Didn’t think much of his NBA prospects. I asked, “Who can he guard?” I guess he answered, “Everyone!”
Saw him play for St. Mary’s at the Palace. He fought for every inch of the floor on every possession. He plays the same way now for the Cavs.
You are never ready to score if you’re not ready to play.
Do you really understand that you can add value to every offensive possession-even when you don’t take the shot or make the pass for the shot?
Unless you play for a youth or recreation team, playing time needs to be earned. It’s not a birthright.
Everything is there for the scouts. Whining and other immature reactions can sometimes hurt more than poor play.
Pouting about playing time usually guarantees more time on the bench.
There has only been one Magic Johnson in almost 40 years. If you’re tall, worry about being a player and not a point guard.
Without turning down open shots, there are practice days when you want to concentrate on assists and hockey assists.
In the end, you will be evaluated on how well you play in tough games and in crunch time.
You need to practice immediate refocusing after a bad play. There isn’t any time for mourning.
Practice going hard straight, right and left. Your stock will rise.
Many finesse players think they don’t have to be part junkyard dog. They are mistaken
You can only improve your “measurables” (vertical jump, speed, quickness etc.) by a relatively small %.
You can improve your skills and decision making by a large%.
Just returned from Portsmouth watching college seniors try to play their way into the Draft. These guys are good and most aren’t even on the bubble. Be humble and work your butt off.
Assume that each time you play, it’s the only time an evaluator will have a chance to scout you.
Travel Play often fools you to think that “it’s just another game”.
Travel Basketball: Ask yourself if you do more for your travel team than it does for your individual development.
It’s difficult to receive a scholarship for just playing hard and taking care of the ball but if you don’t do both, a lot of coaches will dismiss you-no matter what else you can do.
Michigan St. lost at home to Texas Southern in December. Daily improvement has them where others should be.
Talk is cheap. Let your playing do your talking. West Virginia player yapping didn’t decide the game but it took focus off game.
Some programs will recruit “over” you in a heartbeat. Look at the previous 4 years of recruiting for any pattern in a program.
Many different styles of play are represented. Make sure your final list is compatible with your style of play.
Tyler Harvey of Eastern Washington led D1 in scoring this year. He didn’t have a D1 offer; went D3 and transferred to EW. Persist!
If the pros can use “vitamins”, so can you.
NCAA Selection Sunday: The difference in making it or not sometimes comes down to one game and even one play. Don’t take plays off.
The common denominator for outstanding offensive teams regardless of tempo and system is great floor spacing.
Paraphrasing Adrian Branch: Everyone practices layups-but layups in games are under duress. Prepare for those.
Off-Season Exposure Basketball: You can get exposure and develop at the same time if you’re with the right club. Shop around!
Highest Level Offer: Accepting one’s highest level offer is often a big mistake. Ego and peer pressure are usually the villains.
We saw Stephen Curry’s first 3 college games in 2006. In his first game he had 13 TO’s vs Eastern Michigan. Was he discouraged? The next day he scored 32 points vs Michigan.
Simple Twists of Fate: Crazy things happen in life, basketball games and recruiting. Be prepared when they happen.
“Seeing” the floor: Vastly under rated “skill”. You can practice this every time you play-if you concentrate on it.
“Top 50″ and “Top 100″ Lists: First of all, they are usually one person’s opinion and secondly, players can peak early or bloom late. Work on your game!
College coaches will be out looking for late additions.
NBA All Star Game- keep it in perspective- a great PR event for the league.
If you have forgotten how the Spurs play, refresh. The ball never “settles” at a player. They either have a good shot on the catch or pass or attack with bounce.
Playing Hard: Some coaches call it a skill. Whatever you call it, if you don’t do it every time out, you’re shortchanging yourself.
Risk/Reward: Attack under control! Harder than it sounds, but ideally where you want to be.
Sounds too simple but getting yourself open is a great skill. Need some technique but mostly it’s desire and timing.
Everyone says you should get most of the 50-50 balls. That’s understood. You should also be getting most of the 40-60 and 30-70 balls.
Two of the last three plays in the Super Bowl were very unlikely twists of fate. Forget the last play and play your butt off on the next one.
If you are your team’s best player, you have to be your team’s best practice player.
Whatever your individual performance may have been in a game, you are usually perceived in better light when your team wins.
You are quite the defender if your man is so uncomfortable he has to put the ball on the floor AND THEN so uncomfortable he has to pick up his dribble.
Caris Levert out for season: Everyone else on that roster has a new opportunity.
Things change quickly. Always be prepared.
Short Memory: Maybe the best mental attribute you can have is a short memory. Forgetting highs and lows quickly after games is highly advisable.
NAIA Division II: You might be shocked to see how good these teams and players are.
They should be on your radar.
Scholarships aren’t always lost for sub-par defense but they can certainly be earned by great defense.
Stats can be “empty”. Just concentrate on making good plays. You’ll be noticed.
College coaches are more interested than ever in efficient players. That means a good assist/turnover ratio for your position and sound FG%, 3pt.FG% and FT%’s.
Conference Play: The deeper you get into your schedule, scouting reports zero in on teams’ and players’ tendencies. Don’t be surprised if you get “game planned.”
Christmas Break: There are many players nationwide taking as many as 500 practice shots a day during the break. Just saying.
Playing level demarcations are becoming increasingly blurred: Division II Ferris St. beat Bowling Green 82-68 on the road yesterday. One of many glaring upsets this season.
Worst two basketball plays are fouls and turnovers. Sounds simple but reduce as much as possible.
Playing Levels: Don’t necessarily judge your level off viewing televised games. Sit courtside at different level games as much as you can. Huge difference.
You should be basketball ambidextrous two ways- putting the ball on the floor and finishing at the rim. Practice both religiously.
There is never a good reason for missing a shot right or left. The real good shooters are a little short or a little long when they miss.
When you watch a college or pro game, sometimes pick out just one good player at your position and watch everything that player does.
Don’t underestimate the possible recruiting importance of a HS game. Not all decisions are made based on Spring and Summer games.
Sometimes committing early can backfire because the earlier you commit, the greater number of unknowns are in play.
Early commitments/early signing date have actually helped clarify the “picture” for mid and low major schools/prospects, Every time a player “goes off the board:, the picture is clearer.
Stay grounded: Don’t fall victim to recruiting and/or media hype about you. Many players have peaked early because they believed what others wrote or said.
One sign you’re really being recruited are letters from the head coach, hand written and contain references that apply to you alone.
Sometimes one simple playing tip can “turn on the light” and improve your play significantly.
Even NBA All-Stars aren’t finished learning.
Recruiting Letters: Many are computer generated; others are personal. But even the so-called “personal” notes can be canned and duplicated to many other recruits-even over the years.
“Name” coaches and programs. Don’t go to a big name program for the effect of announcing it.
No one- especially you- will be impressed if it’s the wrong fit.
Q. “How do I get recruited?”
A. Play well as many times as you can and have in-person or videotape documentations as many times as you can.
Some programs will give you a time limit to decide on their offer.
Your reaction will probably depend on who has the “hammer”.
Some programs won’t honor your verbal commit to another school and will still recruit you anyway. Ask yourself how you view that-before it happens.
Don’t act like you’re the first or last person to be recruited. It’s
a privilege, not a right. Everyone eventually plays a last game.
Program Stability II: Same conference affiliation for decades.
Program Stability I: Same Head Coach, Assistant Coaches and Training
Staff for years.
Program Instability III: Be wary of recruiting classes with mostly JUCO’s.
Program Instability II: Be wary of recruiting classes with a lot of
players at the same position.
Program Instability: Be wary of large recruiting classes (6 or more).
“Every time someone underachieves, it gives an overachiever an opportunity.”
Scouts make mistakes all the time because a scouting report is just a “snapshot in time”. You can progress or regress alone on whether or not you think you’ve “arrived”.
Even though college basketball is a business, having fun is why you started playing in the first place. Don’t overlook this simple checkpoint.
Don’t fall for the glitz and glamor-school’s shoe deal, uniforms, nice trips, official visit fun etc. None of that will be important as you live your life after college.
The amount of time you will spend with the coaching staff and players over a career is mind-boggling. Make sure you’re a good fit for that program’s unique culture.
Attendance: Don’t be enamored with D1 label. Only 12 of 32 D1 Conferences average more than 3000 a game. 35 D1 schools average less than 1000. Many D2 schools have better attendance and some D3. See the NCAA Attendance Report.
Junior Colleges: Even if you are a lock qualifier, keep JC’s on your radar. This is a vastly under-used option by the under-recruited.
If you’re being “slow played” by a staff, they’re waiting on other players’ decisions. It’s up to you if that’s OK.
Warning Sign: If you suspect that an assistant coach likes you better than the head coach.
Style of Play: Don’t let your ego get in the way by thinking you can play all styles and for all coaches. You can avoid a bad choice in this area with honest assessment.
One coach; many years-usually a good sign. Changing coaches every 3-4 years is usually a sign of institutional instability.
Everyone will have an opinion on where you should go. Only a few of them really have your best interests at heart.
The definition of “commitment” is “a pledge or promise; an obligation:” Schools and players who treat verbals lightly are likely to be repeat offenders.
Don’t go to a college or into an academic program where you are totally overmatched. If that happens on the court, you sit on the bench. If it happens in school, you flunk out.
It’s risky to make a pact with other prospects to commit to the same school. If it works out for everyone long range, it’s the exception-not the rule.
You can actually “specialize” yourself into fewer minutes of playing time and be viewed as a “situational” player. Don’t bury yourself at the expense of one skill.
South Carolina just announced guaranteed four year scholarships for “headcount” sports, which includes hoops. This topic now goes to the top of your Recruiting Checklist.
Research college costs for tuition, housing, meals, and books early for in and out of state public universities, private institutions and junior colleges. You’ll appreciate the process more and will be wiser for the process.
Academics: everyone talks a good game. Your combination of interests and aptitudes is unique. Look for good matches.
Home Visits: These presentations are “canned”. They don’t vary more than 10% from visit to visit.
The more the coach talks “off the cuff”, the more you’ll get real insights.
Six schools is enough for a final list. If you’re honest, you probably have 3 that you really like the most.
The cleaner the process; the cleaner the decision. Don’t complicate an uncomplicated process.
“If you’re a player, they’ll find you.” Not necessarily. Play on larger landscapes as early and often as possible.
College coaches spend a lot of time trying to figure out who is the real decision maker in each player’s recruitment. They often find out too late. Make sure YOU know YOUR decision maker(s).
Check out every aspect of academic support system- special programs, advisors, tutors, study table etc.