Day 5: Toledo/Bowling Green

TOLEDO

My alarm went off at 5am, and honestly said to myself – Do I REALLY need to go to this one? The bed feels so warm. 🙂 But I did drag myself out, and grabbed some coffee. I arrived at Toledo’s new Savage Center complex in time to join their team meeting where Coach Tricia Cullop was showing a video of legendary coach Don Meyer and a speech given by him. Tricia was an assistant at Xavier Univ. when I was at St. Bonaventure in my early 20’s (those two colleges were in the same conference). She had her first head coaching job at Evansville & coached our own Kate Melby on staff before taking the job at Toledo last year. She has been named coach of the year in her first year on the job at Toledo – as after 5 consecutive losing season – she lead them to a 3rd place finish in the league and nearly a 20 win season. Tricia played at Purdue under legendary coach Lin Dunn (current head coach for WNBA’s Indiana Fever).

As we hit the practice floor I was pleased to see that my early morning was not a waste. Moving thru various breakdown drills and including a nice individual defensive drill similar to our “Flick Drill” that they called “Scalp” that we will add this year. Some other nice set plays that I will have to decide if we can fit in this season, as well as just different versions of drills we already do like “3 on 2, 2 on 1” & “zig-zag defense”. I know assistant coach Todd Mitmesser crying out asking for “championship effort’ really rang in my ear – as I look forward to seeing if we can bring this type of effort in the coming weeks.

After practice Tricia gave me a tour of the rest of the facility and then joined her and her staff for breakfast. Shared some notes & we both traded some more drills & concepts before heading back to the hotel around 10:30am

BOWLING GREEN

I snuck in a short 1 hour power nap before heading out to Bowling Green – arriving on their campus at 1pm. Where do I begin on Coach Curt Miller – Curt was the very first Division I assistant coach that I ever met on the road recruiting when I was 21 years old – he was at Syracuse University & I was at Bryant College at the time. Curt had one other stop at Colorado State before being named the head coach at BGSU. Without going in to details – this program was at the bottom of the conference upon Curt’s arrival and by year three they had made it to the conference championship game. Going in to his 9th year as a head coach he has won the last five straight MAC conference championships & was named coach of the year each of those years and were a Top 25 program last season as well as 5th in the country for team GPA.

For me personally, I am always intrigued by coaches that can get the most out of the least. Meaning they may not have the most highly ranked players in the country, but have a system/program that finds a way to win year in and year out. The respect that Curt has within the national coaching scene is hard to describe…. but after seeing this practice I could quickly see how he has built this little dynasty.

Prior to practice I went out to lunch with his staff – which is another major accomplishment of Curt’s – 2 of the three have been with him since the beginning, and Kevin Eckert came on after year one. So for the past 8 years they have all been together. You cannot find this anywhere in the country at the mid-major level as inevitably most staffs move on to other schools either for head jobs or bigger conference assistant jobs. To say that they are all on the same page on the court is an understatement.

Just before practice I had the chance to see Tamika Nurse & Tracy Pontius – Tamika I have known since 8th grade – a native Canadian we considered recruiting her at Illinois State/Illinois & Tracy is the best player to ever come out of the Illinois Pizazz travel team based over in Normal. As practice began at 3pm – you could just feel a sense of urgency amongst the entire group. It was like they only had 2 hours and they had 6 hours of work to get done. Offensive breakdown drills & defensive drills that used multiple baskets and courts maximizing every second – very similar to our ‘pre-practice’ multiplied by 10 🙂

I guess the best way to overall describe the practice was that it took on a ‘warrior’s mentality’ from start to finish. Curt is the “Little General” as I joked w/ him afterward, and Jennifer Roos is his lieutenant. Brandi Poole & Kevin being the sergeants. As they went from one drill to the next & watching Curt for the first time – I told them afterward it was kind of weird as so many things were similar between him & myself in both teaching demeanor at times, and the style of play. Going from one drill to the next – Curt’s attention to detail and not allowing anything less than the PERFECT effort showed me why they have become such a successful program. Their style similar to ours – very “North-South” and pressure defense the length of the court so needless to say there were many ideas/drills we will be incorporating this season.

Curt asked me to speak to the team briefly at the end & then we sat down and talked about various parts of the game/philosophies and recruiting landscape. As the staff walked me out to my car at around 7pm – I wished them the best & the future will only be brighter at BGSU as they are starting to build them a new arena – the question is can the university hold on to a coach as good as Curt til it is finished?

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