Day 3: Charlotte / Winthrop / Davidson

University of North Carolina – Charlotte

As the alarm went off at 5:15am I definitely was questioning my planning and what I was thinking. 🙂 But as I gathered my things and headed to campus I was looking forward to getting to see a couple of familiar faces. As I drove to the arena I enjoyed the views of the campus as could see why this program has been successful under each of the last three head coaches at this upper mid major level.

Cara Consuegra is in her 3rd year here as she inherited a program that was competing at the top of the Atlantic-10 conference. The Iowa grad was an assistant at Marquette (7 years) when I went through in 2009, and I’m going pat myself on the back for predicting she would have her own program this decade after watching her on the floor up there. Karen Lange is the associate head coach & I have known Karen since my time at Illinois State as when she was at Kansas as an asst. at that time & I was contracted by them to put in my recruiting database software and spent a few days in Lawrence on their campus. Karen (also an Iowa grad) came with Cara three years ago after a short stint as a head coach at an NAIA school in Kansas after 6 years w/ the Jayhawks & 6 at Virginia Tech. I was picking on her about us ‘getting older’ as we both graduated from college the same year 🙂

It didn’t surprise me to see the kids struggle a little to get their energy level up. AM practices are a challenge at any level in any sport especially if it is not something that you do on a regular basis. But the discipline it can instill within a team can be invaluable.

They were still in the teaching phases of various parts of their transition offense & got a couple of ideas for another small ‘tweek’ to what we may do this year or next. Plus another progression for our ‘1st post’ transition breakdown drill as well. As practice continued you could see the other assistants Joanne Aluka-White & Nicole Woods helped keep the spirits up throughout the morning & their love for these young ladies was very apparent. As practice closed out with some competitive defense/rebounding drills it will be interesting to see this squads improvement in that area as Cara stressed to them this point of emphasis that ended their season in the playoffs last year.

I made my way on the road and headed to Rock Hill, SC for an early afternoon session at Winthrop. During the drive though I completed my first audio book by Coach Schembechler – once I have a little more time I will share some of my thoughts from it, but I figured since I was in North Carolina I should listen to Roy Williams (Men’s basketball coach at UNC) book Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court.

Winthrop University

I was able to get over to campus early and found a coffee shop and caught up on some email & gathered some much needed caffeine. As I made my way to the arena I had to take a double take as to what I was witnessing. It was the US Disc Golf Championship….. yep you read that correction. Frisbee golf championship! There were teams from Japan/Germany/etc along with various states of ours. What was more ‘I can’t believe I just saw this’ – the players all had caddies!!! Yep a guy walking around with them w/ a bag of discs 🙂 Just never realized this existed on such a competitive level.

I was intrigued to see this practice as Coach Kevin Cook had an extensive resume having been on the staff of the Houston Comets in the WNBA for 11 years. He also has coached internationally as the Nigerian National team coach for 2 years, but stays active with the FCA camps in various African countries. Plus he helped lead Gallaudet University for four season (they are the world’s only all-deaf college) where he was the WBCA Regional DIII Coach of the Year. In just season at Winthrop last year he lead them to most successful season ever and was named to multiple NCAA Coach of the Year awards. And I thought I had a unique career path 🙂

I was quickly greeted by Matt Huddleston on staff who was one of the Nike travel team coaches I had worked with for a number of years, before he was able to pursue his dream of becoming a college coach. He still has the passion & can see he enjoying the opportunity/experience he has been given.

As we head to the floor there were are number of drills that looked familiar – though I picked up a fun challenging transition buildup drill I had never seen before. Plus a possible special situation PB formation. One unique thing though that I witnessed was during their pre-practice shooting music was jamming through the arena.

I felt bad as I had to leave early but I was flattered that Kevin asked me to speak to his team & give them some of my observations – as this group had great energy to start the day but as the practice progressed you could see that momentum had shifted as things didn’t go their way. I reminded them of the line ‘never to high, never too low’ and challenged their seniors in particular to lead by example. Will be fun to follow this group as I could see why Kevin has found success wherever he has been.

I quickly got to the car to drive up to Davidson’s practice that was at 3pm

Davidson College

This was one school I had to be sure to see as one of my former players at Illinois was an assistant coach on staff & had always wanted to be a college coach since her playing days. Kira Mowen is in her third program & as I walked into the arena just shortly after 3pm – she was doing guard breakdowns, and needless to say she is all grown up now. 🙂 Going to steal some of these for our pre-practice this season for the guards.

Michele Savage took over this program three years ago after a long successful tenure at Tulane University and quickly took the program to two 20 win seasons. Last year she had a large group of quality seniors so there is more teaching involved this year with only 2 seniors in the lineup. She is a Northwestern graduate & native of Illinois so we have known each other since my time at Illinois State. Unfortunately the poor thing had knee surgery this summer & is still recovering so during her ‘breaks’ during practice we were able to catch up.

The other assistants – Jamie Thomatis was the little general J keeping everyone in line as the overall feel of practice had a solid intensity and purpose. Mary Ciuk is a native of the northeast so we have known each other since my time at Brown as she had stops at Cornell, UMass, & Northwestern & helped give them a calming factor throughout the practice. You could tell this staff had been together since taking over the program.

There was a good rebounding drill that we’ll tweek and going to discuss with everyone a possible ‘new rule’ for our transition offense if we make a skip pass possibly. Plus a different version to our full court layup drill that will be good to break things up in January.

As practice wrapped up, I was able to enjoy my first good meal with Kira at the staff’s favorite ‘watering hole’. Unfortunately I was only able to stay for a little while with a 3+hr drive ahead of me.

As yet another college changed their weekend practice that morning I had to shuffle & cancel hotel and re-book as I headed to Myrtle Beach to see Coastal Carolina tomorrow at 9am. Was able to finish about half of the Roy Williams book/story & have to be honest was never a big fan of his, but after hearing his career path I have a new appreciation for him. Not saying I will cheer for the Tar Heels but I will be looking at him in a new light moving forward.

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