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Friday, January 4, 2019

Basketball: Stealth Hero, Coach Jim Crutchfield

"They don't need to love me. They need to love what they are doing." - Werner Herzog, MasterClass

We can learn from everyone but especially first-level thinkers. Jim Crutchfield may not be a household name, yet has an elite track record. He doesn't leave a paper trail. He's the antithesis of self-promotion, the stealth fighter of coaching excellence. 

To do extraordinary work, you have cherish ordinary work. 

Via the West Liberty athletics site: "Taking the head coaching reins in 2004 after several years as an assistant basketball coach and head tennis coach at West Liberty, Crutchfield enjoyed an incredible 13-year run. The 2-time NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year has compiled the highest winning percentage in college basketball history (359-61, .855) among coaches with 10 or more years at NCAA schools."

He creates winning programs and has a history of creating offensive juggernauts. "In 2013, the Hilltoppers became just the second team in Division II history to average more than 100 points per game in four consecutive seasons."

Notes from a video sent by Herb Welling:

Intensity fluctuates...his goal is to maintain high energy

"How good can we be if we ever get up to that level of energy?"

"The Process" allows players freedom and responsibility to execute the game. 
1. Vision (develop the ability to see the game)
2. Analysis
3. Reaction 

What's the problem - lack of 'skill' at the above. Coaches respond by controlling the game. 

Werner Herzog, MasterClass

1. See (can't run down the floor mindlessly...head on a swivel...see everything)...plays a lot of situational basketball practice (e.g. 80-80 two or three minutes remaining). We have all seen key games lost by loss of awareness (score, time, timeouts, what we're doing offensively or defensively). 

2. Analyze..."if one guy presses, we all press." If someone forces the dribbler to pick up the ball, then teammates need awareness to deny. Everyone can react to any situation. Hard! Do I double team? You decide based on the sum of the inputs available to you...does this create advantage? It can when team rotation exists...

3. React...have the alertness and awareness to make plays when plays are available. 

Crutchfield believes in early and consistent offensive attack...


A picture is worth a thousand words; a video even more. Working from a 1-4 set initiates the attack. 

Crutchfield's teams use a myriad of "simple" fundamental actions:

First, I'd suggest noting the spacing and the reads of the opposite post. Just a few actions:

-Attack from the elbow
-Inside outside action
-Pinch post-like action
-Backdoor action off the initial cut
-Flex-like action
-DHO into return pass
-Back cut off Flex-like action
-Scissor DHO

Lagniappe: Do what you can, not what you could. via @coachliamflynn

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