In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Belmont University head coach Rick Byrd joins the podcast. Coach Byrd ranks fifth among all active NCAA Division I head coaches in career victories with 778, and stands first among all active non-Power 5 coaches. Some of the many highlights of the podcast include discussions on building a program with staying power, skip passes and offensive efficiency at the rim.
Head Coach Rick Byrd has been a model of consistency. Under Byrd, Belmont has reached postseason play in 11 of the last 12 seasons, including seven automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament. All told, Belmont has won 16 conference championships (nine regular season, seven tournament) since 2006 – only Kansas and Gonzaga have won more over that span.
Here is a video compilation demonstrating some post passes, post feed reactions and skip passes that contribute to Belmont’s post play philosophy.
“I think my job as a head coach. . is for our basketball program to enhance the school . . so I’m really careful about the character component in the young men I recruit.”
“If I could evaluate a player in any setting at all, it would be to watch him play a pick-up game when he didn’t know I was watching.”
“We’re supposed to be part of the educational process . . I do think coaches tend to lose sight of that in just trying to win games.”
“All of offensive basketball is about getting more than one person to have to guard the action . .”
“If you don’t have an inside threat . . then you’re not going to get good shots.”
“If we draw up the prototype [post player], it would be guys that are always looking to create angles inside so that when they catch the ball they’ve already got the defense in a bad spot.”
“The number of terrible two point shots I saw this year made me want to go watch tennis.”
“The reason we don’t switch a lot on defense is because there are too many gray areas . . if the offense is patient enough, they’re probably going to take advantage of it.”
“There’s something we can do with almost any way people are trying to defend us.”
“There’s just too many times when I see that we’re still mistreating players in the way we go about coaching them and the way we talk to them and the things we say to them.”
Click below to listen in if you listen on:
1:00 – Introduction
1:40 – Shaping Great Basketball Players and People
4:00 – Belmont Basketball Recruit Profile
8:30 – Coaching the Difficult Player
10:30 – Teaching Players how to be Respectful
13:00 – “Winning is Important” Philosophy
14:30 – Skip Passes
16:10 – Spacing Template
19:00 – Three-Point Percentage Success
21:00 – Finishing at the Rim Teaching
25:00 – Analytics
29:00 – Adapting to the Game
30:10 – Post Play and Finding Shooters
31:30 – Scripted Plays vs. Freedom
35:00 – Valuing Freedom
37:00 – Play Design
38:40 – Advice for Coaches
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