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


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!