Day 1: Wisconsin/Wisconsin-Milwaukee/Marquette

I want to start off this whole trip by making this initial statement: Having the chance to watch practices from some of the best coaches in women’s college basketball in the Midwest is truly an honor. Some are friends, others are former peers, but all are patrons to my events throughout the year, and nearly all of these universities are subscribers to Blue Star Basketball.  They all have more college coaching victories on their resume than I probably every will, so I feel very fortunate to be given this opportunity to continue to be a ‘student of the game’

Basketball is an interesting sport because there really are so many different ways to teach the game.  Two totally different ways can still find success on the floor for two totally different players. For me to sit and say the way I see something is better than one of these coaches is ridiculous – it is just differences in opinions on the game. By no means is it disrespect, in fact most good head coaches want constructive criticism, as it makes them better, and look at the game or things differently. This in turn may allow them to maybe not change it to what someone recommends but trigger them to think of something else to achieve the goal. So as I go forward and make lite of things or share observations – please note that I chose every one of these schools for a very good reason: I respect them.


I quickly remembered why I have never been a fan of morning practice – my alarm went off at 5:45am & was over at the Kohl Center (one of my favorites in the Big 10) by 6:30am. Players amaze me at the ability to adjust and find a way to get motivated in the morning, but I know for me personally it was always a challenge.

The Wisconsin staff I have to say had more energy to start off the day than their players did – as I thought they all had taken shots of 5hr energy drinks to kick of the day 🙂. They had music going in the practice facility to get your heart racing & I almost thought I was walking in to a cardio-classroom prior to the 7am practice start time. But when 7am hit – it was down to business. And the business with Badger basketball this season according to Coach Stone is DEFENSE (Lisa Stone was the head coach at Drake when I was at Illinois State). Lisa Stone has won nearly 500 games at the collegiate level with over 20 years head coaching experience, she was an assistant coach on our 2002 Team USA Wold Championship team  She is one of the all time greats to have played at the Univ. of Iowa during Vivian Stringer’s time leading the program.  For just over 45 minutes they broke down that side of the basketball & with Kathi Bennett on staff – I can see how Coach Stone uses this former Big 10 head coach (Kathi was at Indiana when I was at ISU) as a head football coach would use a defensive coordinator.

They then did typical guard/post splits working on various skills they wanted to focus on. They then went in to a transition 5 on 0 breakdown & then secondary breakdown. Those of you that have played for me know I have never been a fan of structured secondary breaks as I have always felt transition should be you reading and challenging defenses in transition & reading what they give you for potential quick easy scores. But the Badgers ‘weakside reverse’ movement of their secondary I think could be of benefit for our 2010-2011 season with more basket cuts & back screening movement that for our smaller lineup could be a nice addition.

Was nice to see Asst. Ty Margenthaler as he was at Bradley Univ. when I was at Illinois so he has worked his way to the ‘major level’ and seeing first hands the benefits and challenges the come with this level of basketball – he is one of the good guys in this game.  Coach Oties Epps has a bright future – has great energy and could see he connected w/ the players from start to finish.

They finished up with a couple of different competitive shooting drills and them some free throws. All & all I got some ideas for next year, and a possible penetrate & pitch drill for guard this year.

As practice ended around 9am the football traffic heading in to Madison was coming at a steady stream – luckily I was going in the opposite direction.

UW-Milwaukee’s practice was starting at 10:00am & I made great time heading to the city and walked in to the gym at 10:15. They had just finished their stretching and basic transition warm up. I did like one of their standards of ’10 cycles’ or basically 10 straight transition trips that we will try this year to see if we can physically handle that type of push/intensity at that fast pace.

The next drill was kind of flattering as the did a version of my ‘hustle with the muscle’ rebounding drill. Coach John Motherwell said he remembered it from a lecture I had done a few years back & I actually liked the ‘tweek’ that he did to it and think we’ll try it but incorporate some of our transition outlet rules to it to fit what we do.

They then spent quite a bit of time working on getting open on the wing & reading/using flare screens. Coach Sandy Botham has been coaching for 20 years, and was an all-leage performer at Notre Dame during her playing days, as well as an asst. there under Coach McGraw – one thing I noticed is she focus on teaching single pieces of the game. You all know how I will try to incorporate some offensive skill that we will work on while doing a defensive segment. Well at UWM I felt they really tried to get good at the particular skill/task almost until they got it right. Like the skill of getting open on the wing – they focused just on that skill & didn’t worry about finishing the layup on backdoor cuts, or ripping the ball and going by if a defender over commits when u catch on the perimeter – it was simply – get open on the wing and square up to the basket using their prescribed footwork.

I will say this – you all would love the waterbreak count at their practice (I will try to do a better job of that this season – but I can’t promise anything J ) Was surprised with tas many baskets at their facility had that they didn’t do any FT shooting as breaks.

The overall energy was positive as you can see they were a team that liked each other – but at times you could see the energy fade – seemed like they would start to get their motor going and then the length of some of the drills would take the wind out of the sail. Coach Sheila Rioux is an asst. on the rise making a name for herself on the recruiting trails, and Coach Lindsay Bronson seemed to be a solid teacher with the players during the breakdown drills – being both quick & too the point (rule of thumb as an asst. is to get your point across quickly & concisely so that play can continue & players can get reps not listen to us speak).

The flare screen piece I think we will add for a quick hitter this year – as the curl feature off of it is a tough read for defenses that aren’t used to seeing that kind of movement.

I left UWM at a little after 12pm and headed over to Marquette (only about a 15 min drive) They started up at 2pm.


Went in to the Al McGuire Center and relaxed in their offices and caught a little of the Iowa/Wisconsin football game before heading to the floor with them shortly before 2pm.

I was joined by a club coach from the Chicagoland area who’s daughter is headed to play at Marquette next season. And also a fellow incoming player from Indiana that had been a regular at my events was present at the practice as well w/ her family.

If any of you have watched some of Coach Weber’s practices you would see similarities in Coach Terri Mitchell’s organization of a practice. Various breakdown drills that lead to the whole in whatever area it is they are covering. Almost like a glorified version of ‘stations’ at camp.

Just as an FYI – Coach Mitchell has been coaching for 20 years, and was one of our assistant coaches for our U18 USA National team in 2008.  Mitchell played her college career at Duquesne Univ. in Pittsburgh, PA.    Starting off with their warm-up that was broken in to three areas each one being led by her very talented staff of Michelle Nason, Cara Consuegra, & Jennie Baranczyk (formerly Lillis) each of who when they so choose will likely lead their own program in the coming decade.

They did a simple 5 man weave in to 3 on 2 breakdown that I may try with us this year to break things up in the 2nd half of the season. Then they got in to another breakdown this time w/ transition – one end working on the entry pass (similar to our PG entry to kick ahead drill) & the other end doing kick ahead passes to wings & creating against defenders & finishing either by going to the rim/pull up/3pters.

Next was another breakdown of their basic offensive principles – dealing with strong side movement. Again three stations (each asst. running them) and Coach Mitchell walking around overseeing this ‘well oiled machine’

From there a rebounding drill that we will add to our list of many that we do during the year J, and then they moved on to defense. Marquette had the luxury of a decent group of boys practice squad players so they did shell defense wit h the guys on the perimeter. Working on various dribble penetrations & the footwork on showing/recovering. Then after working on the pieces they came back and worked on their 1-1-3 principles when doubling down in the low post – taking away baseline skip. Those of you that remember games like Sacred Heart Griffin we incorporated this ‘feature’ of this defense when facing a decent low post presences. Coach Mitchell gave me the idea though that this can be effective when facing a post player that does not have solid passing skills as well. (for those of you that don’t know our 1-1-3 zone comes directly from Marquette & Coach Mitchell’s system – we have tweeked it some but the basics come from her)

They closed out their practice with ‘special situations’ that you all will see this year for the first time in our practices. They put 10 sec. on the clock and they are down 1 with the other team shooting 1 FT. Basically it is putting you in late game situations w/ different amounts of time on the clock & the ball in different places on the floor (those of you that went to Notre Dame’s camp can remember ending some of our games doing this)

As practice wrapped up around 4:30pm – Coach Mitchell then took me around the complex and showed me the upgrades they were making to their locker room/facilities, said my good byes and headed downtown to Rock Bottom for a nice meal before heading down towards Chicago. Lights out at 11:30pm and up by 7:30am so I get a nice breakfast before DePaul’s 10am start.

میز اداری صندلی مدیریتی صندلی اداری تبلیغات کلیکی میز تلویزیون پاراگلایدر آگهی رایگان محسن چاوشی دانلود آهنگ جدید خرید اینترنتی عکس بازیگران