Let The Kids Play!

There were some interesting end of game strategies on Friday and Saturday in the first and second rounds. Siena coach Fran McCaffrey -in the first round against Ohio State- and Gonzaga coach Mark Few - in the second round against Western Kentucky- chose not to call timeouts in the last seconds of the game. It paid off both times.

Actually, it paid off twice for Siena. Ronald Moore hit a 3 pointer to and the game into a second overtime, then hit the winning 3 at the end of the second overtime.

On the other hand, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan called a timeout at the end of regulation against Florida State - about a second before his guard, Jason Bohannon hit what would have been the game winning 3 pointer. Coach Ryan also called timeout at the end of the first overtime to set up a play. Wisconsin went on to win but only after Trevon Hughes saved them after the play that was called broke down.

Too often coaches don't trust their players to make a play. If you have confidence in your guards, why call a timeout? Heck, you're going to call your favorite end of the game play anyway right? Shouldn't your players already know what that is? Calling a timeout to set up your offense also allows the opposing coach to set up his defense. In a game I watched with my sons' AAU just before heading out last Sunday, we were up by 5 with 59 seconds to go and the ball in our hand. No shot clock in this league. Jay-Whiz brought the ball up and Coach Dad called "you know what to do" from the sideline. The opposing coach looked confused. Twin A then called spread and the ball was passed 5 times to the perimeters before the opposing coach started screaming 'FOUL' to his players at the top of his lungs.

This isn't a plug for Delta Fastbreak or indictment of Coach Ryan, he's one of the best coaches in the country. Rather, it's an an indictment of coaches being way too controlling. It's an extension of what happens throughout the a game: A coach standin and yelling what seems like every second, directing like an orchestra conductor. Why aren't coaches like John Wooden, who actually sat on the bench almost all of his games. He was content that he had taught his players enough in practice. He didn't have to stand and yell the entire 40 minutes. In some cases you'll notice it's almost as if the coach is saying "look at me! I'm on my feet the whole game! I'm really coaching them up!" Sit down already guys.

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