Tribute to Lute Olson

It was amazing to speak with Randy Brown about his days coaching alongside Lute Olson.  The way Randy spoke about Lute told you just how much he learned from him and how much he admired the person he is. Randy didn’t simply say Lute was an amazing coach, he said Lute is an amazing person.OlsonGraphic

I met Lute once when I was 13.  I attended his basketball camp in Tucson, Arizona about 9 years back. It was a week long camp which included a personal photo opp with the coach. I’ll never forget that camp simply because the demonstrations from current and past Arizona players were spectacular. It was every kids dream to attend Lute’s camp and you know the man himself wasn’t just trying to make an extra buck by hosting a summer camp. Lute was there to help kids learn basketball correctly and build an audience for the university in which he represented. That is why Lute is awesome and why he is loved by everyone in the basketball community.

On August 8th, 2009 coach Lute Olson is to be recognized for his amazing Hall of Fame Career at the University of Arizona at which he coached. In his tenure with the University he contributed to 11 Pac-10 titles, 23 consecutive NCAA appearances, 4 final fours, and a national championship in 1997. The ceremony will last from 11Am until 12:30 Pm at the McKale Memorial Center in Tucson. The event will include presentations from NBA players that Lute coached as well as a highlight reel of bits and pieces of those 23 seasons in which he led the Wildcats to the Big dance and beyond. The ceremony is free to the public and is sure to be amazing so be sure to stop by with a friend. Thanks again for everything Lute! Arizona fans will never forget you.

Advertisements

Randy Brown: Mentor to over 100 Coaches into the Collegiate Level

This past Friday I spoke on the phone for twenty minutes with coach Randy Brown about his coaching career. I asimagesked him a few questions about the process of becoming a coach. In a moment we’ll take a look at those questions and his responses but before we jump into that interview, lets go over his resume.

Randy is a coach of 30 years, 20 of which were with an NCAA team. He has also done work for F.I.B.A, Winning Hoops, and Coach and Athletic Director Magazine. Randy is nationally published and has mentored over 100 coaches into the collegiate level. He has helped develop 12 NBA players including Steve Kerr, Sean Elliot, and Jaamal Tinsley. Randy even coached a while alongside University of Arizona ‘s Lute Olson. Currently he runs an organization which he created called CoachRB, where he helps to mentor other coaches. If you have any interest at all in coaching, be sure to check out his site.

  1. Randy, you are the owner and founder of Coach RB, a website and program that helps to mentor coaches into the collegiate level. Can you tell us about Coach RB and what it encompasses?

Randy Brown– “Well I’ve been coaching for 30 years now. I spent 20 years coaching at the college level 070605dunkand have been fortunate and lucky to have had experience with a bunch of great programs and coaches. So now I’m returning the favor. I use my resources and contacts to help others. I’m very indebted to those who helped me and now I’m just enjoying returning the favor to those who want to learn. In general my site is free to any coach or visitor that wants to learn more about basketball.  Hopefully I’ve provided info that coaches can use and apply.”

2) You have mentored over 100 coaches into the collegiate level from coaching at a lower level such as high school. When you’re helping a coach transition to the college level, what is your main area of focus? In other words, what is the difference between coaching college and high-school hoops outside of the talent level?

Randy Brown: “I would say a couple things. One, a coach needs to know what they are getting into. I’ll tell you that it’s not ESPN, it’s the most physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding job ever. Those that make it as a coach at the college level I call ten percenters. Because only 1 in 10 coaches that come to me and say they wa29ed869nt to be a college coach actually makes it. The others “want to” become college coaches, but lack the desire, energy, and total commitment it takes to do everything possible to make it happen. This is where over 90% of aspiring coaches fail!…. I would also say that it doesn’t matter what you did at any other level.. It doesn’t matter if you have a record as a high school coach that reads 100 to 1 or 1 to 100. Young coaches like to think that because they are winning 70% of the time that they can handle moving up the ranks to the college level. That’s misguided thinking. Many times I scare away young guys that join my program because I’m real with them and tell them what coaching at the college level is going to be. Getting into college is all about your coaching network and the strength of your coaching tree!

The second thing I would say to a coach or teach to a coach trying to to move up is how to network:  how t57145126o meet coaches, how to find a job, or how to find a future job. You have to know to network. Every coach in this business knows just about every other coach in this business. Once a participant does my program, you become aware of the value of developing relationships. A college coach has to be totally committed to their job in every aspect which includes work off the court. I teach the ins and outs of coaching at the college level that are not expected.”

3) I see you graduated from Arizona and were mentored by Lute Olson himself. My father went to Arizona and still currently resides in Tucson . I’m a huge Arizona Wildcats fan and just have to ask you about your experience working with Lute. What did the experience working with him mean to you and out of the many things you gained from coaching alongside him, what is the number one thing you took away?

Randy Brown: “As a young guy growing up in Arizona , Lute was a huge deal. It crushed the people in Iowa when he 29ed869left the University of Iowa for Arizona . But coaching with Lute Olson was like a dream come true. He is a master of so many things. He has one of the sharpest minds in basketball and one of his greatest abilities is making changes in the midst of the game. He does everything well. He recruited extremely well because he is so personable. He always treated everyone kindly. Lute is the most A to Z person I know. He won over 1000 games at all levels which is just a crazy statistic…

Now this may be a surprising answer but the biggest thing I learned from him was how to be personable. As a young high school coach, I wrote Lute a lot to stay in touch or ask for advise. Amazingly, he always wrote a halute_olson1ndwritten note back. He wrote all hand written letters to his recruits. So I adopted that as a coach. Now I’ve written thousands of hand written letters to all types of people for all reasons. He taught me to use the personal touch to develop relationships to build your program the right way.”

4). For those students who are just graduating college who desire a career coaching hoops, what do you suggest is their best first move? How should they go about working their way to becoming a successful coach? Where is the start to a coaching career?

Randy Brown:  “First of all each state has their own coaching certification process. In our state there are certain      29ed869courses you have to take. Anybody can do that. You don’t have to be an education or PE major to get coaching certification. Number two, you need to get experience. Coach a 3rd grade girls team at the YMCA if you need to. But get experience, there’s no replacement for that. Number three, become a student of the game. Convince yourself that you don’t know anything about the game and really study it. There’s nothing like hands on experience so get out there. Find a mentor. If you’re 20 years old, go to the 60 year old coach at a nearby school and sit down for an hour with him/her. In one hour with that coach he will give you all the wisdom and info that you would learn from reading countless books. I’ve mentored a ton of coaches and have helped many into the coaching position they want. The benefits of having a mentor are countless.”

Alright for those aspiring coaches out there this interview was for you. Lets recap what we learned.

  1. You need a coaching mentor- Randy Brown is offering his services to you so be sure to check out his website.
  2. Networking—this is the #1 key to becoming a college basketball coach and is taught in Randy’s CCN (College Coach Now) program.
  3. Get ready for potentially the most intense job possible..
  4. Be personable. Perhaps write a hand-written letter when possible. (Lute taught us that)
  5. Get some experience wherever possible. 3rd grade girls team works.

Thanks again to Randy Brown for his time and wisdom. Want more hoops news? Follow @DinoGomez.

James Harden and Jordan Hill Sign

Arizona’s Jordan Hill and Arizona State’s James Harden have inked contracts for their respected NBA teams. Hnba_logo_2_z-thumbill was the 8th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft for the New York Knicks while James Harden was the 3rd overall pick for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Details of Harden’s contract were not released yet however it is rumored that Hill’s contract looks something like 4.3 million over the next 2 years. Personally I’m still waiting to hear news about Chase Budinger, another former ex-zona player and Jeff Teague, my underdog pick to turn up huge in the league.

Arizona sets a record with 31 draft picks since 1989

When Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill were called into the NBA this year they made the 30th and 31st players from Arizona to be drafted into the league since 1989. You see in 1989 the NBA draft was shortened into 2 rounds and since then only a few elite programs can say they have had over 20 of their players selected in the NBA draft. Those programs would be: Duke with 29, UCLA with 28, North Carolina with 25, Connecticut with 23, ancatsd Kansas with 22.

Arizona also has the longest current consecutive streak with an invitation to the NCAA tournament with 25. North Carolina holds the record with 27 straight appearances which began in 1975 and ended in 2001. Only 3 more years to go for the Cats which should be easier now considering Arizona’s new coach, Sean Miller, did a remarkable job recruiting this offseason and has the program commanding the 12th best recruiting class of 2009.

While we are on the subject of records and or awards, Playboy came out with their 2008- 2009 College Party School of the year award where Arizona ranked 5th. No wonder Sean Miller had such an easy time signing recruits, it’s a fun place to go to school.

Jordan Hill gets off the ground fast but is down to earth

When Jordan Hill showed up at the University of Arizona as a freshman, he was just tall. After 3 years in Tucson playing under 3 different coaches he is now tall and NBA caliber talented. As you may know,  Hill was drafted 8th overall in this recent 2009 NBA draft by the New York Knicks for his ability to be a beast on the court. This past season at Arizona he averaged exactly 18.3 points a game and 11 rebounds every contest even with his consistent foul trouble. What you may not know about him is that he is actually a gentle giant off the court. He is basically Sanka from Cool Runnings mon. Hill looks Jamican, acts Jamican, and may be Jamican? No but Hill is the first NBA player to join our Facebook page which is awesome. He is such a relaxed person that it is rumored that he would roll into McCale center at Arizona blasting Bob Marley from his ride as his choice of pre-game pump up music. You New York fans out there, how do you boo a player that jams to Marley? Anyways here is a great interview with th 6’10” power forward just days before he was drafted.

Better yet, which college team lost the most in the 2009 NBA draft?

It’s fun to discuss the NBA draft in terms of which NBA team will benefit the most from their picks as well as which players were drafted too soon or too late. However it is rare that a rookie comes into the league and dominates right away. They may snatch a starting position and put up impressive numbers in their first year, but they almost never make a huge impact right away. They have to develop first. That is why after the NBA draft it is more fun to discuss the NCAA. Imagine losing an NBA quality player at the college level? Now that makes an impact on your team. So instead of further dissecting where the draft picks are headed, were taking you back to where these players came from to see which programs have gaping holes to fill next season. The rules of this evaluation are simple: Two NBA players that leave the NCAA affect the college they attended more than if just one player left. So below are all the colleges that lost 2 or more players this year to the 2009 NBA draft.Louisville Media Day Basketball

  • Arizona – Jordan Hill (8) and Chase Budinger (44)
  • Arizona State- James Harden (3) and Jeff Pendergraph (31)
  • Uconn- Hasheem Thabeet (2) and A.J. Price (52)
  • Louisville- Terrance Williams (11) and Earl Clark (14)
  • Memphis- Tyreke Evans (4) and Robert Dozier (60)
  • North Carolina- Tyler Hansbrough (13)/ Ty Lawson (18)/ Wayne Ellington (28)/ Danny Green (46)
  • Oklahoma- Blake Griffin (1) and Taylor Griffin (48)
  • Pittsburgh- Sam Young (36) and Dejuan Blair (37)
  • UCLA- Jrue Holiday (17) and Darren Collison (21)
  • USC- DeMar DeRozan (9) and Taj Gibson (26)
  • Wake Forest– James Johnson (16) and Jeff Teague (19)
  1. North Carolina wins or technically loses this contest. Four players from their team left the Baby Blue behind. They have by far the most work to do if they are to match the caliber of their championship team this past year.
  2. Louisville loses the second most.  Terrance Willams and Earl Clark closed business deals for them on the court and losing them hurts.
  3. Arizona State and Wake Forest tie for third. ASU will have a tough time in the Pac-10 without Harden’s scoring and Pendergraph rebounding and blocking shots. Wake Forest finished poorly this last season but will be hard to recognize without James Johnson and Jeff Teague.

Best draft picks from second round in past 10 years

With the NBA draft another day closer, we have decided to recall the best draft picks from the second round in the past 10 years. These players were selected at positions where a career normally doesn’t exist for them  in the NBA after a matter of 3 or 4 years. We will start with the top pick and work down to the fifth best pick.redd

2000 – Bucks selected Michael Redd 43rd- That is just crazy. Michael Redd the guy with the sweet left hand jumper that seems to never miss was passed up 42 times before his name was called in the 2001 NBA draft. Redd is an NBA all-star now and franchise player for the Bucks. He also was chosen to represent the Dream Team in the Olympics in 2008 in which he contributed to a U.S. gold medal.

2001- Warriors selected Gilbert Arenas 31st- One of the league’s premier players was selected in the second round. Agent zero a.k.a. Gilbert Arenas, the franchise player for the Washington Wizards was offered the league maximum $127 million for seven years back in 2008. Instead he opted to receive $111 million so that his team had more money to spend elsewhere. Arenas has worn the number zero since high school when he was never given a chance to flourish on the court. He wore that number at Arizona and now in the NBA in order to remind himself what he has to prove.

1998 – Supersonics selected Rashard Lewis 32nd- Rashard Lewis who was just featured in the NBA finals as a member of the Orlando Magic is obviously talented. He is a 6’10 forward who can knock down long distance shots like he was a guard. He represents everything the NBA wants in a player. He is humble and extremely talented. He chose to take less money and play for the Magic because he understood that the majority of teams that win a championship do so with a dominant player at the center position. Lewis felt Dwight Howard was his best chance.

2003 – Mavs selected Josh Howard 29th- Josh Howard is still growing as a player but is already un-stoppable on the offensive end. He has a solid jump shot and is athletic enough to drive the lane. If the Mavericks or his team ever pushes far into the playoffs look for him to step up and take over big game situations.eva_longoria

2001 – Spurs selected Tony Parker 28th- Alright I know the 28th pick falls as the last pick of the first round but for matters here that is close enough. How amazing that Tony Parker was drafted so late. He is dominant at the point and has one of the quickest first steps in the league. He is an NBA allstar and three time NBA champion. He is also a pimp. He was approached after a playoff game in L.A. by Eva Longoria’s father and was congradulated on an impressive performance. Parker responded by explaining how hungry he was after his performance and invited Eva’s father and Eva herself to a late dinner. Parker treated the two to a late night Denny’s meal while playing everything casual. Before long he had his own date with Eva and now as you all may know she goes by Eva Longoria Parker. What a player.