Steve Smiley – Northern Colorado Head Coach COVID Clinic

Coach Smiley has done an incredible job both at Weber and Northern Colorado as a defensive assistant. His defenses have overachieved every year and are built to take advantage of the analytics explained in sprawlball. He brings up this book multiple times throughout the clinic and how their defense is based on it.

The big idea of the clinic is figuring out what shots are you ok with the opponent getting, and what shots do you want to take away?

Big Picture (the forest)

  • Understanding the shots that beat you (Lay-ups, 3s, FTs)
    • What shots are you ok with the opponent getting, and what shots do you want to take away?
    • Good teams get shots. How do you build your system to minimize the shots that beat you
  • Nothing matters if you don’t play hard
  • Defensive system must be
    • Clear (easy to understand)
    • Concise (1-syllable terminology)
    • Consistent (same terminology, consistent drills that are used for benefit of system)
  • How do you increase efficiency on offense and decrease on defense
    • Get more 3s, lay-ups, FTs
    • Don’t give up 3s, lay-ups, FTs
      • Smiley’s teams have traditionally been in top 10 in the country in least amount of 3 point attempts allowed and least amount of assisted FGs

How do you defend the big 3 (Lay-ups, 3s, FTs)

  • How do you decrease FTs
    • Call fouls in practice! Have your coaches call fouls in drills. Put them in the right position.
      • It’s not what you teach, it’s what you emphasize. Run on fouls, let them know it’s not ok.
    • Teach proper technique on verticality and walling up. Hands back!
      • Watch lots of film on this
  • How do you decrease lay-ups
    • what is the rule on verticality? Are you teaching the right technique?
    • Drills and concepts from drills
      • 1on1 Wall up drill to work on technique at 28min in – I like this drill
      • 1on1 Ride the dribble to work on the skill in live action from top or corners. Any situation you can see your guys being in.
      • 3on3 – working on rotations
        • Never want 2 on the ball.
        • Give up the pass going back to the strong side. Only pro’s can make that pass!
  • How you take away the 3
    • There are good 3s and bad 3s. Take away the good 3s
      • Transition 3s and 3s within the 1st two passes of a possession kill you
    • Push away to snipers. Stunting or bluffing at driver just gives you more time.
      • Designate opponents as snipers, players, drivers.
    • Stay in gaps (no splits) vs drivers
    • Closeouts vs coaches
      • Stick hand up. Gap based on who you’re guarding
      • When ball is dead don’t worry about cylinder foul. Just emphasize hands up
      • Contest. Don’t leave the floor until your man does

Details “the trees”

  • They grade every shot taken against them and put them into the categories below.  Goal is to force non-paint contested 2. Stats back up their defensive

After the game they use this chart.

They want to see what shots they give up. They know what shots are efficient, but how many of those shots are they giving up?

Smiley has an old article that explains a lot of his defense here

Smiley’s book recommendations

  • Culture code – my notes on this book
  • Talent code
  • Sprawlball – this backs up a lot of their analytics
  • Tools of titans
  • How lucky can you be
  • Wisdom lunch warrior

Podcast recommendations

  • Basketball podcast
  • How I built this
  • The game changer life
  • Tony robbins

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