“I challenge them. I’ll say, “You tell me the day I’m not the most organized, enthusiastic, energetic guy on the floor. If I’m not that guy, then that will be the day we end practice early and the next day I’ll quit.” If you can ever say, ‘Coach wasn’t organized today…He wasn’t into it today, ‘ then I have a problem. But I challenge anybody to find a Utah player who could ever say that.”
“There are very few big men, and we have more of a premium on the three-ball than ever. Overall, the three has been good for our game, but that’s only when the right guys are taking those shots. You go into any gym now, and watch kids from 7 to 17, and they all gravitate to the three-point line. Even the kids that can’t shoot are out there throwing up threes.
“The middle (-range) game is gone. The players we get in college – it’s about the dunk, the three and, more subliminally, about me as an individual. No bad intentions, just kids that want to do it by themselves.”
“When I’m looking at a player, I look for guys who love to play. I look at guys who have a feel for the game, a sense of the game. That’s very hard to find. Things like making the simple pass or letting the game come to him. I look for guys who can fit in with other guys. If you get too many guys who are score-oriented, then it’s hard to blend as a team.”
A few notes from his book, ‘My Life on a Napkin‘.
-We all lack something as coaches.
-One time he was working with Ricky Pierce, trying to get him to go left off the dribble. Don Nelson came up to him and said, “Look, you have to learn to look at a player and determine what he can do, rather than dwell so much on what he can’t do.”
-From Don Nelson to Majerus: “The 5 most important minutes of a game are the 5 minutes in the press conference after the game.”
-Once the season starts make a total commitment.
-The game, the responsibilities, and the pressure take their toll on you.
-He told parents he’ll care more about their son’s academics then they will.
-A coach needs to be committed to a kid’s education.
-The coach determines the program.
-When he recruits players: Looks for guys who love to play. Who have a feel for the game, a sense for the game. It’s very hard to find he says. Looks for guys whose teams win. He looks for improvement. Look at their worst games, se how they respond to adversity. Asks players what they shoot from the FT line; if they start the sentence with the word about, then they’re probably a poor shooter and second, they might not be committed to foul shooting and it’s importance.
-I watch how a kid responds to their parents. How a kid deals with his HS coach. I watch how they are during timeouts.
-The most pivotal spot in recruiting players is the point guard.
-I don’t know if I’m a good recruiter but I do know I’m a hard worker.
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