In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Mega Basket head coach Marko Barać shares insights on KYP, defensive strategies and 5-on-5 is the only competitive drill.
Marko Barac is a Serbian professional basketball coach who is currently the head coach of Mega Basket of the ABA League.
He started his coaching career in 2009 as an assistant coach in the junior selections of the Superfund and then in Crvena zvezda, and then in 2013 he became the head coach of the Italian team Orton, after which he was an assistant coach in the Polish team Charny Slupsk. From 2016 to 2018, he was the head coach of Torlak, and then for one season the coach of Mladost Zemun, while for the previous three years he was the assistant coach in Igokea.
On several occasions he has been the assistant coach of the youth national teams of Serbia, with which won bronze at the U18 European Championship in 2012, silver at the U19 World Cup in 2013 and bronze at the U20 Eurobasket in 2014.
He started his coaching career in 2009 as an assistant coach in the youth selections of Superfund and later joined the Crvena zvezda under-18 team as an assistant coach. For the 2013–14 season, Barac was the head coach for We’re Basket Ortona of the Italian 3rd-tier Serie B. He has also been an assistant coach for Energa Czarni Slupsk and coached Belgrade-based team KK Torlak for two seasons.
Marko Barać Quotes:
“I always like to know who makes the advantage and who uses the advantage. That is a really important thing . . So part of KYP [Know Your Personnel] is to know who is capable of doing what offensively and defensively with a basketball in their hands or without.”
“For every coach, I think the most important thing is giving roles to certain players and putting the players in a place is on the court where they can perform and help the team the best way possible.”
“With a young team, you don’t want to confuse responsibilities. You want to have as few gray areas as possible . . You need to make sure that they know their job and they know their responsibilities . . With teams that are made of experienced players, players who won already, players who know how to play. I think having little bit of gray area eventually it can help you because you can push them to do more sometimes tactically.”
“Having too many rules prevents you from making decisions . . You need players to make decisions, to take more responsibility. Maybe you need less structure because they are able to give more intensity-wise.”
“When you are playing a switching defense, your primary intention is to stop the ball movement. You want to limit the closeouts; you want to limit the numbers advantage. You want to keep in front of the man all the time, you don’t want any rotations . . it’s important not to give up easy points in the paint, but I would like it more if I can put the guy who has enough size on initial ball handler. So, after the switch, we stay home.”
“For me, I’ve found two different levels of putting your team in a shape. You need to have competitive drills in order to put your team in shape, and that is playing 5-on-5 as a competitive drill. But you need the drills to make that shape last longer. So, let’s say . . you need to be good enough in a month. You’ve got to play competitive drills. You’ve got to play 5-on-5 as much as possible. It is the only way to be good enough soon enough. But, you also need to put in some drills that are not competitive, that are learning experiences, teaching points, so that shape that you got early enough can last longer because it’s more fundamentally sound.”
“You’ve got to use their instincts. The best players have best instincts and you’ve got to help them . . practice reactions. You want to practice to play based on what you see. You want to practice and cherish making quick decisions even if they’re wrong at the beginning. A bad decision is better than a slow decision. Slow decisions destroy your offense and your game overall. So push them to make quick decisions from the very beginning and work on decision making day by day and eventually it will be a good combination.”
“I think the biggest thing in growing up in Serbia is that coaches are trying to teach you how to play . . I think we are trying to teach them how to play to be fundamentally strong . . they still teach kids how to compete and how to play collectively, 5-on-5, with all the values that we want as basketball people, sharing the ball, being unselfish, playing defense, working on your fundamentals.”
Marko Barać Breakdown:
1:00 – Summer League
4:00 – Know Your Personnel
7:00 – PR and DHL Guy
13:00 – Strip Serving Coaching
16:30 – Tactics with the Veteran Team
22:00 – Taking Away Pass
25:07 – 26:09 – Hoopsalytics AD 3
31:00 – Value of Triple Switch
35:30 – Seven Point Game
40:00 – Competetive Drill
44:00 – Rules of the Drill
48:00 – Break Instincts
50:00 – Dribble Handoffs
52:00 – Long and Short Close Outs
56:00 – Serbian Basketball
59:00 – Conclusion
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