Coaching in the Tourneys

Coach Ron Meyer: Coaching in the Tourneys

Coaches play a huge role in college basketball. You've probably heard that pro basketball is a player's sport, but college basketball is a coach's sport. That overstates things a bit...because you need good players to win in the colleges, and great coaches do make a difference in the NBA. But, the generally tendency is true. And, part of that is because there are so many college coaches who are in over their heads when it comes to pressure basketball.

Think about it this way. There are only 30 NBA coaches, and not all of them are good! There are more than 70 coaches who will be on the sidelines this week in the major tournaments, and a few dozen more in the mid majors that have yet to start. There's no way more than 100 coaches could all be great coaches!

So, one of your most important keys this week when trying to handicap conference tournaments is to focus on who the head coaches are. I know many of you don't do that. I'm guessing most of you reading this couldn't tell me who the head mean are right now at East Carolina, Colorado State, or San Jose State. Even in the major conferences you'd probably flunk a quiz if you had to name all 12 coaches in the Big 12, or all 16 in the Big East.

Of course, it's not their names that matter...it's their results! So, you can take a shortcut to evaluate coaches just by focusing on how each team has closed the season.

Did you read that major magazine article last week about the problems with the UCLA program in the not-too-distant past? Let me tell you....those kinds of things are going on RIGHT NOW at the MAJORITY of schools who will be on the floor this week! Now, I'm not saying the majority of big time programs, or the majority of teams who are national championship threats are in turmoil. But, a lot of those teams seeded 6-12 (or worse in the Big East) are having chemistry issues. That's why they're not in the upper division. That's why they're seeded so low. The coach either recruited poorly, or lost the attention of the players he recruited.

So...

  • Don't bet on teams who have closed the season poorly straight up or against the spread. It's unlikely the coach is going to get things going in the right direction here at the last second. Something's amiss, or the straight up and ATS records would be better the past few weeks.

  • Don't bet on teams that have been allowing high point totals. Winning coaches in this sport coach DEFENSE. One of the clearest signs of poor chemistry, or poorly coached teams is a lack of coherency on defense. The players don't hustle. They don't rotate to reach open opponents. They don't have each other's back. This is something you can see with your eyes very clearly if you watch a lot of games. But, it's also clear in the boxscore stats on defense.

  • Don't bet on teams who have played badly on the road this year. Good coaches are competitive anywhere. Poorly coached teams fall apart when outside of friendly territory. Teams with good chemistry have an “us against the world” mentality away from home that the coach knows how to magnify for tournaments. Groups with no chemistry play like five individuals rather than a team,, and they stopped listening to the coach back in late January.

Hopefully you've been following my advice all season and focusing on head coaches. But, I'm sure we now have many of you who are checking in with my articles for the first time because you've seen my selections have been on a historic tear. Well, they're on a historic tear because I focus on the strengths and weaknesses of coaches!

Do what you can to get caught up if you're a do-it-yourselfer by reviewing recent form, and full season defensive statistics. Or, take the easy way out and sign up for my personal service. You can purchase daily picks right here at the website with your credit card. Remember to take care of business EARLY this week because there are day games from now through Sunday.

I have great rates for the rest of basketball. You can take advantage of those online, or by calling my office at 1-877-540-8787.

Tuesday featured opening day action in the Big East and Atlantic 10. Do you know which coaches you should be avoiding and which you should be backing in those conferences? Conference USA, the Pac 12, and the Big 12 come on board Wednesday. You still have time to research the first day and bye coaches there. Thursday brings more of the big boys...with the Big 10, ACC, and SEC. My incredible run of late has mostly come in the major conferences. It's more obvious today than it's ever been...it's time to put A COACH IN YOUR CORNER!

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