The Basketball Podcast: EP273 with Rob Senderoff on Toughness and Disruption

RELEASE DATE : 21/06/2023

In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff joins the Basketball Podcast to share insights on toughness, disruption and getting the right shots.

Rob Senderoff ranks all-time winningest coach in program history with 219 wins. Senderoff is in elite company that includes Tom Izzo (Michigan State) and Mark Few (Gonzaga) as head coaches who have not had a losing season during their head coaching career (minimum of 10 seasons coached).

In the 2022-2023 season, Senderoff led Kent St to a 28-7, 15-3 in conference play. It is the best record of Senderoff’s career and the best record by Kent State since 2007-2008 when they also went 28-7 overall. Kent St would defeat Toledo to win the MAC Tournament. It was the second time in Senderoff’s career his Flashes won the Tournament and their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament during his tenure.

The 2022 MAC Coach of the Year and 26-year coaching veteran has continued the success of the storied program that he helped build by leading the Golden Flashes to seven 20-win campaigns, the most by any coach in Kent State history. In 2016-17, Kent St returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008 and claimed the program’s first Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship.

EP273 with Rob Senderoff

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Rob Senderoff Quotes:

“I think as a player and as a coach, it does motivate you when you have some disappointment to try to come back even better . . our kids deserve all the credit on that . . not everybody’s built for that as a player. Not everybody’s built for that as a program.”

“When you have some good guards . .what I would say is I don’t try to overcoach them. We do a lot of coaching in practice . . But when you’ve done a lot of coaching in practice and you have good players, you let them feel like they have confidence to make plays.”

“Our practices are incredibly competitive. There are very few things that we do that are not live . . where there’s a winner and a loser, there’s a score being kept . . In some ways we’re going to give up a little bit of execution because we’re not stopping and doing a ton of drills as much as we’re trying to incorporate the competitiveness into the drill.”

“Our kids are really competitive, so I think that has a lot to do with why we’re good defensively. Two, because we watch film every day before practice, your defensive lapses are going to get called out in front of your teammates significantly more than a turnover or what somebody may consider a questionable shot.”

“We don’t gamble a ton for steals, but we get a lot of steals in that every time an offensive player spins from the weak side, you’re in full attack on that spin . . we’re attacking spin dribbles in the half court. It’s something we have a couple of drills for, and it’s something that we’re really emphasizing.”

“We’re going to attack the ball. And to be good at it, you also have to be able to rotate and cover for each other and you have to have multiple efforts.”

“Our game is really different because the defensive 3 seconds, it’s a game changer on how you can defend in the NBA versus how you can defend in college. Because of that we defend a lot differently than what I see teams in the NBA do.”

“We want to defend hard without fouling and we want to be physical without putting a team on the free throw line all the time . . we, as a program, are willing to live with the other team, maybe going to the free throw line a little bit more because of fouling. But we’re going to go to the free throw line because we’re going to be all over the offensive glass and we’re going to be physical on the offensive end of the floor, too. And we’re going to drive the ball and play off 2ft and be strong, and we’re going to post the ball.”

“The attack of the spin is strictly based on me cutting off the offensive player and dictating. We use that term a lot, ‘dictate.’ We use that on ball screens. I’m guarding the ball handler on a ball screen, my job is to dictate where he goes.”

“I’ve got to give some freedom to the players to make decisions and play. And I’m much more comfortable being demanding on the defensive end than I am on the offensive end. We try to put our guys in positions offensively to make simple plays. It’s always simple plays, singles, not home runs, simple plays.”

Rob Senderoff Breakdown:

1:00 – Rallying a Team
6:30 – Good Guards and Statistics
12:00 – Defensive Scoring
17:00 – Spin Dribble Defense
20:30 – Being Consistent
24:30 – Mindset Training
29:32 – 30:40 – Hoopsalytics Minute
30:41 – Bouncing Physical
33:00 – Defensive Players of the Year
37:00 – Philosophy of Shot Contest
40:00 – Individual Close Out
45:00 – Spin Concept Revisited
52:00 – Rebounding Philosophy
57:00 – Philosophies of Limiting Turnovers
1:02:00 – Coaching Tree
1:04:00 – Conclusion

Rob Senderoff Selected Links from the Podcast:

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