by:Seth Massey

Bison Basketball

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Process -Greg Brown -Lipscomb University

The word "Process" is probably overused today in sports. We use it here multiple times daily and in every team/ staff meeting. As much as it is used, I'm not sure all that use it, mean to use the same word for the same meaning. I also don't think our players totally understand the exact context of the word each time. I want our players and staff to know that the "Process" isn't a secret formula to guarantee success. If it was, everyone would be using it. It's not a step-by-step guide to follow, even though there are elements and steps to the "process". It's about getting our players to buy-in to "winning every day" doing the things necessary to win daily...The things that don't make highlights or box scores..Shots at game speed on your own, watching film, talking to teammates and coaches, protecting and building culture...It's about controlling the things that we can control and not giving into letting how we feel dictate what we have to do. The "Process" is about Effort, Mental Toughness and Accountability--these things are all a matter of mindset.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Butler Bulldogs offense
One of the great stories in college basketball over past decade has been the rise of Butler basketball on the national stage with back to back National Championship appearances. Butler teams had always been under the radar on the national level, but continued to follow the “Butler Way” when recruiting the right players for their program. The “Butler Way” works to build teams around the core values of “humility, passion, unity, servanthood and thankfulness”. Coach Stevens did not have a typical rise through the ranks in becoming a D1 head coach. He left his marketing position at Eli Lilly to serve as a volunteer in the Butler office, before getting hired on full-time by Thad Matta and then again by Todd Lickliter. In 2007, Stevens was hired as the head coach and has rewritten the record books for the Best Coaching Starts by Wins for three-year (89), four-year (117), and five-year record (139). With the recent announcement that Butler will be joining the Atlantic 10 and the significance of the pick and roll on almost every possession of the NBA Playoff games, here is a basic pick and roll action that Butler teams like to run. The Bulldogs used this action a lot with Matt Howard setting the ball screen for Shelvin Mack. The shooters position was often filled by Gordon Hayward or Zac Hahn, who could knock down the three point shot from anywhere in Marion County. The basic action starts with the point guard backing his man down the sideline until he gets a step below the 5 man’s ball screen. We call this “Mark Jackson” your defender to set him up and to read how the defense is playing the pick and roll. We have two basic options out the set up: 1) SAME: if the screener’s defender makes a hard hedge then we make a quick pass back to the wing for the shot or the screen dropping into the post. 2) OPPOSITE: if the ball handler cannot get to the basket, then he looks to make one of the opposite defenders help off to guard him and kick to one of the wings for a shot This is a very simple pick and roll action, but it is key that you have a point guard that can read through the progressions to make a quick decision. I also include some set plays that we have developed over the years that we like to run with the basic Butler pick and roll action. The “Butler 3” series of plays has worked great for us and gets us an open look almost every time we run them. We have a new basketball coaching contributor in Ryan Yoder. He is the Varisty Boys’ Basketball Coach at Lakeland High School in LaGrange, Indiana. I think that you will really like his work.

Friday, March 2, 2012

What Makes a nightmare sports parent?

Every parent should read this article. Ive played, coached, and am a parent. Parenting is the most difficult of the three. The problem is that players have camps to attend, coaches have clinics, but there is nothing available for parents.
The following article provides some very good info on the topic.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The 10 Worst Things We Do as Coaches by Mike Dunlap

1. Take time to explain what we want from our players. We must strive for clarity

2. Demonstration after we tell our players what we want; there must be a
demonstration each time. We need to give our players a picture demonstration
before we get into repetition.

3. Building blocks are the only way to develop a player. For example, if we do not
address a players feet and be specific about how we want him to pivot then it will
cost us down the road. Do not rush your teaching. We should do one thing at a

4. Teaching your team to be physical takes technique, sequential instruction, and
patience. It is easy to call a player a "nutless wonder" without considering that
most players have never been taught the finer points of hand to hand combat. If
we would spend a little more time with football coaches we would figure out how
to teach our team to be physical.

5. Be objective about an all out effort. We demand that a player go at 100%
effort. What is 100% effort and has there ever been a player who knew what that
meant. Probably not? For instance, put a heart monitor on a player and measure
their heart rate. The instructor can be more objective about individual effort this
way. Yet, we talk and sometimes yell at our players about going "all out" all the
time. What a stupid statement when you really think about it. How can a player
read and think? For example, a good offensive player must learn how to change
speeds with cutting and ballhandling. This requires that the offensive player
control his body and NOT play at 100%. Too many times we buy into the myth of
the 100% effort and forget about going after a player's intellect before asking for
a quality effort.

6. Demanding perfection. What a bunch of crap! The more a person chases
perfection the less they can enjoy each act. How can a perfectionist be happy
with anything? The least enjoyable person to be around is the perfectionist; I find
a lazy dog to be just as unpleasant. Demand that people do the right thing, yet do
not fall into the trap that nothing is ever good enough. If you are always chasing
perfection then how can you teach a player to enjoy a job well done. As Coach
Wooden stated, "A man must find balance, be it emotional, physical, spiritual, or
intellectual.". Why is it that certain coaches will say that they were devastated by
the loss at the end of a 33-1 season? If you believe in your preparation and
teaching process then how can any loss devastate you? In other words, losing is
part of sports; you learn from it and move on. A disciplined mind comes in many
different forms and being mentally tough also requires that you must accept the
brutal reality that no one is perfect and a quality effort is a joy in and of itself
regardless of outcome.

7. Follow through. If you want discipline in your organization then follow through
with consequences for actions. Our discipline breaks down when we do not
quickly punish the transgression. How come so many coaches fall prey to this
area? Because it could hurt the outcome of your season if you lose a certain
player. My experience tells me just the opposite. For example, George
Gwoldecky, head hockey coach at Denver University, benched his best player for
the national championship game. Coach Gwoldecky made a statement for all
time- period.

8. Take care of ourselves first. Whether it is our mental and physical health (i.e
eating, exercise, prayer, reading, etc) daily schedule, finances, family, and other
personal matters, we need to address those things first. Why? Because if you are
not in order how can you fully give to your team, staff, and school? You cannot.

9. Apologize. We demand so much from others and we want them to see their
mistakes and fix them. In short, we set ourselves above our own vulnerabilities;
we should openly admit our errors. Once you have done this in front of your team
it will be much easier for them to acknowledge their mistakes. This is an
imperative act by the head coach if you want quality communication.

10. Allow for failure. Part of learning is the margin of failure and sometimes you just have to let the players fall flat on their rumps. This is difficult but necessary.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

John makes Team USA for the World University Games

Congratulations to John on being named to Team USA that will play in the World University Games in China!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Roy Williams on relationships

The following are thoughts on coach/player relationships by Coach Roy Williams in his book, "Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court."

Coach Smith taught me that your players are always your top priority. If I have a player in my office and the phone rings, I will not answer the phone. I have a Plexiglas paperweight that reads, “Statistics are important, but relationships last a lifetime.”

When it comes to mentoring my players, I look at myself like a teammate. I am playing as hard as I can every day to get them to believe in what I believe in: that there’s a right way to conduct yourself, there’s a right way to answer people, there’s a right way to dress when you go into a restaurant or get on a plane, and there’s a right way to play basketball.

See the rocks in your path not as obstacles, but as opportunities to climb higher or If you want to leave footprints in the sands of time—you better wear work shoes. On the first day of preseason practice, the Thought for the Day is always the same: It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit.

I try to never blow smoke with my players. I tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. I tell them the truth.

The simplest way to get me mad is with selfishness, lack of concentration, or lack of hustle.

via Coach Bob Starkey

Saturday, July 30, 2011


The following comes from an interview by John Maxwell of Coach Wooden. Obviously there are many coaches who adhere to the philosophy of a player signaling to a teammate after a good pass. But do we as coaches and human beings look ways and opportunities to acknowledge the contributions of those that we work with and live with on a daily basis?

In 2003, when I interviewed UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, he told me how he would often teach his players who scored to give a smile, wink, or not to the player who gave them a good pass. “What if he’s not looking?” asked a team member. Wooden replied, “I guarantee he’ll look.” Everyone enjoys having his contribution acknowledged.

via Coach Bob Starkey

Monday, April 18, 2011

Warren Buffett's hiring guide

From Don Meyer's evening of excellence

3 things Warren Buffett looks for when hiring:

1. work ethic
2. intelligence
3. character

& Without character, work ethic and intelligence
don't matter

- Don Meyer

Monday, April 11, 2011

VCU roll-replace

This is a set from our friend Shaka Smart. We got to know Shaka quite well when he was an assistant coach at Clemson and recruited John Jenkins.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Difference between coaching and teaching

“There is a difference between teaching and coaching. When you are instructing your team about the actual game, you are teaching them, transmitting knowledge and information to them. There are guys who don’t teach their players anything or much of anything, but who go around and recruit the best players and win—they’re coaches but not teachers.”
--Pete Carril

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kevin Stallings on playing with less talent

Coach Stallings was asked this question at the Vandy coaches clinic this past Saturday.

"What are some things you can do to make up the difference when you are

short on talent?"

Here are a few things he mentioned in his answer:

1. Be more physical (toughness, effort, loose balls, defensive rebounding, etc)
2. Take more time in offensive possessions without losing confidence, rhythm, & flow
3. steal points ex. tip play, baseline o.b. plays

Monday, September 27, 2010

LSU Lady Tiger Defensive General Concepts

◄When the ball gets to the paint it creates easy shot opportunities in the paint
◄When the ball gets to the paint it creates easy perimeter shots (especially 3’s)
◄When the ball gets to the paint it creates help and recover situations
◄When the ball gets to the paint it creates closeout situations
◄When the ball gets to the paint it creates fouling situations
......taking away the paint starts with transition defense
......stance, head, eyes and footwork are critically important
… defense — having the ability to help early — is a necessity

◄When the ball handler has the ball and has not dribbled…
......we want to have a hand on the ball — constantly mirroring the ball!
◄When the ball handler is dribbling…
......we want the defender to have a hand on the ball as it is dribbled!
◄When the ball handler is attempting to pass…
......we want a hand on the ball as it is passed with the goal of deflecting it!
◄When the ball handler is attempting to shoot…
......we want a hand on the ball to block or alter the shot!

◄This will come from scouting and game preparation

◄We want to be constantly talking at all times
◄This will increase our concentration and execution

◄Do not give your opponent’s easy scores and free throws are easy scores
◄Don’t bail out bad shots or bad plays
◄Make our opponent’s make plays

◄Grabbing the rebound is like picking up your paycheck at the end of the work week.

via Bob Starkey LSU

Saturday, September 25, 2010

John Jenkins follow through

I couldn't help but posting this picture from camp last summer. John came and spoke to our campers and demonstrated proper shooting form. I thought this was a great pic of his textbook follow through and just wanted to share.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tommy Bowden

I had the opportunity to hear Tommy Bowden speak last night at an FCA dinner @ First Baptist Hendersonville. He said that he wanted his teams to learn five things. They were:
1. Responsibility
2. Accountibility
3. Committment
4. Discipline
5. Sacrifice

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Notes from Utah Jazz Assistant, Gordon Chiesa

Notes from Utah Jazz Assistant, Gordon Chiesa
via Greg Brown UCF Women's basketball

While coaching High School I came across this from Mike Shanahan. It really had an impact on our philosophy and success. As a high school coach you are at the mercy of the players at your school. Therefore, you have to go to war with the troops you have, not the ones you wish you had.
One of the best things we did was #3. Really focusing on the two things we did well with that year's team.

Thoughts On Understanding Your Strengths & Weaknesses

1. Do not let other’s expectations set our limitations
2. I more than anyone else, know the powers I possess.
3. Look at your team and figure out the two things they can do really well—as well as anybody n the league, conference, district. Then make sure there’s not a team in your district that does those two things better.
4. Maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
5. You have to define what you want to do.
6. The outside world will try to bring you down.
7. Oliver Wendell Holmes—“What lies behind you and what lies ahead of you is of very little importance when it is compared to what lies within you.”
Posted by Greg Brown at 11:28 AM 0 comments Labels: Preparation
Friday, August 27, 2010
Your Reality Is The Reality You Create

Your Reality Is The Reality You Create

Your reality is the reality you create. If you have positive beliefs or representations, it’s because that’s what you have created. If you have negative ones, you’ve created them.
Belief is the foundation of excellence.
The first step toward excellence is to find the beliefs that guide us toward the outcomes we want.
The path to excellence consists of knowing your outcome, taking action, knowing what results you’re getting, and having the flexibility to change until you’re successful.
To model excellence, we have to start with the belief systems of excellence.

Posted by Greg Brown at 5:22 AM 0 comments Labels: Mental Preparation, Process of Excellence
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Process of Mental Toughness


• Achievement rarely comes without enormous hardships
• Keeping your head, when others are losing theirs
• Goal for mental toughness is a conscious decision a person makes in order to increase their opportunity for success.
• Bob Costas—the anticipation of what “might” happen is almost as important as what actually happens.
• Mental toughness is a skill, not a talent. It is learned and developed.
• It is a process of using your mind to gain the most from your abilities.
Posted by Greg Brown at 11:56 AM 0 comments Labels: Mental toughness
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
..... all he did is beat you

Jackie Robinson on teammate Eddie Stanky:

"He can't throw, he can't hit, he can't field. All he can do is beat you."

Posted by Greg Brown at 10:20 AM 0 comments Labels: Compete
5 Things Team Members Need To Know


1. What is expected from each
2. That each will have the opportunity to perform
3. How each one is getting along
4. Guidance will be given to each when needed
5. Each will be rewarded for their contribution
Posted by Greg Brown at 10:01 AM 0 comments Labels: Leadership, Team Attitude
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Process of Excellence--The Mental Approach--"Rightness"

As we work our Process of Excellence--we understand the role of the mental approach. We must eliminate the mental clutter. The following article is a great example:

The Feeling of Rightness—Eliminating Mental Clutter

Some Oriental philosophies have made the state of mind their primary focus. The concept of acting without self-conscious thought was probably first crystallized by the Samurai swordsmen of medieval Japan. Using some of the philosophical concepts of their time, they determined that the best way to beat one’s adversary in a duel was to fight without delay of thinking. Polished technical skill was a prerequisite, but the actual moves were dictated by feeling rather than thought. By refining their intuitive sense through the constant discipline of practice duels they were able to develop a state of mind that minimized the clutter of such thoughts as “oh, no, is he going to try to attack me from the left or the right?” Instead, poised and balanced, the Samurai could respond, as if he were at one with his opponent, as if he “knew” each moment what would happen next.

“The body learns the state of mind.” In other words, when you are learning something it’s worth it to turn off, unplug, or tune out the mind for a little while. Zen archers of the Orient gained their discipline, not by focusing on the target, but by striving for the feeling of “rightness” in the shot. If the shot was “right,” hitting the target comes naturally. Bulls-eyes on tiny targets in darkened rooms are part of what Zen archers do, but not for the sake of hitting targets. Their purpose is a form of meditation, a quest for that feeling of “rightness”.

Article is by Drs. Tom and Randy Read found the in the book, “The University of Success” by Og Mandino
Posted by Greg Brown at 4:32 PM 0 comments Labels: Mental Preparation, Process of Excellence
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Gordon Chiesa Offensive Development Thoughts

Notes from Utah Jazz Assistant, Gordon Chiesa

Back in 1999, I worked Rick Majerus’s camp and took these notes from Coach Chiesa’s clinic to the campers:

1. He was responsible for Hornacek and Stockton
2. Hands and feet are your career.
3. There are All-Stars who can’t catch the ball.
4. Must be in shape
5. Must be able to change speeds
6. Always cut with hands above waist
7. Play the game with hands above the waist
8. Body in motion, tends to stay in motion; body at rest tends to stay at rest.
9. Most cut to be guarded, rather than cut to get free.
10. When you change direction, you must rotate your hips.
11. Must be great with the ball to get the opponent in trouble.
12. The game is about confidence. Real confidence vs. False confidence
13. Establish a permanent pivot foot.
14. Bring the ball back to your body on a catch. “Load your gun”
15. The ball will only do what you teach it to do.
16. Master the skills. Ball quickness is key to being a great offensive player.
17. Always catch the ball with long arm. Explode your hand thru the defenders contesting arm.
18. These things are the building blocks of playing offense.
19. If your shot is blocked, your ball is slow.
20. Read the defense—Jazz spend 25-30 minutes working on this.
21. Long arm coming towards me, tells me to drive. Because his body weight is forward and he’ll come out of his stance—can drive either way—this is how you draw fouls—rotate hips; get up foot past his foot..body to body.
22. Most guys play laterally. Must play forward, body to body.
23. Spin dribble is a sign of weakness, means your ball is slow.
24. “Jump out” of your offensive move. Second dribble you clear the defender.
25. “Short arm” equals a stationary jumper.
26. Most players don’t know when to drive or shoot.
27. Watch great players to learn from their game.
28. Go at their body on drives.
29. Only 10 percent of players in the NBA can guard the ball.
30. Everything in the game is based on “hands and feet”
31. Too many players catch the ball, “lock Kneed”
32. Master the skills, it’s not about talent. Everyone has the talent to work hard and to work smart.
33. It’s fun to try to be great.
34. Mind-Body fusion.
35. Extraordinary work habits and mind.
36. Trying to chase greatness.
37. Make A Difference (MAD)
38. Step up be somebody and be a leader
39. Get your foot to the back foot of the defender.
40. You determine how far you will go.