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    Keswick coach looking for some opinions

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    fjl35879
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    Post by fjl35879 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:00 am

    I do not post very often, but am in need of some feedback from some of the more experienced coaches on the site. I have been coaching for about five years and have really made a strong commitment, over the last two years, to improving basketball at Keswick by devoting my time and energy to the student athletes. I have seen allot of growth by my players, physically and mentally, during these last two years and although we are far from being a top team in the York region we definitely have made allot of progress (semi finals tier 2 last year and 15th ranked tier one this year).

    Tonight we had it handed to us by a very strong Newmarket team. The final score was Newmarket 96 Keswick 55. We came into the game with only 6 active players, 3 of them regular starters, due to kids being sick and injured. During the last 4 minutes of the fourth quarter, already down by at least 35 points I called a time out and urged my players to go out and try to get the lead down by running our press after a basket. We were successful at getting a few steals and cutting the lead down to 30-32 points. Newmarkets coach then decides enough is enough and brings in his starting five to full court press our team for the rest of the game and see if his team can either break 100 or get a dunk before the game is finished. Suffice to say that they had one dunk attempt and nearly reached the 100 mark.

    During the last 30-45 seconds I tried to have our players get over the half and hold the ball as a sign that we had accepted the fact that the game was over. Newmarket continued to press and go for their 100 points. Thankfully our pg has some handles and dealt well with the pressure.

    My question here is did I some how bring this on myself and my team by asking them to go out and press after each basket for the last four minutes of the game, as the Newmarket coach told me later, or was the coach from the other team a bit excessive in his handling of the situation.

    Any and all replies are appreciated.

    Thanks

    Francis Lundrigan
    Jr. BBall Coach
    Keswick High School
    panathas
    panathas
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    Post by panathas on Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:13 am

    If I was down by 35 points I would do the same thing. You need to get something positive out of the game for your players, and trying to press so you can minimize the damage is a good idea. Without being there and assuming that your side of the story is accurate, it sounds to me that the Newmarket coach wanted to win by alot as to prove something. What he should of done was to break your press and force you to retreat, with your dignity intact.

    Down by 35 with 4 minutes to go is an excessive lead, he should of broken your press with his bench. Even if he wasn't happy at how his bench responded to your press, he could of put in a few of his starters to break your press, but there was no need to press you back. There have been numerous games where my team this year has been up by 30-40 points going into the 4th and I play my bench in the 4th quarter. Most of those games we end up winning by 15-20 points, and I have no problem with that. Winning by 40 or by 15 is the same 2 points in the standings.


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    Post by coachblue on Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:14 am

    the other coach was certainly excessive in their behaviour especially in junior basketball...your team pressed to "cut" the lead to 30 and the other coach was "threatened" by this?


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    wcbasketball
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    Post by wcbasketball on Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:55 am

    Great points by Panathas and coachblue. I would like to add that this kind of behaviour by a coach makes me wonder who are the kids and who are the adults. For him to say that you brought it upon yourself is childish at best.
    Coach Lundrigan, you did the right thing because you at least let your kids finish their season with dignity by feeling they made some progress against a really good team. That is the main point. The childish behaviour of the Newmarket coach only makes his kids think that they failed by not accomplishing 100 points instead of feeling good about a strong performance and that it is OK to act like this. It also makes his team a target as many coaches, fans and players would like nothing better than to see them fall which is not fair to his players. The kids are simply following instructions and will be looked upon negatively for it.
    I will finish off by saying it is amazing that the Newmarket coach would have the audacity to make a point about trying to stick it to Keswick after the game is done. Even if that was your intention, the behaviour becomes immature even more due to the comments made after the game.
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    fjl35879
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    Post by fjl35879 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:42 am

    I should add that I did not shake the coaches hand at the end of the game, maybe a little immature on my part but I was really frustrtaed at the time, and that his comments came after the game outside of the gymnasium in response to me saying that I did not want to have a converstaion with him about the way the game ended.

    Francis Lundrigan
    Dunbarton
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    Post by Dunbarton on Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:12 am

    It comes down to sportsmanship which is another word for playing with honour despite the score. I would venture that a coach who reacts the way this one did is unsportsmanlike.

    I think coaches who are like-minded with respect to fairness lose the moral high ground when we refuse to shake hands etc. I understand your feelings here coach. I made a point of shaking the Vaughn coach's hand even though I found myself shaking with anger. I have had a coach storm out of the gym after a 7 point loss in the DRIT final refusing to shake. The problem with that was we never had a chance to talk about what the problem was...I still have no idea. The power of this forum is that through conversation we can hopefully come to an understanding of how most, if not all, coaches would like to see that game played. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a coaches' timeout where we could stop the game and calmly discuss such issues...Pollyanna-like maybe but a thought.

    Clearly Keswick basketball was the winner in the big picture. Keep up the good work coach :-)


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    CoachImgrund
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    Post by CoachImgrund on Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:40 am

    First of all, I'm responding to your post not because I'm an experienced coach (I'm trumped by MOST other coaches on here!!) but because I have some thoughts to add.

    I remember being in the EXACT situation you were in but on the other side. We had a nice 30 point lead with about 4 minutes to go, and the other team started pressing our bench. That year, our bench was very weak and constantly turned the ball over to the full court pressure. Although this only reduced the lead to around 25 points, I substituted all of my starters back in with instructions NOT to score. They were told that if they scored, they wouldn't be playing another basketball game for us that season. I figured this way we were able to beat the pressure, and then just go through a few half court offenses. In retrospect, maybe I should have substituted in just two ball handlers, but to me, beating a press is a team thing, and I was more comfortable with my starters in.

    I guess my mentality in that situation was I didn't want the other teams starters taking advantage of our bench. With that being said, the full court pressing and even SCORING in the last 4 minutes by the other teams starters in completely unacceptable. I mean, had he just subbed in his starters and didn't go for 'pizza' or a dunk, would that have bothered you?

    In other words, I agree with Panathas. Beat the press, and have your team retreat with their dignity in tact. I don't think ANY BODY, no matter what they do, causes another team to show the lack of sportsmanship that the Newmarket coach apparently showed that game.

    I also agree with Dunbarton! Always shake another coaches hand no matter how you feel - take the high road. After our game with Vaughan, I ACCIDENTLY didn't shake Coach Alkin's hand as I was still shaking with anger. I made a point of going back up to him right after I missed the 'shake' and shook his hand in front of all our players. It was tough but I think it was the right thing to do.
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    Tigercoach
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    Post by Tigercoach on Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:25 pm

    Coach Lundrigan, in both of our meetings this season the Keswick basketball program showed nothing but class. Your players are both hard working and respectful, what more can you ask? Congratulations on your strong performance at the Kawartha Classic in Peterborough this past weekend. I heard that you lost to Bishop Ryan in the "B" final. We (Holy Trinity) ended up winning the "C" division, thanks for putting us there! As for your recent playoff game, I am somewhat familiar with the program at Newmarket HS having played at 3 of the same tournaments as them this season. Here is my take on the situation: Newmarkets success is relatively recent and both the players and the coaches are pretty pumped up about it. I think that they may be trying to send a message to the perennial powerhouse programs in the York region by putting up the most points possible regardless of who their opponents are or how they do it. Fair enough. All you can do is try to get your team to do the best that they can, and from what I've seen you've done that. Any time my team has a 20+ lead the priority becomes getting the bench some playing time. 3 or 4 starters stay out and their job is to set up scoring chances for 1 or 2 bench players, even if the other team is pressing to reduce the deficit. Young star players often complain about this tactic, but it's my job as a coach to help them understand concepts like sportsmanship and player development.

    Keep up the good work Francis
    panathas
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    Post by panathas on Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:52 pm

    I have the same tactic Tigercoach with regards to blowouts.

    If you are a good team then you will be judged by your results against the top teams. Trying to beat teams by 30 because you want to send a message is inappropriate. At the end of the day a win is a win.


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    Post by CoachImgrund on Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:37 pm

    Maybe Dwill can clarify what his coaches intentions were???

    The general consensus seems to be that this was not very sportsmanlike of Newmarket and Coach Livingstone.
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    Dwill#8
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    Post by Dwill#8 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:51 pm

    Although i completely agree that it was wrong....i do think that it was for some reason because obviously sportsmanlike matters come into play but the thing was that all the starters and players from newmarket were good friends with those of keswick and even though their coach had done the right thing by making them hold it, the players while on the court, discussed with myself and others, the idea of scoring 100.
    again, huge apologies from myself and the team and it was more of a players thing rather than coaches because of what talk had been going on between players.
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    Dwill#8
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    Post by Dwill#8 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:23 pm

    u hope this helps, and no disrespect coach....it was also just in the heat of the game and because it was playing time...again, my apologies
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    Avengers_5
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    Post by Avengers_5 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:25 pm

    our best player only played like 6mins the entire game
    CoachImgrund
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    Post by CoachImgrund on Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:26 pm

    I knew we'd get an honest player's opinion from you Dwill. I don't think anyone is blaming you or the other players on Newmarket's team. It's the coaches responsibilty to keep the score in check. 100 may be a milestone for you guys, but think about the other team. If your coach doesn't feel that keeping the score in check is the right thing to do, maybe you can tell him yourself or point him to this thread.
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    Dwill#8
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    Post by Dwill#8 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:32 pm

    agreed and it was wrong from coaching standpoint but again, like my teammate said, our best player sat all of the 2nd and 3rd quarters along with parts of the rest, to resist running up the score so although wrong, was also frustration on his part among others that didnt play. So we will talk to him and the rest of the team because it wasnt the right thing to do but i guess theres also the side that we are still kids and it was for fun because i know my teammates and if the other team had been finding it offensive, we would stop but it was just for the fun of the game.
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    Game Time
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    Post by Game Time on Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:17 pm

    Although i do respect the fact that you are taking responsibility for something that shouldn't have happened you can't go out spreading "sketchy" information to others that were not at the game. The only reason your best player didnt play most of the second and all of the third quarter was because he had 4 fouls. I dont really know why you did what you did seeing how you saw the size of the keswick bench and there was a huge lead for you to work with in a game u were expected to win by large #'s. I don't know maybe im outta line but keswick was in rough shape before the game started let alone after you tried to hit triple digits.

    P.S. fans in the crowd were already eating pizza so that can't be your excuse!!

    Goodluck in the play-offs and i hope this changes your perspective if your in the situation again!
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    wcbasketball
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    Post by wcbasketball on Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:39 pm

    I had a situation last year with my girls team where Mt Carmel was pressing me with a 30 point lead and a minute and a half left with my starters on the bench. I loudly let the coach know it was unacceptable at the time and then blasted him about it after the game. Even though in my mind, he didn't deserve my handshake, I didn't ever consider not doing it. That would be my only critisism on your part Coach Lundrigan.
    I feel that you handled yourself very well otherwise and as u can see, a lot of us have had that shaking with anger feeling at an opposing coach.
    "DWill#8", you seem like a very mature young man and I commend you for apologizing and stating that what your team did was wrong. Even though you are trying to deflect the blame off of your coach and bring some responsibility to you and your teammates, it is him who controls who is on late in the game during a blowout. There was no reason for you guys to be on the court in the first place.
    It is also quite clear to me once again that your not in some coaches Christmas Cards list, coach Alkins! LOL! Wow!


    Last edited by wcbasketball on Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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    stevelogan92
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    Post by stevelogan92 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:51 pm

    wcbasketball,

    Who was the coach of Mt Carmel? If you happen to remember his or her name.
    If it was Coach Tucci I would be shocked. He coached the girls team when I attended there I dont know about now, He always taught us that winning wasnt eevrything but winning the right way was more important. Aswell as no matter what the outcome both teams should leave gym respecting there opponent win or loss.

    I am just asking because im curious to know who is coaching for my own knowledge.
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    wcbasketball
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    Post by wcbasketball on Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:25 am

    Whoever was the coach during the 2007/2008 season. Regardless, it is in the past and I don't want to start a thread where it becomes a discussion. There was a lot about that situation that I would prefer to leave alone. My reason for bringing it up was because it was the one situation where I felt my kids were being embarrassed. I stood up for them but I was very upset at a lot of things in that situation, not just the pressing.
    Hey, nobody's perfect. We all make mistakes so I don't think it is refective of the individual as I have not read of it happening again at that school.
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    bigbrotha
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    Post by bigbrotha on Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:53 am

    [quote="Game Time"]The only reason your best player didnt play most of the second and all of the third quarter was because he had 4 fouls. [/quote]

    Its tru that he had 4 fouls but the bench did play alot in that game. all the starters sat out for most of the 3rd & 4th. Coach likes to play the bench alot even in a very close game, so much that i sometimes question his motives, but i do agree there was no reason fo the starters to come back in at the end. although dwill is being very brave & honorable for taking the heat, in the end its the coach responsibility.

    like someone already said, newmarkets success is fairly new (although they won tier 2 last year) so they & the coach are still learnin.
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    maple kid
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    Post by maple kid on Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:59 am

    Ive been to many of the vss games. It would be different if they were beating teams by using their bench. Not just in the last 2 mins of the game when they are up by 30-40. There is no need to press, or fastbreak at that point of the game. It should be about developing the skills of players. I have yet to see coaches really teach the game. Good cuts, picks, run proper sets. If your starters get the job done trow in the bench players and let them learn as well. If I were a bench player on that team I would have left 20 games ago. IMO they are used as practice dummies. IMO its not about the development its about the win at all costs mentlity. And Im just a highschool kid!!!!
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    Dwill#8
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    Post by Dwill#8 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:56 pm

    about what everybody said before, i understand that it may seem like i am deflecting the blame off my coaches but yess i do agree with you, although myself, being one of the starters, played, i shouldnt have been on but again like big brotha said: our school and coaches are very new to success and especially for them, are still getting used to it. so again, full apologies to the keswick coaches and players and ive taken it on myself to talk to the coaches which i had a chance to today and they also agree that it was wrong and itll take both the starters giving up playing time and the coaches themselves having the decency to replace us.

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