Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Richmond coach’s name may emerge

Richmond coach Chris Mooney, left, talks with guard Kevin Anderson against Morehead State on Saturday, March 25, 2011 in Denver.

Richmond coach Chris Mooney, left, talks with guard Kevin Anderson against Morehead State on Saturday, March 25, 2011 in Denver.


The Richmond Spiders have one of the most marketable young coaches in the country in 38-year-old Chris Mooney.

The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch newspaper on Monday wondered whether Mooney might emerge as a candidate for openings at such schools as Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and/or Providence.

“After six seasons of developing the UR program, Mooney seems highly likely to draw interest from at least one of those schools (Georgia Tech seems the best fit for the Princeton graduate),” the Times-Dispatch staff wrote in a non-bylined notes item.

“Last year, Mooney was contacted by Seton Hall and interviewed at Boston College before signing a new contract at UR that runs through 2016-17. The Spiders, who won the Atlantic 10 Conference championship after earning an NCAA at-large bid last season, lose four senior starters, including two 1,000-point scorers (Justin Harper and Dan Geriot) and a 2,000-point scorer (Kevin Anderson), from this season’s team. It’s a logical time for a young, successful coach to move to a job that would double what he makes at UR (his Spiders’ compensation is climbing near $700,000 a year),” the paper reported.

Princeton offense

Richmond coach Mooney, who played college ball at Princeton, runs his variation of the Princeton offense. Apparently it’s not as methodical as the Princeton style of the past.

“I don’t think we run the traditional Princeton offense. There’s a lot of different things that we do,” senior guard Kevin Anderson told the Times-Dispatch. “We run a lot of ball screens within that Princeton offense. The guys that are on the court are so talented that the Princeton offense, it’s just really a name. But it helps us out, gets us moving, gives us an extra advantage over different teams. I mean, that takes difficulty in trying to guard a fast-paced offense like the Princeton offense.”

No. 12 seed Richmond, which defeated No. 5 Vanderbilt, wasn’t the only upset winner in Denver last weekend. No. 13 Morehead State beat No. 4 Louisville and No. 11 Gonzaga stopped No. 6 St. John’s.

“There’s so much parity in college basketball now,” Mooney told the Times-Dispatch. “There’s a fine line between how good a high-major program can be and how good a really good Atlantic 10 team can be.”

Of his team, Mooney told the Times-Dispatch: “You know, this is the NCAA Tournament. That’s what it’s all about. I see a very determined team. I think the guys are determined to keep playing as well as we possibly can.”

This, that

Anderson, a 6-0 guard from Atlanta, is second on Richmond’s career scoring list with 2,152 points. John Newman (1983-86) is career leader with 2,383 points. ... VCU is located in Richmond, meaning the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 has two teams from the same city for the first time since UCLA and USC in 2007.


100 9 years, 7 months ago

This Richmond team is really very solid & very methodical.

We need to come out tough as nails, playing ferocious clamp down D, having a blast....

Everything else happens from there....

And on O, just like last game.... It's all about going through the Morris brothers....

If the twins really really really want to beat Richmond...

We will.

Protect our turf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Richmond was one of the last teams to come into the Phog and win, happened early in Self's first couple years here.... What a perfect time to give the twins & company a chance to stand up for Coach Self again & win another one "for coach!")

Beat Richmond!!!!!!!!!!!!

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

"The Two P's for Stepping on Spiders"

  1. Push out their treys.

  2. Pound it inside.

Michael Luby 9 years, 7 months ago

Exactly! They shoot the trey pretty good but KU is even better at defending it. And, if we run our offense through the twins like we did with the Illini, then Richmond doesnt have enough depth inside to hang with us.

yates33333 9 years, 7 months ago

jaybate. I wish you were announcing the games instead of Gumbel and Mumble.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

I wish I were too. He makes serious bones. :-)

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Thx for the assist. CBS pays well, too. :-)

waywardJay 9 years, 7 months ago

SO this is what it's like being on the undercard for Conan Obrein and George Lopez......

KGphoto 9 years, 7 months ago

We've been getting Assbiter and the Pres., which is a nice break from that strange, flirty banter between Bored Bobby and Musberger. Seriously those two need to get a room. But Assbiter and the Pres. ultimately belong in the NBA. They have that 100-game-season pace about them.

For the win-or-go-home, seniors-last-game, buzzer-beater NCAA tournament, I think my ultimate choice would be Gus Johnson, reading jaybate. Wow! That would be fun. JB you'll be tempted to type in all caps, but be careful about elevating Gus' intensity.

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 7 months ago

I just hope Craig Sager and his pink blazer are at the game. That thing is AWESOME!!!

KGphoto 9 years, 7 months ago

Sager is snappy, but he pales in comparison to Pat Summit.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

"Chris Mooney: Stay Put and Keep Tweaking the Princeton"

I always like to see coaches teaching the Princeton fail, because it is such an annoying and ugly offense, but I also always like to see coaches playing by the rules succeed.

Ambivalence is a dog that hunts in this world.

First, Mooney wisely wants to hybridize the Princeton, because everyone associated with it, except Cappy Capon and Carril have bombed with it. Frankly, it is a self-limiting offense. Run properly, it becomes predictable, a stationary target in strategic terms that opponents begin to learn to play and beat. The Princeton's greatest strategic virtue is it takes focus and hard work to defend it--two things often in short supply. Its greatest advantage occurs the first time you run into it. After the new wears off, its just annoying, not fundamentally better.

The Princeton also isn't run by many pro teams, and fewer and fewer will run it in the future, as the Achilles Heel of its familiarity is exaggerated in a league where every team plays every other team endlessly in regular season, and even more endlessly in the play-offs.

The Princeton also has trouble attracting "long and athletics," because such recruits are not seduced by picking for 30 seconds in these days of instant gratification and Twitter length attention a correct intuition that the traditional Princeton offense is a gimmick in a cul de sac.

The key to the goodness of Mooney's team is not the Princeton this year. It is five starters that trinitize at 40% plus. They could do this in any offense. Where the Princeton creates advantage for Richmond is when the trey ball squirts Richmond into leads. Playing the Princeton with a lead is a sharp advantage, because by design it discourages runs by opponents needing to catch-up.

Remember also that the Princeton is actually a "system," not just an offense. A zone defense comes with the system, too. Playing zone has its distinct advantages, as Sleepy Boeheim at Syrexcuse has proven. But playing a zone against a good outside shooting team, like, say, Richmond, or KU, is usually an exercise in futility. And relying on a zone to catch up is often asking for trouble.

But there is no denying the Princeton can be frustrating to play against and hard to separate from and beat, because it tends to keep games close.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

So it is a great sign, when a smart young coach like Mooney begins experimenting and developing the Princeton into its next version. The Princeton 1.0 is a Model T that served well, but it is time for Princeton 2.0 and Mooney seems up to the theoretical challenge of evolving it.

1.0 is rarely the best version of anything.

Software engineers understand this.

Succeeding versions are not always better, but they are always the start of something better.

Basketball engineers aka coaches are very much like software engineers when it comes to offensive programs. They add and subtract routines and debug endlessly. The best have an eye for elegance, not just brute force inclusiveness.

Eddie Ball 1.0 developed by the Basketball Coding Wizard of Bucklin was very good. Don Haskins and Jack Hartman were on the same track, but they just couldn't quite make the lyrical leap into take what they give us that Fast Eddie made.

But there can be no doubt now that Eddie 2.0, as rewritten by Bill Self, kind of the Nathan Myrvold of Eddie Ball programmers, is much better in every aspect. It is so exceptional in fact, that some wish to call it Bill 1.0, but I am too much of a creature of legacies to go there. I will leave that leap to others.

Updates, patches and fixes are necessary, but not signs of longevity.

But new versions are. They are signs that there is still life in the old code; that the underlying logic flow (and the user base) are still robust enough to warrant a new version.

Chris Mooney works in a basketball software that is robust, despite the fact that I detest it. And it has a small, but fanatically loyal user base. He's part of that legacy, so it makes sense for him to try to take it off the dead end track it seems headed down right now and make it contemporary to today's rules and savage play.

Increasing the flexibility of the Princeton, componentizing its routines, if you will, seems the next logical strategic step. Carril always said it was not really meant to be a deliberate offense. Player talents should determine whether it was played fast, slow, or in between he has suggested. Offensively, it is a system for getting guys in motion, as is any other offense, and in position to make baskets.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Mooney seems intent on introducing more impact play into the routine; i.e, he seems to want to use the Princeton to run impact players into MUAs and shake impact players loose and then let them create. This echoes Eddies approach, and Bill's philosophy regarding the high lo, or pick and role. An offense's purpose is to keep the ball from sticking, so it moves quickly around and finds its way into the hands of the player with the greatest MUA.

Keep after it, Chris. I hate that offense with a passion, but its basic virtues make a new version seem worthwhile.


Chris, don't go to Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and/or Providence. They are mostly coaching grave yards.

GTech has gone through Cremins and Hewitt recently--two guys that seemed destined for big things till they got to the Ramblin' Wreck. My guess here is that Georgia is like Nebraska. There's just something in the soil of the state that is poisonous for basketball. It only supports football. Even pro ball has been consistently horrible in Georgia.

NC State's Wolf Pack has the most tradition to draw on, but the tradition is checkered and thin. NC State had a great team once with Norm Sloan and David Thompson (that was reputedly bought), and they had a freak run with Jim Valvano. But if you look back to Valvano, and take off the rose colored glasses that came with his inspiring struggle against cancer and his tragic death, Valvano was barely treading water at NC State, maybe sinking, at the end. And the school has been through the Herb Sendaks, and the former NC State stars recycled as coaches and so on. While I would like to see you go to NC State and join Bzzzzzzzzz Bzzzzzzzzzdelik at Wake to annoy Roy and Consonants to death and tarnish the rep of the ACC with Princeton slow ball, I think Baja KU and Fluke take up to much recruiting oxygen in that state.

Providence? The Friars seem a step sideways from Richmond regardless of conference affiliation.

Wait for something decent. Find a "University of" as Darrell Royal used to advise football coaches, but at a school where football is not king.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, board rats, the old bug that disrupts the ordering of my cut and pastes has returned mysteriously. I will resume prefacing with Part I, Part II, etc. to aid in ordering reading until the issue, as they say among ITs, is resolved.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 7 months ago

So Jaybate, is there a response coming to the comment from senior guard Kevin Anderson - “I mean, that takes difficulty in trying to guard a fast-paced offense like the Princeton offense.”

Fast paced? Richmond may run it faster than v1.0, but isn't still a very slow offense?

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 7 months ago

it seems that the "fast-paced" comment refers to the motion of the offense.

There is lots of motion and lots of screening, but getting the open look may take a long time to develop.

to play on Jaybate's theme, you could say that it requires a fast processor, because the program itself is a very rigorous formula usually requiring many iterations to find an acceptable solution.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate: I don't what is going on with the two of us the last two days, but I disagree with part of your post and agree with another part.

Part I-"The Agreement-Graveyard Shift"-I also agree that Providence, NC State, and Georgia Tech are graveyard schools. I don't know if I would put Georgia Tech in the same tier as NC State or Providence simply because of Georgia's Tech assesibility to the Georiga High School scene as well as the Atlanta market. Hewitt, for a while, was recruiting fantastic, but then everybody found out he couldn't coach.

Providence is for sure a graveyard. I'm still baffled at why Keno Davis took that job after succeeding at Drake. Sometimes impatience in the coaching ranks can lead to suicide for your career.

NC State's boosters, administration, president, fans, alumni, the entire 120 yards from endline to endline are just not realistic with their expectations. They want to be Duke and UNC so bad that they cheated themselves out of successful NCAA tournament births and wins when they ran off Herb Sendeck because of the "Idea" that they still weren't competing at a high enough level in relation to their tobacco rd step sisters. Sendeck also runs the Princeton offense, but it was a style that was effective in the ACC because as you stated, Jaybate, it frustrates big, strong, quick, and athletic teams like UNC and Duke. NC State deserves everything that is happening to it's athletic program at the moment. You never "Short-Cut" success by firing someone because you think that success isn't good enough. NC State, maybe you have to accept who you are...............A bottom tiered ACC school. OWN IT! ACCEPT IT!


jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago


It is called two healthy minds discussing complex issues with limited information. Please, always understand that I mean always to show respect to those that think about things and express them honestly, regardless of agreement, or disagreement, and that compassion and patience are coins of the realm when discussing things. Tolerant disagreement is healthy. Assuming others are flat wrong and idiots is unhealthy.

It is a privilege and an honor to disagree, or agree with you.

You are trying to get better.

And so am I.

I learned so much from Truhawk and HEM this season about online discourse and the essential role of tolerance in interactive communication.

There was an old saying among social theorists about technology: High tech and high touch. I always took it to mean as high tech increases in one's life, the need for high touch increases too.

I haven't heard the phrase in a long time.

But I think it is relevant to online, or social, communities like this one. Posting and reading happens within a high tech interconnectivity environment. I think persons may need more high touch due to the simultaneously spiked anonymity and spiked intimacy of communication enabled online.

It is unusual to communicate in such detail regularly with anyone, as we do here, and it is particularly unprecedented in human society to do so under cover of aliases.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with it at all. I am just saying that it is a fundamentally different kind of communication that may require evolving cues in etiquette/manners to keep it on a functional path.

You are among our most informed and generous contributors here and the more you know and the more we open up discourser, the more we are apt to disagree and learn from each other.

Disagreement is the first step to insight.

HEM and I disagreed mightily for a time, so much so that we began to have trouble learning anything from each other.

But then we found a path to walk together that allowed for us to disagree and I've been learning from him ever since.

I am rather proud of what he, or she, though I assume a he, did this season. I hope it set a precedent for conflict resolution among aliases in the future.

You and I disagreeing hardly amounts to anything at all in my mind.

Yes, of course, there is some sense of loss, when I think how closely our thoughts have tracked, but I prefer to look at the gain. Your mind is taking you off in new directions that mine is not doing, and so if you can stand the dissonance, I can learn even more from you now.

Rock Chalk and be of good cheer. The journey is never over till its over and fascinating wherever it leads.

I look forward to agreeing and disagreeing with you always.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Once again, Lebowski notices what we all overlook and cuts to the correct take on it.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate-Part II "The Disagreement-Princeton Mis-Perceived"

I know you hate the Princeton, but it is a very effective offense. The problem with the Princeton offense and why "Bigger Schools" don't run the offense is because of it's complexity. It takes highly intelligent, high basketball IQ players to have the patience, precision and timing to run it effectively. Pick and rolls, slip screens, fades, back doors all the while doing it with 5 guys that are in sync is a beautiful thing to watch. It's an awesome thing to watch just like it was watching Princeton vs Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

I agree, that at times the offense can be "Ugly" but that is usually the case because a team is significantly over-matched physically and skill-wise on the basketball court. I mean, could you imagine KU running the princeton offense? It would be something I would like to see.

As for the princeton offense in the NBA, you see it with one of the greatest franchises that also has one of the greatest players to ever play the game. The Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant run virtually the princeton offense, just with a different name. Tex Winter and his "Triangle Offense" is a direct blood relative and has direct first generation ancestory lines to the princeton offense. Granted, there is differences to the offense, but the offense had to be tweaked to fit the NBA game. I mean, the princeton offense wouldn't work in the NBA simply because of the defensive 3 second rule, which is the dumbest rule in sports IMO. With that said, because of that rule and the spacing it creates for the offense, Tex Winter created the Triangle offense for Phil Jackson and his Jordan squads and Phil then took the show to the glitz and glamour of LA for Kobe.

I can understand where people think the princeton offense is uneffective and it certainly can be with the wrong personnel. With that said, you get more college "NBA Like" teams that can understand the components of the offense and more coaches that commit to it, I think you would be pleasantly surprised at it's effectiveness.

SaulGood 9 years, 7 months ago

Might also be of note - regarding Tex Winter, a lot of the formulation for the Triangle was achieved during his years coaching K-State, pre-Chicago/Jordan dynasty. Jackson refers to this in his book "Spiritual Hoops".

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Well said! You're absolutely right, I kind of mis-spoke about it being created for Jordan and the Bulls, but it was the timing of when Phil Jackson was hired and then Jackson hired Tex Winters that all that magic was born was for Jordan and the "Triangle" was officially introduced on a large scale to the NBA.

Winters philosophies have been around forever like you stated, saulgood. He's a genius in my book. Similar to Bill Walsh in football.

SaulGood 9 years, 7 months ago

Agreed. Hey, I really enjoyed your post. Thanks!

100 9 years, 7 months ago

Not to be a thorn in your side because there is some good dialogue going on here. But just a little clarification. The inventor of the triangle offense was not, nor ever was, Tex Winter. He was one of the first to borrow the idea well. The inventor was Coach Sam Barry from USC.

For further clarification, yes Tex Winter is now a consultant with the Lakers.

But Phil Jackson long before became a proponent & leader of Sam Barry's triangle offense concept (which Jaybate is very correct, a direct disciple of Princeton's offense in many ways).

This became especially prominent for Phil during Jordan's 6 titles.

Just wanted to make sure Sam Barry got the credit he deserved & as well as Phil Jackson during his early years of coaching in the NBA. All of this came from Sam Barry, the originator of the Triangle offense.

Rock Chalk boys.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Well Stated 100! That's why I enjoy conversing with both yourself and Jaybate. This is no knock, but you both do have a little more "Life Basketball History" than I so it's an honor when you can teach me something. I know quite a bit and there isn't much that gets past me, but I did not know about Sam Barry. Very interesting.

With that said, without Phil Jackson and Tex Winter, the Princeton offense.........I mean, Triangle Offense, wouldn't be as pominent in the NBA over the last 2 decades.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Sam Barry is to Tex, as Cappy Capon was to Pete Carril.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate, I have just a minor cold, but everytime I read "Cappy Capon" a snot bubble comes flying out my nose. You make me laugh!

Tim Bingaman 9 years, 7 months ago

I bet he doesn't give a D-word about the Yellow Jackets right now!

Tim Bingaman 9 years, 7 months ago

Make that WolfPack since UIPUI's coach snagged the GT job. (Homage to ole Roy stays.)

Waylon Cook 9 years, 7 months ago

IUPUIs coach went to Georgia State not Tech I think.

justinryman 9 years, 7 months ago

Coach Mooney,

Please stay at Richmond. No I am not afraid that you will come into our conference and reek havoc, but they gave you a shot and you may leave them for more money.

Take a note from last years darling coach in Brad Stevens from Butler. He took his team to the National Title game and came up just short of winning it. I am sure he or his agent were offered more money at bigger schools, much like yourself this year. What did coach Stevens do? He stayed. Why? he knew where he got his start and how they took a chance on him.

Look at the legend that is growing in Southern Indiana, if he stays there and keeps winning at the pace he is at he will have an arena named after him at the University of Butler.

This could happen to you too. Did your mentor, leave his bench for another? No. He built his own legacy and so can you.

The grass is always greener on they other side, but here is the important part, it's still taste the same. It's just grass.

Steve Brown 9 years, 7 months ago

Recall Cornell last year came in AFH with senior laden team, made few turnovers, took high percentage shots and focused and played like a team, passed great, dared us to shoot from outside, as they stopped SC from his wild drives, came within a cat'[s wisker of beating our socks. It could happen, it won't, but could.

Steve Brown 9 years, 7 months ago

Tortoise and Hare, cinderalla, underdawg, Richmond like Cornell won't give a rat's arse about our winning tradition how many times we've been to the final four, or that we are favored. They will methodically beat their drum and we unlike the bunny, must never rest, never take a play off, keep running as if our lives depended on it, as they do.

Tom Flood 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm a Jayhawk (1985 Grad) living in Richmond. I went to one Richmond game this year and they lost at home on the buzzer to Bucknell!! They are very good, have a couple of great players, but take a lot of three's. I keep asking all the locals what time is the VCU vs. UR game on Sunday. They have no idea what kind of mission this KU team is on. Rock Chalk Jayhawk to Houston!

SaulGood 9 years, 7 months ago

I will happily put together several wise comments into a glob of self-effacing commentary. It's absolutely essential (via Lighthawk) that the comments the team members have made hold true - take nothing for granted and play every single possession as though it's a 2-0 Richmond lead. It's crucial (via Jaybate) that we push their perimeter offense out as much as possible, much like we saw vs. Illinois, but with more voracity. It's absolutely essential (via my awesome self) that we see Thomas, Markieff, and Marcus crash boards and box out on every 3-point attempt (unless they're shooting, of course). Self showed vs. Illinois that he doesn't fancy showing off how deep our bench goes unless Mooney holds a mock funeral and calls stupid, conceited timeouts (and even then, it's not about the bench, it's about our fantastic five and the tremendous contributions they will undoubtedly make on Friday night). It's always nice to know you've got those rounds in the clip, though, isn't it?

It's always a mindgame at this point. We (as fans) will be on the edge of our seats to see if we break the third curse: 1 - the letter B; 2 - 9-seeds; 3 - upsets by semi-obscurity, while the 'Hawks do the heavy lifting. I am so excited to see what we can do to gum up any which variety of the Princeton offense they throw at us. The Detroit Bad Boys and New York Knicks all proved that sometimes, some good ol' fashioned brawn can take the finesse factor off the plate - maybe that's our calling for this round.

kcglowboy 9 years, 7 months ago

Forgive the diversion, but I just want to say kudos to Gary Bedore for a small thing in this Notes column: In re-quoting the Richmond paper's story about possible interest in the Spiders' coach, I really appreciate that you specified it was a non-bylined item in a "Notes" section of that paper. Too many mainstream media reporters and media outlets these days lazily pass along what other media outlets are publishing, and all too quickly rumors become perceived as facts (case in point: one Tulsa TV reporter claiming Anderson-to-Arkansas as a done deal, and other media outlets citing the Tulsa reporter as the "source"). Thank you, Gary, for helping your readers separate rumors from reports from actual news.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 1,

dager and plastic,

What plasticJHawk said so well.

And if Mooney takes the Princeton in the directions I suspect, this discussion about it isn't over.

All great offensive strategies are based on flanking activities balanced around core points of attack that manifest to an opponent as paradoxes, or more accurately, simultaneities to contend with.

These simultaneities are hard for an opponent to keep in mind at the same time, and, even when kept in mind, are hard to anticipate, and hedge between (among is actually more accurate) in space, and over time.

Baseketball, because of the shape of the court, the skills of players, and locations of the goals, inevitably breaks down into inside vs. outside and left side vs. right side, and up and down, as do most games in 3 dimensions.

Underneath, all offenses are set up to make it difficult for defenses to anticipate and hedge possible actions, where ever the ball goes, relative to these dimensions of possible action, always with the goal as anchor and orienting attractor in the space.

Defenses resorted to also are conceived and played in ways to anticipate and hedge defensive responses relative to these dimensions and that goal.

The same goes for any activity in space. War is a classic and ancient example. But spatial marketing strategies in store, warehouse and factory locations deal with similar issues, but without the highly rationalized frontiers of rectangular boundaries/frontiers of a basketball court's rectangle, or the dynamic suddenness of change of position of basketball, or the sudden suspension of virtually all limits of human destructiveness on all aspects of the game space, as in war.

Steve Brown 9 years, 7 months ago

Iraq is a rectangle court and Sadam thought we were coming up Kuwait mid court, while Schwartzkroff played an end run around the desert for the ally oop to one of the twins. Shock and Awe boys, Shock and Awe.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 2

Further, all strategies seem to go through a life cycle of development.

Youth-the strategy works, because its conceptual simplicity and elegance is new and provides a problematic core simultaneity in the dimensions described above, that imposes difficult fundamental spatial choices on an opponent. Think Eddie 1.0. We're playing take what they give us within the confines of a motion offense.

Maturity--it works because it has grown to impose simplicity and elegance into as many conceivable dimensions of play as one can discover. Think Eddie 2.0 aka Bill 2.0. We're playing take what they give us through a constellation of sets and we're applying the doctrine of take what they give us in every way Self's fertile analytical mind can think of.

Old age--It hangs on long after its broad acceptance, because of its core principles, but has been eclipsed by newer, younger, or mature, strategies that better exploit the contemporary rule changes of a game. In fact, aspects of it are picked up an renewed, because of the robustness of the simultaneities the old strategy created. Think of Henry Iba's old offensive and defensive principles being retrofitted first by John Wooden, then by Bob Knight, then by Eddie, then by Coach Consonants, then by Bill Self.

And then there are tactics. We even see Self reintroducing the Iba weave, in a sped up and more sophisticated form that forces defenses out of just anticipating and hedging inside-out, and high-low, and left-right at point of attack, by adding side to side motion.

Frankly, looking back, it is hard to believe that the Iba weave was ever dropped from offenses, but all core strategies are, sooner, or later, reintroduced, because they are core strategies.

One more digression on the weave. Many don't get what is so great about it. Self grew up in a football state. He obviously likes football a lot. Many great football and basketball strategists have been persons attracted to both games for good reasons. They are underneath very similar games and I have always been surprised that no one has pointed this out, or that Naismith never noted it, at least to my knowledge.

Basketball is really just football moved indoors, with a round ball substituted for an oblong one, dribbling added, and with the constraint of no intentional contact added, the line of scrimage removed, and the stops between play suspended.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Insert here something I skipped over. Self's use of the Iba Weave really uses the weave to create a portable pocket, a concept used to describe setting up the quarterback's passing pocket at different locations on the field. The weave creates a kind of continuously varying point of perimeter attack by combining dribble motion side to side with short passes. It makes it vastly harder for a defense to anticipate the point of attack, especially a defense determined to apply a lot of very physical on ball pressure, and a lot of in the passing lanes pressure on the perimeter.

The weave makes it so the defense is never sure where the point of attack will come, so it cannot set up and hedge nearly as easily how to defend that point of attack. The real brilliance of Self's use of the Iba Weave is his recognition that when you create a portable point of attack with today's long and athletic impact players, you are creating an unpredictable point of attack to a defense that a create impact player can do a whole lot of creating from.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Insert one more digression here. 100 has made clear more than once to me that Iba did not invent offensive sets. Phog Allen invented most of the offensive sets, or at least their early versions.

100 has made clear that most of what is done in basketball was first tried in one form or another by the fertile, restless, experimenting mind of Allen.

So: when I refer to Iba's Philosophy, it is important for persons to keep in mind that much of what Iba conceived could be called Allen 2.0. But because of the number of subsequent coaches that have pointed to Iba as a key influence on their formative thinking, I have inferred that Iba probably did formulate a strategy of playing the game that was distinct from Allen's even as it incorporated much of what Allen had developed.

So far what I have learned from 100 suggests that Allen was a great developer of the building blocks of strategy, the components if you will. And he was gifted, probably a genius, at assembling them in many of the fundamental ways they could be assembled. But that he continually experiemented so much that as with many geniuses, it is hard to look at his body of coaching and see one continuous thread of development to point to. He did it all. He ploughed the whole field, not just one part over and over again.

In his wake came coaches having to contend with his stunning creativity--systematizers if you will. Persons that focused in certain aspects of what he had done, and fashioned those aspects into recognizable, enduring strategic approaches that they kept developing, without hopping around as much as Allen did.

I suspect most of the great coaches that shortly followed Allen specialized/hybridized his seed stock of strategies and tactics into rather specialized, recognizable approaches to the game. These coaches, like Iba, etc. are to be greatly admired, but it is wiser to view them through the focusing lenses of first Naismith, the game's creator, and then through Allen, the games great innovator, who innovated, it should be noted, with the game's inventor, no doubt accessible to his inquiries. Imagine how handy it must have been for Allen, however much it may have grated on his ego's desire to be recognized as a great contributor to the game in his own right, to have the man around who truly, deeply, understood the foundation rules of the game--the man who had actually though its foundation principles through to create the game--a man of considerable intellect and insight, and generosity of spirit about the game that he at first thought only marginally consequential in his own mind.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Imagine being able to go to Naismith and say, "Hey, Jimmy, why did you make this particular rule? Did you foresee that its effects playing out as they have? Or did you intend it to take play in a different direction?"

To which Naismith might have cogitated briefly, in the midst of his AD duties and his ongoing research into theories of phys. ed. and medicine, as relating to human development, and said, "Forest, its just a game."

"I know, I know," Allen said, thinking about the next opponent's particularly troublesome star, "But I'm trying to figure out a way to beat Missouri, you remember, the guys who ran you out of town on a rail for beating them a couple times. We don't want our kids going over to Columbia without at least a little edge, do we? I'm just trying to find a little wrinkle that I can add, Jimmy."

"Very well, Forest, I will think on it," Naismith said. And then two very smart men, probably with a combined basketball IQ greater than any other ten coaches then in basketball, at least early on, sat and skulled about the game, about its rules and about ways the rules permitted the game to be played, as they had many times before. And Naismith, despite his reputed growing distance from the game he created, could not have helped becoming re-intrigued by the dynamics of the game, which rules he had specified. Naismith may not have had the genius needed to be a great coach, but his long, active intellectual life indicates he could think deeply and clearly, when ever something engaged him.

The boys going to Columbia and into the jaws of its ever hostile fans would have engaged the paternal streak in Naismith. And he and Allen would have though long and hard about the basics. It probably happened less and less as time went by, as Allen grew more and more a master in his own right. But in the very early years, in the beginnings of the basketball universe, were two fertile minds out of the cradle endlessly thinking...and then acting.

And that has made all the difference to basketball and to KU basket ball.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Imagine being able to go to Naismith and say, "Hey, Jimmy, why did you make this particular rule? Did you foresee that its effects playing out as they have? Or did you intend it to take play in a different direction?"

To which Naismith might have cogitated briefly, in the midst of his AD duties and his ongoing research into theories of phys. ed. and medicine, as relating to human development, and said, "Forest, its just a game."

"I know, I know," Allen said, thinking about the next opponent's particularly troublesome star, "But I'm trying to figure out a way to beat Missouri, you remember, the guys who ran you out of town on a rail for beating them a couple times. We don't want our kids going over to Columbia without at least a little edge, do we? I'm just trying to find a little wrinkle that I can add, Jimmy."

"Very well, Forest, I will think on it," Naismith said. And then two very smart men, probably with a combined basketball IQ greater than any other ten coaches then in basketball, at least early on, sat and skulled about the game, about its rules and about ways the rules permitted the game to be played, as they had many times before. And Naismith, despite his reputed growing distance from the game he created, could not have helped becoming re-intrigued by the dynamics of the game, which rules he had specified. Naismith may not have had the genius needed to be a great coach, but his long, active intellectual life indicates he could think deeply and clearly, when ever something engaged him.

The boys going to Columbia and into the jaws of its ever hostile fans would have engaged the paternal streak in Naismith. And he and Allen would have though long and hard about the basics. It probably happened less and less as time went by, as Allen grew more and more a master in his own right. But in the very early years, in the beginnings of the basketball universe, were two fertile minds out of the cradle endlessly thinking...and then acting.

And that has made all the difference to basketball and to KU basket ball.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 3

If I were James Naismith, I would have thought: well, the boys love football in the fall. Let's move that game indoors, shrink the field, stop the tackling because the surfaces are too hard, and, hey, substitute some of the rules of duck on a rock that we used to play when I was a kid in place of the rules of football that encourage aggression, to encourage running and jumping instead.

Now where Naismith got the magnificient inspiration of throwing a ball in a peach basket I have no clue, except that football has an upright goal and rugby has a box, so somehow, perhaps by divine intervention, the notion of throwing a ball in a peach basket came to him. It is one of the greatest ideas in the history of human games, even if the Mayans thought of a rim in the vertical plane a thousand years before. Jimmy thought of a rim in a horizontal plane and that has made all the difference in the world of sports!

But back to strategies, specifically core strategies.

By core strategies, I mean they address a particular dimension of play.

I suspect that since Cappy Capon's basic offense, possibly conceived in unrecorded bull sessions between Phog Allen and Capon, when Capon was at KU (though there is no evidence to support this speculation of mine that I know of presently) and then fully systematized by Pete Carril into Princeton 1.O, has survived so long, that it has both a core robustness and sufficient age to be ready for Princeton 2.0, as interpreted by Chris Mooney.

Mooney appears to be trying to integrate some of Cal's Princeton on Steroids offense, i.e., ball screening, and up tempo, which actually should never have been called Princeton on steroids, but rather kept under the name of the fellow that invented that offense out in California, or where ever. Skip Skip Dribble, something or other.

Mooney is probably studying Cal's offense and Bill's offense and even Consonants and Roy's offenses to try to bring to the Princeton some capabilities of those offenses.

The trick is to find in other offensive capabilities what actually strengthens the core robustness of the Princeton offense, rather than fragments it into an unrelated mass of tactics that build to nothing strategic.

If Mooney is a bright guy, he has a solid, though annoying, core system to build off of.

I don't have time now (perhaps even sufficient skill and imagination) to go into any specifics beyond saying that plasticJHawk clarifies the central simultaneity of the Princeton: speedy deliberateness.

Wooden called this "quick not fast."

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Part 4

Self practices speedy deliberateness in the long side line pass that hurries transition, only to set up a deliberate set to get a basket.

There just is a lot of dorking around with tempo in basketball that is more sophsticated than it first appears.

Tempo is to basketball what tempo is to music. A well orchestrated piece of symphonic music takes one through a whole range of tempos to get at ultimately cathartic effects in a listener.

Tempo in basketball, especially in Bill Self's brand of ball, is frequently modulated based on what is given up by a defense. A Self offense is kind of like an automated thermostat driven by fuzzy logic; that is, it iterates not so much on discrete direction from the coach, but in continuous reaction to whatever an opponent is giving. Some times Self intervenes on the thermostat and increases, or decreases, tempo for tactical purpose, but even when he just sits there, the thermostat of his offensive system is modulating up and down on its own. This is one of the fundamental distinctions of Self Ball. It is not about dictating tempo. It is about shifting to the optimal tempo seamlessly in reaction to whatever a defense is giving.

All for now.

FoCoCoHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

I know there are those who decry Jaybate's wordiness--in the age of instantaneous communications our attention spans are often insufficient for anything beyond "RCJH! CRUSH THE SPIDERS!--but I for one find his insights enthralling and illuminating, only occasionally straying into the over-verbose. Hell, not too long ago he actually had me experiencing empathy for referees; I could have sworn I lip-read at least one ref in the Big 12 Tourney say "Extreme Muscle Ball--Cheat Shot Lite" to the scorer's table.

To wit: I am the son of a basketball coach and related to several others, and I find talking basketball more interesting than politics and sex (talking that is); in the depths of its complexities lie the secrets of life: Hustle, anticipate (but don't let yourself get fooled), never give up..and above all TEAM (Together, Everyone Accomplishes More). Call it synergy, gestalt, entelechy, whatever; nothing demonstrates the idea of a whole being greater than the sum of its parts better than a well-coached team functioning at its peak.

I was on the Hill in '88 and nothing can possible match that.

Not even talking politics while having sex.

We await your further insights, Jay.
We are the students and you are the Master, 'Bate!

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Since my last post didn't show up, thanks again for the kind words.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

I like politics, but it never occurred to me to talk politics during sex, though I believe the great Italian movie director Lina Wertmuller was hinting at this in her great film: "Swept Away." :-)

Perhaps I should write a screenplay called "Bounced Away"--sort of an homage to Lina and Swept Away, that is set in America and involves a basketball player and rich, beautiful, aristocratic, essentially fascistic woman who owns the team. She takes the team on a cruise in Tahiti to celebrate the team winning professional championship. She and the player, whom she lords over as if he were her property, go out on a dingy, because she stubbornly insists, though he does not want to go. Shortly, they are caught up in a storm. They are washed ashore on a deserted isle. There the tables are turned and slowly he becomes her lord and master and she his property, on the island. Then they are discovered. She begs him not to take her back to civilization, for them to stay in this primitive natural state. His ego demands that she love him as much back in civilization as she does on the island. They return to civilization. She turns back into the person she was before and he likewise. The end. Watch Swept Away. I have not seen it in 20 years, but it is a remarkable movie.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

"Some Suggested Aliases For Lurkers from D1 Schools Still in the Madness"

~KntkySkank--ideal for Ashley Judd, or most any other Kentucky cougar.

~SuckEyeInDenial--well suited to any Ohio State fan harboring delusions that Thad Matta, even with the Los Angeles Lakers, could out coach Bill Self.

~DookDik--a good fit for any Dook fan that wants to defend Coach Consonants pioneering of XTReme Cheap Shotting against Butler last season and then continuing to use it this season even against mid majors.

~OwingKUEverythingButFrankMcguire'sCheating--a really nice nom d'keyboard for that rarest of all lurkers--the UNC fan who knows KU is responsible for about half of UNC's wins and all but one of its rings.

~UConnBloodPressureCuff--an alias for the health conscious UConn fan that knows Jim Calhoun could flat line with a coronary event, if he ever reverts to crying about the refs the way he used to before the plaque built up.

~WeRBaKBcuzWeKeepIllegalHandCheking--the alias for the self-aware Butler lurker.

~BillSentUsSomeRecruitsSoWeR4Better--a great handle for the grateful Florida Seminole lurker.

~BillyGotABreakWithUCLA&UCSB--for the Gator fan in touch with reality.

~SDSUAbout2Lose2Kemba--the perfect alias for those that like to blow dry while they lurk.

~ZonaMeetTheKingofCheapShotting--an alias that says it all about UA having to play Dook next.

~BuzzChannelsAlButCoachesLikeBill--the alias for the lurker from the city of really bad beer and really good Catholic university basketball.

~BoKnowsBangBall--the alias for the lurker from Wisconsin savoring getting by Butler.

~WithHotHandGr8/Without HotHandHistory--the alias for self aware Spider fan.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

actorman 9 years, 7 months ago

Some good ones there, jaybate, but where's the one for BYU. Surely you could come up with something for Jimmer and the Cougars. (Hmm, maybe that's a good start, eh?)

"Once again, Lebowski notices what we all overlook and cuts to the correct take on it."

Hear, hear! I can't believe I didn't notice how funny the headline was.

"Make that WolfPack since UIPUI's coach snagged the GT job. (Homage to ole Roy stays.)"

That's a more appropriate choice anyway, Timmy, since it's in the same state.

SaulGood, I LOVE your handle!

Jayhawk528808, I also graduated in '85. What did you study? And doesn't it just pi** you off that we had to suffer through the two losing season under Ted (I'll never get the most out of my talent) Owens and didn't get to experience the glory that came so soon after we left?

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Oops! Forgot BYU.

No drinking and no lurking allowed at BYU. :-)

Considering all the evil on the internet, I wonder if they allow BYU students access to all of it?

Its been a long time since I've been in BYU town, but my recollection from about 17 years back is that students all hang out in restaurants drinking cokes and shakes on Friday and Saturday nights. As someone who has pretty much given up drinking, I can't say its all bad what they do in Orem. But it sure was a strange scene for someone who grew up bar hopping in college, as I once so happily did.

FoCoCoHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

When people ask me who the best coach is/was, I invariably reply "Larry Brown". Only guy to win college and nba ucla to title game in very first year...impressive coaching tree...etc. Like Bum Phillips used to say: "He can take his'n and beat yorn and then take yorn and beat his'n."

But in a few more years I hope to get into arguments with a few people (my niece married a HS bb coach who's a dookie) about Bill Self being the best of all time.

But hey: One game at a time.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 7 months ago

Oh my, a Princeton guy coaching a giant-beater like Richmond, this could be the perfect storm. I'm getting worried about this game.

NC State would be a bad choice for this guy to move. Sure it's the ACC, but its not Duke or Carolina. They play in the mult-use RBC Center and don't have their own college feel anymore like it was in Reynolds Coliseum. Their campus is drab at best and in the middle of Raleigh doesn't really have the appeal like UNC or Duke, yet they are competing with those guys for recruits - no chance. Strangely enough, their fans are pretty hick, too.

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