March 2016 Coaching Nuggets

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

See below for past editions of “Coaching Nuggets”

Tom Crean, Indiana University Head Coach: Be creative creating attacking opportunities for your best downhill drivers. Yogi Ferrell doesn’t need to be the ball-handler in every ball screen. Stick him behind the ball screening action as the “Shake Man” and have him attack off the throwback.
David Thorpe, ESPN NBA Analyst: Block the shot of the guy who doesn’t see you coming. Contest the shot of the guy you’re guarding and make him make a shot over you
Dustin Kerns, Wofford University Assistant Coach:
Teaching point to players coming off screens: slow to take, fast to make (slow to take your cut, fast to make your cut).
Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics Head Coach: The farther down the side of the court you go, the more squared up your closeout should be. The farther up the perimeter (slots/wings), your closeouts should be angular (as to discourage middle drives). The farther to the corner you go, the more squared-up your closeout should be.
Ted Hotaling, University of New Haven Head Coach: In the NBA, a dribble handoff is an action. Too often in the college game dribble handoffs are simply exchanges. The difference? The guard pausing behind the big handing it off. Stop behind it and make them play you. That moment of pause creates indecision in the defense.
Wade Phillips, Denver Broncos Defensive Coordinator: You adapt the scheme to what the players can do, now what you can think of.
Jared Grasso, Iona College Assistant Coach: In recruiting, the only way you can take a kid with a lack of shooting ability is if he plays with a really, really high motor. There’s always a place for a kid with that kind of motor.
Shaka Smart, University of Texas Head Coach: I would say the biggest things we look for in recruiting is No. 1 — does he see basketball as something he really needs? Does he just like to play or does he like what comes from playing? I think there is a big difference. If you get guys who love the game and have to be playing, that leads to competitiveness.
Chip Kelly, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach: The role of captains: be the first to serve, the last to be served. Be the first to identify what our team standards are and be the last to break them.
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs Head Coach: Basketball is a pretty damn simple game. It’s not like you’re going to institute something new. Like, this is a new pick and roll defense that nobody has ever seen before. That’s not what wins and loses games. What wins is consistency and competitiveness.

Past Editions:
Final 2015 Coaching Nuggets
October Coaching Nuggets
September Coaching Nuggets
August Coaching Nuggets
July Coaching Nuggets

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