making a back cut.

The post dribbles at the wing and instead of backcutting the wing comes back up and comes off of the post (5) for the dribble handoff. He takes the handoff and dribbles at the opposite high post. The high post steps high and then back cuts for a layup. The dribbler looks for the layup pass and then looks to turn the corner.
Wing Pick and Roll
On the wing pass, the point cuts to the basket and the corner. The ballside high post comes over and ball screens, the dribbler comes off the screen and the opposite high post pops hard and then back cuts to the rim.
The Point Screen and Roll
Playing on the same idea of back cutting with the backside high post here. The point comes off the screen by the high post. He then doubles back and comes back toward the opposite high post who pops and then dives for a lay up.
Dribble Over Back Cut
This is a classic in the 1-4 high tool kit. Point guard dribbles at the wing and the wing runs a back cut.

Having Something Ready for the End

Watch this great play by Waverly-Shell Rock to beat Norwalk in the Iowa high school playoffs. Thought it was a very gutsy call by Waverly- Shell Rock. The thing I wanted to comment on was what Norwalk did after the play. Let me preface this by saying that the Norwalk coach is as good as they come. I got to see it first hand last year as his team pounded mine twice! I was pulling for Norwalk in this, but it wasn't meant to be.
The oop was completed with about 2 seconds left and Norwalk called timeout. But after the basket, I think Norwalk would have been better off having a play ready to go and just throwing the ball deep and going with it. Many times in a situation like this, the team that makes the clutch basket at the end gets preoccupied with the celebration and ends up having a mental lapse. Having a play ready to go allows the team to just get the ball and go with the opponent still focused on the last play. When you call timeout it allows the opponents to calm down, refocus, and become ready for the last defensive stand. To their credit, the Waverly-Shell Rock players look like they got right into their defense from the video, but I would suspect they were less ready than when they came out of their time out. So I think it's important to drill the end of game situations and have something in place to go to right away.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Leaders Making Mistakes

Good quote tonight from Buckeye Football Coach Jim Tressel when he said "The most pathetic thing is a leader looking for sympathy". Considering what he is going through right now, this is a great quote. As leaders, we are responsible for our actions and the last thing we need is sympathy. It's important as leaders that we accept the consequences for our actions and deal with it.

The End of a Game: Sometimes It Comes Down to Players Making Plays

I was watching the Sun Belt Conference final between UA-Little Rock and North Texas this evening. North Texas had a late two-point lead until UALR's Soloman Bozeman took a pull-up 3 with about 1.5 seconds left to win the game.
This is a great example of a player just making a play. Is the coach a savant for just letting his guy go? Of course not. But he did trust him to make a play and the player delivered. This is probably the biggest game of the year for UALR, a chance at the big dance, and it all came down to a player making a play. It didn't come down to some fancy coaching move or a great set play.
We spend a lot of time analyzing end-game strategy. Having the right set for the right situation. But sometimes I think it's more simple than that, sometimes it's just about getting your best player the ball and trusting him to make a play for your team.

Raptor Set - Great Late Game Play

I saw the Raptors use this set to hit a game winning or game tying shot twice this year. you would think the NBA guys would have scouted this one. Its a great set to get a three out of a sideline out of bounds situation

Part 1
In this play, the 3 takes the ball out of bounds. The 2 (your shooter) starts at the free throw line, a little bit more toward the opposite sideline. The 4 starts on the lane line extended on the three point line. The 5 and 1 are stacked off the lane between the block and third hash. The 5 is on top. On the slap, the stacked players (1,5) come off the double. The big (5) comes of the staggered double first and curls to the basket. He then posts up. The point (1) curls around the double to the low wing area.
Part 2
As 1 and 5 curl around the player on the top of the staggered double (4) sets a down screen for the shooter on the bottom of the staggered double (2). The shooter (2) comes off the down screen and catches the ball for a three pointer.