Mods, feel free to delete if against TOS as I will try not to cross the boundary when discussing players.
One thing I have noticed the last few weeks while watching the team at home is how the players are responding to the coaching staff and taking a leadership role on the team on the court before and during the game.
I would expect the junior and seniors to be taking more of a leadership role but I really do not see much from who I would expect (starters for instance).
Case in point. During the pregame warm-ups on Saturday vs Nevada, before tip-off, the team runs off the court and back up the ramp to have a final word with Coach Neal. Two of the starters stayed down on the court taking extra shoots for a good 3-4 minutes before heading back up stairs. I would have thought that these two would be with the team during this time and leading them off the court.
Coming down the ramp before the game (and after half time), it does not seem like it did under Coach Alford. Then I think I remember the coaching staff point out how all the players will run down together as a group and go through the warm-up drills, shaking hands, running to a certain spot on the floor, etc. I do not get the same feel over the last few years as they seem more scattered with a few players bringing up the rear, usually the same players before hitting the floor.
Last night after halftime, right before tip-off, the team was huddled around Coach Neal except for one player still shooting, while the team looked on waiting for him to join them. It seemed completely off, like they had to wait on him instead of him leading the team.
What I would expect is that the team captains or leaders (if they exist), would be leading them down the floor every game and off the floor before tip off.
Maybe all of what I think I am seeing is much ado about nothing. It is just something I have noticed and thought shows a lack of real leadership on the floor before and during games from the players that I would have expected to take a leadership role. Maybe that role is being filled by other players.
Don't let who you are, keep you from becoming you who want to be!
Something I always have noticed is half our warm up is trying fancy dunks. We are one of the worst shooting teams in the country. I would think we should probably work on shooting instead of dunking.
Being in TN I do not see most of the pregame warmups because they are not broadcast. I watch a lot of high school ball here and you can really tell the difference between the best teams and the rest. The best teams demonstrate a serious attitude, and run the pregame drills with precision. The best teams gradually increase their intensity during warmups so that are ready to play, shoot, defend, box out, and rebound at game speed at the tip off. I think there may too lax of an approach to the warmups. I have observed that many teams play better if they approach the pregame warmups with the right intensity and precision.
I also think the team is really missing what Hugh Greenwood used to provide - a glue guy that can encourage the team and get them focused when they hit rough spell or aren't getting the calls. I've been really impressed how Dane treats everyone on the bench and at the bottom of the ramp everything he comes out game - maybe a glue guy in the works. I can see Jalen being that guy at some point too. Someone needs to be that guy now.
You can tell a lot about a team and the coaching staff by how the team approaches pregame warmups. We have the deepest bench in the MWC. We should be able to warmup with intensity and still wear teams out during the game.
i also think that the coaches need to control the end of games better. Protect the players from themselves, so to speak. At least until they get more experience at this level. Alford was a master of this. This is something that the coaches could learn from him. I'm sure Alford learned a lot from Neal, too.
Last edited by TNLoboFan; 01-12-2017 at 12:31 AM. Reason: Typos
Very well-spoken observations. I think what you see before game is reflected in how the games play out.
Key words: Focus, precision, together, TEAM.
I'm exhausted by the heavy coaching criticisms, so am hesistant to go in that direction. I fear this thread could spin off into that type of discussion. Yet I can't help but think about how leadership and discipline start at the top. That said, players still have choice, and there are a few who choose TEAM. Dane may be one of the most important players looking ahead in this season. Go Lobos.
I think this team lacks players that remember playing for Alford. And as that memory has dimmed the sad sack Neal culture has pulled the program into the quagmire.
I was pleased with Furty's intensity more importantly his demeanor, he too displayed leadership while playing looser than some of the other players. He also IMO led by example on more than one occasion.
Ojet remembers what Hugh's leadership brought to some very successful teams, he still tries to gather the squad together as HUGE did whenever the clock stops, I just don't see a leader standing out open communication or cohesiveness as I did during those years when Hugh gathered the troops. Small nuances, but noticeable.
Leaders in stats don't necessarily equate to leaders of the TEAM.
Last edited by Scott; 01-12-2017 at 10:30 PM.
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