1. NEVER-EVER forget who has been a positive influence on you and helped you get to where you are today…continue to thank them, and then DO THE SAME FOR SOMEONE ELSE!
  2. BE DETAILED! With everything!
  3. “Don’t coach for the name on your business card”- Larry Shyatt, coach for your team, players, and your Head Coach.
  4. A great question to ask yourself every day “What does my team need right now?”-Herb Sendek
  5. Have an Edge, even when you win a few in a row.
  6. Treat wins like losses and losses like wins.
  7. It’s hard to be a young assistant; you must earn players' respect and be careful about putting yourself on their level.
  8. Keep practices short in the 2nd semester, make them want more, and keep them hungry.
  9. One bad apple can spoil the bunch; chemistry is vital.
  10. It’s not a good feeling to have a quiet team; teams need energy and enthusiasm
  11. “Never lose a chemistry guy” –Doc Rivers
  12. Care about the players that aren't playing a lot. It’s hard for them to stay motivated late in the year.
  13. Be careful what you tell your head coach - “don't make something out of nothing.”
  14. Keep your players together, they can be mad at the staff, but they must stay together.
  15. Tell players something positive or good job more than you already do.
  16. “If you wanna win the race, you gotta feed the horses.” Feed them well and get them what they want on the road.
  17. Sometimes, it’s best to "flush" a game after a bad night and start new the next day; you can't make a habit of it, though, maybe once a year.
  18. Rebounding wins games; always have one assistant watching/coaching rebounding.
  19. If you stat it, chart it, or emphasize it, it will be necessary to your team (deflections, charges, turnovers)
  20. Keep scouting reports specific and straightforward; players don't remember half of it anyway.
  21. Please make time to exercise; it keeps you sane.
  22. There are plenty of great coaches out there willing to help you if you just ask.
  23. Most people want to coach college because they want to do the big things (be on TV, recruit on the road, have input on game day) but the ones who are willing to do the little things (sweep the floor, check classes, open the gym late) are the ones who keep a job and move up.
  24. “Entitlement vs. Investment”-Kevin Eastman…be ready when you get the call! Prepare for your next position, and you must be prepared to produce.
  25. “Let mad go” -Chuck Daly… it doesn't bother the players as much as you.
  26. It is vital that you double-check everything (especially for travel and video)
  27. Good assistants take care of the minor stuff, so the Head Coach does not have to worry about it (players on time, ankle braces, gear, etc.) Allow him to worry about coaching the team, and that’s it!
  28. Find at least 20 minutes a day to spend on yourself: personal development, phone calls to friends/family, networking, and favorite reading websites.
  29. Don’t trust players when you ask them about academics; you will never get the whole truth.
  30. “Thoroughly study the game!”- Kevin Eastman…you will earn player's respect by knowing the game and knowing your system, the worst feeling in practice is when a player asks you something, and you have to Reply - “I don’t know.”
  31. Assistants do a better job when they are involved more; give them specific responsibilities.
  32. Let assistants or strength coaches take care of “in-season” weight training. Coaches need to be away from the players, and players need to be away from the coaches.
  33. It’s better to make friends than enemies; everyone remembers the guys who screw them over, the guys who don’t return a call or won’t help…TRY TO HELP EVERYONE!
  34. If you have extra game tickets to give away…GIVE THEM AWAY! People love college athletics, and players love fans at their games.
  35. Find time to read during the season. It’s a great way to find messages/stories/examples to give to your team…it keeps you thinking!
  36. Appreciate your job and the opportunity you have. Your head coach probably gets over 100 emails a year asking for an opportunity to be on his staff. You are lucky to be called a “coach.”
  37. “If you really like something another coach/team does—Steal It!...but give credit”- Tom Izzo. “If you Steal something, make sure you can TEACH IT”- Hubie Brown.


  1. Toughness is one of the most underrated characteristics of good teams! You need speed, talent, athleticism, and skill, but toughness gets you through the year.
  2. Winning plays show true toughness of your team, and really do WIN GAMES
  3. Teams that win on the road have a “Tough, Together, and Aggressive Mindset.”
  4. Make sure your best players are your hardest workers and best leaders, and the other players follow their example.
  5. Your team leader doesn’t have to be the most energetic or outspoken person, but he must be the most competitive and constantly lead by example. Ex: Jason Kidd
  6. Your two best players must be “Buy-In” guys. Get them to buy in and believe what you and your Program are all about…toughness, togetherness, sharing the basketball, and competitiveness. All the other players will follow if they do!
  7. Your team can only play one game at a time and win one game at a time…especially at the end of the year when standings are close or in the playoffs/tournaments; the only goal is “Win your next game.”


  1. It’s more important to have your player's minds right than their legs on back-to-back nights.
  2. Players like Powerade/waters/granola bars/fruit, try to keep them healthy.
  3. Players want to be pushed; they will take having their butt chewed when you’re telling them how good they can become.
  4. Players are around each other all the time (practice, class, road trips, roommates). They must like each other and respect each other.
  5. Players love hearing about the “next level” study, researching what the great players do, and having info, articles, and examples. This helps get your point across.
  6. Players look at the other team’s stats, standings, and schedules more than you think. Keep them focused on their standings, their schedule, and their performance … “There is not enough time to worry about What you can’t control.”


  1. Do not trust anybody… Everyone wants players!
  2. Recruit high-character kids... Bad kids will be bad kids.
  3. Don’t take a player you can’t coach or isn’t about what your team is about just because he is more Talented than the next guy; you will hate coaching him all year.
  4. Have your assistants use “we” instead of “me” in recruiting.
  5. Know the recruiting rules… If you’re not sure about something, you better ask!
  6. Always have kids on the list to recruit in case you get caught in desperation mode when looking for a player. This is when you take a guy that doesn’t fit or is a bad player because you were not prepared.
  7. Don’t jump to conclusions on recruits; make sure you have the right evaluation and take the time to do Exactly that…EVALUATE!
  8. If you recruit junior college players: be prepared to give them TIME to adjust to your level, learn your system, and gain confidence. Don’t lose hope…be patient.


  1. Recruit shooters and shot’s hard to win w/guys that can't shoot.
  2. It doesn’t matter what you run; if you can’t shoot.
  3. You can never have enough shooters. Teams are hard to guard when 4 out of 5 guys on the floor can shoot it.
  4. Shooters have to shoot! (Extra shots, extra reps) the great players shoot every day.
  5. Extra free throws will help players' rhythm/stroke during the season and save their legs. A great place to get eyes on the basket and regain focus.
  6. Have shooting games/competitions before and after practice to help motivate to get extra reps in (Celtic 50, around the world, 7-Up, etc.)
  7. During shooting workouts, w/players emphasize WHERE they should be shooting from. Game shots, from game spots, at game speed…especially shots they get in your offense.
  8. NEVER over coach shooting! Keep it simple! Kevin Eastman only coaches “perfect feet, perfect follow-through.” Find out what’s most important for your shooters and leave it at 1 or 2 things.


  1. It is hard to make time to work on situations, but always keep your last-second plays the same and have them rehearsed regularly.
  2. Keep your ball-screen defense simple, have a game plan but be ready to adjust.
  3. When you plan to “hedge” ball screens, bigs want to “hide” behind the screener and then jump out to Hedge—teach “inside hand to screeners outside hip” This allows bigs to show chest and not be late on the hedge.
  4. Have a plan for FT blockouts. Where you put each guy and which side you double with.
  5. If you play man or zone during games and you’re not sure which is best, ask players how they want to guard - it keeps them aggressive, it puts it on them, and they buy into guarding more.
  6. Penetrate and kick is the best offense in college basketball.
  7.  If you are a set play team and do not want to “dummy” every set during practice, emphasize 1) Great pace and 2) Great Screening.
  8.  If your post players aren’t great at scoring at the block: “cut and fill” instead of “stand and space” keeps the help defenders occupied with movement.
  9.  Do not let players throwback on a 2 on 1…most times; it ends up as a charge!
  10.  Take 2 to 3 min to emphasize a core principle when warming up. We close out and stay down on the shot fakes before we shoot in post/perimeter EVERYDAY.
  11. In scouting: players care more about the opponent's personnel than the actions the team is running. They will remember other players’ tendencies because they want to be better than that player! Be detailed about this.
  12. Practice “bluffing” or “stunting” (quick/fake help) every week in a variety of ways/situations. Players will start to see more opportunities to do this during live action.
  13. Some of the best UOB actions have multiple options once the ball is thrown in (double screen, single Double, etc.)
  14. It’s important to drill defensive principles/defensive actions every day! 
  15. “Practice what you emphasize.”
  16. Three keys to be in every game: transition defense, rebounding, and turnovers!
  17. Work on transition defense every day…our mindset is: "we run-they don't."
  18. “Simple plays are great plays” …you don’t need a home run to be successful.
  19. Work on Block out situations: it is the end of the shot clock, and bigs have had to help on penetration; who blocks out who? (Situations: scramble mode, switching screens, transition, etc.)
  20. You have to DRILL “help the helper” all year long. It must become habit and instinct. Drill it in a variety of ways.
  21. Teach players every detail for your sets. They need to know exactly what you want, when you want, and where you want! (Screening, cuts, passes, operational areas, timing)
  22. Going for shot fakes will result in points or fouls almost 90% of the time.
  23. “Shooting Passes” against a zone are a must. Make sure players are throwing passes players can shoot Off of; you can’t have a poor pass take a guy out of a shot.
  24. Look for common “themes” in scouting opponents. Use this for team prep. Players understand it better and will identify the “giveaways” ex: dribble led to wing: screen under/screen down, a guard sitting at the block: stagger screen action, last 15 seconds of shot clock: random ball-screen.
  25. When guarding motion: tell players to engage in the entire action, not just protecting their man.
  26. Post players need to be "active defenders." Do more than one thing in a possession ex: hedge Ball-screen, recover to man, bluff help on penetration, discourage post entry pass, then box & rebound!
  27. Rebounding - the more you chase, the more you get.
  28. Post Players cannot just watch the shot go up while getting back in transition defense; teach them to box the players running into offensive glass-this is where we give up a lot of offensive rebounds!
  29. Teach “ready for the next play” and do not let players stand after passing, SPACE for the “next play.” This Is harder to guard and gets players more shots.
  30. Find common terminology for your entire staff and players to use. Different terms/teaching points can confuse.
  31. Have a counterplay or 2nd option for your best play.
  32. Make sure to have a “come from behind” plan. Even if you are not a pressing/trapping team, you have to have something for the last 2 minutes if you are behind. 
  33. Individual workouts: It’s a great time to send the same message your head coach tries to send to specific Players. Ex: driving the ball more vs. Shooting more, shot selection for shooters, finishing with the weak Hand, etc.
  34. Practice and emphasize “game-changing plays.” Ex: Taking a charge, Offensive rebound kicked out for 3, chasing down a wide-open lay-up, offensive rebound at the FT line. FIND momentum changers.

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