Dear MC Basketball Fans,
Well, all I can say is: It is going to get better real soon. Sometimes, life throws you a curve and it is all about how you respond. With the squad losing its first two games, I am disappointed obviously. We are lacking a level of consistency and, by golly, we must defend and rebound. Of course, we are preaching this to our team and trying to be as positive as possible. Our guys must understand the need to pay attention to detail and to play with a level of toughness that produces wins. Nobody gives you a win. You must earn it!
Coaching is all about relationships. There has to be a presence of trust from both involved parties. In this case, it is the trust between the player and coach. Coaching is taking a player where he can't take himself. Sometimes, this means defining his game and blending it within the system. The coach must be precise and direct with his instructions without affecting the player's confidence. The player must listen and focus on the instructions and accept the defined role.
Basketball is a team game and right now our team does not understand that the will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win. Often times, the game is won two or three days prior to the actual contest. Preparation for a game begins in practice and continues to the opening tip-off. A player's approach, mindset, focus, and concentration are major ingredients of the winning formula for success. To win consistently, you must invest consistently. Most of our team members have experience and should understand this very basic training principle. This year, most of them have been asked to either play a new position or have a greater role. Hopefully, we are investing in the right guys. The next few games will let us know.
Finally, as we move towards the Holiday season, I want to thank you for your support of the program. We are trying to uphold the standard of excellence that has been established by the teams of the past. To be ultra-competitive, there has to be a level of buy-in that exceeds all expectations. It cannot be a handful of guys. It takes a team that is willing to make the required sacrifice. Every day, we encounter opportunities to teach our young men how to succeed in basketball. It is amazing how these winning principles correlate with successful life skills that they will take with them long after their playing days. I wish you and your family a great Christmas. Be humble and grateful for all that we have.
Coach Randy Lambert
HOW TO GROW AS A COLLEGE BASKETBALL ASSISTANT by Raul Placeres
Learning to serve should be one of our biggest strengths.
Most conversations regarding the importance of an assistant coach start with how well of a recruiter he is. It's understood by most in our profession that recruiting is the lifeblood of a program. In today's game with the constant grind of the AAU circuit, rules constantly changing, one of the essential responsibilities an assistant should have is identifying prospects and implementing a database of recruits. Let's not forget that it is just not about fit, talent, and ceiling with the player but also establishing and building an authentic relationship with the prospect. Most of the time this is done by the assistant coach.
As I grow in this profession I appreciate all those assistants who have entered the profession from the bottom and worked themselves up the ladder. In today's game, not nearly enough coaches go through the progressions of the coaching ladder. Because of this, I believe at times we skip necessary skillsets to be an effective assistant as well as a potential head coach one day.
I have tried to put together areas that an assistant coach can work on in order to grow in the profession:
No job is too big, no job is too small. Do unrequired work.
How many times do we go to the office and mismanage our time?? My guess is plenty. Time management is essential in our profession. We must maximize our day. Many times we are pulled in different directions throughout the day. Just like we ask our players to have a plan and execute it, the same goes for us. We must learn to multitask. Our bosses don't need the added stress of picking up tasks that we don't complete because of the mismanagement of time. Don't procrastinate. When given a task knock them out of the way.
A coach who can maintain a social media presence has the ability to connect with many players in today's game. Being "in the know" also requires enormous amounts of responsibility. If you have any doubt about what you post on the internet don't do it. Remember we represent more than just ourselves. Be knowledgeable of the rules.
"The money will find you if you are good." Perfect your craft throughout the year. I am a firm believer in note taking during the year. Always have a pad in hand. I understand we use our phones for everything in today's world, but I am an anti-cell phone in meetings and film.
Write your thoughts on paper. Take 5-10 minutes each day to write notes about practice, a meeting you had with a player or something you may have picked up by watching something on the internet or tv.
I stress this part of the job to all young coaches who enter the profession.
Breaking Down Film:
An important skill!!! Film breakdown is just not an in-season job. It is a job that should be worked on in the offseason as well. Having the ability to break down a team is essential for growth as an assistant coach. This will teach you how to run your program one day. Be as precise and detail-oriented as you can be. It will only help your growth.
Understanding Who You Are and Where You Want to Be:
Respect and merit are earned through your work and trust. Be appreciative of the opportunity you have. Each year self-evaluate your growth not just as a coach but as a person. Align yourself with quality people. Work camps, watch videos, attend coaching clinics. Sure, luck plays a role in any career, but I believe if you prepare the right way, you will have a greater chance to be ready when the opportunity does come. Be organized. Be a good listener. Think outside the box.
Must take this part of your job very seriously. Attending events is your job. Keep conversations to a minimum when out recruiting. You are there to work. Evaluate the prospect by how he acts on the floor, off the floor, and most importantly around those who love him (mom and dad). How does he fit your system? Is it someone you see your boss coaching? Develop authentic relationships with travel and high school coaches. Be honest! Don't play the game because one day the game will play you.
Raul Placeres is the Associate Head Basketball Coach at Maryville coach in Tennessee under Coach Randy Lambert. After a standout playing career at Keystone Junior College and Maryville College, Coach Placeres began his coaching career at Gatlinburg Pittman High School. Twice he was named Sevier County coach of the year. Since returning to his alma mater as a coach they have captured a Great South Conference Title, two USA South Regular Season titles, and an NCAA Tournament bid. Follow him on twitter @Coachplaceres
Player Spotlight-JR Sanders
What has been the biggest change for you so far in college?
The biggest change for me is school work. In high school, the school work was easier and I rarely had to study. Now I'm in college and I have to really study. Good study habits are essential at MC because the school only gets harder.
Where did you play high school basketball at? Share with the fans some of your accolades.
I played high school basketball at Mount Juliet high school. I won district MVP my senior year and received 1st team all-tournament (region). I also graduated with honors and won the best all-around award at my school.
What is your favorite food? What is your favorite movie?
My favorite food is bacon and my favorite movie is Glory Road.
If you were stuck on a deserted island and needed a teammate to get you out, who would it be and why?
This is a hard question because I have faith and trust in all my teammates but I would have to choose Cullen. We have developed a great relationship and he's very dependable.
Describe the following players or coaches in one word:
Player Spotlight-Kaleb Estes
What are things you did this summer to improve your game?
This summer I spent a lot of time working on my jump shot. I focused on coming off screens and reading what the defense is doing.
What are some your individual and team goals?
I aspire to be on the All-Conference team. I want my team to attain the conference championship and make it to the NCAA Tournament.
If the game is on the line who would take the winning shot? Who would you trust to get a stop? Who would take the game-sealing free throws?
I have enough confidence in all my teammates but I feel like I would take the game-winning shot, Emier would get the defensive stop, and Calvin would seal the game with his free throws.
What is your favorite food? Favorite place to stop on the road with your team? Favorite candy? Favorite movie?
My favorite food is fried chicken. My favorite place to stay while on the road is Cracker Barrel. While watching my favorite movie Step Brothers I like to eat sour gummy worms.
What are some of the life lessons you have learned while attending Maryville College?
I have learned that if I am patient my opportunity will come. I have also learned that the only person that can hold me back, is me. Personal accountability is a must.
Alumni of the Month-David McGreal
Why did you choose to come to Maryville? Where did you play high school basketball at?
I chose Maryville because I wanted to play for a winning program. I came from Rockledge High School (Fla.) where we were state runner-up my senior year and I wanted to join a program that had a winning tradition and Maryville was the best fit for that, as well as the style of play that Coach Implemented.
What was your major at Maryville? What are you doing now?
I graduated with a degree in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology. I am currently the head men's basketball coach at Penn State University at Altoona. I also serve as the Coordinator of Student-Athlete Services
As a player at MC what was your best moment as a player?
My best moment was beating NCAA DI Belmont at Belmont my junior year and actually contributing down the stretch with a free throw and a couple rebounds to help seal the win!
As a former player of Coach Lambert, what are some of the things you learned at MC that you have taken to your profession as a coach?
Coach Lambert has been a major influence on my coaching style especially when it comes to running a practice and preparation. Coach is a stickler for taking advantage of practice time and meticulous about his preparation. Also, he taught most importantly that you must be responsible for your decisions whether right or wrong, and that has helped both on the court and off.
While at MC, of your teammates who was someone you looked up to and why?
I'd say Dee Bell. Dee was the consummate Fighting Scot, he busted his butt every day in practice and in the games, all while doing it right off the court as well. A good student and a guy that never strayed from the path. He was a guy I wish I would have followed more when I was a player. Not to mention is one of the best post players in the history of MC basketball.
Describe your former teammates in one word:
Wayne Norman- leader
Jeremy Burgess- SHOOTER!!
Scotty McDaniel- versatile
Sammy Williams- defense
Jason Poag- Hops!
Brian Mills- Red
Michael Danzy- crafty
Chris Houseright- STUD
Brent Watts- player
Teaun Winton- True PG
Jon Vaughn- physical
Spencer Beaty- battler
Dee Bell- Mr. MC
Travel Plans for the 2017-2018 Season
at Huntingdon (12-16-17) 2:00 p.m. CST
Hotel (12-15-17) Holiday Inn Express 334-271-5516
at LaGrange (12-17-17) 3:00 p.m.
Hotel (12-16-17) Wyndham LaGrange 706-298-5270
at NC Wesleyan (1-6-18) 2:00 p.m.
Hotel (1-5-17) Country Inn & Suites 252-442-0500
at Ferrum (1-7-18) 3:00 p.m.
Hotel (1-6-18) Holiday Inn Express 540-489-5001
at William Peace (2-2-18) 7:30 p.m.
Hotel (2-1-18) Homewood Suites 919-785-3498