Coaching basketball

One of my big flaws is that I overthink about literally everything. Due to the constant overthinking, I have lots of daydreams. One of the daydreams I have is being some type of sports coach. I have dreams of being a college football coach, a college basketball coach and an NHL coach. The dreams are always very detailed. I think about how I’d coach, how I’d do in-game interviews, press conferences, the make-up of my team, the pre-game warm up music. All of it. Whenever I write about a dream, that dream goes away usually, clearing my mind and allowing me to better focus on recovering and school and other things. I’m going to write about my college basketball coach dreams, so those hopefully go away.

I’ve played basketball before, so my team would play the way I play. All heart. No fear. Balls to the wall. Unrelenting chaos. Lightning fast. In other words, the way Bill Resler taught me to play. The same way his RHS girls teams played.

The make-up of my team. Usually in basketball, you have 12 players, although most teams don’t use their whole bench. I would. I would have two point guards, six shooting guards, and four centers. An odd group, I know. I’m never going to recruit the best players from each position though. I’m going to recruit the tallest players, even if they are only one star recruits. I’m going to have the tallest team. You’ll see why later, but let me just say, you can teach dribbling, passing, shooting, free throws, defense, endurance, speed and so on, but you can’t teach height.

On the court, I’d have one point guard, two shooting guards and two centers. I would run a Paul Westhead type offense combined with the offense of Bill Resler and my dad’s offense. Most, or all teams, have one center, so by having two, I have a height advantage in the paint. I not only have two centers though, I have the tallest centers. By having four centers, I can sub them in and out like a hockey lineup, so they don’t wear down from my pace. It also means I can withstand any foul trouble. My goal would be for each center to play at most 20 minutes a game, saving their legs for the NBA. I would also recruit internationally for my centers, since Europe, Africa and Asia are more likely to have insanely tall seven footers looking and I can give them a pathway to the NBA without using up their legs.

For shooting guards, as I said, I wouldn’t go for the best, but simply the tallest. By having the tallest shooting guards, I have length on defense. This makes it easier to jump the passing lanes, leading to fast break scoring chances. Having tall guards also would force more difficult shots, and will lead to more blocked shots. It also means my players are more likely to grab long rebounds. My point guards would also be the tallest, for the same purpose. Having the tallest guards and the tallest centers means that no matter what type of defense I run, opponents would have trouble scoring and getting rebounds. However, just because I sacrifice talent for height in order to have the best defense and rebounding team doesn’t mean I’ll have a bad or even average offense.

Running a Paul Westhead/Bill Resler/Chris Nefcy offense means I’m going to get up and down the court quickly and have lots of scoring chances. In addition to practice, I would have my point guards and shooting guards practice their free throws, three’s and jump shots. Every day, from the time they sign their letter of intent to the final game of their senior season/leave for the NBA draft, I would make my guards make 100 free throws, 100 jump shots and 100 three’s before they can go home. Not 100 attempts at each. They have to make 100 every day of each. This way, all of my point guards and shooting guards become great shooters. My centers would have to make 100 short shots and 100 free throws every day before they can go home. By making everyone make 100 free throws before they can go home, everybody becomes a good to great free throw shooter and I’d hopefully have the best free throw shooting team in all of college basketball, which helps greatly in close games, especially in the NCAA tourney. So now, on top of a great defense, I’d have a pretty good if not great offense.

Now, for the offensive system. Upon getting a defensive rebound, or after a made shot or free throw, it’d be Paul Westhead fast break all the time. Little to no dribbling. Whoever doesn’t have the ball is sprinting down the court and whoever does have it is passing it down the court. Get quick easy layups and dunks. Get quick open looks from three. The college shot clock is 30 seconds now, but Paul Westhead always wanted a shot within eight seconds of getting the ball. Same goes for me. Get the ball, pass it down the court and shoot. Always be running, always be passing, always be shooting. However, I want to limit bad shots being taken. If their defense gets back in time and nobody is open, or we missed a shot and got the offensive rebound, which would happen a lot with my height advantage, I’d switch into the Bill Resler/Chris Nefcy offense. I’d keep my players spaced out and then have guys constantly cutting to the basket and back out to the three line. Even my centers would cut out, clearing the paint for my tall guards to get dunks and layups against their smaller defenders, and thus possibly getting their guards into foul trouble. When my guards cut out and the two centers cut back in, my shooters will get great looks because having two centers means my height advantage in the paint is so great that the defense will have to put extra defenders on them to prevent the easy baskets, sacrificing easy looks from three for the guards. If they do closely guard my shooters when they cut out, whoever has the ball can just toss it into the paint for easy baskets/dunks.

Another advantage of having the tallest players at every position is that I won’t get shots blocked. This means when the defense tries to block shots or block layups and dunks, they’ll just most likely pick up fouls, thus my team would force other teams into foul trouble. As I said earlier, I’d have the best free throw shooting team. I’d have so many advantages on offense. I would score a lot and tire teams out from all the running. No defense would be a match for me.

On defense, I would run a full court 1-2-2 and a 1/4 court 1-2-2 defense. A full court 1-2-2 means that once the other team gets the ball, I have a defender on the ball and a defender on the two closest guys likely to get the pass. After a made shot, that makes it difficult to get the ball in. It’s chaos in their backcourt. If the inbounds pass is thrown into a corner in desperation to get the ball in, I can set up a trap. The weakness of full court presses is that if they break the press, they can get quick easy layups and baskets. As my three guards create chaos in their backcourt, I’d have my two centers run back and stand at the top of the key, to prevent guys driving to the basket. If you break my press, I’d rather have them shoot open three’s, because even an open three is no sure thing to go in. I can live with that, knowing that if they miss their open three, I’m getting the rebound and down the court I go again. Bye bye! Anyways, the purpose of my full court 1-2-2 defense is to create lots of quick turnovers leading to quick baskets. Five second inbound violations. Bad passes. Steals. Eight second half court violations. Having the tallest guards also means that my guys have long arms, making opponents passes more difficult.

Once the ball gets up to midcourt, I would settle into a 1/4 court 1-2-2. One guard at the top of the key guarding the center three point line. Two guards on each side of the free throw line guarding the right-center and left-center three point areas, with the two centers on each side of the basket. All five players have a zone they defend, and they’d move around in their zone based off of where the ball is. My 1-2-2 shrinks the court. If the ball is in a corner, all three guards would be on that side of the court, to make any three difficult, and to trap and steal passes, leading to fast breaks. If you have two guys in the paint and three on the perimeter, one in each corner and a guy at the top and the ball is in a corner, I have one guy on the ball, one on the guy at the top and one somewhat between them, ready to trap or jump passes. I leave the other shooter open because I don’t worry about cross court passes since any long passes against my tall players would be plain stupid. To get to an open shooter on the opposite side of the court, you’d have to make 2-3 quick short passes around the perimeter to get to him before my guard in that zone gets to him.

My 1-2-2 defense would always stay at or inside the three point line. It’s to clog the area and make the court feel small. It severely limits guys driving to the basket and makes jump shots difficult. Pretty much, my goal is to force teams to beat me from three. By staying at the three point line and moving around, I try to make every three attempt difficult as well. If they back up near midcourt to reset their offense, I wouldn’t even bother guarding him until he approaches the three point line. If they want to step back and take extremely long Steph Curry shots because I’m not guarding those, go for it! Have at it. Good luck making enough of those to beat me. That’s my whole plan. The other thing is, because my guards are the tallest, they’d naturally make great defenders. They can easily block shots, or just force guys to adjust their shot to shoot higher in order to get the ball over the arms of my guys, thus leading to more misses and air balls.

The best offense to run against me would probably be a four guard offense that is also a high percentage three point shooting team. You would always have one shooter matched up against one of my centers, and my centers are not coming out to guard the three, so you’d always have one open shooter. You have to get him the ball first though, and you can’t make long passes against the long arms of my players. Once you settle into a half court offense, the open shooter will always be in a corner. Whenever the ball is on one particular side of the court, the open shooter will always be on the opposite side. That’s how my moving defense will work. I’m always moving with the ball. You pretty much have to pass the ball around like the Golden State Warriors do. An advantage of height though is my defenders can close a gap quickly. You have to pass it around and find the open shooter before my defense gets to him. Even then, to beat me, you have to have your best shooting game of the season. You better be on fire from three because you’re not getting many second chance opportunities, and a four guard team is easy prey for my offense. You sacrifice defense for offense, so you have to make all your shots to beat me.

Since my team is running all game long, I would use my whole bench so nobody gets tired. Of course, all offseason my guys would train for all the running so they are used to it, but nonetheless I would have a deep bench. Nobody would play long minutes at a time. I would sub guys in and out like hockey players. Each center would play for probably three minutes at a time at most. The two point guards would sub in and out for each other every few minutes. I’d have six shooting guards, two play at a time. One group plays for 2-4 minutes, then group B plays 2-4 minutes, then group C plays 2-4 minutes and so on. Nobody is really a starter or a sub. Everyone plays a big role. By having line changes like in hockey, all my players would still have a lot left in the tank late in games, while opponents would be exhausted or wearing down. Games that are close for a while, I can pull away with, or if I’m down a little, I’m more able to make comebacks.

So yea, my team would be almost untouchable. I would have the best rebounding team, the highest scoring offense, and the best points per possession defense. Teams would get worn down playing me. Since I recruit the tallest at each position and not the highest rated, my players would always be hungry to prove their doubters wrong and they’d love beating the teams with 5 star recruits. On top of that, since my players aren’t the highest rated coming out of high school, it’d likely take them 2-3 years of completely dominating in my system to become NBA first round draft picks. So my guys would become household names in college basketball, and because they stay for a few years, I’m more likely to put together a dynasty. To win two or even three natty’s in a row.

Anyways, with all of this, my teams would consistently be among the best if we’re not the absolute best. My guys would always make deep NCAA tourney runs, and we’d likely win many national championships because we’d simply be a terrible matchup for everyone, even the Duke’s and Kentucky’s. I bet I’d be able to pull off an undefeated season too. Yup, so that’s my college basketball coaching dream!

One last thing, my assistant coach would be my best man Garrett Spring, aka Sexy Beast!

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