The foundation of Coach Jim Crews' St. Louis program is based on these fundamental yet essential concepts: educate, encourage and empower. In this fantastic, on-court look into an actual team practice, you'll see him apply these concepts as he prepares his team for the coming season. By covering skill development along with team concepts, you'll get a great idea of how and why Coach Crews has been so successful with this mid-major team.
Coach Crews begins the practice session focusing on fundamentals, which he believes are essential to developing a successful team. Specifically, he focuses on defensive fundamentals. He runs his players through basic drills that emphasize staying in a defensive position, having high hands and containing the ball. In his 3-on-4 drill, players learn how to be successful by following these guidelines.
In each drill he demonstrates, Coach Crews stresses accountability.
Coach Crews moves on to a terrific drill that works multiple offensive concepts. The "4-on-3 Whitesell Drill" teaches entry passes, post ups and escape dribbles as well as how to inbound efficiently. Players learn to stay focused on each step of the drill. Intense focus pays off in the long run as players quickly become able to work on several concepts effectively.
Coach Crews then talks briefly about how he structures his practices, focusing first on strengthening weaknesses from the previous practice and then moving into a normal routine. His explanation of how and why he runs practices this way is quite insightful.
Coach Crews then gets players back on the court with some more fundamental drills. He believes that fundamentals are the invisible force that moves a team in the right direction. The shooting work that follows underscores this point. The big players work on jump hooks and post moves while the perimeter players spend time with ball handling that leads into shots off ball screens.
In the latter part of the DVD, Coach Crews runs players through their offense against a 3/2 zone. This provides a really good look into one aspect of the team's strategies and also shows how basic concepts are applied to the work players do. As always, Coach Crews consistently holds his players accountable for doing the little things correctly, which is probably the biggest reason for his team's continued success. A great transition drill follows that lets players get up and down the court but also works on both offensive and defensive transition.
Coach Jim Crews' background of playing and coaching under Bobby Knight as well as Rick Majerus has helped develop a winning formula that has helped the Billikens be consistently successful. In this great DVD, you will see how a celebrated coach prepares his team for the season ahead.
Produced at the Fall 2013 St. Louis (MO) clinic.
103 minutes. 2014.
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