Still stuck on that Pitt game from Sunday. One of the things that stuck out at the end of the first half was this play where on the 1-and-1 free-throws, OSU (and Pitt too) falls asleep, and the shooter (Levance Fields) rushes in to grab the rebound and call timeout. This is precisely why it's vital that your players are constantly aware of the time/score situation at all times.

It's one of the reasons why as a coach I don't like to shout instructions to players who are either shooting or lined up at the free-throw block. I see coaches do it alot and I just think that it distracts the players from what they need to be doing, and that is focusing on boxing out and grabbing the rebound. You can see one of the OSU players with his head turned towards the OSU bench and just before Fields shoots the FT, the camera shows OSU head coach Travis Ford talking to a player on the FT block.


It may be minor in the grand scale of things, but it's the attention to details that usually makes the big difference in the long run. You want your players to have good court awareness, part of that abstract term that is loosely thrown around called Basketball IQ. I think as coaches, we certainly have a hand in developing that knowledge and awareness.

For some more info on some high-intensity practice drills, check out Jamie Dixon's DVD on Competitive Practice Drills. Coach Dixon is the head coach at University of Pittsburgh. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk hoops with other coaches.