You Can't Check Me: Next Level Defense
Assistant Coach, University of Missouri
About Coach Loos: Coach Brad Loos is easily one of the most tactical X's and O's coaches I have ever been around. I played for Coach Loos at Central Missouri, he is one of the most dedicated people I have ever been around. He is always watching film, preparing for the next opponent, even breaking down the mechanics of a jump shot. He is a basketball savant. Today, we are talking with Coach Loos about defense. In today's game of face up bigs and guards that shoot the 3 ball with precision, the lines are somewhat blurred when it comes to positions. We see a lot of 'position-less basketball in the NBA. But for those who are still carving out their lane figuring out their position it's simple, you play the position you can guard and if you can't guard, you don't play. Most defensive rhetoric is based on 'heart' or 'will', all of which is vital, but Coach Loos gave us some TANGIBLE principles with which any player or coach can measure a players defensive capability.
Inspire: Coach Loos, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. What qualities do you look for in a potential recruit or even amongst players fighting for a position with your current roster?
Coach Loos: First thing I always look at is the player’s competitiveness. How badly does he want to win? How tough is he? Does he embrace the challenge of guarding another good player?
Once I figure that out I start looking closer at actual defensive ability. Defense is 75% desire and 25% skill / fundamentals. In terms of skill / fundamentals I look at 3 things.
1) his ability to guard the ball (Can he keep the ball in front of him),
2) is he in a stance and focused off the ball (helpside defense) and
3) does he communicate defensively.
Inspire: Now Coach, what are some things that will cause you to walk away from a recruit or maybe keep a kid buried on the bench?
1. Constantly is pointing fingers at other teammates when something goes wrong.
2. It does not seem to bother him when someone scores on him.
3. Is constantly gambling on the defensive end (shooting gaps, reaching, etc.)
Inspire: How important is talking on defense? Should big guys (forwards) talk more?
It is very important for all players to talk on defense but maybe more so for bigs to talk. Simply due to the fact that they are typically on the back line of the floor they have the best vision of whats happening and therefore can communicate with the guards about things that they can not see. Also, as ballscreens become more and more prevalent in our game, post players must be able to communicate ballscreen coverages to their teammates.
Inspire: Basketball today, perhaps more than ever, is driven by statistics. What are some things a player do that may not show up on the stat sheet?
4 things that do not show up in the stat sheet that will always help get a player more time on the floor are:
1) Communicating with a purpose
2) Being able to guard the ball. Be the guy that does not require help
3) Jump to the ball on every movement of the ball or your man
4) Box your guy out on every shot. (you may not get the rebound but the guy you are guarding will definitely not get it)
Thanks Coach, wish you all the best on the remainder of the season:
As I mentioned, I played for Coach Loos during my college days. The beautiful thing about basketball is that it unites people from different walks of life. Now that we have spoken about the things that can help a player improve their game we will move on to a more serious note. Coach Loos' young daughter Rhyan has been battling cancer. She is currently receiving treatment at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She is a tremendous example of strength and courage. The Loos family and Rhyan have been battling for nearly two years. They are all in our prayers.
Learn more about Rhyan's progress and get involved by visiting the #RallyForRhyan Facebook page or www.rallyforrhyan.org.