July Coaching Nuggets

One of my favorite things about the July recruiting period is the chance to talk with other coaches. The long hours in the gym together lend to some good conversations about the game/recruiting/our profession. Most of the points below came in direct conversations with the coach listed, but some I have additionally included some of my favorite coaching/teaching points I’ve come across in articles this month.

Dave Paulsen (Head Coach, George Mason): Your career is inexplicably linked to who you work for. They define your philosophy + they are the biggest determining factor if you are going to be around winning (#1 way to advance in this business: be around winning).
Ted Hotaling (Head Coach, New Haven University): The biggest takeaway in the Warriors’ championship run: their roster flexibility. They could play several different ways.
Dan Burke (Assistant Coach, Indiana Pacers): The best offenses in the NBA have a tendency to play early and late. They’re either getting their stuff early in the clock in attack or wearing the defense down and getting something good late.
John Beilein (Head Coach, University of Michigan): People are trying to get too fancy/exotic versus people’s Ice/Down, just flip the angle of it and attack the hedge to the baseline side with your guard driving it hard downhill.
Shaka Smart (Head Coach, University of Texas): I will ask my players “Does our relationship depend on how much I play you?”
Gregg Popovich (Head Coach, San Antonio Spurs): In our program, we try to be straight forward. There will be no Knute Rockne speeches, no blown smoke, no manipulation. We’ll say, “This is what you do well. This is what you do poorly. This is your role.”
Jamion Christian (Head Coach, Mount St. Mary’s): This generation’s point guards have taken the “patience” ball screen teaching point too far. These young PGs don’t come up attacking off ball screens like they should be.
Tim Cluess (Head Coach, Iona College): Players get carried away trying to be “complete players.” It’s important to try to improve your weaknesses, but don’t try to do everything, focus on your strengths. Don’t lose sight of those on the path to being a “complete player.”
Joe Kennedy (Assistant Coach, Holy Cross): The NBA is a high pick-and-roll league because the “Ice” coverage has eliminated the side ball screen. The dribble handoff though…you can’t down a DHO
Jared Dudley (Forward, Washington Wizards): Your ability to play “smallball” is dependent on your 4-man’s ability to defensive rebound his position.
Mike MacKay (Canada Basketball): The solution to all problems cannot always be to play harder or to compete. A coach who does this is exhibiting that he is unsure what to do.
Steve Kerr (Head Coach, Golden State Warriors): 90% of coaching is creating an environment, through force of personality. The other 10% involves strategy.
Kevin App (Head Coach, Williams College): The product of fall pick-up should be an increase of trust within your team. The problem is sometimes it is the opposite.
Dustin Kerns (Associate Head Coach, Wofford College): Utilize your network of high school coaches to find out about the kids in their league. Who’s a jerk? Who couldn’t they guard? Who recognizes their defensive gameplan by the third quarter?