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Saturday, January 17, 2015


Tough day a few days ago 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:

Bringing the ball above the head is a common problem – not hard to guard.

Backline in 2-3 must understand where their overall territory is that they must cover.

On zone offense, a wing must know who’s defending him and take the ball away from where he came.

To cover the ball in the zone, backline must be active. If you play zone defense, break it down in drill form. Can work on both zone offense and zone defense in whole or part method at the same time. Zone defenders must constantly be aware of players in their area.

Time and score would dictate his pressing.

Doesn’t like gambling, all out denial unless behind late in the game (and must practice those type of situations in practice.)

:30 to play and behind by 3 or more we want to deny then foul – no more than 2 seconds be ran off.

On inbounds defense –

            - Scouting is important

            - Give an obvious show (be big, take room, bump em)

            - Team don’t practice enough and when they do, they don’t do with game       
               like intensity. (can’t run inbounds plays against Indiana)

Knight spent the entire fall (2-hour, 3 man) practice period teaching screening. No one in the nation screens better than Indiana yet Knight thinks they do it poorly. What should that tell the rest of us about our screening.

Without game-like intensity in practice you can’t be effective in a game. Game-like intensity comes from coaching leadership.

Good defensive players must be “suspicious” (constantly anticipating.) Mike Singletary of the Chicago Bears. Stance-ready-suspicious. Important on inbounds defense especially.

Kids know when their parents are serious or not, caring or not, prepared or not, so you know they can read coaches.

Your basketball facility (floor, offices, locker room, etc.) is your classroom. Do you have a “good learning environment.” Important to make kids “receptive” to learning.

Good teachers don’t try to trick their students.

Bounce pass (lead low) vs. retreating defender.

Talent sometimes resents loss of identity that sometimes comes with motion offense.

Performance must be a Projection of Practice.

The true test of a coach is to coach effectively through resistance.

Ran flex with Post Exchange (he called it “high-low passing game”.) Liked to split the low post in motion with a screen.

When running flex, used a variety of entries to disguise it.

Doesn’t want symmetrical look in PE (1-3-1).

If he came back to coach today he would

            - Make it simpler

            - Be emphatic about rebounding

Can’t change performance until you change attitude.

Before the 3-point arc, he wanted his team to shoot 55% from the floor. He wanted his identity to come from field goal shooting percentage.

If you run motion, you need to stay away from junior college players and have four year players in your program.

Important in zone offense to “stretch” the defense with spacing and backside players. He wanted to dunk against a zone. Bring the ball into the paint before an outside shot. Must breakdown zone offense (perimeter & post). Likes loop to elbow screen vs. zone defense. Rover against odd front zone. Must attack the backside of zone defense.

Does not think it is necessary to have more than one alignment of motion to be effective. Regular or High Low. Likes possibilities of triangle.

Against defense that switches, besides slipping, have your cutter make a tight curl (will open up a screener that widens out on the perimeter. Must find “daylight” before slip.