When Eric Musselman first took the job at University of Nevada, he made it a point of emphasis to improve the shooting within the Wolf Pack program. The article linked below dives into how Nevada has improved from one of the worst shooting teams in America to one of the best. One thing not mentioned in the article is a tactic Musselman used when he first took the job. I’m a bit hazy on the specifics, but Musselman met with each player and gave a diagnosis of where they were at form-wise and then also set goals for them (shot totals per week during the offseason and 3FG% during the coming season). He also changed the locker room combination to the shooting percentage that would lead the Mountain West Conference. Something that I think about often is what the best way to coach shooting on a program-wide basis is. I certainly don’t think there’s one way to do it, but it seems like Musselman has stumbled onto something with his Wolf Pack program.
Had Musselman been building this team early in his career, finding shooters wouldn’t have been a high priority. But, as basketball has evolved over the years, so too has Musselman’s evaluation of players. “As I’ve gotten older, shooting has gotten more important in my overall philosophical viewpoint on a basketball team,” said Musselman, who first built a team in 1988 as a general manager of a CBA team. “It used to be athletes and toughness and guys who could react. When I built my minor-league teams, it was always toughness, reacting to loose balls and I’ve changed and you need a complement of all of those pieces.” Musselman built his Wolf Pack roster by finding “positionless” players but also ones who can shoot.
For more on Musselman:
-Nevada’s transition offense (LINK)
-Eric Musselman’s philosophy at Nevada is about players, family, and blurring the line in between (LINK)
-How Nevada’s Unconventional Roster-Building Strategy Engineered Its Miraculous Sweet 16 Run (LINK)