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: Read more

Basic high-school basketball offensive set

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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. Read more

High School Playoffs, AAU Tryouts, and European Development

San Antonio Spurs GM R.C. Buford said a big reason why 25 percent of the league is now composed of international players is because the U.S. developmental programs for youth players are “far behind” what’s going on overseas. Read more

Coaching Frosh Basketball 2.0 – A Season Review

At the beginning of the season, I wrote this blog about my philosophy, which listed 21 things that I believe. For better or worse, we stuck with most of them, but the ones that we never corrected or accomplished really hurt our competitive success. Read more

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): Read more

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. Read more

Coaching Frosh Basketball – Week 3

We lost our second game, but improved markedly from Game 1 to Game 2. I imagine most of the improvement was reduced nerves and an appreciation for the difference between junior high school basketball and high school basketball. Read more

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.  Read more

Lengthening the high school basketball season

High school sports seasons are set in stone. However, times change. Is it time to examine the high school sports season?

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Next Page »

  • What Is A Playmaker?

    Who decided that a point guard has to be small? More importantly, what is a point guard? We expect a point guard to be a leader and have a high basketball I.Q. Why don’t we expect or challenge all players to develop this game awareness? Why rely on only one player? Read more →
  • The PBDL Concept

    English soccer academies wait until players are 11 to play full 11v11 soccer; in Italy, youth basketball players participate in skill-oriented clinics at 6-years-old, but start competitive games at 12. In the United States, kids play 5v5 full court games and compete for national championships when they are 8-years-old.

    Read more →

  • Starting A PBDL

    The PBDL emphasizes learning and development. Presently, players and parents have numerous recreation options - leagues based on fun and equal participation, typically for beginners - and numerous competitive opportunities - teams focused on strategy, game preparation and winning. There are few true development leagues - until now.

    Read more →