Originally Posted by Rake2204
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.
I was thinking more in terms of how the whole system is put together and how it relates to the players. I have some pretty strong thoughts on this.
To me there is no cohesion, no red thread. You have high school basketball with it's own set of game rules, then you have college with it's own set of completely different game rules. The top players in NCAA are preparing and fighting for a chance to be proffesional players, why not give them the best chances of succeeding at the next level?
Instead NCAA 35 second rule slows the game down limiting overall possesions, thus limiting players amount of plays that help them become better players.
On top of that there is so much pressure on NCAA coaches to win that it comes before the players. Fortunately for the kids there are many great college coaches, but the system is still set up in a bad way.
On top of it all there's a lottery draft for the top pro league in the US.
For early 20's players what would be the biggest desicion for you in terms of being comfortable and motivated to be the best player you could be? To me that is choosing where I live and play. Choosing which people to be around that can help me be most successful.
Instead the NBA takes this choice away and tell kids they have to play for this particular team and coach, oh and you have to live this far away from your family and friends family and friends, to me it's just ridicolus.
It's so different from the program I'm within here. I coach U-16's in a club that's part of an overall city program set up basically to develop players to the top team in the city which is also the top team in the country. At U-18 most the best players from each of the 3 main youth clubs get put on one team, players from the next tier get put on another. This way they get players that are all the same age playing together and have a freshman and senior team every year for U-18 and in a couple years also U-20(it's a fairly new program).
This way as a coach my main goal is to develop players ready for the next level, sure it's nice to win but it's not the main focus for me. Player development is, and that means we focus on the things we can't do instead of trying to hide it to win games.
For example with the team I have now which I took over this season, we would probably win more if we ran a full court press and zone afterwards for most if not all of the game. But we suck(or did) at man to man, so we practice and play it to get better at it even though it has set us a little bit behind in terms of winning games.
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.
To me it's just easy to prepare against, chase and make your man go over on the baseline flex screen, bump help early because it sets you in good position to go through on the down screen. I know there are a lot of options and counters in the flex, but we can design our defense so the flex will go out in a semi-contested jumper most of the time.
Generally we've had a lot of succes with specific screening shell drills where we practice some of the specific patterns our opponents use in their motion offense, so far we've only lost two or 3 games by the opponents base offense, when we lose it's because of turnovers and opponents offensive rebounding.