With so much going on with teaching and coaching at the moment, I haven't nearly had the time to watch as much college basketball as I used to. I was able to catch some games and highlights the other day and this ESPN segment with Doug Gottlieb breaking down Purdue's win over Penn State on a last second BLOB play.

Usually I don't disagree with most of what ESPN puts out there, because they usually have ex-coaches doing the breakdowns. But I think Gottlieb has it wrong here. With Penn State up by only 1-point, I'd rather have one defender down low crowning the basket, protecting the easy layup, rather than having him "up the line" as Gottlieb says to help on the switch who can then help on the shot. Even if Battle had gotten up to the FT-line where Gottlieb is pointing to below, he wouldn't have been in a position to defend the switch or challenge the shot anyways, and would've allowed the inbounder to get great position on the offensive boards,

To me, it was just a missed assignment. What the Penn State defender who got screened should have done was simply switched hard. That should have allowed the screened defender to jump out to challenge the shot or at worst, to force the player to put the ball on the ground and dribble into the help where Battle was in position to defend. Bottom line for me as a coach, if the offense elects to shoot a contested 20-footer, rather than a contested 2-footer, I'm OK with that, I'll take the numbers on that one anytime.

If you're looking for more great ideas for your SLOBs, BLOBs, jumpball stuff, check out Tom Izzo's new DVD on Dead Ball Situations. Coach Izzo is the head coach of the men's basketball team at Michigan State University.

A coaching acquaintance recently passed away and it had me thinking about the lifestyle choices we make as coaches. I don't know about you all out there, but I look around me and I see a lot of my coaching friends (men and women) becoming unhealthier every day. I'm not exactly old, but I think dying of a heart attack in your 40s or 50s is a pretty damn scary prospect, don't you?

Everyone knows that coaching is a time killer, doesn't matter what sport you're involved in. You wake up, work, go from work straight to practice and games and before you know it it's 9-10pm and the only thing open is McDs. But as coaches, we need to take a serious look in the mirror, literally. We need to spend more time thinking about the choices we make everyday. I know that healthy living isn't the easiest switch to make, but it isn't rocket science either. It basically comes down to 2 things: eat less crap, and exercise more.

Anyways, enough of the lecture, I just had to get that off my back as it has been bugging me the last few days. Oh, and the irony of it all isn't lost on me, that as coaches we are supposed to be promoting healthy living through sport.

If you want to read more about coaches and losing weight, read this from Coach B Dud's blog.

Been spending the past couple of weeks reading and getting caught up with marking/lesson planning, etc... I was lucky enough to catch a Lakers game live at the Staples Center over the break (not vs Miami, but vs the Bucks, ya, lucky me), and since then, there has been so much talk about what's wrong with the Lakers losing 4 of the last 6 (ya I know, the Lakers just beat the Pistons last night).

With the Lakers, it's always the same story, how often should Kobe shoot vs pass to his teammates to score? It is similar to the Ewing Theory but slightly more complicated. Clearly he is the best offensive weapon, but if he shoots too much, his offensive efficiency goes down as defenses key in on him. If we passes too much, than the team isn't taking advantage of his overall higher offensive efficiency. The answer then lies in finding the exact balance of how many shots Kobe gets and how many shots his teammates get.

So, in thinking about your own teams, especially teams that have a superstar player, you really need to think in terms of the Braess’s Paradox, which is basically like the law of diminishing returns. In other words, you can keep going to your superstar, but eventually your superstar's offensive efficiency will become lower over time as defenses adjust (double-teams, Box and 1, etc..). You can apply the same logic to a great play you use. It works great the first time, but as you use it over and over, defenses will adjust and it will become less and less effective.

There is a great post by the physics blog Gravity and Levity which explains the Braess's Paradox as it relates to basketball a lot clearer, it's a good read and definitely recommended for anyone who wants to dig deeper.