Extending Five-Out & Managing Individual Expectations

Both of these thoughts on five-out and managing individual expectations came from Merrimack Coach Monique LeBlanc. In a very productive conversation, we also discussed how to best measure rebounding and how she makes recruiting decisions.

Five-Out Concepts

These three bulleted five-out concepts were new for me. I especially liked the detail of what extending players to the NBA 3-point line.

  • Anytime a ball is passed into the corner, the ball-side wing should screen away.
  • At times they would implement a 2-second rule meaning that in practice if you held for more than two seconds it was a turnover.
  • If your team has to V-cut to make the first pass, it is disrupting the timing of the offense. She told the team to stand at the NBA three and it cured three things.
  1. More time for the backdoor to develop. There would be one extra step to create room for a backdoor if the opponent continued to stuff this pass.
  2. Players on the perimeter could step into a potential three-pointer at the closest range instead of keeping their feet set. This momentum made it possible for players to resist the urge to fade away.
  3. It allowed the ball to zip around the perimeter faster. Most defenses were less willing to discourage the first pass than they were around the normal three-point arch.

Managing Individual Expectations

One suggestion that Coach LeBlanc shared with me out of the blue which I found potentially useful after a team is picked:

  • Give the players a blank sheet of paper.
  • Ask them to write down how many minutes per game they want to play.
  • Then have the players write down how many points per game they want to score.

After these numbers are revealed add them. The minutes will almost certainly be higher than what is available and the points will surge well past the team’s average from prior seasons. It sends the message to the players that it is impossible that everyone will get their wishes. Players will either have to compete at the highest level to get what they want or sacrifice what they want for the team.

Coach LeBlanc also shared a glass half-full version of playing eight minutes per game. In college that is only twenty percent of the game, but in any close game those minutes could decide the outcome. As she pointed out, how often is the game won by one scoring run (good or bad)? It is definitely food for thought in trying to justify a player’s role.

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