Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tips from Alvin Gentry and Jeff Van Gundy

The September 2008 issue of Coach Sean Miller's Xavier newsletter's hit my inbox the other day. It includes some good notes from Alvin Gentry and Jeff Van Gundy.

Coach Gentry:

-- “Toughest thing in the NBA to guard is screen and flare with a good player. Pick and roll is more limited in today’s NBA. Set ballscreens with a shooter.”

-- “In transition, players tend to run back into the lane on defense. It is important for guards to be more man conscious in transition – ‘stay attached to man.’”

-- “Very difficult to trap pick-n-rolls, guards are too good off of the dribble, plus low post player 'punches' in middle of lane under goal which means the rotations are difficult.”

-- “Choose 2 or 3 things defensively and get good at them.”

-- “Don’t let great players catch the ball.”

Coach Van Gundy:

-- “I didn’t like two-a-days. Liked to come back a second time at night, walk through defensive concepts to prepare for next morning’s practice instead.”

-- “I always ask myself are we playing hard? If so, I can evaluate defensive schemes, if not your scheme can’t be evaluated.”

-- “Give great shooters one direction as they prepare to use screens.”

-- “Two keys to defense are transition defense and rebounding. He weighs these two things versus the greatness of the player when debating whether to change defensive scheme through scouting.”

-- "One thing that helped our post spacing is when the opposite post player went under the backboard on a low-post catch. This leaves the middle open for the post up player."

-- “There is no cutting action on a low post catch when the post player catches the ball in the paint.”

-- "Ball screening versus zone defense is very effective."