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Date Time Opponent Location Lions Opp. W/L
11/26/1610:30amIrvington PrepHome5850Won
11/26/1608:00pmRock Creek AcademyHome6960Won
12/02/1608:00pmWood MemorialAway4668Lost
12/03/1607:30pmVincennes RivetHome5745Won
12/09/1607:30pmForest ParkHome4945Won
12/10/1607:30pmShoalsHome5440Won
12/13/1607:30pmSouth KnoxAway
12/17/1607:30pmSprings ValleyHome
12/22/1607:30pmWashingtonHome
12/27/1612:30pmWatseka, ILAway
12/27/1607:30pmNorth VermillionAway
12/28/1606:00pmFisher, ILAway
12/28/1609:00pmBismark-HenningAway
12/29/1612:35pmHeritage/Bismark TournamentTBAAway
01/06/1702:10pmNorth DaviessAway
01/14/1707:30pmBarr ReeveAway
01/21/1707:30pmBloomfieldHome
01/27/1707:30pmWhite River ValleyHome
02/02/1707:30pmOrleansAway
02/09/1707:30pmLintonHome
02/10/1707:30pmMitchellAway
02/14/1707:30pmWashington CatholicHome
02/17/1702:05pmNortheast DuboisAway
02/18/1702:05pmSouthridgeAway
02/23/1707:00pmNorth KnoxHome
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[Posted: September 22, 2017]
Jump Hooks

 

Most of the time we think that a jump hook is for post players but this is a shot that is good for   all players to learn how to shoot.  Forwards, wings, guards…..  will find themselves in the paint needing a solution to finishing around the basket vs a bigger defenders. Being able to finish with either hand critical.  

When shooting a jump hook the offensive player should 1. Keep the ball up.  Just below the shoulder away from the defense is a good place to start.  2.  Point the off shoulder at the defender.  3.  Jump off 2 feet with good balance.  Jumping straight up or even a little toward the defender (shoulder at his nose) is good, but fading away on a jump hook makes the shot extremely difficult.


[Posted: September 21, 2017]
Imaginary Lines

Imaginary Lines

We have all seen the offensive player who drives the baseline when there isn’t sufficient room to operate and he ends up getting nudged out of bounds.  The same thing happens on the sidelines.  How many times have you seen a player dribble just past the 10 second line, pick up his dribble and get trapped by the opposition?  If players would use “imaginary lines” this would never happen.

Coach DeVenzio says that players should draw imaginary lines in their head when viewing the floor.  They should see an imaginary line 3 feet inside of each sideline, a couple of feet inside the baseline, 8-10 feet away from the 10 second line…. and even 8 inches or so off the lane.  (You don’t want to get a 3 second call).  If players would stay inside their own imaginary lines, they would never have to worry about the actual lines.

 


[Posted: September 20, 2017]
(No) Heat Checks

 

As a  high school player, I was at open gym one time and some older guys were playing with us.  They were pretty good players and it was good for us to play against older more experienced players.  On this particular night, one of the older guys drained several shots in a row, then for some inexplicable reason he dribbled up the court and pulled up for a shot about one dribble inside half court!  Of course he airballed it!   The shot drew the ire of one of  his buddies/teammates  who then used a couple of profanities in asking him what just exactly was he thinking shooting that shot?   The guy just shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Heat check, I wanted to see just how hot I was.”  Everyone laughed but the ironic thing  was that the guy who took the bad shot only hit a couple more shots the rest of the night.

What’s the moral of the story? Heat Checks can take you out of “The Zone.”  After you have hit a couple of shots and your confidence starts to grow, you want to make sure you stay hot!  Taking a bad shot (Heat Check) can and often does, derail your momentum and can keep you from really experiencing what the zone is all about.


[Posted: September 19, 2017]
Getting The Ball

All players would love to get the ball every time they think they are open, but that just isn’t a realistic expectation.  A more reasonable expectation is to get the ball 1 out of every 10 times you are open.   First of all, most players aren’t open every time they think they are.  Secondly, most players don’t look open to their teammates.  

People say that in life, timing is everything.  It’s the same in basketball.  If you want the ball you should get open “on time.”  Meaning, get yourself open when your teammate is ready to pass the ball to you.  Getting open too early or too late ruins your chances of getting the ball.  Another good rule to follow is to not sulk, frown, or pout if you don’t get the ball when you think you are open.  Your negative body language will do nothing to  help you get the ball the next time.  In fact, the negative body language will only make your teammate mad and make him think twice the next time you call for the ball.


[Posted: September 18, 2017]
Lions Basketball From Letter A-Z….. Letter F

 

The first week of Lions Basketball From A-Z seemed to be very well received.  I got quite a bit of positive feedback on letters A-E.  If you didn’t get a chance to checkout the website last week, make sure you scroll down and read the first 5 entries before reading today’s post.

(Don’t Get) Fouled

Often times a player mistakenly tries to “draw fouls.”  Well, that is a precarious position to put yourself in.  Actually trying to draw a foul as your prime objective leaves little else positive in the equation. You are forced to rely on getting a friendly whistle.   On the other hand “creating contact”  when it is beneficial to you as an offensive player is a much better way of looking at the situation.  Great players seem to be able to play through contact and the biggest reason why is that they decide when and where the contact will occur.  

I hate it when a player who doesn’t get a whistle says, “…but Coach,  I got fouled.”  My response- "It is only a foul if the official calls it!"  Smart basketball players will put themselves in positions to play through contact, but they also know how to avoid contact as well.   They stay off the sideline or baseline where a slight bump will cause them to go out of bounds.  They take shots that that are on balance and can be finished even when there is contact with the defense.  Gambling that you are going to get a friendly whistle is never a good wager.   We all know that officials never blow the whistle everytime we want them to, and more often than not, they seem to blow their whistle when we don’t want them to.


[Posted: September 15, 2017]
Lions Basketball From A-Z….. Letter E

Eating

High school kids, like many adults, are always looking for that magic pill or supplement that will change their life.  They are looking for a quick-fix to having a crappy diet and often times they think that a supplement from GNC is the answer to all of their problems.  I’m not saying there isn’t a place for supplements in the training regimine but they should be what their name indicates- “a supplement to an already healthy diet.”

I try to get players to look at their bodies like a finely tuned sports car.  They certainly wouldn’t put anything but premium gas in their expensive sports car, so why would they allow junk in their diet?”  A good rule of thumb is “Eat less CRAP and eat more FOOD.”

C- Carbonated Sugar Soda
R- Refined Sugar
A- Artificial Colors
P- Processed Foods

 

F-  Fruits and Vegetables
O- Organic Lean Meats
O- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
D- Drink Water

For a hard working basketball player it really comes down to this….. If you are going to spend several hours a day training in the gym or in the weight room, why wouldn’t you want to maximize your gains with a proper diet?

 


[Posted: September 14, 2017]
Lions Basketball From A-Z…. Letter D

 

(The Use of One) Dribble

Coach DeVenzio says, “A dribble is like a burglar alarm.  When the opponent hears or sees one, he will get himself in defensive position, a help -and-recover position that will make it hard for the dribbler to score.”  I certainly think that as players get older it becomes harder to score using multiple dribbles.  The more a player dribbles the more the floor shrinks  due to help side defense.

I want my players to learn that as they move up through the ranks to varsity level competition they are going to have to learn how to do more with less (dribbles).  High school basketball isn’t the NBA…. the rules make it pretty difficult to run isolation plays where a player can use a 3 move combo to create a scoring opportunity.  We spend a lot of time playing 1 on 1 or just simply attacking a live defense and limiting the offensive player to 1 dribble.


[Posted: September 13, 2017]
Lions Basketball From A-Z…… Letter C

 

Click Passes

You you listen to me on the sidelines while my team is on offense you will hear me say things like,  “Move the ball!”  “Don’t let the ball stick in your hands!” or “Swing it!”  I believe that great ball movement is definitely a characteristic of a great team. We have all heard a coach or basketball commentator celebrate the team that makes the “extra pass.”  Often times, that extra pass is a “Click Pass.”

The “Click Pass” is one of the skills that we teach our players.  We even utilize these types of passes in shooting drills.   A “Click Pass” is a pass that is made within ⅛ of second after catching the ball, not a second or two after surveying the floor.  Some people would call this a “touch pass” but in our program we call it a “Click Pass.”  It is impossible to make a “Click Pass” unless you know where you are going to pass the ball before you catch it.  It takes good court awareness to make a “Click Pass.”  If you haven’t already surveyed the floor before you receive the ball, you won’t be able to execute a “Click Pass.”

My favorite player of all time is Larry BIrd.  Larry Legend was a basketball genius.  Like a lot of very good players, he could rebound and score at a very high rate, but his court vision and passing ability was off the charts. To me it was what separates him from a lot of the high level players. 

Now it would be foolish to think that the click pass is always the best option.  Larry Bird or any other great player wouldn’t be successful if they got rid of the ball as quickly as possible every time they touched.  As Dick DeVenzio says, “You can’t be a good player by always passing the ball immediately after you get it, but you would hardly ever hurt a good team by doing that, and you would help them often.”  The click pass is something all players need to add to their game.  A good rule of thumb is for a player  to try to get 8-10 click passes per game.


[Posted: September 12, 2017]
Lions Basketball From A-Z…. Letter B

 

Blocking Shots

Dick DeVenzio says, “Show me a guy who averages 1 blocked shot per game, and I’ll show you a guy who often gets faked out and hurts the team.”  I couldn’t agree more, but getting some players to buy into what seems like an easily understood concept is sometimes harder than it should be. Blocking shots is fun.  Who wouldn’t like to swat shot of an opponent into the 3rd row?  The crowd goes wild, you get chest bumps from your teammates and the play makes the highlight real!  Seems like a lot of positive reinforcement for a play that actually hurts a team more than it helps.  

Think about this, how often to you see a player block a shot, only to see one of his opponents pick up the loose ball and score?  Or, what about that blocked that goes out of bounds and gives the opponent the opportunity to run their favorite out of bounds play?  Factor in the very real possibility that a failed block attempt takes the defender out of rebounding position and often puts him in a position where he or one of his teammates is likely to pick up a foul, and you can see why attempting to block shots is a losing proposition.  There are just too many bad things that can happen when you  miss.


[Posted: September 11, 2017]
Lions Basketball From A-Z

 

One book I often recommend to my players is, Stuff: Good Players Should Know, by Dick DeVenzio.   Dick DeVenzio is also known in basketball circles as the founder of Point Guard College (PGC) which is one of the top basketball camps around.  His camps teach a lot of the concepts that can be found in Stuff.  The book is organized  by grouping these concepts in alphabetical order with several concepts attributed to each letter of the alphabet. I teach many of these concepts in our basketball program so I thought it might be fun to start a series on the website called, Lions Basketball From A-Z.  Over the next month or so I will be listing one basketball teaching point per letter of the alphabet.  Some of these are taken from Stuff and some of them are ideas and observations I’ve picked up along my career.  I hope you enjoy.

Alibis

Coach DeVenzio says that alibis are a bad habit for mediocre players.  After a tough loss or a bad game, the mediocre player finds it easier and more rewarding to blame someone or something else for the less than desirable outcome. Good players on the other hand get in the habit of accepting responsibility.  This habit allows the good player to create the mindset of a problem solver.  Instead of wasting time making up excuses, it is a much better use of one’s time to look for ways to overcome obstacles.

I think the great coaches and players in any sport are able to get in the habit of not making solutions.  When Tony Dungy was the coach of the Indianapolis Colts he had a very large banner hung in their locker room that read, “No Excuses, No Explanations.” That was the mantra of the Colts and after several years of persistence that prevailing theme allowed the Colts to win the Superbowl in 2006.


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