In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Larry Shyatt joins the Basketball Podcast to discuss all things coaching including best teaching concepts, transition defense, free throw practice, the NBA and NCAA, changes in the game, culture and so much more.
Download Defensive Notes from Larry Shyatt by clicking here:
Larry Shyatt has been a highly respected and successful coach at the collegiate level for decades. Shyatt is currently on a hiatus from coaching after having spent the last few years with Rick Carlisle’s staff with the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA.
In 2015 Shyatt led the Wyoming program to just its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1988, the same year also winning the Mountain West Conference tournament for the first time since 1988. Prior to his five-season stint at Wyoming, he was an assistant coach under Billy Donovan at the University of Florida from 2004-11. During that time, Florida won back-to-back national championships with a team featuring, among other players, Al Horford, Joakim Noah, and former Maverick Corey Brewer.
Hailed for his defensive mind, Shyatt built one of the country’s best defenses during the 2014-15 season at Wyoming. Led by Larry Nance Jr., now playing with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cowboys allowed just 56.4 points per game, seventh-best in the nation that season, according to Sports-Reference.com. Nance would become Wyoming’s first player selected in the NBA Draft since Theo Ratliff in 1995. Shyatt finished with a 117-78 (.600) record with the Cowboys. Before that, he was head coach at Clemson from 1998-2003 — finishing runner-up in the NIT in 1999 — and assisted at Cleveland State, New Mexico, and Providence.
Learn more from Larry Shyatt with this blog on preparing for a head coaching position by clicking here:
“I never thought, nor do I believe that I worked for Ric Barnes or Billy Donovan or Rick Carlisle and . those who worked for me – you work with me but we serve Clemson or we serve Florida or we serve the Mavs, all of us included.”
“Everybody says honesty’s very important. Of course, it is. But truth telling is telling the whole truth. A lot of us, we leave things out sometimes. . maybe because we don’t want to hurt somebody . . but to me that [truth telling] is the essence of us being the proper mentors and teachers and coaches.”
“I always wanted to make sure I didn’t disappoint the people I love the most – my family.”
“Everybody cannot be advantaged playing the game the same way . . all [teams] . . have different strengths and weaknesses.”
“Think about what a coach’s job is. We’re trying to bring people together . . for an us against them, for something more important than self.”
“Anything we’re doing in our teaching or on the floor and anything we’re doing off the court, we have to support. You can support it with video . . and show them [players] why this is important.”
“How are you going to handle your staff? All suggestions are good suggestions, so long as you . . tell me ‘why?’ “
“Before we can talk about winning or winning a championship or being successful, we have to know what goes into losing . . [so that] when the chaos, when the adversity hits . . we can get away from that or guard ourselves from that or at least be more intelligent about it.”
“To me, you’ve got to show the players who you are both on and off the court.”
“We had one quote up in all six years at Wyoming . . because of . . who I thought we needed to emblemize and who we were . . it said, ’Hard work and intellect will defeat talent, when talent doesn’t show.’ . . You’d be shocked how many times talent doesn’t show.”
“Great teams win without their coach . . you’re not looking at your coach every single decision. You’re going to play on your instincts, on your practice and for each other.”
“I had to make sure they understood, ‘This guy actually cares about me. This guy believes in my future.’”
“I’m a whole-part-whole guy . . any drill that we were going to use, we were going to show video or show on the floor . . why we were doing this and how it’s going to operate in the real game.”
“If you’re a college basketball coach at any level . . your academic person, your trainer and your strength coach are the three people who will end up spending the most time with your team when their guard’s down . . that is really important.”
“When you’re setting up your year you have to set it up two ways: One, you have to know how you’re going to defeat the top two, maybe three, teams in your league. And, second of all, you have to find out how you’re going to be best in March.”
“I place a lot of emphasis . . on the first six and last six seconds of every possession . . trying to take away the first lay-up and three . . and trying to make sure that we get over 80% of the defensive rebounds.”
“We went to the most important part of the game . . transition D . . we always talk about hands, feet, mouth . . good teams do two of them but the great teams use their hands, their feet and their mouth . . I am not moving on from transition D until I am certain I like the smell of the gym . . it’s got to be loud, it’s got to be urgent.”
“[Free throws] were something I knew was important . . in our style of play . . it didn’t matter how much talent the opponent had, they can’t guard us there [at the free throw line].”
“One other thing about fouls and their significance . . if their good players [on the opposing team] foul, they don’t get to play as much . . you want to get the talent level a little equal? . .let’s get a couple of those guys sitting on the bench because they couldn’t or they didn’t want to guard long enough.”
Selected Links from the Podcast:
1:00 – Introduction
3:00 – Are you a Giver or a Taker?
5:00 – Supportive Family All The Way
8:00 – Past and the Present Coaching
11:00 – Playing Differently and Strengths of His Team
13:00 – Changes by the use of the cell phone
15:00 – The Power of the Negative Thinking
18:00 – What a Loser Looks Like
21:00 – Aggressive, Discipline and Selfishness
23:30 – Be The Culture
29:00 – Blending of Things from NBA to NCAA
34:00 – Being Successful in Preparation and Teaching
38:30 – Connecting the Parts
45:00 – Defeating Top Teams in the League
50:00 – Numbers and Analytics
56:00 – Beginning and the End of the Game
59:00 – Best Drills for Transitioning Defensive Concepts
1:01:00 – Loads
1:03:30 – 6-7-8 and Pressure Free Throws
1:08:00 – Free Throw Percentage
1:10:00 – The Psychology of Shooting a Free Throw
1:13:30 – Valuing The Game in the Past
1:18:00 – Love of the Game or the Salary
1:20:00 – Loving the Game of Life
1:22:00 – Conclusion
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