Can we please talk about something besides the Packers?

Basketball coaches are notorious for borrowing ideas from others and then applying them to their specific situation. I coached high school varsity girls’ basketball for 11 years, and many of my philosophies were derived from clinics and conversations I had with other coaches. Over the years, I borrowed the following:

  • “Shooting makes up for a multitude of sins”, as well as a borrowing a great zone offense against a 2-3 zone. — Hubie Brown
  • Sideline Break Offensive System. – Joe Komaromy, Illinois HOF Member and Dundee-Crown Girls Basketball Coach
  • Transition Defense System– Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
  • “Only tell your kids one thing in a timeout” – Dave Patrick, Middle School Basketball Coach
  • Last shot of warm-ups and practice must be a make. – Me

I also borrowed a number of ball handling and defensive drills from former Wisconsin Head Coach Dick Bennett. However, the idea that I most valued from Coach Bennett, and that I believe Marquette Head Coach Buzz Williams can utilize with his current squad, is the following: “Everyone practices and plays really hard. We need to practice and play smarter than our opponents.”

Wisconsin under Bennett rarely practiced over 80 minutes, as he felt that his players would lose focus if practices ran longer. His focus on practice time was to be as efficient and effective as possible during his time. Focus on concentration, taking care of the ball, and being willing to “outlast” your opponent. I loved listening to Dick Bennett at a clinic.

Marquette plays very hard, and Coach Williams prides his team on being one of the toughest groups in the country. Playing “smart”, doing the little things that ultimately win games, is something that his current team lacks.

I wonder, Coach Buzz, when looking at your system how can you use the idea of “practicing and playing smarter” to improve your club? Buzz might want to give Dick a call and borrow some ideas.


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  • BigSnakeMan

    No coach in the country could go wrong in following the principles of Dick Bennett. The man has probably forgotten more about coaching than most ever know.

  • Chris

    Dick did it his way. It just happened to be the right way. Glad Jon put Bennett’s name and memory back on the table.