If you play, coach, or just watch basketball you know that turnovers are not good things. In the first few weeks of practice, even without our coaches telling them or bringing it to their attention, our players know that turnovers are bad. They respond with “My bad” when they realize a mistake, but nevertheless, turnovers give the ball to the opponent without our team having a chance to score. They come in all varieties – bad passes, bad catches, dribbling violations, offensive fouls, clock management, and poor decisions; just to list a few. We don’t want turnovers and I know our players don’t want to produce turnovers, but can we ever get rid of them? Can we reduce them? And is the same true about the mistakes we make in life, or, even deeper, the sin we commit in a fallen world? I know I don’t have all the answers and quite honestly at this point in the season, I’m hoping to just help our players become more aware of the turnovers and more importantly, to begin adjusting their habits to limit and reduce our amount of turnovers. Continue reading
The Madness is upon us. With the college tournament brackets under way and high school tournaments playing out all over the country, what basketball fan would ever want this to end? And with the fantastic finishes and the endless debates about seeding and snubs, why should it ever change? We love the drama. We love the highs and the lows. It arguably makes college basketball in March the best three weeks of any athletic competition. Continue reading
Baylor University has had a rough year. With the dismissal of a highly successful football coach and a number of administrators above him, the school has been hit with a tidal wave of bad publicity and intense media scrutiny for an outspoken Christian institution that was supposed to do better. The Baylor I know however, is full of wonderful people and is relentless in its mission to provide Christian education for spiritual difference-makers who will impact the world. As all of us who are fans and alums watched the school change course with the football program (in what appears to be a very positive way!), Scott Drew kept plugging away, as we examined in Men of Faith Coaching in the Big Dance. Through all of the turmoil, his Baylor Men’s Basketball team went from preseason unknown this season to the top of the basketball rankings achieving the school’s first-ever #1 ranking. Alas, as happens with many teams new to the pressure of the position, the Bears walked into a deadly trap in their first game at the top when they met Bob Huggins’ group from West Virginia who took them down with an aggressive press that has transformed the Mountaineers into the most feared defensive team in the country.
While Baylor fans revelled in the few days of positive acclaim, most of us know that midseason rankings mean very little and that learning how to handle adversity and working hard to make adjustments is critical in having success at the end of the year. I’ll keep my eye on the Bears, but the wisdom I’m learning from what transpired in Morgantown has more to do with a Huggins’ approach to defense that strikes fear into opponents and keeps the Mountaineers consistently in the hunt. Continue reading