The Basketball Podcast: E01 with Coach Dave Paulsen on Game Preparation

RELEASE DATE : 05/09/2018

In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, we are joined by Dave Paulsen. Coach Paulsen is the former head coach of the George Mason University men’s basketball program. Host Chris Oliver, and Coach Dave Paulsen discuss ideas for preparing for a game. Game week, game day, practice, opponent scout, self-scout, and other ideas about coaching basketball, and running a basketball program, are discussed and shared to stimulate your thinking.

Dave Paulsen was formerly the head men’s basketball coach at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He was previously the head coach at Bucknell University for seven seasons. Prior to Bucknell, he spent eight years as the head coach at his alma mater, Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and also coached at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, and Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.

“The game has to look like our practice and not their practice.” – Dave Paulsen 

Dave Paulsen Basketball Offensive and Defensive Absolutes


  • Nothing in transition.
  • No shots deep paint.
  • No rhythm 3’s for 3-point shooters.
  • No second shots.
  • No fouls.


  • No bad shots.
  • No turnovers.
  • No emotional baggage.

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1:00 – Do previous games dictate your preparation going into the next game

4:00 – Importance of process

6:00 – Actions to prepare for future opponents

8:00 – Scouting opponents

10:00 – Practicing scout vs. a live defense

13:00 – D.O.D and O.D.O trips

15:00 – Players being more competitive than coaches

18:00 – Practice preparations to develop team strengths and weaknesses

20:00 – Fun and intense practices

22:00 – Practice duration vs intensity

24:00 – Focus on recovery and regeneration

26:00 – Do you care about opponent play calls?

29:00 – Part whole part concept

31:00 – Group or individual film sessions

36:00 – What stats drive game preparation?

40:00 – George Mason offensive and defensive absolutes

41:40 – Dealing with emotional baggage during the game

Dave Paulsen Links:

Bio:  https://gomason.com/coaches.aspx?rc=460&path=mbball

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PaulsenDave

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