While following each day of the tournaments since last Wednesday, there was a lot to absorb from the broadcasts of the radio and live stream games, the work of the referees and the performances of the players and coaches.
Given all of that, I’d like to pass along some tips for those folks for the upcoming 10 state basketball finals.
For the officials:
— Try not to blow your whistle. You are not getting paid by the whistle.
— It’s better to have a late whistle and be correct, instead of an early whistle and be wrong.
— Try to make calls in your own primary coverage area.
— Don’t be afraid to get together with your two partners on a call.
— Be consistent.
— Remember the game is for the players.
— Start the game with a good toss.
For the players:
— Take more time when shooting foul shots
— When closing out on 3-point shooters, use your left hand for right-handed shooters and vice-versa for left-handers.
— Make more pump fakes on 3-pointers and when being closed on, be quick and penetrate.
— When you leave your feet, shoot the ball.
— Think before you do anything so you can make good basketball decisions such as thinking pass first and shot second.
— When on defense and the ball is passed, leave to cover your offensive player as soon as the ball leaves the passer’s hands and not when the ball is over or by your head.
For the coaches:
— When on defense and your team has a three-point lead with under 10 seconds left in the game, foul an offensive player.
— Save your time-outs and don’t let players call a time-out to avoid violations unless it’s late in the game.
— Get your team on a 94-foot court during the week to prepare for the longer courts at tourney sites.
— Insist on better shot selection from your players.
— Use a coach’s best friend, the bench, employed by the legendary John Wooden, to get more improved play from your players.
— To get better open 3-point shots, go inside first and when the double team comes, go back outside.
— Develop more players with back-to-basket post skills and use them.
For the broadcasters:
— There is no such thing as an offensive foul. They are either player-control fouls or blocks.
— Please let listeners know what type of offenses/defenses are being played by both teams.
— Provide your listeners with more team statistics and percentages.
— Don’t try to ref from the booth.
— Be objective. Your listeners shouldn’t feel like you are favoring one of teams.
Looking back at the 10 North champs, I predicted six of the 10 champs — Portland boys in Class AA, George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill boys in Class C, Easton boys in Class D, Edward Little girls in Class AA, Lawrence of Fairfield girls in Class A and Houlton girls in Class B.
That 60 percent grade is a bit weak, so I’m trying again in the state games: AA boys, Portland; AA girls, Gorham; A boys, Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston; A girls, Lawrence of Fairfield; B boys, Ellsworth; B girls, Houlton; C boys, GSA; C girls, Boothbay; D boys, Valley of Bingham; and D girls, Rangeley.
Best of luck to all of the teams!
This was the first tourney with the new five-class format for high school basketball. What did you think of it? Share your comments with me and I’ll touch on the new format next week.