Like his coaching style or not, Frank Martin is a very intelligent basketball mind. I was impressed with his down-to-earth demeanor and more impressed with his defensive philosophy. A lot of what he teaches "makes sense", as he put it frequently, with me. The following are some of the notes from his clinic talk at the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches convention in San Antonio.
- Don't cheat your kids. It's the reason you coach. Someone kicked your ass into doing it right. Don't allow your kids to slide.
- If you allow [your opponent] to set up, play, and establish their identity, they'll beat you.
- Defense starts with pressure offense. Run every time. We're going to put you on your heels
- Re: Pressure Defense, "I believe in making [our opponents] throw long passes."
- Re: Communication, "If you care about winning, you talk to your teammates!"
- Teams now are either going to shoot 3's. If they dribble drive, it's going to be a dunk. There is no in-between game anymore." - Prepare accordingly.
- Re: Halfcourt Defense, Teams don't get easy baskets against set defenses that are back and ready to guard.
- Re: Wing Denial Backdoor Cuts, On-ball defender responsible for the lob (ball pressure will eliminate easy look as well as make the pass longer, higher, slower). 1 pass away (deny position) is responsible for taking away the bounce pass.
- Passes go over or under the defense; never THROUGH the defense. Create long passes.
- Opponents never catch the ball facing the basket. Defender should apply so much pressure that they always catch with back to the bucket.
- Teaching point: On ball defense - "Crawl up in him." [I like this terminology. Creates an image of a low stance]
- Teaching point: On ball defense - "Crack of your ass to the glass." Nose on top hip.
- Basic philosophy: No layups. No 3's. Hard 2's.
- Put tennis balls in the hands of the defenders, especially in 1-on-1 drills. Keeps hands off the offense and eliminates hand checking.
- "We don't accept being screened."
- Teaching point: 1 pass away - "Shrink the gap." On the line, up the line.
- When a dribble drive occurs, we don't teach the 1-pass-away to open up and turn his back to the offense. We teach our guys to plug the gap with their butt. This allows our guys to see their man the whole time and makes for quicker close outs.
"Your job is to not let [your players] accept who they are. You job is to make them better than they were."