View Single Post
Old 01-07-2012, 06:17 PM   #11
NBA Superstar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 13,999
Default Re: Basketball coaching discussion

Originally Posted by Thorpesaurous
But the problem is that most teams at the middle school level play zone almost exclusively.
That's interesting. It's been the complete opposite in the region I coach (western Michigan). We'll see a zone a couple times a year, but more times than not, it's a man-to-man situation. I'm actually a big disbeliever in running zones exclusively in middle school. I find my player's skill levels to be too limited (due to age as well as ability) and I see little redeeming quality in terms of developing defensive fundamentals. My "B" team coach tried utilize a 2-3 zone but his players would literally stand still like telephone poles so I stomped that out real quick, even though it was mildly effective (therein lies the issue).

Of course, skill levels change quickly and you may be discussing AAU or another sort of select league. Zones in middle school are much more common here (and much more breakable) in those leagues. But for school teams, where most squads are just looking for 5 guys who can make layups on a semi-consistent basis, it's not something we run into a lot. Though, I loved facing a packed 2-3 zone when I was coaching a 7th grade girls "B" team. Nothing like trying to beat a team from the outside with girls not strong enough to hit seven footers.

Originally Posted by ZenMaster
I'd like to hear some American coaches thoughts on the US development system of HS/AAU, college and last a lottery for potential NBA players.

The AAU system is definitely evolving. It sounds like you want to hear about high-profile AAU (NBA prospects and whatnot) but I have nearly no experience in that regard. My AAU experience was more homegrown, dealing with players who usually end up playing low division college basketball. It used to be a league reserved for usually a school's one or two best players, but now I see a lot of AAU teams made up of 8-10 players from the same school. So, my issue used to be AAU's lack of structure, but as it continues to expand, structure is beginning to make its way into the system, albeit slowly and in pockets.

One of my little brother's AAU squads right now, for instance, is essentially a school team. He's coached by a former varsity head (his son plays on the team), everything's based on hard work and execution, and there's a lot of structure. On my brother's other AAU squad though, he plays with no school teammates, there's a lot less structure, hard work is still encouraged, but it's more or less a "roll the ball out and go" situation, which has its pluses and minuses. It was great for my brother's improvisational skills and basketball instinct, but clearly development would take a hit if he wasn't getting structure from somewhere else. I think that idea could be applied to a lot of AAU programs.

Originally Posted by ZenMaster
I used to play flex when I was a player, now I have to admit I'd never consider using it as my base system on offense, maybe I'll use bits and pieces of it in the future for a single set play or so.

I find that it's pretty easy to prepare for defensively so the team running it will not draw enough fouls on us for it to be effective.
Flex was our primary offense in high school and we made a killing off of it. Then again, when we graduated two of our most prominent cogs in that offense, we struggled mightily. Like most offenses, I think it's largely dependent on a team's personnel. One of the players we lost to graduation was someone who was ready, willing and capable of delivering passes on point to the flex cutter. Further, he was excellent at setting freeing picks throughout the offense. Flex seems to operate best when its run with precision (obviously). So, if the tools are there, it can be legit. But, I've got no problem admitting a lot of the teams I've coached just didn't have the pieces to run like I'd want it run.

Last edited by Rake2204 : 01-07-2012 at 06:36 PM.
Rake2204 is offline   Reply With Quote