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


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


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!