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Friday, January 16, 2015


Tough day yesterday learning of the passing of Coach Bob Boyd who I had the privilege of working with for a year at LSU.  Years before, Coach Dale Brown sent me to the West Coast to spend a couple of days with Coach John Wooden and then on to Coach Boyd's house where we spent a day out by his pool with me peppering him with questions and soaking in his knowledge.  When I came back I told Coach Brown we had to get Coach Boyd to Baton Rouge for our fall Coaching Clinic which we did.  Over the next few days, I will share some of my notes from Coach Boyd that I got from both his home and our fall clinic:

Coach must get comfortable with what he wants and then demand it.

Three phases of basketball are offense, defense, and conversion. If you want equal emphasis on game night you’d better stress it in practice.

Believes strongly that 1 & 2 must blockout and then go to the boards (not sit and watch). If their offensive men don’t go to the boards then you have a 5 on 3 board coverage advantage. Must think “possession” before you think “break.”

Important to remember on conversion offense that everyone converts down the middle and not wide. Wants his point to pitch the ball ahead as soon as possible. Also wants his wing to take the ball deep to the baseline if nothing materializes (UNC press offense). Does not want the point to bring the ball directly down the middle of the court because of traffic with post players.

Early offense vs. helpside defense. When ball is feed to low post, have trail down screen the help and 3 cut to the opposite elbow for a feed from the low post player.

Outlet must be deep – doesn’t want point to have to come back to the ball. Does not have point guard widen out for the outlet, wants him to find an open slot in the middle of the floor to take the pass.

Outlet Drill – Have an outlet and a point guard working against 2 defenders to get open.

Concentration + Conditioning = Conversion

Motion offense – does not like the term “restrictions,” likes the word “conditions.” Believes terminology is critical part of teaching.

 In all motion work, even with conditions, never take the lay-up away.

 Shot Quality (Selection)

            - Distance of shot (most important)

            - Defensive pressure on shooter

            - Priority (who is shooting)

            - Score & Time

Whether shot goes in or not has nothing to do with the quality of the shot. Priority of shot is difficult to teach because of egos. Players must understand priorities but their girlfriends and parents never will.

 Shot selection is so important that when he was with Knight at a clinic last week, Knight spoke about it for an entire hour.

“Draw & Kick” – from Majerus (largely underrated college coach). Draw & Kick important to motion – must be drilled.

Screener is the 2nd cutter – teaching emphasis “get hands to the ball” after screening. Area hardly ever emphasized and rarely coached is getting the screener to read the cutter.

Emphasis of the day is good – but is team really aware of it? Must have drills to surround it. Stop practice and ask. Bring in scrimmage play (good example or bad example).

All teams experience some game slippage. Coaches must anticipate.

A “player’s coach” in the NBA is a “coach that lets the players do whatever the hell they wants.” Riley not a player’s coach.

It’s not just hard work – EXECUTION (do payers understand?)

Far too many players today have had tons of success without being coaches or pushed and this is a big problem in coaching today.

Never tells his team that the opponent has better players than we do. “They got the same kind of players we’ve got.”