In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, long time Villanova women’s basketball head coach Harry Perretta joins the Basketball Podcast to discuss his unscoutable zone, and 5-out man, offense.
Perretta just completed his 42nd, and final season, as head coach of the Villanova women’s basketball program, Harry Perretta established himself as one of the most respected and knowledgeable coaches in the country. His 42nd and final season at Villanova tied him with Yvonne Kaufmann, who coached at NCAA Division III Elizabethtown from 1971 to 2012, for the most seasons as head coach at a single school in NCAA women’s basketball history
Perretta is the all-time winningest coach in the history of Villanova basketball, for both men and women. In 2017-18 Perretta led the Wildcats to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This marked the program’s 11th all-time trip to the NCAA Tournament and it was the team’s sixth consecutive 20-win season. It was also Perretta’s 20th, 20-win season of his career. He currently ranks ninth on the winningest active Division I coaches list and 13th all-time with a 746-463 career record. The 746 victories rank him as the all-time winningest coach in the history of Villanova basketball for both men and women.
In 2015-16, Perretta became the 10th active and 14th overall Division I women’s basketball coach to win 700 career games and just the third active Division I women’s coach to win 700 games at one school when Villanova tallied a 63-60 win at Georgetown on Feb. 21, 2016. He also became the 25th women’s coach across all divisions to win 700 games.
“My mentor taught me how to make up for what I couldn’t do from the physical standpoint or the talent standpoint by moving without the ball, moving intelligently.”
“If you’re a really good player, you could just play within this system . . and this system could help you get some easier shots but you could also use your individual talents to get your own shots.”
“Everything I did was from the aspect that we would be an underdog.”
“What I tried to do was . . I would try to take different peoples’ concepts and add them together.”
“We always try to recruit multi-faceted players – kids that can all shoot, pass and dribble . . that’s what we’re looking for, players that can play any spot on the floor.”
“The messy part is learning it but I also think how you learn it [the zone offenses], especially 5-on-5, makes you better at it.”
“The person that doesn’t shoot the ball could be used as a screener in the offense.”
“The things that disrupt it [the zone offense] the most are if you’re trapping us . . because when you’re trapped you can’t pass the ball and leave a spot because the person you’re passing it to is getting trapped, you have to stay out and help them.”
“[The zone offense] is predicated a lot on how good the particular player that is the flasher is . .usually the flashers are our top two or three players.”
“The number one rule is basketball knowledge . . or perception supersedes the number [of the cut].”
“If you’re not making good reads on your cuts, and the other team’s more aggressive and denies you the ball, that will disrupt [the man-to-man] offense . . we have to learn how to play within those disruptions.”
“I had access to all those people [Rollie Massimino, Larry Brown, Chuck Daly, etc.] Nowadays, I don’t know if young coaches have access to those kind of people so they have to either seek them out through clinics or camps …and then try to weave their own ideas into a combination of ideas.”
“You always want to be able to share and combine ideas.”
Selected Links from the Podcast:
1:00 – Staying at one school
3:00 – Developing his basketball system
4:00 – Freedom and Responsibilities
8:00 – Best Flasher
10:00 – Messy is a Part of Learning
12:00 – Adapting Different Zone Defense
15:00 – Adapting his offense system to his players
17:00 – Shot Selection and Playing person behind his own
18:30 – Flasher and the Normal Cutter
22:00 – Playmaker and the Flasher
24:00 – Things that can disrupted in his experience
26:00 – Cutting the space on spots
28:00 – Difficulties about the 1-3-1 Offense
29:00 – Number System
32:00 – Basketball knowledge supersedes the number
34:30 – Changing numbers
35:30 – Things that disrupted 5-and-0 Defense
37:30 – Reading the Plays
39:00 – Double Gap Creation
40:30 – Hunt Specific Matchups
42:00 – I wish I knew more
43:00 – Learnings while dealing with his Players
44:00 – Conclusion
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