October Coaching Nuggets

I got a chance to spend some time talking/studying some some great coaches this past month. Below are the favorite things I stole:

Past editions of “Coaching Nuggets”:

Bob Marlin (head coach, Louisiana-Lafayette): I know two starters: our best defender and our best rebounder. If you’re the best on the team at one of those things, you are guaranteed be in the starting lineup.
Jay Lawson (head coach, Bentley University): Get as many point guards as you can on the roster. I love recruiting kids who play point guard in high school with size that allows them to play another position at our level. Put as many decision-makers on the court at the same time as possible.
Chris Caputo (assistant coach, University of Miami): Be cautious about introducing your switching coverages too early in the season. Build up the idea of individual responsibility within your defensive system and then introduce switching as you go.
Brian Kelly (head football coach, Notre Dame): You can be passionate, you can be tough. You can display all of those kinds of emotions, but you have to be in control at all times.
Fran O’Hanlon (head coach, Lafayette College): You can’t be any good offensively without an imagination.
Alvin Gentry (head coach, New Orleans Pelicans): When you first attempt to play fast, there will be turnovers. You must live through these and bite your lip as a coach a bit. You need to get them to understand transition offense is making simple plays…at speed.
Mike Budenholzer (head coach, Atlanta Hawks): (on what he learned from Gregg Popovich) He really encouraged and embraced people having different thoughts and ideas. Debate or argue or disagree – out of that comes a healthy work environment. The last thing Pop wanted was a yes person. If you weren’t arguing or disagreeing, you probably weren’t going to last long.
Richard Barron (head womens basketball coach, University of Maine): Keep the weakside corner open. Your offensive spacing on the weakside should be lifted up the court (no one below free throw line extended on the perimeter).
Billy Donovan (head coach, Oklahoma City Thunder): One thing that great players/scorers need is space. What can I do strategically as a coach to create space for my scorers? What can I do strategically to open up the floor for them?
Mike Rice (team tournament director, Hoop Group): Pressure with your feet, deflect with your hands
Chris Oliver (founder, Basketball Immersion): There is often a grey area between transition and half court where a lot of teams get lost and the advantage they gained in transition is negated by a pause that allows the defense to get set. The “flow” from your transition offense to your half court attack is very important.

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