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Team Trademarks
5/15/2016, 8:30am CDT
By Matt McCarty

The following is from Matt McCarty, Head Boys' Basketball Coach, Vernon Hills High School:

1. At no time will a player sit during practice. Teammates need to be "coaching" and encouraging their teammates while standing.

2. A no time will a player walk while on the floor! (Between drills, checking in/out of games, entering/exiting time-out situations, traveling the length of the floor to shoot free throws during games, etc.).

3. When a player checks into a game, he is to run onto the floor towards the player he is replacing and then tell the entire team what our next course of action will be. The replaced player then runs off the floor and sits right next to the coach, as he sits down the entire bench will rise and applaud his effort.

4. There will be consequences during practice for any player receiving a detention.

5. When a coach is speaking to the team or an individual, eye contact is a must.

6. Team chemistry is vital to our success. Therefor, at no time will another player criticize or berate a teammate. Teammates should only encourage each other.

7. A Vernon Hills basketball player will not re-enter a game if that player receives a technical foul for arguing with a referee.

8. Players will always acknowledge the teammate who gave them a pass that led to their basket with a simple point of the finger.

9. Our bench players should always be into the game and ready when their name is called.

10. Diving the floor for a loose ball or taking a charge will result in a standing ovation by our bench players.

Practice Report Card
4/24/2016, 7:15am CDT
By Gary DeCesare

The following is from Gary DeCesare, Head Boys' Basketball Coach, St. Rita High School:

We use this in practice on a daily basis. We post it in our locker room after each practice and reward the weekly leader.

Niles West Basketball Program Guidebook
3/12/2016, 6:30am CDT
By Bob Williams

The following is from Bob Williams, Head Boys Basketball Coach, Niles West High School and IBCA President:

Possession Analysis Calculator
1/31/2016, 8:15am CDT
By Joe Terrasi

The following is from Joe Terrasi, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach, Niles North High School:

Click to Download Possession Analysis Calculator

Possession Analysis

Some time ago, I worked for a company that worked with NBA and Division I basketball teams on stats analysis. It was enlightening – if somewhat daunting – to get a look at the level of statistical granularity available to these coaches. They are able to discern which player groupings are most effective running a specific set against a specific defense. They know empirically which players are most effective at the end of the half or the end of the game. They collect, analyze, and use a massive amount of information in their preparation and game decisions. Mathematician Dean Oliver has developed highly accurate and complex models of analyzing possessions; at least two NBA teams have employed him as a consultant.

In high school basketball, we tend to have access to only the most basic individual and team statistics. We can generally collect enough information to take a look at how our players are doing individually or how the team is performing as a whole. We tend not to have a good way of collecting information about how certain player tandems or groupings perform differently than others. Our reality is simply that it is too onerous and too time and personnel intensive to collect or use these data.

The "Posession Analysis" spreadsheet I created is at attempt to find a middle ground by allowing coaches a fairly painless way of entering a small amount of possession information that can easily be derived from game film. This information can hopefully be used to give us some empirical clues to performance that might be otherwise difficult to obtain. It in no way approximates the sheer volume or complexity of the stats available to NBA coaches, but it hopefully gives us a different slice of information than traditional individual and team stats.

This particular spreadsheet is meant to help analyze two particular stats: "plus-minus' and possession effectiveness. Moreover, it is an attempt to break down each of these stats based on player tandems (ie, how does one player's presence affect a teammate) and 5-player groupings. I contend that information of this nature can be particularly helpful in planning substitution rotations and matching effective groupings to late-game situations.

The 'plus-minus' stat has long been used in hockey as one indicator of a player's overall effectiveness. As such, it is a very 'team orientated' measure of individual performance. It has more recently come into use in basketball. It is simply an indication of all the points scored for and against your team while a specific player was on the floor (whether or not he was the one to score the points.) This sheet is intended to allow you to look at individual plus-minus stats as well as how groups of players perform together.

Possession effectiveness is a tool that one of my coaching colleagues and I started working with some time ago. We were working with a less advanced group of players, and we were trying to help them understand what we felt were important paths to winning. We made very simple rules to identify what constituted an effective offensive or defensive possession, and we set game goals to maximize each.

An "effective possession" is whatever you decide it is. The idea of this analysis is to help your staff and your players understand how many of your possessions lived up to whatever criteria you choose. Below is an example of the "effective possession" criteria we used:

Offense effective possession:
No turnover. Any possession that ends in a quality shot (need to define this term). Any possession where we get a second shot.

Defense effective possession:
Force turnover. Any possession that ends in a no shot or a well-contested shot (define). Any possession that allows a second shot is not an effective defense possession.

Ironically, I don't have a deep abiding belief in stats. I don't know that they necessarily provide answers (at least at this level – Mr. Oliver's analyses have been compared to the impact of 'Sabermetrics' in baseball). I do think they can provide some worthwhile clues or drive us to ask some important questions that may help in our decision making and preparation. I hope this spreadsheet is helpful or at least interesting.

This spreadsheet includes the following analysis sheets:

Once you've added possession data for a game or range of games, you can use the analysis sheets to get insight into your team's performance.

The Groupings Sheet
This sheet contains a pivot table that breaks down stats for each 5-player grouping you put on the floor. It is meant to help coaches discern the relative merits and liabilities of specific groupings. You may find, for example, that one set of players is particularly effective on defense but struggles to score.

The Player Analysis Sheet
This sheet allows you to see the stats and impact for an individual player. It also allows you to compare player tandems to discern whether two players are more or less effective at the same time. Finally, it allows you to compare whether your team was more or less effective when that player was on the bench. To use the sheet, select any player from the "player" drop-down menu and (optionally) select another player from the "when playing with" menu.

The Team Analysis Sheet
The simplest of all the sheets, this provides information on offense and defense points per possession (and calculates the differential). It also recaps the overall team possession effectiveness stat (also found on the "groupings" sheet).

A couple references on possession analysis:

Dean Smith - Multiple Offenses and Defenses
I think you have to find an out-of-print edition, but the most recent editions had an appendix that describe his system of statting and using possession analysis in great detail.

Basketball on Paper by Dean Oliver
Interesting stuff, but you have to find ways to make it actionable for your players.

Shooting Percentage Analysis Sheet
11/27/2015, 8:30am CDT
By Joe Terrasi

The following is from Joe Terrasi, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach, Niles North High School:

A coaching friend of mine and I got into a discussion about whether players' shooting averages changed based on whether their team was up or down - or whether the score was close or not. This spreadsheet will analyze that.

In general, if you enter the type of shot made or missed and the score after the shot, this sheet will break down the percentages by whether the shooter's team was up or down when the ball was shot.

Also, I developed a "clutch" index. If the game is close - say within a couple points either way - the "clutch index" for a made shot is 1 (the max). As the score widens, the clutch index decreases. A missed shot always results in a 0. My theory behind the calculation is that players who shot better in close games will have a clutch index closer to 1. This is something I came up with, so I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on the accuracy and usefulness of this metric.

Shooting Percentage Analysis

The Highland Park Basketball Player
11/08/2015, 7:15am CDT
By Paul Harris

The following is from Paul Harris, Head Boys' Basketball Coach, Highland Park High School:

Practice Plan Template
10/04/2015, 5:30am CDT
By Matt Monroe

Shot Chart Template
09/02/2015, 6:00am CDT
By Matt Monroe

The following is from Matt Monroe, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach, Saint Patrick High School:

Defensive Play Call Chart
05/24/2015, 7:00am CDT
By Mike Dunn

The following is from Mike Dunn, Head Boys' Basketball Coach, Yorkville High School: