We need to develop players like in Europe

People often discuss player development and European basketball with me. Often, I am told, and I read, that we (coaches in the United States) need to develop players like in Europe. I don’t necessarily agree with the premise, but I often will engage in the discussions. When I do, it seems as though the coaches want a magic potion, because every change based on my experiences that I offer, they dismiss as unnecessary or impractical. Possible changes based on my experience: […]

Should the U.S. develop players like Europe?

There is a popular undercurrent throughout basketball circles in the United States (R.C. Buford, Kobe Bryant, Stan van Gundy) that the U.S. need to develop players more like European countries or Canada. Typically, this rhetoric never is supported with actual plans or suggestions as to the differences between development in other countries and the U.S., and when I argue in favor of some of the primary differences between the systems in FIBA countries and the U.S. (24-second shot clocks, small basketballs for youths, lower basket height for youths, longer high school season, fewer games per week, etc), these same people argue against their feasibility. Rather than change the structure to match the European structure, it seems that there is some mythic drill or philosophy that coaches in the U.S. are missing. […]

The growing disparity between good and bad in girls basketball

I picked up the USA Today featuring this week’s high school girls top 25 and looked though the scores. I focused primarily on the California schools, as those are the ones who I know the best. The scores are outrageous (I left out the names so as not to embarrass the losing teams): […]

Coaching Frosh Basketball 2.0 – Tryouts and Talent ID

When I pick teams (or recruit), I want to identify those qualities that are the rarest. When watching players, one can choose to see the things that a player can do (strengths) or the things that the players cannot do (weaknesses). I want to identify the rare strengths and ignore the easiest weaknesses to remedy. […]

Coaching Frosh Basketball – Week 1

Despite night classes twice a week, I am coaching a freshmen boys basketball team. Former NBA scout Clarence Gaines suggested that I wrote about my philosophy for each week. Coaching will be tough, as the season is compacted, we just finished tryouts, and I am not going to be there all the time because of prior commitments and class schedules. It is what it is.  […]