In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Nova Southeastern head coach Jim Crutchfield joins the podcast to talk about his pressing uptempo philosophy. Crutchfield is one of the most successful coaches in NCAA basketball history.
NCAA coaching legend Jim Crutchfield will begin his sixth year and fifth season at the helm of the Nova Southeastern men’s basketball program in 2022-23.
Crutchfield was hired on March 21, 2017, following a historical stint at West Liberty, and quickly introduced a pressing, uptempo style of play that the Shark faithful had never been accustomed to. His recipe for success that had worked during the previous 13 years in the state of West Virginia transformed a 6-20 program into a Sunshine State Conference contender less than 12 months on the job.
During his short tenure at NSU, Crutchfield has produced five future professional players, had players earn a combined seven All-America honors, coached three CoSIDA Academic All-District selections, one D2CCA National Player of the Year, six First Team All-SSC performers, three SSC Newcomers of the Year and two SSC Freshmen of the Year.
- 428-81 career record (.841)
- Two-time National Coach of the Year (Basketball Times – 2012, 2013)
- Three-time Atlantic Region Coach of the Year (NABC – 2011, 2012, 2013)
- Seven-time Conference Coach of the Year (2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019)
- Four-time Furfari Award Winner for top college coach in the state of West Virginia for all sports (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).
- CollegeInsider.com Top 25 Non-Division I Coaches in the nation (2011)
- Jack Bennett Award recipient (2019)
Jim Crutchfield Video Learning:
Jim Crutchfield Quotes:
“During the offseason we don’t do traditional conditioning . . we play a lot more 5-on-5 but the way we play is exhausting . . it’s full court, face guard, man-to-man, trap, chase . .”
“I have an agreement with the players that if you play that way in the off-season, and you push yourself really hard, then we’re not going to do conditioning . . And I’ve found that you get in shape both mentally and physically.”
“We talk about what we call ‘the process’ here . . it’s a three part process that goes into that decision-making . . number one, you’ve got to see the game; and two, you’ve got to be able to analyze it quickly; and three, you have to be able to react.”
“Everything is charted and scored even in the open gym . . they chart winning and losing . . you look at some guys and maybe their numbers don’t show up on the stat sheet great, but their winning . . shows up . . they’re the common thread.”
“These guys all know that we’re looking for guys that win and that creates a good atmosphere for playing. They know it’s going to be charted; they know it’s going up on the board . . even drills in practice, in transition drills, there’s a winner and a loser . . guys tend to try harder and it’s more fun if there’s something on the line every day.”
“We’ll review videotape . . good decisions, bad decisions and there are a lot of decisions that are kind of gray . . If you’re going to go trap there’s a lot of decisions to be made – who you’re trapping, who you’re leaving, what the other team’s philosophy is . . how good are your teammates in rotation . .”
“When it comes to video . . I try to pull out some situations where I’m not just criticizing this one player but it’s something that needs to be learned across the board . . a lot of them are effort related . . so we constantly push the concept of more effort.”
“Our players have to play with confidence, and if they’re not confident players they don’t work well in our system because they have to be willing to attack the basket and look to score immediately.”
“In this process of playing . . fast, you wear teams out . .when a team gets tired they don’t want to defend . . [there’s] that thin line between we want to play fast and let’s make your team play some defense when they’re tired, too.”
“If you can have fun and still play hard, it’s a good practice for us.”
“I think gaps are easier to find when you’re pushing the ball in transition . . these teams are getting better and better at that pack-line defense . . I think the key is, don’t let them lock in on you, try to get them in transition . .”
“If you can attack from the elbows and that part of the court, there’s no real offside, weakside defense . . you can attack to both the left and the right as a pass and off the dribble, which means the defenders can’t quite get off their man quite as far . .”
“We are a 5-man motion offense, the post is available to anybody . . I’m not going to have a guy that’s going to be a traditional post-up player because so much of our offense is cutting and dribble penetration into that area.”
“We play the last couple minutes of a game out a lot in practice . . it gives me a chance to react how I’m going to react.”
Jim Crutchfield Breakdown:
1:00 – Left for a challenge
2:00 – Scrimmage Philosophy
4:40 – The Process
6:30 – Things Addressed During Scrimmage
8:40 – Isolation Work
10:30 – Defensive Pressure within the Scrimmage
12:00 – Getting Quickly into the Pressure
15:00 – How his Players Compete in Scrimmage
18:00 – Never Read a Basketball Book in his Life
19:00 – Shaping his Philosophy
21:00 – Teaching Players Decision Making
23:00 – Watching Video with his Players
24:20 – Scoring in Transition
26:00 – 10 Second Shot Clock
27:00 – Attacking to crete Confidence
29:00 – Spacing Template
30:00 – Emphasizing Everything
31:00 – Enjoying the System
32:20 – Talking about Advantage/Disadvantage
33:30 – Defining Shot Selection
35:00 – Players Care about Winning and Losing
36:00 – Phase of Play: Up Tempo Practice
39:00 – Ways to Create Gaps to Drive
41:00 – Playing Through the Elbows a Lot
45:00 – He Believed in a Game of Basketball that Don’t Anymore
46:00 – Better Coach because of his Philosophy
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