Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whoops!

The whoops is for me taking so long to write a new post. Therefore, you are getting a handful to makeup for lost time.

Suggested New Year's Resolutions

1) If you are travelling by plane and have a layover in Denver you MUST eat the spinach salad at Wolfgang Puck! It's delicious, and as Coach Close would say, good in keeping the body warmer during the winter. The iron apparently prevents the anemia from making us cold? I now it's profound.

2) If you like sushi, make sure to look out for red flags that may indicate a poor sushi restaurant. The first is that it is empty on a night they even have a special. Edinberg, Texas had a special for $5.99 rolls. The second is when the server doesn't include the wasabi sauce with the rolls and you have to ask for it to go with your dish. I think everyone should stick to the coast!

3) If you're eating a meal with Coach Scanson, ALWAYS bring a camera! You may get a picture of the cracker challenge, Coach Saneholtz feeding him the scraps of chips and salsa by plate, or even witness him downing a coca cola in one gulp. At least he reads the gentleman's code of not burping afterward.

4) If you are going to play the "radio" game with the "radio" guy, make sure to be confident with your answers. He will always believe you are RIGHT! You know what I am talking about Tyler.

5) If you are going to make a living as a coach, having a family can be the best form of sanity. I have learned to make sure my SON is the first person I talk to if my team doesn't come out with a victory. Kids keep life in perspective. After our emotional loss in overtime to Troy my son got on the phone and said he had GREAT NEWS. "I got the Thomas the Train Collapsing Bridge." That was great news.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Get Back Up

Well, this past week was a perfect lesson of getting back up after being knocked off the horse. We had two rough games on the road, but two games that we can get a lot better from.

To start off at San Diego State, I have never seen such high stadium seating except at the Delta Center. I ran about three of those stairs with my four year old before my legs started shaking. That was just the beginning. SDSU threw the most pressure we've seen all year. We dug ourselves a hole in the first but decided to actually come out and attack in the second. It was the best half we've played all year.

Then we took a short trip to the beach to grab some sea shells and show my daughter her first beach before travelling to USC. I found out very quickly why we are so blessed in Bozeman when we hit traffic at 3:30 in the afternoon. I am still working on patience.

Facing USC in an unbelievable venue we found we could compete despite their stature within the first five minutes. Our lesson during this game was that it's hard to win when half your team is on the bench in foul trouble. We had three players foul out, and USC shot 37 free throw attempts. Ouch!

This week is a week to get back up. Our team is moving forward and will continue to improve every day we can for as long as we can. That is all we as a team can do and as a coach all I can ask.

Go Cats!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

BRING ON THE SUNSCREEN


Yes, we are heading to California this week to take on San Diego State and USC. It's not necessarily a vacation for our team. It's going to be great competition and a tough work week.

With that being said, our team still does manage to have some fun outside of practices and games. One way to do that is a trip to the beach!

If you are out and about and need to put your sunglasses on just to prevent the glare from seeing all of the white legs, that means that MSU has arrived. We have a rating on the team from palest to tannest. Yes, Jamie Thornton is ALWAYS the most pale.

I get a good laugh when we travel to warmer climates than Bozeman, pretty much everywhere else we go. The rule is if they can see sun without seeing their breathe then they are "tanning." You will see them sitting outside of the Olive Garden even if it's only 5 minutes just to get an extra tint.

Welcome home Erica Perry.

Go Cats!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Costa Rica

With our first major snow fall I find myself looking out my window and not necessarily dreaming of a White Christmas. Instead I envision our next international tour to Costa Rica, May of 2011.

Yes, you heard me! Our team will be river rafting, zip lining, and of course playing some international hoops.

If you are in Bozeman this weekend on December 6th, please join our team for our Bobcats Beyond Borders Auction at the Emerson Grill from 11-1pm for a wonderful brunch. Oh, and bring the check book to purchase some items. Some of them have been done by the players themselves.

Did I tell you our team is talented both on the court and off?

Coach Bin

HERINGER CO PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Coaches are like math wizards, always trying to find solutions to their team's challenges. However, this past weekend was a nice problem to have on the bench as our team was getting offensive production from everyone. I can honestly say I don't think this was a formula with only one correct answer.

For example, Katie Bussey was shooting the lights out in the first half, Jenny Heringer and Anne Phippard couldn't miss in the second, and Nubia Garcia ended with a double double. As a coach sitting on the sidelines trying to decide rotations and who to have in or out, I found my answer to be simple. Keep fresh legs on the floor and those on the court will produce.

So congrats to Jenny for her Big Sky Player of the Week recognition. Congrats also to Anne for her career high performance. The hardest decision I had to make this weekend was who to nominate for Big Sky Player of the Week with multiple standout performances.

Go Cats!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving


I did not hunt my turkey this year. Thanks to a huge supporter of our Bobcats and bowling champion, Tom, I was able to win one for the second year in a row. Every year we give Tom a dollar to bowl for a turkey and he has been clutch every year.

As we prepare for the big feast our team is working hard so we burn off the extra side dishes and desserts. I suppose the players may think it's more for getting us in the level of conditioning it will take to compete throughout the entire game. This was something pointed out as of last week's performances. It's always easier to correct after a loss.

We have a big challenge ahead of us on Saturday. Western Carolina is no stranger to competition. I expect my team to step on the floor hungry for more than a second helping on leftovers. We want to protect our home court. It's time to be clutch like Tom and step up with pride in being a Bobcat! I suppose it will be like a game of bowling as long as my team BOXES out every pin on the floor.

Coach Bin

Monday, November 17, 2008

Team Travel

Team travel is one of the highlights of our basketball season. However, I will say the trip to Utah Valley as unusually longer than normal as we decided to bus this year.

Seven and a half hours on a bus watching the worst movie I have ever seen, "The Spice Girls" actually made the trip even longer. Yes, I am not lying, Erica Perry chose this movie over all others. She was the ONLY one watching. If you are a coach out there and looking to find studying opportunities for your student athletes, just put in the Spice Girls movie and they will hit the books.

The best part of travel though, is the food. I will admit we eat very well. This trip we went straight to the Olive Garden when we rolled into town. With a big party it's important to preorder if you don't want to be there all night. However, it is key that the staff can also read your writing as you may not get what you asked for. Or, should I say the wrong person may instead get your favorite dish.

As I sat by Tyler, our radio announcer, awaiting our meals, the waiter kept asking if a Raymond was here. We all looked around wondering if Raymond was another server until finally Tyler figured out it was his dish. Hmmm, Tyler/Raymond, I am not sure how you could mix up those two names. Tyler for the sake of the trip though gets a new nick name.

Finally, as we pulled into Bozeman at 2:30am after a solid win, everyone slummed out of their seats. Hair was all over the place, eyes barely opened, and I looked at my daughter, 3 months old now, open her eyes and just smile right back at me. Yes, she was ready for her nightly feeding and as rested as she had ever been.

Coach Bin

RIDICULOUS

Bench chatter is always intense in the heat of the game. However, the most chatter I hear is to my left as my assistant coach Justin Scanson is relaying our offensive execution. Typically he is letting me know which plays are working and at times which are not.

On Friday afternoon, however, Justin's feedback wasn't always as constructive as I am used to hearing. I think I may have heard the word "ridiculous"at least three if not four times.

Ridiculous was used by Justin to not merely report the success of the play but in exception to. For example, Nubia Garcia facing up in the short corner, takes her player baseline then spins back behind the backboard to drop 2 points through the net, and I heard "RIDICULOUS."

Erica Perry gets the outlet with 4 seconds to go in the half and drives between three defenders the length of the floor to draw the foul, "RIDICULOUS."

Sarah Strand, does a Kareem hook shot 15 feet out on the right side as the shot clock ticks down, nothing but net, "RIDICULOUS."

I will give my assistant coach credit as he moved on from ridiculous on Sunday's home contest verses North Dakota. As Katie Bussey drives up the floor and watches her defender sag off her, she desides to drain an NBA 3 pointer, I hear in my left ear, "that's good offense."

Coach Bin

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Exhibition Season

We played UM Western on Saturday to get out the cobwebs and butterflies so to speak. However, in the Fieldhouse one insect will always be there, the fly!

The preseason has now begun. Here is why the preseason schedule is so important. The Big Sky Conference has an automatic birth to the NCAA's for the team that wins the conference tournament. However, what happens after that? The second team is guaranteed the WNIT, but it may have only been one time that two teams from the Big Sky were selected to play in the NCAA tournament.

I know because I was on the OTHER team the year this happened, Boise State. The reason we were selected to play in the NCAA's is because both Boise and Montana were ranked nationally. We had both performed extremely well in our preseason schedules.

Your strength of schedule determines which schools will be nationally ranked. In 1993 Boise State had beaten the likes of Western Kentucky and UCLA on both home courts. At the time both schools were ranked high nationally which ultimately paid off.

I remember both games vividly, first at Western Kentucky. They had a tradition of NEVER losing on their home floor. WK had a pretty incredible record at home and when the "spuds" came to town is was a bit of a surpise. Late in the game, their head coach had broken the tip of his pen and was foaming "blue ink" from his mouth. I was about to suggest some shots for rabbies. Instead we just hustled out of there.

The UCLA game was even more entertaining as my head coach June Daughtery was pregnant with her twins and wearing a bright yellow suit. With under ten seconds left in the game we hit a shot to go up by one. On tape you can see June flapping her arms up and down screaming not to foul. It looked like a distorted version of Big Bird from Sesame Street. UCLA's Natalie Williams (who also played in the WNBA) had an open layup and MISSED!

We ran out of there even faster. So you see, the preseason can be pretty exciting as well. That year we sold out the Boise State Pavilion holding nearly 12,000 people for our home game verses Montana. We won that game, but ultimately they got us at tournament time. We were thankful we had performed so well in the preseason to still get selected to the tournament.

We are now going on four years with the Bobcats. The Bobcats definitely want and believe we have more in store than a third place finish in conference. We having a challenging preseason schedule ahead and a very difficult conference race. Who knows what is in store for this year's team. I am certain, however, that my team will know how important every game is. When you put a uniform on, how could you expect anything less.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Meet & Greet

Our annual Fast Break Meet & Greet was a success this weekend. The Fast Break Club is our booster club that raises money for our student athlete summer school.

We opened up the morning with a scrimmage against our scout team. I won't say how many points we gave up, but the good news is we still can find points to put on the board.

As always, scrimmages are a little more relaxed than a real game as I would not typically "trash talk" to our opponents. However, this morning was somewhat of an exception as two of our coaching staff were playing for the scout team.

Coach Scanson and Close are as competitive as they come, although their games aren't quite holding up to their former abilities. For example, Coach Close was a star at Oregon State University in her PRIME days as an athlete. Saturday, however, when she stepped to the foul line, she struggled on the first attempt and bricked it off the rim.

Being the smart alec I am, I peeped "at least you got rim!" Getting in her head, the second attempt was an AIR BALL.

Coach Scanson on the other hand lives his glory days dunking, hanging, and slapping the backboard. Well, maybe the glory days were on an eight foot hoop, but when he came flying in for his offensive boards I had visions of a gravitational Michael Jordan.

All joking aside, our scout team took it to our squad so we have a lot of work to do. However, we know very well we would much rather be peeking in March than November.

Coach Bin

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween

Halloween always brings out the creativity of our team.

Here are just a few highlights:
Catsup & Mustard, Harry Potter, Dr. Seuss, Lady bug, but my personal favorite was Lightning McQueen.

The highlight of the evening was the annual pie eating contest in which newcomer Janette Jackson EASILY won for her class.

Congrats to Janette. I hope the raspberries stay down.

Coach Bin!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

POLLS



Are we getting tired of hearing about polls already? I mean, we are less than a week away before the presidential election and I have seen more polling than I have Seinfeld reruns.

I feel this election coverage has been more like announcers realing off their baseball statistics. I understand statistics that affect the outcome of the game, but I really don't see the relevance of "Joe the Plumber" approval ratings. Ironically, he was playing baseball with his son. What an awesome dad!

Anyway, not to get off track here, but the only polls that really matter are the ones at the END of the season. November 4th will decide who our next President is; not CNN, NBC or Fox, and HOPEFULLY not Acorn. (Sorry, bad humor)

This past week the Big Sky Conference released the coaches and media poll for the 2008-09 season. Montana State was picked 3rd in both which is the highest we have been picked the last four years. However, every year we have also FINISHED higher than the polls. I suppose we now have some pressure this year as we have a very competitive conference.

I basically look at polls like I do a Chinese fortune cookie. The saying is interesting, but gets thrown in the trash without much afterthought. I have yet to read a fortune that is "actually" true. I'd much rather rely on the reality that my team can create.

As long as we compete, work hard, and stay focused throughout the season, I will be happy with our end results. I have faith that discipline to make the most of your individual gifts for the benefit of the team will take care of the polling. My team knows the value of sacrifice and teamwork. Who wouldn't be proud of that.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SCOUT-What does that mean to you?

The word scout can mean a variety of things. The first thought that came into my mind was the book "To Kill a Mockingbird."

That, however, is not the scout I am talking about. When the leaves begin to fall it is my favorite season, basketball!

As all programs do, our team has set some challenging goals and expectations for our upcoming season. In order to start working toward them we, as a staff, try and create every opportunity to help our team achieve them.

One of these areas is having a competitive group compete and challenge our team every day in practice. For us, we call them the "scout" team.

Our scout guys are required to be enrolled at MSU just like our student athletes. They also need to be trained like they are considered a freshman. A good example of this was watching them pass to our players during a shooting drill. Unfortunately their passing was a bit suspect so I had to get them to focus better by putting them "on the line." Needless to say, their passing improved tremendously.

Now, all laughs aside, our scout guys are awesome. They are a big part of our accomplishments every day. So to our scout team, when we get to that Dance, and not the one at the "Zebra", we will be sure to give you a big thanks as you will be a major part of why we were able to achieve this big step for our program.

Go Cats!

Coach Bin

Monday, October 20, 2008

ON THE COURT

Well, now you know why I haven't posted a blog in so long. Our players finally got to put away the track shoes and lace up the basketball ones. We have been busy getting our first practices under our belts.

This year's team is so energized that I may need to take the batteries out to wind them down. It has been incredible! They used to call the first day of practice Midnight Madness because everyone would go at Midnight. Then the time gradually got earlier and earlier. This year we were allowed to start at 5:00pm. At least I know my players are making good decisions during Happy Hour.

We only have a few weeks before our first game so there is quite a bit for us to get in as a squad. However, the good news is that we have a great core returning to bring the underclassmen along. It's going to be an exciting year. We will see you in the Fieldhouse on November 8th.

Coach Bin

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

BROOKLYN'S RECRUITING DEBUT

The first weekend out evaluating with my 2 month year old daughter was a success. What I mean by that is that I have a future BALLER in my arms. The only time Brooklyn cried is when I didn't let her watch the basketball game. I was so proud.

I will also say for all the other coaches out there, having a baby in your arms is quite the recruiting advantage. Moms & prospects were checking her out, (obviously not talking with me of course as that would be a violation), but it does get MSU noticed.

However, I heard that one school surpassed that. I will NOT require my staff to show up at a game in our mascot's uniform, but apparently another school did.

WOW,

Coach Bin

Thursday, October 2, 2008

POTLUCK

Ok, so the Starzz didn't pull out the win, but the series isn't over yet.

With that said, what a spread we had last night. Our team can cook, or should I say their mom's? We had quite the variety.

Mara brought a tasty tenderloin dish, one that her family eats regularly in Germany.
Erica BOUGHT fried chicken (cheater). She and I both enjoy Popeyes, however.
Nubia and Katie cooked enchiladas, Nubia because she's "Mexican" was her reasoning and Katie because Alamosa has many mexican restaurants.
Alyssa didn't have time to bake her favorite dessert dish but settled for cheese cake which my husband enjoyed.
Sarah was creative with her fruit salad MADE of WASHINGTON apples.
Rachel Pauli's mom cooked her spread which could feed the entire MSU campus.
Rachel Rehbein had a jello dish mixed with 7up? I suppose she at that for her tummy aches. Jenny brought the 7 layer dip that her family enjoys for all sporting gatherings much like ours. Jamie and Lyndi were in charge of mashed potatoes, and I am still unsure as to the significance there.
Janette had some very good cornbread. Mmm
Last but not least the coaches cooked up some trout and salmon. We are all from Colorado, Idaho, and Washington all known for some tasty fish.

The good news is that we had our individual practices, or what we call IP's to burn off all the calories. The players were in early today getting extra reps in. We have Champions on this squad with Championship effort.

I can't wait for the season.

Go Cats!

Coach Bin

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

WNBA CHAMPIONSHIP PARTY

My team is coming for dinner tonight to watch the first game between the Detroit Shock and San Antonio Silver Starzz. It will be an interesting spread as our players and coaching staff are all required to bring a dish that says something about them and where they're from. I am cooking trout as I grew up in Colorado fishing the Roaring Fork River with my dad.

I am a HUGE supporter of the Starzz as my former head coach from the Cleveland Rockers is the head coach of the Starzz, Dan Hughes. He is one of the best in the business and the 2007 WNBA Coach of the Year. Also, my former teammates from Cleveland, Ann Wauters and Helen Darling are on the Starzz team, so good luck San Antonio.

FYI to my team. If you are going to root for Detroit, you are not invited (unless you have a very good dish for us to eat). I will maybe let you cheer quietly.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Next Michael Phelps?


Our team has been training hard for three weeks so we decided to go to the pool for a recovery day, or so we thought.

If any of you have ever seen basketball players swim you will realize that most aren't as perfectly proportioned as Michael Phelps. There are a couple of safety points before you conduct this workout.

1) Have extra life guards on hand- Most basketball players have not learned one of nature's survival instincts. Therefore, life guards ARE necessary. (Janette Jackson-gripping the side of the pool)

2) Supply floating devices for the workout, not just for safety- Most basketball players don't float as well and tend to sink. (Alyssa McGuinnis-throwing her booey, stroke, throwing her booey, stroke)

3) Throw away the goggles- Basketball players refuse to put their head in the water anyway. (Erica Perry-all about the CAP)

4) Keep the media out! You don't want to see these facial expressions on the front page of the sports section. (Jamie Thornton's version of the butterfly, ouch)

5) Don't Teach Technique-Basketball players don't know what a breaststroke is anyway and burn more calories trying to figure it out.

You know it's been a productive day when Katie Bussey says "I will do as many 200m sprints as you want just as long as I don't have to do another pool workout again!"

Coach Bin

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Down Under


Rebecca Mercer, one of our graduates of last season is now playing professionally back home for the WNBL Perth Lynx. Having spent two seasons in Australia myself I know from experience that this is a very competitive league. http://www.wnbl.com.au/index.php?id=565

Good luck Becca. We will be tracking your stats and pray that you don't have to wear the "unitards"! Actually Becca loves the unitard and I will admit they are quite comfortable.

If anyone is heading Down Under to watch a game make sure to grab a meat pie or catch the fresh seafood while you are there. Please avoid the Vegemite!

Coach Bin

Friday, September 12, 2008

TEAM PICTURES CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH

Most people think it's harmless to take pictures. That's if you don't take them in front of a Bobcat Head with SMOKE coming out (Thank you Scott Boyd a.k.a Smoke Man). I can't wait to see the proofs of our players COUGHING!

My family and I showed up to picture night with the amusement of figuring out who was who after they added the make up and left their hair down. This year we even had a player, Alyssa McGuinnis show her Bobcat Pride with blue and gold hair. Now we just need the blue and gold mouthguards!

Like always, this night did not lack entertainment. It began with my son and assistant coach's daughter showing a little too much PDA. Although my son is only four and Camryn is one I still think she was making the first move with her long gripping hugs. I've got my eye on you Camryn. Ha!

Then we went on to watching our players try and be serious for the poster. Beginning with Mara's "Zoolander" cheeks to Anne's confused grin, hopefully we will look tougher on the court.

I look forward to seeing the proofs and counting all the blinks at the inopportune time. I just hope our lungs weren't hindered as we have a big day of conditioning in store tomorrow.

Coach Bin video

Thursday, September 4, 2008

CHEMISTRY

We kicked off the 2008-09 Season with a team dinner at my house Monday evening. As always, we eat a lot of food, some go back for seconds, and the seniors steal the leftovers!

This year the team also played an entertaining version of "SPOONS." Instead of your traditional competition, our team decided to make it an obstacle course. The first person to get the spoon on top of the STAIRS would be declared the winner.

What I didn't tell you is that our players began the first game fairly casually jogging up the stairs one by one. By the last game we had to put the lamp on the floor, watch players hurdle our sofa, pray the blinds and railing didn't bust, and bring out the "Lightning McQueen" bandaids for all of the injuries.

The evening was a blast, and this group has established itself once again as a cohesive team that will compete at anything and everything.

What they don't know, however, is that after watching them play spoons, I have written up a new BOX OUT DRILL for the season.

GO CATS video

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MOVE IN DAY

Today is the first day of orientation and the official "move in" day for freshmen in the dorms.

What's cool about MSU is that faculty and staff take this day out of the office to help the new students transfer their belongings from their car to dorm room.

I think the highlight of the "move in" day is seeing the variety of personalities. For example, you have the "high maintenance" student that has four car loads of clothing, the "Costco" student that has ample supply of munchies, appliances, etc, the "outback" student that has brought a sleeping bag and just enough gear to get by, and the "space cadet" that gets to their room before remembering four things they forgot to bring.

Needless to say, "move in" day is exciting time as we prepare for the first days of school. It's a good week for the economy with all the Kleenex bought by the parents. I imagine I will be in their shoes in a few years, but for now I get to be the one running their child into basketball shape.

That begins NEXT WEEK!

Go Cats

Saturday, August 23, 2008

USA WBB WIN'S GOLD


Congrats to the USA Women's Basketball Team winning the Gold Medal.

The US averaged victories of 37+ points per game. Playing in the championship game against the talented Opals of Australia, the US was able to hold Australia under 25% shooting from the field.

This is no easy task when you seeing how talented Australia is at every position. I had the opportunity to compete against many of the Aussies, from the WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson to the feisty Kristi Harrower. Although my patriotism is 100% with the US I did cheer for Penny Taylor to have a great game as she is a former teammate and friend of mine from the Cleveland Rockers. I miss our sushi luncheons.

This group put together posed the greatest challenge to the US but could not find a rhythm throughout the game because of our defensive pressure. We controlled the game from the opening tip despite foul trouble to key players and brought home the Gold once again.

As a coach, a US citizen, and a parent I want to thank our Olympians for representing us well on both ends of the court, on the sidelines, and back home in the US.

GO USA!

Coach Bin

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

PERFORMANCE


Performance seems to be the word of the Olympics. Whether you are the world record holder or a mere underdog, it all comes down to performance on the day your event.

My heart ached for Lolo Jones last night when she ran the 100 meter hurdles. She had dominated in the qualifying heats and had the gold in her grasp with two hurdles out and then clipped the hurdle before falling at the finish line without placing. She later told the commentators she hits a hurdle probably twice in a given year and it unfortunately had to be the most important race of all.

You have to hand it to Lolo and the Olympic athletes to put that much dedication into their sport for one opportunity, hoping for that perfect performance. The most important ingredient I demand of our student athletes is their willingness to take these risks and put themselves out there. It is the most challenging request I ask for as there is no guarantee as Lolo can attest.

However, the athlete who is willing to be vulnerable to failure can also have the greatest rewards of all. Just look at Shawn Johnson who had won three silver medals in gymnastics before finishing off her last event on the beam with her deserving GOLD. She made the most of her opportunity, and her smile shows the work was all worth it.

In two weeks our team will go through their own performance challenges of conditioning and strength testing.They will begin workouts with our staff and have their opportunity to show what they have done over the summer. My hope is to see that same great "SMILE" on every player's face. However, if some "clip" so to speak, I guarantee they will get back up and finish the race just as Lolo did.

Coach Bin

Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympics

I apologize for the delay on my latest blog. I am not one to come up with excuses, but I will say our newest addition to the family has taken precedent this past week.

My family has been blessed with a healthy girl, and as far as recruiting goes, I am already receiving messages from other coaches that they will be sending her a questionnaire.

Sorry coaches, Brooklyn Binford is ALL BOBCAT! Whether that is as a trackster, basketball player, or even a piano player is entirely up to her.

I will also say we had pretty good timing delivering right before the start of this year's Olympics. The 3:00am feedings don't seem to be so hard to get through when there is something exciting to watch on t.v.. Brooklyn and I have already started learning the game of basketball watching our women's team take on Spain this morning (just in case she chooses that sport).

We are looking forward to track starting today as that is my son's favorite sport. Just ask my team. Every road trip he creates his own track. Whether it's in the airport, gym, or hotel room, he loves to run.

Enjoy the rest of the Olympic Games. It has been an exciting summer with Michael Phelps historic quest, our gymnasts taking the Gold and Silver, and beach volleyball's duo of Misty May Treanor and Kerry Walsh protecting their gold.

I know we will be watching. Who needs sleep anyway.

GO CATS!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Brooklyn Taylor Binford


Brooklyn Taylor Binford was born this afternoon (8/4/08) at 1:48 pm. She is 6 pounds, 13 ounces, 19 inches tall and long fingers for ball handling!

THANKS

Coach Scanson

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Special Delivery

The count down has begun to the big day, and I am not talking about the first day of school, first day of practice, or even the first game of the 2008-09 season. I am talking about delivering my second child!

I just came back from my last doctor's appointment before I am scheduled to be induced this Monday, August 4th. Yes, FOUR MORE DAYS. I walked away with some good news and bad news, and should always start with the good news.

The good news is that I get to call recruits tomorrow as the July evaluation period has now concluded. My entire staff has been working diligently this month travelling all over the northwest, sitting in gyms all day, and evaluating such incredible talent.

As a coach, one of my favorite times of the year is that first phone call in August. You almost feel like a proud parent getting a chance to talk about their incredible game, how they helped their team come from behind, or got the defensive stop to seal the victory. It's our chance to reconnect and now take the next step toward getting them on campus.

The bad news, however, is that I GET to call my recruits tomorrow as my doctor was hoping I'd be further along and possibly be delivering right now and no longer having to do the countdown. You can only hear "You still haven't had that baby yet" so much.

So you will all have to wait a few more days before the newborn picture is up and the name is released. However, I will guarantee this. When picking our daughter's name, my husband and I made sure it has a good "ring" to it just in case she's interested in sports. This name sounds good over the radio or in the Fiedlhouse.

Unless she comes out a boy....

Coach Bin

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Defensive Tidbits

This past year our team averaged over 76 points per game. Most coaches would be raving over that statistic. However, being known as a defensive specialist during my high school, college, and professional careers, the only statistic I am focused on this upcoming season is our team's 71 points allowed per game.

I know we've all heard that "defense wins championships" so why is it that most basketball players enjoy playing offense rather than defense? The simple answer is that it's just plain hard, and you have to be mentally and physically tough to do it! That is my type of athlete.

Here are a couple of tidbits to help basketball players take the next step to becoming a better defender.

1) Strengthen your lower body-quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, core you name it. My team just loves hearing me say that our best defenders on our team are the ones that can squat the most in the weight room. Think about it. Great defenders are in a constant stance, anticipating the next move, and able to move laterally and vertically in an instant.

Next time you play in a pick up game force yourself to stay in your stance on the balls of your feet every defensive possession.

2) Focus on getting deflections-whether you're guarding the ball or playing off, the best defenders know how to read the play before it develops. Great defenders anticipate rather than react.

Next time you guard the ball handler anticipate when they are going to make a pass and tip the bottom of the hand upward as they pass. You may not come up with the steal but you forced an errant pass.

3) Maintain vision of the ball and player at all times-the best defenders either lead teams in steals, charges, or rebounds. Each one of these categories began with the defender anticipating the offensive possession.

Make a goal for yourself in your next pickup game to come up with a realistic amount of offensive and defensive rebounds. Know the angles the ball typically bounces off and get there first!

If you enjoy the noise in the arena, defense excites the crowd more than anything else. Whether it's a 30 second violation, a steal in the back court, or a charge to win the game, defense not only wins championships but sparks any great offensive team!

Coach Bin

Monday, July 21, 2008

FAMILY


Here at Montana State we have a program run on family principles; trust, accountability, and support for one another. I think the most special characteristic of families, however, is the sacrifice in putting someone before yourself.

Whether you are a part of a family or a team, sacrifice always plays a role in the success or potential challenges if it seems to be missing. At MSU we work toward building these family principles because if the trust, accountability, or support isn't there, one will not be willing to sacrifice for her teammate. Whether you call it chemistry or love for your family member it's truly an essential ingredient and makes the days a whole lot more fun and memorable.

This past weekend my family came to visit before our newest arrival comes this August. We had a full household including my sister, brother in law, niece and nephew, and mom and dad. The only person from my immediate family that wasn't able to visit was my brother.

As we visited, my sister told me of the local paper's article that was supposed to come out that weekend on my transition from player to coach. She said she told the reporter of the time our brother Jeff lost to me for the first time in a game of one on one. I said, "I don't remember ever beating Jeff. " She then chuckled as she had told the reporter otherwise I responded, "Well, now you have."

I suppose like remembering how many games we won or lost, many of the details might change over time. However, the memories of being together will last a life time. I can't wait to hear from my brother!

Coach Bin

Friday, July 18, 2008

International Hoops


A quick note today about Nubia Garcia. Nubia is currently playing with the Mexican National team at the 2008 Centrobasket Championship for Women. Her team defeated Costa Rica yesterday behind Nubia's 19 points and 8 rebounds. Below is the link to the tournament. Keep up the good work Nubia!!!



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Recruiting Season

Yes, it is July and for those of you in the coaching world, it's a time to get your rear ends in shape, eyes wired, and GPS navigation systems ready. Jumping from gym to gym, I don't think any coach will argue that we may get lost from time to time.

Recruiting is constant year round, but in July it takes on a whole new life from 7:00am-10:00pm. July is also one of the most exciting times for coaches after getting to know our prospects on the phone, we actually get to watch them shine on the court.

This July, however, has been a little unsual for me as I am now only weeks away from delivery of our second child. Since it is forbidden in the medical field to allow travel in the last month of the trimester, I sent off my trusty assistants to the tournaments and stayed home to hold down the fort.

At first I thought this would be extremely hard as I love to watch the games in person, but I will admit there have been some great advantages of staying home. I suppose the first is being able to see all of our newcomers on a regular basis as they come in and out of the offices. I love seeing them connect as instant friends and watching the chemistry unfold with our returners.

The second advantage is recruiting in itself. With the advancement in internet capabilities two of the major summer tournaments are now on-line. So even though my staff has to wait until 9:00pm to watch a certain player, I can get a good night's sleep, get on-line anytime, put my feet up, and watch.

It almost sounds too good to be true doesn't it? I suppose the disadvantage is that the footage isn't quite as clear as it would be in person, but my son and husband aren't complaining as I have seen them more this month than any of the last four July viewing periods.

I suppose this summer I get the best of both worlds. That is until my contractions begin. Those of you mothers out there know that delivery is mainly the means to the end. I suppose for our athletes the closest comparison would be summer and fall conditioning. Although not the most fun part of the day for most, the results are always worth it in the end.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Summer School


I can't think of a better way to get a jump start on the season than having the summer to train as a team, work with your strength coach, and as a newcomer get your feet wet rather than being dunked under water. I am not talking about floating the Gallatin but rather easing into to DI college life.

With the financial support of our booster club called Fast Break, we provide summer school to all of our student athletes for the purpose of building our championship team in the off season.

Our newcomers began school last week and are now beginning to blink on occasion. It seemed as if they were all wide eyed trying to get their meal cards, locate classrooms, and fit all of their stuff into their cozy dorms.

What is ironic about storage complaints is that our players had plenty of room for "Wii" and the entire band of "Guitar Hero". I went to see how they were getting situated and saw Gianne Fleming (from Phoenix, AZ) on the drums, Katie Bussey (Alamosa, CO) and Katie's sister singing on the microphone. Katie did say that Guitar Hero was for after studying not before. She knows me too well.

I will say our newcomers have transitioned quite well with the support of our upperclassmen, especially Erica Perry and Jamie Thornton who have fed them on occasion. Jamie hasn't even required lawn trimmings as an initiation either.

Coach Bin

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

IRONY

I think the biggest highlights of being a coach is getting to work with our student athletes. The summer time is one of my favorite seasons seeing each of them in a new light.

Here's a funny story as of last week. My husband, son, and I were riding our bikes around our neighborhood as we pulled up to a familar face mowing a lawn. As we drew closer we could now recognize that it was Lyndi Seidensticker, one of our soon to be sophomores.

We stopped on our bikes and asked Lyndi whose house she was mowing. She told us it was where Erica (junior), Jamie (junior), and Krislyn (graduate) lived and that Jamie paid her $5 bucks to mow it for her.

Todd and I just started cracking up as the irony was that Lyndi and Jamie were landscaping for work all afternoon, and here Jamie was paying back some of that money to have Lyndi take care of her own lawn. Needless to say I gave Jamie a hard time later and told her I would try and avoid her street in the future at all cost.

I guess the good news is that our strength coach must be working them hard.

Go Cats!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

4TH IN NATION


MSU Women's Basketball has had success with the #4 lately. Last year our team was 4th in the nation with a NCAA DI cumulative team GPA of a 3.56. Academically our student athletes are exceptional and take great pride in the classroom. Earning that degree has been and always will be our first priority.

Our team is learning that we can be smart, have fun, and build a championship program all at once. After finishing the 2006-07 season as the 11th BEST TURNAROUND PROGRAM, the team worked to take another step this season.

The 2007-08 MSU squad produced five more wins, jumped up two more places in our conference, and made an exceptional run to the title game of our Big Sky Tournament. Not bad I suppose when three years ago I took over a program that was last place in the conference, and I could count our wins on one hand.

What does all of this have to do with the number FOUR you ask? Well, the community heard about the MSU Women's Basketball buzz and decided it was time to see what the hype was all about.

We finished the 2007-08 season #4 in biggest increase in attendance- IN THE NATION! http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/resources/file/ebd54105a321392/2008%20W%20releasex.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

I want to send out a HUGE thanks to all of our supporters that came out for a fantastic finish. We averaged over 3,000 people this season in the Fieldhouse. My challenge for all of you in Bozeman is that next year we SELL OUT the FIELDHOUSE!!!

Oh, and did I also mention the player that wore #4 for us, Rebecca Mercer, broke the single season 3 pointers made with 78 this year? I thought I'd throw that in as well.

Go CATS!

Coach Bin

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

CAMP FEVER

We just hit the third day of camp, the hardest of the week as the campers are sore, fatigued, and trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The light for MSU Campers, however, is "SHIPWRECK."

Shipwreck is the favorite camp game to get our little ones warmed up, excited, and ready to compete and improve another day. Even though it has nothing to do with basketball, it does get highly competitive.

This year we have also included the MSU Women's Basketball Team's most dreaded conditioning workout, the "BEEP TEST." Yesterday, we had a camper surpass the MSU record holder's, Erica Perry. Needless to say Erica is planning on retaking it as soon as possible.

We've had a great turnout, over 100+, great enthusiasm, and games and competitions to wrap tomorrow. The biggest highlight, the group ball handling routines is still yet to come so please join us tomorrow afternoon from 3-4pm in the Fieldhouse.

Go Cats,

Coach Bin

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

MSU CAMP

Well, we are less than a week away from screaming, sprinting, sweating, cheering, competing, and CRASHING. Yes, camp is here!

Coach Scanson, one of our assistant coaches has been working the entire year for camp, and will most likely be the most exhausted. With that being said, he LIVES for this special week as do the rest of us. I just hope the face paint he is planning on washes off our campers.

What I love most about camp is watching our student athletes become the teachers and interact with our campers. Our athletes are great role models and more importantly "big kids" themselves. To see them on a lighter side without the stress of performing is always a highlight. I can't wait to see what they come up with for their own ball handling routines.

See you next week & don't forget to bring your MSU BOBCAT PRIDE!

Coach Bin

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The 3 Differences Between T Ball & College Basketball


Being the proud mom of a first time T baller, it has been a highlight of my spring. After watching four to five years olds I have noticed a few differences between T Ball and DI basketball. Here are the top three on my list.

3 Differences Between T-Ball and DI Basketball

#1 You pick your equipment by color rather than "durability."
My son thinks blue is the coolest. The bat is blue, regardless of being twice his size, as well as hit mit.

#2 Not being focused is considered "adorable" rather than detrimental.
If any of you have watched T Ball, you all have witnessed grass pulling, sitting on bases, kids waving to parents as the ball is hit. I can't imagine what I would do on the sidelines if I saw Jenny Heringer waving to her mom before she shoots her freethrow.

#3 Knowing your teammates names isn't necessary to having a good time and communicating with one another.
My son had a full on conversation in the infield with a teammate as they were comparing hats. After practice I asked him who it was, and he called him "that boy."

You probably wouldn't think there are similarities, but surprisingly there are many.

#1 Four to five year olds are just as competitive as 18-23 year olds. I have never seen a bigger fight for a ground ball than the swarming of the infield. The baseball is like a magnet that draws in every single player as they jump on top of each other like it's the Holy Grail.

#2 Parents are as intense as ever. I am trying not to include myself in this category, but I will admit it's hard sitting there on the sideline and not being a voice over the coach telling your kid to "run to 2nd base, rather than sit and look at the mountains."

#3 Treats after a hard fought game is always a must. My MSU team wouldn't know what to do if one of our parents didn't show up with the banana bread.

Whether you're rooting for the Green Tadpoles or the MSU Women's Basketball Bobcats, athletics is not only great for kids physically, it's enjoyment for all those who watch.

Coach Bin

p.s. The Green Tadpole's next game is Thursday at 5:30pm, Beall Park. We'll see you there.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Binford's Ball Handling Keys To Success


Those of you wanting to improve your "handles" this summer, here are a few pointers I lived by to better my game as a player and have some fun doing it!

#1 Take up rock climbing: When summer hits and you're enjoying the great outdoors there is no better way to improve your forearm strength. Just make sure you are with someone who has experience and have someone to belay.

#2 Eat all of your meals with your "weak" hand. I am not talking about a chicken leg either. Go after the rice with chop sticks, switch your knife and fork and work that hand until you are ambidextrous. You may give yourself an exception to the rule if you're at a fancy restaurant and don't want to cause a scene.

#3 Lock yourself in a racquetball court for an hour and pound the ball or two at a time as hard as you can. You can work your "handles" and have four corners to bring the ball right back to you when you lose control. Exaggerate every dribble and you should be sweating and hurting (in a good way) toward the end.

Have Fun! I'll see you with the Harlem Globetrotters

Coach Bin

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Champions Are Built In the Offseason








I am back in the office this week to the most quiet week of the year. School is out and our student athletes have a break before their summer workouts begin.

It's so quiet around here that I can hear Sarah Strand coming all the way down the hall because her crutches are creaking. Sarah had a microfracture surgery and is one day away from walking on her own two legs after six weeks of buffing up her upper body. She is quite excited about balancing that muscle more proportionately.

The noise will quickly return tomorrow evening as Carrie Underwood performs in the Fieldhouse. My husband and I are true IDOL fans so yes, we will be in attendance.

Then it's onto next week, the first day of our team's summer program. We will leave that for my next blog as I love the summers and what to look forward to when our student athletes return in the fall.

Till then,

Coach Bin

Friday, May 9, 2008

What Happens In Vegas...

I woke up this morning at 5:30a.m. to take my family to the airport as I am staying for an extra two days for the Nike Coaching Convention. Being from Bozeman, I find it somewhat unusual that it's already 70 degrees outside and will probably hit 90 before noon.

We have had an incredible vacation, but like most it has gone by way too fast. There have been many highlights to our trip beginning with the motorcross championships. My husband grew up on dirtbikes and secretly hoped for our four year old son to be the next Ricky Carmikle. That dream may have been short lived as our son slept through the entire event.

Our most eventful day was Wednesday as my husband and I started with hour massages. The most stress I had that morning was decided who to tip and how much. I was shocked when the receipt included the "host" as a separate tip on top of your massage therapist. Next time I will just walk myself to my locker.

We capped off the evening with a romantic dinner and the best show in town, O! The dinner was incredible, although my husband and I joke that the more expensive the meal the lesser the portions. Sure enough he got charged $4.50 for his first Pepsi and another $4.50 for his refill.

Being a professional athlete for seven years I had a unique appreciation for O. Not only was it incredible, but they performed to perfection. I told my husband afterward that I was praying the entire show as the performers are on the absolute edge. The slightest mistake for them could be deadly. He tried to convince me they have done this a million times. I said, so have our basketball players shooting a layup. However, I still have seen an athlete miss a layup from time to time.

That's all for now. We'll talk to you next week!

Coach Bin

Friday, May 2, 2008

THIS IS MY BLOG

How hard is this?

This is my first blog and I have erased it four times already.

So, to keep this simple I will let you know I am leaving for Las Vegas today for a family vacation. I have to admit I feel a little guilty as our student athletes are finishing up their finals, and I am thinking about the motorcross championships and "O" tickets that my husband bought.

To wrap up the week Coach Scanson and I will hope to learn some new techniques at the Nike Coaching Convention that will be held in the Orleans Hotel. Heading into my six month of pregnancy all I truly care about is that the facility has chair back seats this year.

If this was a really exciting post for you, tune in as I MAY or MAY NOT post another one while laying around the pool. And if any of my student athletes check this, Finish Strong! We need another top five finish in those WBCA academic polls!

Coach Bin