"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Thursday, January 31, 2013

20 Reasons (re-post 1.18.2011)

Fundamentals: serving as, or being an essential part of, a foundation or basis; basic; underlying: fundamental principles; the fundamental structure.

Bryce Bailey

I watch a lot of basketball. 

I feel very comfortable giving my opinion on basketball. 

I was fortunate enough to play (and watch) basketball, be named a captain my senior year, and play in the Div III Final Four at Wittenberg University in 1987. I was, and still am, a Tiger. Wittenberg University is the all-time victory leader (1653 wins and counting) in NCAA division III basketball history. During my time there I was also fortunate (As you can see the the key word is fortunate) to play for coach Larry Hunter. Coach Hunter, according to available research, has compiled a record of 600-325 (.649) and is the 61st NCAA men's basketball coach all-time at all levels and 38th at the NCAA Division I level, including the 12th active coach to reach the 600-win plateau. Hunter joins the likes of all-time wins leader - Mike Krzyzewski; Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, Bob Huggins, Roy Williams, Jerry Slocum, Bo Ryan, Cliff Ellis, Mike Montgomery, Rick Byrd and Rick Pitino among the active coaches with 600 victories.

While I was at Wittenberg I played behind Tim Casey (Div. III player of the year in 1985 and 2-Time All-American), Steve Iannarino (All-American and Wittenberg's All-Time leading scorer, and Steve Allison (All-American and top ten all-time scorer at Wittenberg).

All three men are in the Wittenberg Hall of fame. 

Those are the players I went against everyday and played behind for my entire career at Wittenberg. I imagine I was awarded the "Tiger Award" for the simple fact that I had to compete against all of them during my four years there. And though Wittenberg isn't a division one program and I was not a D-1 player I do believe all involved at Witt learned how to play the game the right way.

So with that, I feel very confident in giving my opinion on the game of basketball. I am no Bob Knight, Rick Pitino or Coach K... I just believe I understand how the game should be played.

Below is a piece I wrote two years ago (Bryce was a freshman then) in response to Bryce's JV coach's request to give 20 reasons why they lost. I believe that is/was the coaches job. Ninth and tenth grade kids playing basketball don't know 20 valuable things about the game of basketball.

I hope you enjoy... it was therapeutic for me to write.

Again, my goal wasn't to be arrogant, and I apologize if I came across as a horse's butt. I just wanted to re-post this piece because I believe many, if not all, of my words still ring true today as I watch my son play varsity basketball in this his junior year season. At times it's very difficult to watch. -sbb

 #22: Bryce


My son Bryce, as well as all of his teammates, had to write a paper for their JV Coach tonight outlining "20" reasons why they have lost their last 4 out of 5 games. They got beat this evening by Jonathon Alder. 

The coach wants it at the beginning of practice tomorrow.

20 Reasons for this Season

(1) Communication: We lack communication. The quickest way to become a group of players that form a team and not group of players that are a group of individuals is to communicate with each other. Communicating isn't screaming "ball, ball, ball", it is calling out screens, shouting "shot" when the ball goes up, calling out "cutters" and yelling out "deny" when a player picks up his dribble. Communication also entails encouraging your teammates as often as possible. Communication can be a look of approval, a high five or a pat on the back. Communication is the key and we don't communicate. The greatest way to build trust with your teammate is to "consistently" communicate.

(2) Rebounding: Specifically "defensive" rebounding. One of the most important keys to any basketball game is to limit the number of possessions the other team gets. The quickest way to "increase" the other team's amount of possessions is to let them dominate the boards (... especially when they are on offense... turn overs don't help either). We don't rebound because our first move, once the shot goes up, is to the basket not to our opponent. When we consistently rebound we will greatly improve our chances to win. We need to put a butt on someone every time the shot goes up and box them out. (4 on 4 shell game during practice is the best way to improve this. You stay on the court until you get a defensive rebound... it works)

Ball fake & create contact

(3) Turnovers: Turnovers, like a lack of defensive rebounding, increase the number of possessions for the other team. Everyone must treat the ball like they would their imac, ipod or ipad. Guards, specifically point guards, must protect the team from having too many turn overs. If a guard lets a big man or non guard bring the ball up the court and there is a turnover it's the point guards fault. A point guard must demand the ball and get the ball up the court. The point guard is the coach on the floor and he must recognize what situations give his teammates the best chance to succeed. To whom much is given, much is expected. There is nothing more valuable than the coach giving you the ball... point guards either control game or they don't. It's that simple.

(4) Awareness: We need to be more aware of the shooters on the other team and communicate it. We also must be mindful who is in the game for us and get our best shooters and scorers good looks at the basket. We have to recognize, identify and execute.

(5) Transition Defense: Get back on defense and stop the ball as soon as we can. When we don't do this we give up easy baskets and get in foul trouble.

Play "D" with your feet....

(6) Transition Offense: Look up the court and get some easy baskets. Getting easy baskets takes the pressure of our half court sets and demoralizes the other team. Easy baskets also creates more intensity for our defense. Run a secondary break and down screen for your shooters. Down screen not just to get a shot off, but to create separation/space and to throw it in and out of the post.

(7) Defense: Play defense with our feet not our hands. We (I) commit too many dumb fouls that put the other team in the bonus sooner thus giving them more opportunities at the foul line. Bad fouls also hurt our team because we limit the time our best players play.

Be aggressive!

(8) Hedge the Pick: Every team loves to "high pick and roll" with a guard and a big man. We have to help and "hedge the pick". When we don't we get killed in the lane when the guard penetrates.

(9) Out of Bounds Plays: Defensively we get to caught up in picks too easily creating lay ups for the other team. We either need to execute getting over a screen or play zone on the out a bounds plays that are under our own basket.

(10) Zone Offense: The guards need to do a better job penetrating the zone so to get open looks for shooters spotting up. It's OK to pick against a zone defense.

Be a leader!

(11) Ball Fake: When players close out on us, especially when they are in a zone, we need to do a better job of ball faking. When we ball fake we then can take one dribble to create distance and space between us and defender thus creating a better look at the basket or finding an open man.

(12) Free Throws: Make them... they are free. We have to have a goal as a team to shoot 75% or better at the line. Good foul shooters concentrate when they are tired. Good foul shooters have the same pre-shot routine and shot the same way every time. Good teams make their foul shots.

(13) Enthusiasm: Be excited to play... don't be timid or nervous... be excited. Enthusiasm is contagious. The point guard has to get the others involved physically, mentally and emotionally. That is what a leader does.

(14) Leader: We have no defined leader "on the court". Someone has to step up and be a leader "on the court". He has to communicate with everyone and be someone the coach can trust to lead "on the court". We are half way through the season. Who is our leader on the court? That has to be me and I have not been consistent in being a leader. Leaders don't get in foul trouble and they don't turn the ball over... and they don't panic.

(15) Lay ups: We miss too many lay ups. We need to concentrate and be under control when we get lay up opportunities.

Push the ball...

(16) Reverse the ball: On offense if we consistently reverse the ball we will get more wide open shots. We will also put more pressure on the defense. Reversing the ball makes the defense become more reactive. The more situations we put the defense in that makes them react the more control we have offensively.

(17) Penetrate: The more we penetrate offensively the more pressure we put on the defense, we increase our chances for three point plays and getting our opponents in foul trouble when we get in the lane with an advantage. When we penetrate "under control" good things happen.

(18) Dribble with a purpose: The ball moves faster in the air than it does by dribbling it. Dribble with a purpose, if there is nothing there pass it and cut.

Force ball to the screen. Hedge the pick.

(19) Consistent effort and execution: For "4" quarters. We need to be more consistent with our effort and our defensive and offensive execution. Being consistent takes self discipline AND DESIRE.

(20) Sense of Urgency: We need to play with a sense of urgency from the very beginning of the game. Either this is important or it's not... we, the players, ultimately decide.

I could give you a reason for how I failed in each of these areas, but it really comes down to the same thing in each instance.


When I become consistent at being "fundamentally sound" I will be become a better player and a more significant contributor to the team. 

Thanks for your patience.

Bryce (and his Dad)

sbb  18.1.11
Basketball Jones  .  Barry White & Chris Rock

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