With New Year’s Day fast approaching, and after watching UMaine, college and Maine high school games in person, on TV and online, here are some basketball resolutions that coaches, players and refs could make and keep that could help them improve their games.
The UMaine men’s coaching staff should resolve to:
1. Play 6-foot-8 Vincent Eze more minutes for defensive purposes as a needed rim protector.
2. Use only 8 players.
The UMaine women’s coaching staff should resolve to:
1. Work with Sigi Koizar on her 3-point shot. Have her pump fake when she is being rushed on the closeout on her 3 attempts, as she is rushing her shot. When she pump fakes then can dribble penetrate to create for her teammates or herself.
2. Be ready for box or diamond-and-one defenses on Sigi when conference play begins.
Both UMaine coaching staffs should resolve to:
1. Improve foul shooting. Both are shooting 66 percent and each has only two players shooting 70 percent (minimum 10 attempts).
2. Play a 1-3-1 zone instead of a 2-3 zone. It takes away high-percentage wing and point shots and forces the ball to the corners — the lowest-percentage areas for shooting — and takes the post player off the rebounding area if the ball comes inside as most of the rebounds bounce to the other side of the basket on shots from the corners.
3. Find a man-to-man offense with the needed spacing that makes it easier to get the ball inside, which makes defense pay a big price of an open 3 or a uncontested layup when double-teaming the post player on the block.
4. Get to foul line more (men 16.4 attempts per game, women 11.4) as neither goes inside enough.
Maine high school coaches should resolve to:
1. Include some set continuity offenses like flex, motion, shuffle, cat-and-mouse to have the system determine shot selection and timing, not the individual players.
2. Develop the following winning formula: Commit fewer than 12 turnovers a game, shoot 70 percent from foul line and commit less than 7 fouls per half.
UMaine and Maine high school players should resolve to:
1. Develop a foul-shot ritual where they do the same thing every time.
2. Make sure feet are square to the hoop, shooting foot lined up with the middle of the rim and non-shooting foot even with outside edge of rim and six inches back from the foul line before official bounces the ball to them.
3. Thank referee when they receive the ball. Find needle hole and place index fingertip of shooting hand on it.
4. Not to dribble once they have ball, look at center of rim and then take three seconds and bend their legs down far enough (so that if they looked at their feet they couldn’t see their feet because knees are in the way) and snap-release ball when legs are straight.
5. Not to block a shot until the ball leaves shooter’s hand to reduce fouling.
6. Don’t leave their feet guarding a player with the ball until the shooter leaves his/her feet to reduce fouling.
7. Only leave their feet to shoot is when they have a high-percentage shot. Shoot the ball if they leave their feet.
8. Remember the only time a defensive player shouldn’t know where the ball is, is when ball is in the air on a shot. Defenders should go find the person they are guarding to block them out.
Officials should resolve to:
1. Apply advantage/disadvantage when calling personal fouls. A lot of contact may not be a foul unless it’s unsportsmanlike. Very little contact may be a foul. It’s a foul if either gives any player an advantage or puts an opponent at a disadvantage.
2. Better late than early with the whistle.
Happy New Year’s resolutions, basketballers!