February 1, 2019

February 1, 2019

My book “Basketball Coaching 101” arrived on the scene in mid-2015. The bulk of the book was written in early 2012, and completed (well, sort of) in the spring of that year at the beautiful Sandcastle Resort in Sarasota, Florida. Some token additions were made in 2013, 2014, and in March 2015 at The Sandcastle. The manuscript was finally sent to the printer in mid-April 2015 after some unexpected (and long) delays.


The writing of this non-fiction basketball book was particularly exciting. It took me out of my 60 plus year comfort zone of doing my own thing and forced me to interact with nearly 100 basketball people; many of these legendary individuals were total strangers. The project was also a rather unique undertaking. Rather than prepare a book on coaching in the usual and traditional format, I considered writing a book that highlighted the expertise of those involved with basketball. The book would hopefully serve as a manual and/or training tool for those individuals involved directly or indirectly with coaching basketball. Because of the pragmatic approach employed, it provided both on-the-court and off-the-court information in this field. Thus, this is a book that was primarily written for those of you who love the game, but in particular, for those of you who are or have been or will be involved with coaching.


Early reviews? Here is what Jack Powers had to say: “The basketball world can now formally welcome to its midst one of the game’s brilliant strategists. His name is Dr. Lou Theodore, and his new book – Basketball Coaching 101 – has established him as one of the premier authorities in the game. The book has it all: coaching hints/strategies that can be employed to achieve a successful and winning program; history of the game; literary revival of the fabulous 1950s and 60s; historical tales of the Killeen’s Tavern basketball team; discussion of the dark side of the NCAA; prospects on the future of the game; etc. There are dozens of stories never told before, many of which are absolutely hilarious. But, more than anything else, this is a book about coaching basketball, and it is a book that will serve as a valuable resource for those who are presently, or will be in the future, involved with this wonderful game.” Here is a part of the write-up from the flier for the book signing: “This unique book is about basketball coaching and includes direct input from coaches, recruiters, conference commissioners, athletic directors, players, university presidents, officials, journalists, media announcers, and fans regarding the qualities that define winning coaches, as well as the qualities a coach should possess in order to create a winning basketball program. The book also addresses hot topics, such as paying student athletes, the dark side of the NCAA, and the future concerns of the game. There are dozens of stories and photographs about the history of the game. This book is designed to help coaches as well as aspiring coaches, to excel at a job that leans more towards a multifaceted and highly challenging vocation. It will also help the average fan better appreciate what the game and what coaching is all about. Don’t miss this special opportunity to purchase a copy of his book and have it autographed! It makes a great gift! If you are unable to attend, you can still purchase the book by going online and ordering it through AMAZON. Refreshments will be served.” I had to get both these quotes in… just to satisfy my ego.


It’s been seven years since I decided to write “BASKETBALL COACHING 101.” The first edition was a first go-around for me since I had only written technical books. The objective was to put into print all the aforementioned topics. But then my ego took over and it was decided to include my basketball journey and details of the legendary Killeen’s Tavern basketball team that I coached during the 50s and 60s.


A lot has transpired at my end since then, including outlining new offensive and defensive strategies. Of particular interest has been the movement toward an offensive that has been defined as the “triangle offense.” Quite frankly, I couldn’t figure it out after reviewing the literature, but it appears to involve some sort of semi-isolation play. So naturally, I decided to look into it further and came up with what may become the offensive of the future. I refer to it as the “umbrella offense,” and it is based on isolation play.  Introductory details follow.


Well, what about the aforementioned umbrella offensive. It is based on player movement and location that leads to a situation where the offensive player only has to contend with one defensive player, i.e., a one-on-one (1×1) situation (The reader should note that it is easier to score in a 5×1 solution as opposed to a 1 x 5; similarly scoring in a 1×1 situation is easier than when it is 5×5). How is an ideal 1×1 situation produced? There are obviously a number of possible 1×1 possibilities that can be set up. 12.3 in the new edition,


The umbrella offense obviously would work best against teams that play man-to-man defense. Furthermore, if the defense is geared to play each man close (tight), the adaptability of the umbrella offense becomes more pronounced. Also obvious is that the offense would be less adaptable to a zone defense, but that is another matter that is addressed elsewhere in the new edition.


P.S. On the home front, i.e., Hofstra basketball is really rolling (19-3 as of 1/30/19) and the team is performing beyond my earlier expectations (see also 12/1/18 article), blowing away opponents, and appears to be heading toward a CAA conference championship.  Look for opponents in the future to offer challenges that will include slow down offenses, a box-and-l defense of Wright-Forman), and the triangle-and-2 defense (Wright-Forman and Pemberton), etc.  Their all-star Justin Wright-Forman has been unbelievable. I refer to him as “Superman.” One of my players refers to him as “The Magician” while his wife calls him “The Sorcerer.” But off-guard /small forward Tareq Coburn has made the difference; for the 2018-19 team and their NCAA aspirations (as I noted late November), he could play on my club anytime.


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MARCH 1:                  On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVII

APRIL 1:                     On the Analysis of the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:                       On the 2019 East Williston School Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Theodore ??