1. What do you consider the qualifications of a sound player? Generally, the qualifications sought are speed, good mental attitude, natural ability, willingness to cooperate, agility, aggressiveness and desire.
2. What system of attack do you recommend to penetrate the one defense? In attacking a zone I believe in the following:
- Follow a definite plan and make your pattern work.
- Dribble only when absolutely necessary.
- Use sharp accurate passes-the bounce pass in close quarters, and the two-hand chest pass on the outside.
- Pass quickly to keep the defenders moving.
- Don’t be in a hurry; take only good shots.
3. Do you believe a player should be able to play both the forward and guard positions, or do you think it sufficient to train him in the position of his choice?
It is desirable for a player to be able to operate at either the forward or the guard position. This will not only give him a chance to play more, but will make him more valuable to the team. A boy, however, should be permitted to play his favorite post when conditions are favorable.
4. Do you approve of any special diet for your squad? It may be difficult to follow a definite diet, but I would advise a balanced diet avoiding excessive greasy foods and sweets. Regular meals should be eaten each day with plenty of fruits and vegetables. It is not desirable to eat closer than three hours to the time you are going to play. Before a game at night it is a good idea to eat the heavy meal in the middle of the afternoon. The safest maxim to be applied then is-eat lightly and early enough before game time.
5. Who is responsible for the defensive position of the team during a free throw? The free thrower is responsible for the defensive positions. Before he takes his foul shot he should check to see that the two smallest men are back court and the two tallest players are stationed along the foul lanes.
6. Should there be some organized methods of getting possession of the ball on held balls with an occasional scoring play used? I don’t know how many held balls occur during a game but all teams should have some organized method in gaining possession of the ball. Offensively, a good team has a play or two to use on held-ball situations with which they may score or gain a scoring position with the ball. Many games are won in the last moments by a successfully executed held-ball play.
7. Is it advisable to change a player’s improper shooting form even though he has a good shooting average? It has been my experience not to change a boy’s style of shooting if his shooting average is good. It is not necessary that all players shoot exactly alike in basketball just as baseball players shouldn’t have the same form at the plate in swinging the bat. Only the results are really important.
8. How much time do you spend on fundamentals during the course of a season? Fundamentals are stressed in every practice session. Other things being of equal value, the team that has mastered the fundamentals will win. Every coach has a task in selling his players on the value of fundamentals, so that they will want to work hard until the correct fundamental procedures have been learned.
9. Do you allow your players to play outside games during the season? No. I believe two games per week and three practice sessions are enough basketball for any high school boy. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, which governs high school athletics, permits only two games per week. Playing outside ball, in my opinion, weakens the boy and takes too much time away from his studies. Practice sessions are carefully planned so that the boys are not worked too hard. Outside ball games will prove disastrous to the boy and to the team.
10. How do you defend against the fast break? Basically, the most effective method in stopping a fast breaking offense lies in the ability of the defense to slow down the first offensive pass. While this is being done the defense must quickly come down the court to their defensive positions.
11. What things do you emphasize before a game? The following things are emphasized: Type of defense to be used, strong and weak points of the opposing players and types of offense we will use. I remind the boys of how important it is to fight the opponent off the boards, and to take charge of the game at the opening whistle.
12. Do you believe in the use of “gadgets” to help develop your players? I do, to a certain extent. We use medicine balls to develop wrists and arms, jumping rope for coordination and footwork, deflated basketballs to curtail dribbling. We practice rebounding and jumping by placing a lid over the basket, we strengthen leg muscles by climbing stairs. Blacked-out glasses are used to help keep the head up while dribbling.
13. What do you do to enliven your practice sessions? We give our drills an element of competition. We line up a defensive man against an offensive player; the desire to out-maneuver the opponent and score generates a lot of spirit. We choose two teams at the beginning of the season for engaging in shooting contests, and relays. Scores are kept to keep the competition keen. However, care must be taken not to stay on any one drill too long.
14. What do you expect from your squad during the season? I expect the boys to attend all practice sessions and to be on time. I expect them to be loyal to me, to their teammates, and to their school. They are expected to wear coats and ties to all home and away games. I expect them to be courteous and cooperative to the faculty, the captain, and to their teammates. Positively no smoking or drinking of any alcoholic beverages is allowed at any time.