Here’s how Maine high school basketball can improve

Some Maine high school basketball fans are again asking me why the game seems to get worse with each passing season.
For some answers, I went back to a column I wrote four years ago, “Maine high school basketball talent is decreasing,” that addressed the same question.
After watching all the University of Maine men’s and women’s games online and attending many high school games this season, I think the answer now also deals with who is coaching your high school team.
Many high school head coaches are former guards or forwards, known today as face-the-basket players. Many only coach that type of game because that’s how they played.
The coaches should be developing smarter players, who play the game from the shoulders up, not from the shoulders down, which relies more on athletic skills, not basketball skills.
Low basketball IQs lead to poor shot selection, overuse of the 3-pointer, more turnovers, thinking shot first, more player-control fouls, and playing the game like there is a shot clock in use.
The high school game is too often becoming a version of the NCAA Division I and NBA games that are more for entertainment with shot clocks that encourage more use of the 3-pointer.
More high school coaches should develop low-post players or an inside game to force teams to double-team the post to stop the post-up player from going one on one.
If defenses have to double-team the post player before or after they get the ball, this leads to open looks for 3-point shots. However, many of today’s guard/forward coaches didn’t play this type of game and can’t implement it.
I have seen fewer back-to-the basket former post players coaching in Maine these days. Head coaches should at least hire some of these former post players as assistants to help balance out their games.
Instead, what most coaches seem to want from their bigs in today’s game is to protect the basket defensively, get defensive boards, give the ball to a guard, then run rim to rim and hardly ever touch the ball.
Today’s game belongs to face-the-basket players who are running the games on the courts and from coaching boxes. If they were open to more diversity in their offenses, then it could benefit their teams and improve Maine high school basketball.