The Basketball Podcast: E02 with Dusty May on Taking Over a Program

RELEASE DATE : 12/09/2018

In this week’s coaching conversation, Florida Atlantic head coach to Dusty May joins the Basketball Podcast to share insights on taking over and building a basketball program.

Dusty May led Florida Atlantic to its greatest season in school history in the 2022-23 campaign. Heading into the postseason, the Owls own a remarkable record of 28-3 and have accomplished several feats that have never been done in FAU history. May led the Owls to a Conference USA Regular Season title for the program’s first championship since 2010-11. Additionally, May led the Owls to their first ever Top 25 ranking in school history, climbing as high as No. 19 in the AP Top 25 poll and No. 20 in the USA Today Coaches poll.

Under Dusty May’s guidance, the 2022-23 Owls have the most wins in school history, the most conference wins in school & C-USA history (18) the longest winning streak in school history & had the third-longest streak in C-USA history (20 games). May was named Conference USA Coach of the Year.

Dusty May, who is the program’s ninth head coach, is the only FAU head men’s basketball coach to lead his team to four consecutive winning seasons. The 2021-22 campaign saw the Owls finish 19-15 to rack up the third most wins in a single season at FAU, which included a trip to the Roman College Basketball Invitational (CBI), the program’s fourth ever postseason tournament appearance. Alijah Martin earned All-Conference USA Third Team honors and Michael Forrest was named to the NABC All-District Team, the first for the Owls in nine seasons. Throughout a stretch of the season, the Owls were on a 10-game home winning streak, being just one of 23 teams in the nation with 10+ straight wins at home. FAU’s school-record 11 C-USA wins helped the team earn the third seed in the C-USA Tournament. The Owls went on to earn their fourth consecutive win at the opening/second round of the C-USA Tournament with their dominant 86-59 win over Southern Miss.

May joined FAU after three years as an assistant coach at the University of Florida, where he helped the Gators compile a 69-37 record, including back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. The Gators reached the second round of this year’s tournament after advancing to the Elite Eight in 2017. As a full-time assistant, May’s teams compiled a 274-166 record (.623 winning percentage).

May served six seasons (2009-15) as assistant coach and associate head coach at Louisiana Tech. In his final season with the Bulldogs, the team went 27-9, including 15-3 in Conference USA to win the regular season championship by two games, and went 17-0 on its home court. Louisiana Tech won 49 of 50 home games from February 2012 through the end of the 2014-15 season.

May was a student manager for the Indiana University men’s basketball team and after graduating began his professional career as an administrative assistant/video coordinator at USC from 2000-02. He returned to Indiana in an administrative role for three seasons before taking his first step as an assistant coach with Eastern Michigan (2005-06). He has also served as an assistant at Murray State (2006-07) and UAB (2007-09).

Dusty May

Listen Here:

Dusty May Quotes:

“We want to play out of concepts and live in our guys’ strengths…figure out what our guys do well and let them play.”

“I’ve learned more from my players than any coaching clinic…the guys should have the freedom to play the game.”

“We want to be a good offensive rebounding team, so if I can’t anticipate what shot you’re going to take, it’s probably not a good shot.”

Dusty May Breakdown:

1:00 – First Action Item of a New Coach
2:00 – Current Roster Transition
3:30 – Improving the Roster
5:30 – Getting Better Players for the Program
6:30 – X and 0’s
8:20 – Coaching Ideas and the Process
9:30 – Playing with a Fast Tempo Philosophy and Establishing that Identity as a Program
11:00 – Scouting Individual Strengths and Giving Trusts to the New Set of Players
13:00 – Scoring Percentages in the Half Court vs Transition
14:40 – “Was that a Good Shot?”
16:00 – Next Steps after Roster Transition
18:00 – Individual Skills vs Team Concept in Training
20:00 – “Beating the Best Team in the League” Philosophy
22:00 – Coach May’s Basketball Coaching Philosophy and Applying other Coaching Philosophies
24:00 – Tweaking and Evaluating Offensive Plan
27:00 – Reading Books outside Basketball
29:30 – The Coaching Staff
31:00 – Empowering Players
32:00 – Seeking Feedback from Players
34:00 – Game Preparation for future Opponents
35:30 – Discussion on Western Conference Finals Game 7
40:00 – NBA Philosophies in the NCAA Game
41:00 – Building Chemistry Off the Court
44:00 – Recruiting Players who Love the Game

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