One Scouts View on a College D1 Prospect One Scouts View on a College D1 Prospect
One Scouts View on a College D1 Prospect
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One Scouts View on a College D1 Prospect
One Scouts View on a College D1 Prospect One Scouts View on a College D1 Prospect One Scouts View on a College D1 Prospect

One Scouts View on a College D1 Prospect


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Height - if you don't have height you must have speed and strength. Height is genetic, speed and strength is hard work. Here are my benchmarks - Guards need to run the 100 meter dash under 11.25 seconds and big men (6'5 or taller), 12 seconds. Anything under 10.5 and the kid should be running track and not playing basketball. I am talking meters and not yards, this is a big difference. Endurance - a hard college practice will mean a player has run roughly 5 miles during a 2 1/2 hour practice. I want player who can run 5 miles in 35 minutes. Rip Hamilton runs 5 miles under 30 minutes. Running can be tough on big men knees so I recommend very soft tracks for training. Stay away from paths and roads, twisted ankles and sore knees end a lot of careers.

Strength - I want a player by 10th grade to bench at least their weight. By 12 grade I want 50 - 90 lbs over their weight. I want guards who can do 15 pulls up (minimum) and big men who can do 12 pull ups. If you can't do pull ups, you can't rip rebounds down.

Sprints - I ran players from foul line to foul line. Baseline to baseline makes no sense unless you win the NCAA's and you are running in the stands to hug you relatives. I time 5 sprints, I take the average of all 5 sprints and the average of the first and last sprint. Both averages should be close. It is the only way to test sprinting endurance. I then have them sprint dribbling a basketball with the left and then the right. Three times on this test. I want to know the speed difference with the weak hand against the strong hand and the difference with and without the ball. The most important test is lateral and diagonal speed. You can't play defense without this type of speed. Often referred to as a quick first step. Side-line to side-line three times. I time and average everything like the sprints. If you don't put kids to a stopwatch, you can't judge progress. I then go from side line to paint and back picking up tennis balls and tossing them back to me. I want the @@ up and I want them thinking. I do this 5 times. I then do a figure X in the half court. This tests frontal speed, lateral speed, diagonal speed and backward speed. I then do it in the paint for maximum quickness. Speed equals defense. Colleges recruit great speed because it helps during practice. Which is something every parent, relative, guardian and coach needs to be careful about.

More and more coaches are recruiting certain kids because they make great practice players. These kids could start at lower ranked schools but, they spend their careers at big schools sitting the bench for the purpose of making the stars of the team better. Fast players with limited skills or slow shooters and big men get trapped. I test kids on basket IQ. I show them a play on a clip/white board (Princeton offense is a good one) and tell them it is game situation. I then tell him shoot two foul shots real fast and come back and then diagram the play I just showed him. In a college huddle, If you do not pay attention, you will sit the bench. I then go out on the court and put the kid in a lot of game situations and ask him to set the play.

Where do you set the high screen, what is the best situation for pick and roll, what are the penetration points on a 3-2, 1-3-1, 2-3 zones, off ball reversals, what are the natural passing lanes, how do you set up a spin move, what are the three entry passes to the high post and where do you move after the entry pass. Trust me, college coaches do not scream at kids who are coachable and come prepared.

Dribbling - no one practices dribbling. And 1 street balling is not dribbling but, everything a street baller does, you have to do better and faster. Confusing! No one plays defense in And 1 so your handle can be flamboyant but it does not work against a double team match up zone. A tight handle is powerful and crisp. Think Chris Paul and Tony Parker. So, to get a handle like those guys you need to dribble two balls no stop. I time the number of times the ball bounces as long as the ball returns above the knee and below the waist. Above the waist is a steal and below the knee can be kicked. 180 dribbles in a minute is the goal. The left and the right hand better not be more than 10 dribbles a part. I then have them do behind the back left to right hand dribble drill. 120 dribbles per minute. I want figure 8's using both hands for 2 minutes. I then run them through a very complex series of cross overs, in-outs, spin moves with both hands.

Shooting - Shooting drills are intense. I have them shoot 100 free throws and I tell them if they miss 20 the tryout is over. I need to see them shoot under pressure. I then do a drill I came up with. I have them shoot 10 free throws, then run a sprint to the other foul line, do 10 push ups and then sprint back and shoot ten more. I do this for 200 hundred free throws. It is the only way to test real game free throw shooting percentage. I time the whole drill. I test mid range jumpers the same way but, I require bank shots in two of the six shooting spots. I time everything and if you do not complete the drill, you lose. 5 shots, six spots, 5 sets of push up and 5 full court sprints. You have two minutes. By this time, most players start getting pretty depressed. I think guards and big men need inside games and three point range, so I run a drill which goes inside to outside. 12 shooting spots 5 and five shots per spot but, instead of running sprints and do push ups, they have two minutes. The inside shots are mini-banks, up and unders, spin banking hooks and inside the lane jump hooks. The outside shots are all three pointers. For kids who are three point specialists (they are out there) I run quick release drills where they criss cross the court full speed and catch and shoot for nine locations. The difference is weaving through cones which is suppose to represent traffic in the lanes. 27 shots in 3 minutes and you must shoot 60%. This quickly eliminates set shooters from three point shooters.

Bigs - Big men drills and tests - rebounding in practice is nothing like rebounding in a game. I was a rebounder so, I know rebounding is about anticipation, knowing your opponent (using leverage)and determination (attitude). The best rebounder I have ever scouted was Buck Williams from Maryland. Inch for inch he was the best rebounder in the game. The next best was David Parish. He was smarter than everyone and went against some of the best in the game. Bill Russell was great but, there were not as many big athletic players in the paint. Dennis Rodman is an example of why rebounding drills do not help. He was all about determination. Games and scrimmages are the best for rebounding assessment. Things I look for are the following.

Number 1: Before the shot goes up, is he getting into position. Rebounding is like a defensive lineman getting to the quarterback. Foot speed and positioning is everything, leverage allows for proper position and anticipation or playing the percentages allows for easy baskets. If you are lazy or you do not study tape, it shows up in rebounding.

Passing - I hate turnovers. So, players must understand passing lanes and how to extend the court on zones and pressure defenses. Passing is something you can only see in scrimmages and games. Great passers understand the concept of off the ball assists which is why the Europeans are killing us. Soccer and Hockey are all about of the ball or puc assists. Great passers are masters at setting up off the ball assists. Steve Nash and Jason Kidd as great passers, Dirk, Bird, Malone, Willis Reed were great off the ball passers. Off the ball passers connect the dots in their @@. So, the first pass sets up the second pass. Think weak side give and goes off the screen. It takes two passes. Allen Iverson actually sets up a lot of off the ball assists but, the rest of the crew can't execute.

Vertical Leap - guards need to be 30 inches and big mean need to be 22 minimum. Really big men can be less. 5'9 guard with a 30 inch vertical should be able to dunk. I could go on and on but, I will stop here.

Basketball is a tough but, great sport where the combination of skill, speed, strength, agility, intelligence, teamwork and attitude are necessary. It is one of the few sports where you must excel at offense and defense. There are no goalies, or blue lines or other inhibiting rules. You need to be able to take a round object and throw it 24 feet into a round hole twice the diameter of the object. Think about the skill necessary to do that with someone in your face with 2 seconds left. Even Tiger Woods gets to take his time.

Basketball is a team sport and college coaches get paid a lot of money to win. They invest a lot of money in players and the recruiting of players, so anything you can do to make their decision easier, like good grades, understanding complex offensive sets, get your kids a couple of books on basketball and have them read the books and write a report. One player wrote a report about John Wooden and used it as his essay for college. One kid wrote an essay comparing and contrasting the coaching styles of Coach Knight and Coach K. This is how you get into college.

Good luck with the kids, write down progress after every practice, focus on the positives right after games and at practice work on what went wrong. Don't stress until senior year in basketball and work hard in school and on the court. And get the kids to read two basketball books a year. Go to other high school game and make him take stats so he understands what to look for on the court. It kills me to see kids hanging out in the stands joking with friends when they can be scouting teams, isolating players and understanding their tendencies.

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