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Sunday, March 8, 2009

They Never Pass

The old playground calling cry "they never pass me the ball." You hear it on every level. Someone always wants the ball more. Someone wants to shoot more. Someone wants to score more points. So, they think they need to get more "touches" during possessions. They want plays run for them. They want everyone screening for them so that they can get open and score more points. I mean girls love the star and the star is the leading scorer (sarcasm here) of course.

Most players don't realize that they can be the leading scorer and shoot a ridiculously high percentage if they do certain things. One example is setting screens. Most defenses focus on stopping the cutter and often times forget about the screener who will be open a lot if the player understands how to make a "second cut" to either the basket or to an open area for a jumper. Plus, if you are constantly screening for guys...your teammates are going to like you and it will probably take them awhile to figure out you are scoring a lot of points because you are doing the screening. It makes the team run very well.

Second way to get a lot of high percentage shots is to offensive rebound like crazy. I learned this important necessity at the prestigious "Five-Star Basketball Camp" in the summer before my junior year of high school. It is basically a college exposure camp with a lot of good teaching going on. Well during camps like that players want to score and more importantly shoot a lot. They want to get recognized. I, of course, would try to get open on the perimeter as I was a guard but then when a player took a shot I hit the boards hard and every time. I basically ended up dominating through offensive rebounding and made the camp all-star team (hidden brag). Colleges put me on their lists either through seeing my name on the all-star team at the camp or seeing my effort during the week. Either way I accomplished what every player wanted to do without needing screens or needing touches. I forced touches by outworking the other guys.

Find a way to get the job done without being selfish. I helped the team win by screening and offensive rebounding. I then got to shoot because generally I was near the basket after an offensive rebound. Find a way to help yourself by helping the team. Do not expect the team to help you become a star.

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