Sunday, September 19, 2010

Guest Contributor: Ray Floriani -- Coaches Clinic at Manhattan College

by Ray Floriani
Riverdale, NY - A great way to tip the season off. An invitation came in from the Manhattan College media relations department. The extended invite allowed media members, free of charge, to cover the "clinic to end all Clinics" this past Friday at Manhattan. The clinic, a brainchild of the legendary Howard 'Garf' Garfinkel with assistance from Manhattan mentor Barry Rohrssen, brought Jim Calhoun, C. Vivian Stringer, Tom Izzo, Jay Wright and Lawrence Frank to the Manhattan College campus. Always looking to satisfy a thirst for basketball knowledge, I have attended clinics and still read coaching articles. Obviously this was a special opportunity.

My schedule permitted me to hear the presentation of Calhoun, Stringer and Izzo. Another commitment necessitated a lunch time exit. Considering this is a ‘Nova site it is almost blasphemous missing him. Before leaving I did have the opportunity to chat with him and Lawrence Frank.

A note from the morning and Jim Calhoun’s presentation. Discussing what he emphasizes in his program, Calhoun did not mention tempo free stats but hinted the use of them over traditional methods.

For instance, defense is a UConn key but Calhoun does not look at points allowed. As he pointed out one year Princeton was second in the country with 54 points allowed per game but was 12-18. Pace, the UConn mentor noted, can give you an inaccurate read on defense. Calhoun prefers to look at field goal percentage defense as an indicator. He noted that over the last 24 years, opponents have shot an aggregate 38% against the Huskies and one stretch of approximately 60 games straight games, no opponent hit 50% from the floor. That is defending.

Rebounding is another emphasis in the Husky program. Again Calhoun does not put as much emphasis in margins (how much you outrebounded or were outrebounded by an opponent). He prefers to look at percentage of rebounds. On the offensive end UCONN aspires to grab 40% of the offensive boards. If all this sounds strikingly familiar, it is. Calhoun is simply describing offensive rebounding percentage, one of the trusted Four Factors used by tempo free analysts. And, anyone studying tempo free can tell you 40% is an excellent OREB pct. But excellence is what UConn has been about under Calhoun.

Beside hearing some of the best and most prominent coaches in the game speak it gave added reinforcement of tempo free stats and breakdowns. Plain and simple, more coaches today, while not specifically mentioning tempo free statistics, are embracing some of its concepts. And putting them to use in their respective programs.

C. Vivian Stringer with Ray Floriani

1 comment:

greyCat said...

We understand your having another commitment Ray. All's forgiven. Good to see Coach Wright continues to get to New York City for coaching clinics and to stay connected with people he met while coaching at Hofstra. Great picture of you with Coach Stringer, btw.