Monday, December 28, 2009

Exclamation Point!

I believe the best coaches are great teachers. My philosophy in teaching is to keep the game as simple as possible. Here are a few examples:

1) Shot-If a shooter needs work on her shot, I take things out rather than add to the shot. Less room for error.
2) Moves-You need 2 great moves, and a counter.
3) What you emphasize is where the best results will show.

I figure if it's too much for me then it's way to complicated for them. Play Hard and Play Smart! Oh, yeah, and keep it simple. Our kids think enough off the court academically to have to think TOO much on the court. They play their best when they actually just play!

Coach Bin

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Piece of the Puzzle

This past weekend we had a team meeting to address player roles.

Here's what I believe are the necessities for each individual's part to build a championship team.

1) Every player understands their role, values their role, and performs to their best in that role consistently.
2) Every player puts the team before themselves.
3) Players have great attitudes but are not content or complacent with those roles.

Just like a great marriage, each role may be different but just as important. Build each other up and see what happens.

Coach Bin

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tie the Knot

Nubia Garcia has done it! She is the first former Bobcat to get married.

I want to congratulate Nubia and her new husband Colter and wish them the very best. I also want to thank Nubia's mom for making such a wonderful spread.

If anyone has met Nubia and her strong mind and spirit I think it stems from her mom. Not only did her mom prepare a meal for over 100 people, she also made the bread baskets, desserts, and an amazing cake.

I am exhausted just thinking about what she did to make a perfect evening for the newlyweds.

God Bless on a wonderful future ahead!

Coach Bin

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


We are in Boise to play my alma mater. The good news is that our bench is the same side that I played when I was a Bronco so it feels like home court advantage to me.

I also told my team about the time MSU came into town and beat BSU at the buzzer on a back screen for Cass Bauer. Let's hope we have the same outcome for the Bobcats tonight.

My former boss and also National Championship Stanford Cardinal, Trish Stevens talked to my team at the beginning of our shootaround. I still get goosebumps when I hear her inspirational words. Thank you to Trish for talking to my team.

Last but not least, our players HAD to see the blue turf so I took them to the stadium where it was covered with snow. Snow doesn't stop anyone from Bozeman so they made some snow angels until they uncovered the BLUE.

Go Cats, and Go Broncos (after tonight)!

Coach Bin

Monday, November 30, 2009


Coaches have different philosophies, and although I believe in defense winning championships, I have had my share of teams that try and outscore our opponents.

This year's team, however, is starting to have fun working hard on defense.

This past weekend we held two teams to an average of 42 points per game, the lowest I believe since I have been at Montana State.

This is what defense brings:

Fans off their chairs when Erica Perry gets a steal in the back court.
Our bench celebrating when Sarah Strand gets her 6th block of the night.
Our team's energy jumping another notch after a 30 second violation.

The best result of all though, winning our Thanksgiving Tournament. We still have a million things to improve on, but it's a good starting point.

Congrats to Sarah Strand, MVP of the tournament, Erica Perry and Katie Bussey for making the all tournament team, and most importantly our Bobcats!

I love to see a team have success for working and committing to defense.

And it IS FUN!

Coach Bin

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Counting Thanksgiving Calories

I have been reading the paper and articles on the internet all week about healthier low calorie recipes for our Thanksgiving meal. All I have to say is REALLY?

I believe in healthy nutrition. Just ask my players, but I also believe in moderation and enjoying special occasions the way they should be enjoyed. It's like going to California every 6 months and NOT ordering an In N Out Burger just because it isn't as healthy as a salad. Are you kidding me?

Let me take it one step further. Changing your mom's (or dad in my household) buttery mouth watering mashed potatos and gravy for a cardboard 0% fat recipe is like NOT having a cake on your birthday! Are you going to skip the cake just because it has fat in it?

The holidays bring tradition, family, friends, and loved ones together, and we should ENJOY it. If it means a few extra calories on a day of special occasion, then so be it.

We will have 50+ people this Thanksgiving including our team, family, and friends. We will eat some healthy and some fattening dishes. I also know our players will work it off this week and the next two days following for our Thanksgiving Tournament.

For the rest of us, we can just add a few extra workouts so we can enjoy the company that have given us so much in life. Don't let recipes change what this holiday is about.

I am thankful for my family and friends, and especially my team this Thanksgiving. They are students, then athletes, BIG personalities, but most importantly women of strong character.

And because I appreciate what they do and who they are I may even let them have dessert!

Coach Bin

Monday, November 23, 2009


This weekend we faced a BIG BYU team and pretty much got it handed to us. The good news is that we have a team of resilence and travelled to Moscow, Idaho to get back in the W column.

Successful seasons are all in how you bounce from the good and the bad. My job is to control the highs and lows, and to get out of the way for our team to respond to them.

We sure have character in more ways than one, and that makes my job a blast!

Coach Bin

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trip to California

We were the last flight to get out Thursday as Bozeman got 20 inches of snow that day. It's give and take when you land in L.A. and hit rush hour. We covered 8 miles in the first hour. My son said "California needs to have less cars on the road."

We opened at Cal State Bakersfield in front of the loudest of all fans, Gwen Perry, Erica's mom, yelling "they got no left hand!I see you Ash!, etc, etc." Justin Scanson was on the bench chuckling.

As we held off the roadrunners Friday, Saturday brought the Bobcats more good news with our release of our newest 2010 class. I want to say welcome to the family to Emily Allen, Kate Webb, and Ausha Cole. Emily and Kate are teammates, which I love as they have a sixth sense about each other's games. Then there is Ausha who is just as tenacious with a piranha like mentality on defense. What great fits to our program.

Saturday night was interesting as three fire alarms went off during the night. The joke by the players was that Rachel's snoring was lowder than the alarms.

Sunday was our last game for the weekend at University of Pacific. Pacific jumped on us early but with the character of this team and spark we have in every substitution we were able to come away with the victory.

The season has begun!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fashion Show/Alumni Reunion

Multi tasking is the #1 requirement to be a college coach, and boy did we pull multiple things off this weekend.

I'd like to first talk about our "Alumni" weekend. We started off Friday evening at the Best Western Gran Tree Hotel and then finished off the weekend with a scrimmage where our alumni mixed in with some of our players and scout guys.

  • The history. Four alumni playing are in the top 15 in MSU scoring history. Nubia Garcia, Sarah Flock, Kathie Roos, and Kathleen McLaughlin (#1 in scoring and rebounding). Sam Fluss top 2 in 3 point field goals made, Hillary Scott, Whitney Connolly top 2 in career blocks, and Allison Bach.
  • The irony. Allison cleans Amy's teeth and mine as well. I was nervous she was going to get a tooth knocked as she didn't have a mouth guard in.
  • The competition. Sam blocked Erica Perry out into the first row of seats. I asked Sam if she would come teach our players how to box out.
  • The entertainment. Erica Perry asked Kathie if they were in a man or zone defense. Kathie messed with her and told her man when they were in a zone.

We began the weekend at the Gran Tree thanking our Alumni for coming together to reunite with family and finished off the festivities there as well. What a great weekend, and thanks to all that came.

As far as the fashion show goes, I will keep it short, just like the fashion show itself.

  • Began 11:00 and finished by 11:30. The athletes and coaches walk very fast just like our transition game.
  • We had no injuries but a few meltdowns by Camryn, Coach Scanson's daughter. That many people watching you can be overwhelming unless you are our players.
  • My kids were a riot. Brooklyn walked out on her own, while Justin and I skied down the steps in our winter gear. Todd got out of it to go hunting, although he never went!
  • I can't really tell you much more than that since I didn't get to see our athletes and coaches walking out as we were all changing so quickly in between outfits.

It must have been a success though because we were asked to do this again for the spring clothing!

Go Cats!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I am glad it's November and not March.

My husband is a Clint Eastwood fan so I will give you the "good, the bad, the ugly.

The Good:
  • Our team never got rattled and has depth at EVERY position.
  • We didn't have anyone foul out although Jamie and Erica (our two SENIORS) were close.
  • It was an afternoon game so it was a perfect time to have a Diet Pepsi.

The Bad:

  • Ramble On, by Led Zepplin was not played during our pregame warmup.
  • We had 17 turnovers, most of them unforced.
  • The Fieldhouse had the airconditioning on right over my head. It was freezing.

The Ugly:

  • We gave up 17 offensive rebounds!
  • We only had 8 steals and a defense that did not dictate or disrupt our opponent.
  • We lost every player on the floor with lack of communication. Our fans must think we are mute.

My players know that I don't sugar coat anything for good reason. I will say it right here we will only be as good as our defense so we have some work to do between Novemember and March.


Coach Bin

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Can you believe it's our first game?

Can you believe I am blogging right now?

What to expect in the first game of the Year
  • Fouls-Coaches already decided it will be Ally Schmitt. She is going to be excited.
  • Exhaustion-Our players will be ramped up to their Ipods, first game gitters, and will hit a wall on the court. First will be Ashley Albert! Don't worry, we'll recognize and get fresh legs on the court.
  • Mistakes-I can handle mistakes this time of year. Otherwise you wouldn't need coaches. This part is fun. A healthy mistake and going hard, I love it!
  • Fun-It's about time to get out on the court against someone other than scout and each other.

That's all I got for now. I have to prep for the Yellowjackets.

Go Bobcats!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Big Sky Polls

MSU WBB Bobcats were picked in both the media and coaches poll to finish 3rd this season.

So what do I think about that?

Nothing. Here is why.
  • It doesn't matter. Where we all place in March is what matters.
  • Polls are just everyone's best guess based upon last year's results, who we have returning, who we have signed, etc.
  • Polls don't predict what players have done during their offseasons.
  • Polls can't predict injuries.
  • Polls can't predict if a team gets hit by the swine flu.

Between now and March, a million things will happen throughout the season. My goal for the Bobcats isn't to focus on the million things but just the ONE thing at the time it presents itself.


Go Cats!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bobcat Fashion Show

The 2009 Bobcat Fashion Show is Saturday November 7th at the Baxter Hotel Ball Room. More information to come! If you want to buy a ticket, please call Jillian at 406-994-4442.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First Practice DONE!

The first weekend of practices are officially in the books. Here's what we accomplished.

  1. Sore muscles head to toe. We finished off the weekend in the C'mon Inn Hot tubs!
  2. Bumps and bruises. Baeta Bak leads the team in bruises at this point. We still need to teach her how to fall, but Erica Perry and Sarah Strand lead the team in bumps, OUCH!
  3. Mistakes, mistakes, and more mistakes. This time of the year you start with a million mistakes and your goal is to get that number as low as possible by March!
  4. We put in our 1/2 court man defense and the team is EXCITED to play it this year.
  5. We introduced the CONCEPTS of transition offense, but the concept has yet to be visual.
  6. Last but not least we finished off a GREAT weekend with a SPECTACULAR dinner at President Gamble's for our Top 5 Academic National place with a 3.5 Team GPA.

We had a lot to celebrate at the Gamble's residence. Obviously we celebrated our team's academic achievements in which we missed Anne Phippard and Mara Hoefer who were a big part of that.

However, Nubia Garcia was with us with an engagement ring as well as Coach Saneholtz with an engagement ring. The only other rings I hope to see with this squad are Big Sky Championship ones.

We recognized the retirement of President Gamble. The good news is that President and Patricia Gamble will still be around supporting our athletic teams and our academic community, and we hope to see their new place with a TOP 5 finish next year.

In the meantime, the best news of all is that it means another fan for our home games. We welcome our new President Waded Cruzado to our first conference home game on January 1st against Weber State University, ALSO the start of her first day at Montana State.

Go Cats!

Coach Bin

Friday, October 16, 2009


How could I forget to blog? What is going on that would distract me? Was it the sushi I had last night? Was it Brooklyn's 4:00 am wake up?

Oh, wait. We have our first practice tonight at 5:00!

We have 17 days before our first game. Did I mention we have 7 newcomers & 6 returners?

We need man offense, quick hits, zone offense, quick hits, out of bounds plays, 1/2 court defense, full court defense, end of game situations to cover, and even a press breaker. Oh, wait again. I have Erica Perry and Ally Schmitt. We can at least put that off for a bit.

It's going to be an exciting season!

Go Cats!

Coach Bin

Thursday, October 8, 2009

9 Year Anniversary

No, this isn't about MSU, but yesterday my husband and I celebrated 9 amazing years of marriage. I can't believe it has gone by so fast.

Here is how we met. In 1999 I was an assistant coach at Boise State University. Our head coach, Trish Stevens came into my office following a home visit with Todd's little sister Jenny (who signed with the Broncos). Trish told me she had the perfect guy for me, so as to follow my boss's instructions we went out, got engaged, and married all within ten months. Those of you who are my players, we were also 27 and 28 years old so you all need to focus on basketball because boys are a distraction!

This may sound cliche, but I truly believe a successful marriage is a like a great team. You have to have open and good communication. You have to sacrifice, respect, and trust one another. If one isn't as committed as the next you will have conflicts. Knock on wood, but I our hardest conflict so far has been about whether or not the blinds should be open or closed. We laugh because we can't even remember who thought they should be open or closed at the time.

Todd and I knew on our first date we were the perfect fit for each other. We are different in a lot of ways but that is what brings us such balance to each other. I don't know what I would do without his patience in my life. Todd knows my strengths and weaknesses and I know his. However, a good relationship builds up the strengths and works on the weaknesses.

Sound like a team to you?

Coach Bin


I apologize for the delay in blogging, but I have been TRAVELLING all over this country looking for future Bobcats. Here are the highlights.

Mesa, AZ: Met a dog that didn't want to bite me, but rather growl instead. Why is that a highlight? Because I have been attacked by dogs twice in my life! This one was about the size of my hand so I think I could have taken him.

Oakland, Rocklin, and BACK to Oakland, CA: In & Out Burger & Popeyes. Don't worry, I eat well when it's not July recruiting and I am NOT in California.

Somewhere in Washington: Yes, I have been travelling so much I don't remember which city the tournament was in. However, I love Tree of Hope's tournaments because the packets are only $60 and they have a hospitality room for the coaches. THANK YOU

KANSAS: I could say the cities but basically I flew in to Wichita and drove back and forth across the entire state. They have a million country stations in Kansas! On top of that every station plays Taylor Swift. I thought a CD was in on repeat.

The Best of the Best: Home to Bozeman at last.

Coach Binford

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quick Hitters

Here is the good, the bad and the ugly. Some quick hitters on life.

I will start on the bad since I always like finishing on a positive- the things that make me cringe.
  • Wasted Talent: It's as simple as that. Figure out what the Lord blessed you with and make the most of it. If you actually open the present you will get to enjoy it.
  • Lack of Discipline: This could be choices off the court, effort in the classroom, not caring about your fitness, etc. I don't expect anyone to be perfect, but I do expect moderation on things that will impact your performance and your life. Discipline leads to success.
  • Selfishness: We were all born to think about ourselves first. At some point you learn that there are more people in this world than just you and the joy you feel from being unselfish can be extraordinary.
  • I typically stick with three topic points, but I can't pass up this last one- BEING SOFT: Mental toughness will split people right down the middle. How bad do you want it?

Now the good- the things that make me smile.

  • When the hardest worker gets rewarded: Life isn't about fair and at times the hardest worker doesn't always have the most success. However, when it happens, it's a great thing!
  • When I see my own kids, as well as the players succeed: My daughter learning how to walk for the first time with the biggest smile in the world, my son learning how to ride his bike on two wheels. When Janette Jackson comes to my office elated about doing well on her test, or Sarah Strand finds out she gets placed in Bozeman for her nursing clinicals, and when Katie Bussey hits the last second shot to beat Portland State at Portland and fist pumps in the air with our entire team off the bench.
  • Remebering that my job is not just about winning games: Anne Phippard gets in to graduate school at UW. Mara Hoefer gets an opportunity to play professionally in Germany. Nubia Garcia gets recognized on the cover of the NCAA Magazine and comes by my office this fall, just to say hi, catch me up on things going on in her life, and getting ready to finish her last semester before going on to play professionally.

I guess I should also mention an ice cold Coca Cola!

Coach Bin

Wednesday, September 23, 2009



Simple isn't it?

Your attitude affects everything.

Here are a few tips to help set YOU up to be happier with your environment.
  • Choose to play under a coach that has values and goals that you believe in. When you respect your coach and want to run through a wall for them, you will commit yourself to a whole new level. Negative ex. Utah Starzz coach fell asleep during film session isn't necessarily motivating the athlete.
  • Pick a school that suits your strengths. If you are a 5'4 point guard that is lightning quick, wouldn't you want to go somewhere the team is RUNNING?
  • Find a team you enjoy being around. This is a no brainer. If you are taking your game to the NEXT LEVEL then it's not worth the time being put in if you aren't enjoying the "journey" with those you are doing it with. Thanks to my BSU buddies, Launceston mates, and "Rockers!"

It really is that simple. The major, weather, semester vs quarter, location, conference all become less important when you focus on those three points. When you are happy, you have more energy, more motivation, and ultimately more results to take your game to the NEXT LEVEL.

Why throw in a curve ball when you can strike them out with three fast balls.

Coach Bin

Monday, September 21, 2009


I was asked recently to discuss what the relationships are like between coaches competing against one another. So here are a few of my "working relationships."

Sherri Murrel, Portland State:
When my son was three months old, I let Sherri hold him while we were out recruiting. I thought, what a great idea. Distract Sherri so I can see the talent! Justin wet through his diaper on her. Whoops.

Robin Selvig, University of Montana:
Robin is almost like a dad, one that screams a lot. I guess I feel that way since I played against him as a player! No one has more class than Robin. He even called me to congratulate us when we beat them.

Laurie Kelly, Northern Arizona:
If any of you have met Laurie, then you will understand when I say Big Personality. She just keeps me entertained. I always try and find a seat by her while recruiting because she's hilarious.

CT or to others Carla Taylor, Weber State:
Yes, another one that I played against. I can "distract" her too. She always wants to see the pictures of our kids. CT is a great match maker too, but you don't need to worry about Amy!

Jamie White, University of Northern Colorado:
I can't stand next to her staff. My neck starts to hurt. I played with Paige, 6'5, at Cleveland, but Paige, the high heels put me at your waist.

Wendy Schuller, Eastern Washington
Put on your thinkin caps! Wendy's team is usually our toughest competition when it comes to team GPA. We aren't just competitive on the court ya know.

Seton Sobolewski, Idaho State / Jamie Craighead, Sacramento State:
I hope to get to know these "new" Big Sky coaches and their staffs in the near future.

Here are a couple of other points:

Most likely to get a technical: This used to be Laurie (NAU) and Jamie (UNC), but I think I will throw Seton into the mix now. Great intensity!

Most unusual insects on the floor: This is a toss up between MSU and WSU. When the rodeo comes through you never know what is left behind.

Most entertaining crowd: MSU-I have my "GOLD" crowd that loves to get on the officials. Watch out for that pointing finger row!

Most boisterous crowd: U of M-The first year they got my two assistants confused as they were taunting the wrong coach. That was funny.

I LOVE the Big Sky Conference. I played in this conference, and as a coach I think this is one of the best class of coaches there are with such high integrity. I appreciate the challenge that each coach brings every game night.

If you see us on the road you'll probably see us sitting by each other, but don't worry you always want your best performance amongst your peers.

Coach Bin

Friday, September 18, 2009

And the answer is...

I am so disappointed that no one posted any answers, especially Helen. Just kidding.

With that being said, here are the answers to the WNBA questions and a little comment about last night's conclusion to the San Antonia vs Phoenix game.

1) Dan Hughes spits as far as the closest receiver. Did you see who sat furthest away, Becky!

2) My husband and I are guessing but believe Ann Wauters was 19 when she joined the WNBA.

3) Becky Hammon was a die hard ATV driver. I prefer the 2 wheel dirt bike.

4) Penny Taylor loves the spicy tuna roll.

In regards to the first playoff game last night between San Antonio and Phoenix, I will quote our football coach Rob Ash when I say it was just "BIZARRE."

The commentators couldn't believe Phoenix didn't foul with a two possession game, and then Pondexter thought the Mercury tied the game at the buzzer on Penny's three! Can you imagine being Penny and explaining that they just lost by one?

BIZARRE, but great job to Dan and his staff, and the San Antonio Silver Starzz. Penny, you were clutch at the end as well. I'd give you more touches in game two!

Coach Bin

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Finally the playoffs begin tonight. This post is to see how good your WNBA trivia is.

1) How far can Dan Hughes spit in a huddle?

2) How old is Ann Wauters now?

I think Ann was 12 years old when I played with her.

3) What recreational vehicle does Becky Hammon prefer?

4) What is Penny Taylor's favorite sushi roll?

Penny, come to Bozeman and I will buy it for you. I know it sounds crazy that Montana would have good sushi but we do.

Good luck to Coach Hughes and the Silver Starzz, and Penny, I will be rooting for your Mercury as well!

Turn on your television and post the answers if you know them!

Coach Bin

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Difference Between Fair & Equal

The hardest part of coaching is treating your student athletes fairly rather than equally.

Example #1) TEAM EXPECTATIONS. The question isn't what your expectations are but what you do as a coach when a student athlete fails to meet them.

Coach Bin's Answer: I have black and white consequences for black and white situations. Ex. A student athlete skips class. We have a "buddy" system where her "buddy" has ten hours of study table that week. Second offense = both get ten hours of study table. I haven't seen a second offense yet as they are much more accountable to their teammates than they are to themselves. Treat "equally."

The gray situations are the difficult ones = coach's discretion. I make good decisions when I:
  1. Get ALL of the facts
  2. Pray-I am more patient and rational
  3. Learn what caused the mistake so I can provide resources for change
  4. Articulate WHY there needs to be a change AND..
  5. Demand it . Treat "fairly."
“The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions. Not me. I don’t want to be a manager or a dictator. I want to be a leader—and leadership is ongoing, adjustable, flexible, and dynamic. As such, leaders have to maintain a certain amount of discretion.” Coach K

Example #2) CONDITIONING. The more you can do as a team benefits your team chemistry, accountability, and commitment to each other. However, do you train a senior who is one of the most fit student athletes to come through the program the same as you train a freshman?

Coach Bin's Answer: NO. You train them as individually as you can for the TEAM'S success. We have some conditioning workouts that the entire team does together. Treat equally. We also have some workouts that are designed specifically for the individuals performance. Treat fairly.

As you make your own decisions regarding your team here is some advice.
  • Communicate, articulate, but don't expect every player to understand or agree with you.
  • Make the decision that you feel is best for the team first, individual second.
  • Get input from mentors but stick to your philosophy.

Oh, and develop thick skin!

Coach Bin

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Coaching Philosophies

I believe we all want to be the best at what we do. You learn from the coaches that have developed you, what you liked, didn't like, and mold to your strengths. Here are some of the points I have taken from my own mentors that have impacted the way I approach the game today.

John Meadows-Boulder Rockies, club coach. He made the game FUN! John is larger than life physically and mentally, and everyone who played for him experienced a whole new passion for the game both on and off the floor.

June Daughtery-Boise State University, college coach. My first encounter says it all when she showed up at my doorstep for my home visit standing 6'3 and telling me I looked taller at only 5'4 (with shoes on). She had a way about her that made you feel you could take on Michael Jordan.

Dan Hughes-Cleveland Rockers, WNBA coach. Dan made the game simple, "play hard, play smart," but his secret was to keep players that would compete in every drill. Good luck to the San Antonio Silver Starzz as the fight to make the WNBA playoffs. I have no doubt they will finish strong.

What great mentors I have in this great sport. Good luck to all the coaches out there because you will impact a life today. Make it a positive one.

Coach Bin

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Team Retreat

Here is the question for the day:

Are you a screamer or a non screamer?

A few of my experiences and reactions:
1) torn ACL-breathed heavily = non screamer
2) fell 30 feet on ropes course-told a joke to let team know I was ok = non screamer
3) sky diving-couldn't breathe = non screamer

Read below if you want to know what our student athletes are.

This weekend our team did our annual Labor Day "Retreat" to Hebgen Lake in West Yellowstone. Before all you compliance officers try and turn MSU in, I already made the team sign and pay for the costs of "renting" a boat EVEN THOUGH my husband and I own it. Isn't that ridiculous? I am off track.

Instead of camping like we usually do we decided to boat for the day as it was supposed to get down to freezing that night. My job is to retain my athletes so I thought that was a smart executive decision.

The weather was nice that afternoon around 78 degrees, but the water was only 65 so most of the team decided to tube rather than wake board or water ski. LaTisha Adams attempted to wake board for a second but jumped right out of the water after she got in.

Toughest-Coach Close (water skier), Sarah Strand (water skier), Coach Bin & husband Todd (water skiers), Rachel Semansky (wake boarder), son Justin and Coach Scanson's daughter Camryn (swimmers).

Screamer or Non Screamer: TUBING

Jamie Thornton-Non Screamer. She just wanted my husband Todd to go faster.

Erica Perry-SILENT Non Screamer and take charge. Directed driver to go one time over wake.

Sarah Strand-Non Screamer, non threatened. Wanted Todd to go faster.

Lyndi Siedensticker-Non Screamer with tubing moves. She would lift tube to jump the wake.

Katie Bussey-Only upperclassman to give out a scream, but still wanted to go faster.

Ashley Albert-Squeaker-Kind of screams, laughs, obviously enjoys tubing.

Rachel Semansky-Screamer I think. Hard to tell when she is on the tube with Chelsea Banis.

Kelsey Roben-Non screamer when riding with anyone BUT Chelsea Banis. Screamer when with.

LaTisha Adams-SMILER. First time boater that I believe enjoyed her first experience.

Ally Schmitt-Non screamer and veteran boater.

Chelsea Banis-SCREAMER, without pause, will need treatments for throat with trainer.

The day was a blast, literally when you see our fire pit for smores. Whether you are a screamer or non screamer, I believe we had 100% fun throughout. What a successful weekend for that!

College Degree vs. Non Degree
When we showed up at 10:00am and it was still 60 degrees, the coaching staff sat on the beach IN THE SUN, while the student athletes (working toward their degrees) sat around the picnic table in the shade. They will learn, and Semansky didn't need four blankets to keep her warm.

Coach Bin

Thursday, September 3, 2009


This summer just flew by. Maybe it was the unusual rain. Maybe it was the crazy July recruiting, or MAYBE it is that we are all just anxious to start this 2009-10 Season.

School began Monday, and our team has followed the example of my son taking his first steps. Why walk when you can RUN!

Our students are going to class, getting ahead in study table, testing in the beep test, bench, hang clean, and squats. Then we step on the court for our two hours of basketball workouts. You really can't accomplish a lot during two hours so you get very specific on your points of emphasis, DEFENSE!

The two hours are somewhat frustrating because that's where all of us want to be including our student athletes. Have you ever had an appetizer without the meal to follow? It leaves you a little HUNGRY.

Regardless, the energy is infectious, and not in a Swine Flu kind of way. This team and staff is SO excited to see what kind of team we can put on the floor this season.

Maybe this blog will be an appetizer and you will come back for more.

Coach Bin

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pro Vs College

Professional Basketball & College Basketball
  • SIMILARITY: Getting Paid. You total up the cost of a full ride education; books, room, board, summer school, and I would say you should be VERY thankful for that degree when you graduate. Playing basketball whether in college or professionally is the best job on earth. Therefore, change your attitude when you run 10 suicides, redshirt a year to GET BETTER, or have an injury setback. Every job has its challenges, but this job has great rewards. How many jobs keep you fit, provide you friendships for life, and teach you how to persevere?

  • DIFFERENCE: Retention. Athletes will feel the pressure to perform at both the college and professional level. However, you don't get cut or traded from your college team like you do professionally. Can you imagine if it were possible in the Big Sky to trade players? Sherri Murrell calls up Robin Selvig and says, I am low on fours, you want to trade Sara Ena for Erin Jones?

  • SIMILARITY: Same game, just minor changes. In Australia, the ball is bigger, the 3 point line further out, the key wider, and the uniforms MUCH tighter. In the WNBA, there are four quarters, you can advance the ball with a timeout, and you can foul one more time each game. When it's all said and done, however, it is much like Hoosiers. Take the measuring tape, and the rim is exactly the same height every gym you walk into. You compete!
  • DIFFERENCE: Multi tasking. It is harder to be a successful college student athlete than it is a professional one because you have to go to class and study on top of performing on the court. When I played professionally, I got PLENTY of sleep and got to work on my game whenever I wanted. The hardest part about playing professionally is not abusing all of the extra time on your hands and spending all of your per diem money.

Whether your goal is to play college or professional basketball just remember one thing. You can't play competitively forever. You better make sure you are ready for your future after you put those shoes up.

Rebecca Mercer, MSU Degree Health & Human Development now plays for the Perth Lynx in Australia and Mara Hoefer MSU Degree Business Management plays for the BBVLeipzig Eagles in Germany.

What an opportunity to play for as long as you can and know that you have the certification in hand for when it is time to take the next step.

Coach Bin

Thursday, August 27, 2009



Yes, that is what it takes to make it to the next level. Do not make your game more complicated than it needs to be.

One of the best point guards of all time was John Stockton. He was an amazing passer, and he pounded that ball to the floor like he was killing every ant in site. He never had to over dribble, over state a game that is perfect in its purest form.

I think my dad must have been a Stockton fan. Growing up he told me that I didn't need to go behind the back or between the legs with my dribble to be effective. He thought that was "showing off." I just had to perfect a few moves and I could take my game to the next level. So that's what I did. I learned the hesitiation, in and out, and cross over, and then I mixed them up together.

Get a great move, a counter move, and then a JOKER, and practice, practice, perfect, and dominate! Less is More.

If Erica Perry, however, wants to throw a behind the back pass to Jamie Thornton in transition to get the crowd roaring, I say "no harm done." Just don't mess up the pass.

Coach Bin

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Our congrats go out to Erin, MSU WBB graduate, who finished her first half marathon this past week in San Diego.

You are an inspiration. Keep it up and we'll see you in California when we play Bakersfield and Pacific in November.

Coach Bin

Monday, August 17, 2009


We've all said it. Someone has offered us something to try, and when we spit it out, we just chalk it up to acquired taste.

What does that mean really? We just need to keep eating it or drinking it and EVENTUALLY we will like it? Why would we want to do that if we DON'T like it.

Here are a couple of examples of WHY someone would encourage you to acquire the taste.

Australia-Vegemite. Uck! I have heard it is good for you. Therefore, I guess if you keep eating it, after a while the payoffs will be positive.

Wine-Anywhere. One glass is good for your heart. (ONE) I think if you continue to swirl it around in the glass eventually most of the wine will be spilled and there will be less to "acquire."

Coffee-I haven't been a coffee drinker even after having 2 kids. Yet this weekend after my family tried to camp in 35 degree weather with a one and five year old, non stop rain, I actually forced a cup down at 6:30am.

I suppose some of the acquired tastes have their benefits if taken in moderation. However, I am pretty stubborn in enjoying what already tastes good.

By the way, this post really has no purpose today, so if you're trying to find one, it may take a while. I haven't had a cup of coffee.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This one word has more influence over a team than any other. Let me explain why.

1) Leadership WILL influence its followers regardless of whether its good or bad.

2) Leadership can come from anyone.

3) Leadership will ultimately be the reason why your team succeeds OR fails to reach its potential.

Let's talk about these points.

The first point is for coaches and upperclassmen. You better be able to walk the talk. If you aren't the best example for the others to follow it won't matter what you say. You won't have the respect or the loyalty to get the very best of the team.

The second is not to get so caught up in the titles. Some of the greatest moments of leadership have come from someone who wasn't the "boss" or the "captain" but just one of the crew. There is a time to be a follower and a time to be a leader. Respect should be universal, and everyone should be valued.

The actions of an effective team starts with great leadership. Great leadership is the catalyst that fosters motivation, chemistry, trust, and most importantly, teamwork.
It creates a learning environment that will continue to build every year.

Once that develops coaches will be able to give more ownership to the upperclassmen that can set the example and hold their peers accountable to the standard that has already been established. The underclassmen can see what is expected of them and then grow from a follower to a leader in the future.

If you want to see the best example of leadership, come and watch our seniors Jamie Thornton and Erica Perry this upcoming season. They have grown up in this program, learned the expectations, and have set a higher standard for Montana State Women's Basketball. My job has become a whole lot easier.

I am stepping back and letting this leadership rise.

Go Cats!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I just got home from speaking at the Montana Coaches Clinic in Great Falls. I want to thank my volunteers who stepped up to demonstrate the dribble drive offense. I am not sure they knew what they were getting into when I had them go "live", as one volunteer, Megan didn't even have shoes on. John, Kye, Megan, and my amazing assitant coaches Amy Saneholtz and Justin Scanson rocked the dribble drive!

I always enjoy talking X's & O's, but this comes to my point of taking it to the next level this week.


When Erica Perry first came to Montana State I felt like the Matador waving my red cape for her to attack up the court like a bull only to see her waddle into the arena like a turtle. Erica in high school walked the ball up the court and passed to 6'4, then ran back to play defense.

Four years later the Matador is sweating prefusely and the bull has come to life for the Bobcats! You want to see transition or a player that can break anyone down 1 on1? Come watch Erica Perry as the BULL!

My point is that Erica is best in an uptempo game that forces her to create offense off the dribble because she has an amazing handle. I could go through my entire team and how they fit perfectly into our dribble drive motion offense.

If you are looking to take your game to the Next Level, make sure you play to your strengths, and the opponent will be dropping the red cape and running the other way!

Coach Bin

Friday, July 31, 2009


In & Out Burger
Nothing else came close. It's fast so you can get to your next game, it's cheap, so you don't overspend your per diem budget, and it is GOOD. I wouldn't say it's exactly healthy as I did have two double doubles in one week.

Southwest still gives you snacks, didn't lose any luggage, is one of the cheapest airlines, and uses humor to deal with all of the overly stressed passangers. I once flew on Southwest where the flight attendant had a peanut cup race down the aisle as the flight took off. It was awesome!

My mother-in-law's house. I haven't been to a hotel that does your laundry for you, cooks great meals, and has a private pool where the only other guests are your family. Did I mention her husband also took care of all of my flight arrangements in and out for me as well. Those two rock!

I would have to say the Ford Escape. I had no problem finding the gas tank, my gps was not sleepy, I didn't get lost, it's made in our home country, and it was a comfortable ride.

Are you surprised? It's hard to find that day off, but I will have to say when I was staying at my sister's house in Carbondale, CO my hometown. I got to go running that morning along the river, scenic view of Mt. Sopris, then took the kids to the pool for some relaxation, went golfing with my brother, brother-in-law, and dad, then finished the evening with my entire family. What a GREAT day off.

He called himself "Coach Carter." I can't decide whether or not I believe him but the white hat was definitely the finishing touch.

Coach Bin

Sunday, July 26, 2009


WHY I LIVE IN BOZEMAN: I once arrived to our airport 30 minutes before departure and was still able to check my bags through security.

1) Airport Travel

Salt Lake Aiport. I was in a rush to make my connecting flight and turned on the Nascar feet. As I weaved in and out saying "excuse me" and moving on to the next I instantly got blocked by two "drivers" or I should say walkers. It was as if this person was in the passing lane but not really passing. Did they just want to torment me and just drive side by side so there was no lane to pass?

2) Crowds

Las Vegas Tram. I was with my family trying to cram among the herd. We missed the first Tram because everyone smothered us and cut in front. The next Tram I held on to my son as we squeezed in. My husband and daughter were left behind as a man with an infant and stroller apparantly are not among manner lessons. Justin said to me as the doors closed, "that wasn't very nice." We must have ruled out crowds when learning our first lessons in manners.

3) Flying

I don't know how flight attendants do it. They have to be the most patient and polite people I have ever met. As they begin their instructions on the exits, flotation devices, and how to buckle your seatbelt, the audience is already in a trance ignoring the details.

Then they get buzzed from a "rookie" how to turn off the air above their head. I was amazed that the flight attendant just turned the nob for the traveler and didn't say a word. Or how about when the flight attendants tell us what snack and beverages they will be bringing only to answer the question to every single one of us when they come to take our requests.

As a coach, I demand our players to listen the first time so I don't have to repeat myself. Can you imagine a flight attendant giving us suicide sprints up and down the aisle for not listening?

Bozeman is at different pace which is very good for me. I don't take my track shoes off while I am home, and I definitely live for competition. However, it's nice once in a while just to go for a run rather than a race.

Coach Bin

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


This week's segment revolves around multi-sport athletes. I figure there will be a few people that disagree with my opinion on this, but that's why it's called an opinion.

I feel that playing in a variety of sports for as long as you can will not only benefit your overall performance in your main sport, but it will also enhance your overall motivation for your prime love.

As a high school athlete, I played volleyball, softball, ran track, and obviously played basketball in the winter. During the other seasons of play I was consistently outside in our driveway playing hoop, but I was able to rest some of those muscles overworked on the court.

When I entered college and ultimately went to one sport I then focused strictly on basketball and felt my overall athletic ability was better because I played other sports in high school.

As a senior in college I tore my ACL, but also felt that injury gave me a new level of motivation for improving my game. It gave me eight more years of high intense basketball training that ultimately allowed me to achieve my highest goals.

Now look at the reverse trend that is happening today. Athletes are encouraged to focus on just one sport early on, training constantly without rest, and feeling torn if they try to do more than one sport.

I see chronic injuries developing from overtraining, not understanding the balance of rest and change to the workouts. I am also seeing less motivation and drive to get out and work on skill work because athletes are constantly playing games.

Seriously consider this opinion. Some professional athletes have made it having only played one sport throughout. However, I do know for me and the level I prefer to train at, I would have gotten burned out too early if I hadn't enjoyed those other sports in my youth.

It may also be hard to believe that I was the strong side hitter and not the setter.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This week's segment of recruiting is going to be Bin's Tidbits on Recruiting.

1) All GPS navigators are not the same. This week's GPS was female again, but I believe she was a little tired as she was delayed on turns as I would pass the exit before being told to get on it. I felt as if my GPS needed a cup of coffee.

2) Recruiting Diet. A recruting diet is this: you just don't have time to eat until nearly 9:00pm. However, if you do see a Popeye's on the way, that breaks all cardinal rules. I fortunately got to have my spicy chicken and red beans and rice.

3) Outsmart your vehicle. I enjoy the surprise of what car Avis Preferred will provide me. My last ride was a Chevy Malibu. I pulled into the gas station and spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how to open my gas tank. Being a woman, I was not afraid to ask for help. The first person I asked did not speak English, but then an answer to my prayers brought a lady right on up in a Chevrolet Malibu. I then found my college degree to be inadequate when she said you just push on the cap and it pops open. Duh.

4) Utilize your 3rd grade English lessons. As I spent 5 minutes typing in the address of the gym I was driving to without success, I finally looked at the street and thought "I before E except after C." So I retyped the address in and I was a winner! Moral to this story? Don't expect those who put the tournament packets together to have all of their information correct.

I can't wait to see what's in store next week.

Coach Bin

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July Recruiting

Since these athletes this summer are all competing against the best competition in the country I figured they were doing what it takes to get to the Next Level. Therefore, I decided to do a different post today about July recruiting.

Division I college coaches are allowed to evaluate athletes throughout the month of July. I just arrived home from my first tournament and thought you'd enjoy what really goes on the recruiting trail besides evaluating the GREAT talent.

1) You catch up with friends.

I was able to see former teammate, and college roomate, Lisa Fischer. She brought her two beautiful twin girls to the games while we chatted. I asked them if their mommy makes them clean their rooms like she made me during our roomate days. Answer-Yes. They left me with wonderfully sticky hands from their suckers which made me miss my kids more.

Then I got to see another college teammate Janet that has now become Dr. Soderberg after her many years of education. In college we always joked that she had the unlimited vocabulary when being interviewed by the media. She gave me some thesaurus options to my favorite media answer of "great." Just go back and look at all of my media quotes and you'll see it, possibly twice or three times. You may in the future hear me say "fantastic, splendid, or off the hook." Just wait until I am quoted on our recent TOP 4 National GPA Poll in the WBCA.

The main thing for rookie coaches to learn though, is that you don't have time to break for lunch in July when you are getting to the games on time. Just learn from veteran and also former teammate of mine Heather Sower. She has an entire backpack of snacks. I make sure to sit by her when we are watching the same games.

2) You catch up with your conference.

We have our social peers, and the Big Sky coaches are some of the best. This week's talk for our conference was that we finally got our schedules. The Big Sky ruled in favor of Friday/Saturday games. Many weren't in favor of this change, but for those that get really good attendance like MSU, our fans can now drive in and catch 2 for 1 over the weekend. Back to academic success again, we also miss less class during the week.

3) You compete.

Yes, I would say it would be very unlikely if anyone in the coaches section is NOT competitive. Therefore, we are all trying to do what it takes for our programs to succeed. I am not talking about the recruits we are trying to sign, but the big topic of the week.


Answer for Coach Binford = I blog and do not twitter and this is why.

I don't think you really want to hear these things:

when I wake up,

what kind of toothbaste I use to brush my teeth,

what I had for breakfast,

if I got lost heading to the games,

and most importantly if my Associate Head Coach Amy Saneholtz made me go back and change because she didn't approve of the shirt I picked out.

I have also heard that I am up to 6 readers now that Anne Phippard mentioned her mom Barbara viewing every now and again. Barbara, I will tell you which shirt that was. Just call me.

Coach Bin

p.s. I already called all of you, but great job Bobcats on once again another OFF THE HOOK job on your success in the classroom.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Next Level

Happy Fourth of July, you get two posts from me today. Make sure to read about camping pros and cons.

So, to tap on to Next Level tips, today I am going to provide you with the three C's my staff looks for in student athletes to take our TEAM to the next level.

1) Competitiveness: I really believe someone has this at birth or they don't. The fact my son competes at brushing teeth, the first to arrive home after a game when we are driving two cars, and even getting into the kitchen first for a glass of water makes me think he naturally has it. I love athletes that compete. This takes practices to another level, and when it's crunch time, the difference between a win and a loss.

2) Confidence: Those you surround yourself with definitely can influence this trait, coaches included. However, I think by the time a kid reaches high school they have become confident or possibly struggled with their confidence. The college level is so demanding with many challenges that when you get in an adverse situation, you have to fight for playing time, you MUST have this. When I was in training camp for the Utah Starzz I had a teammate tell me she heard the coach was going to cut me that day. Fortunately I was confident from within not having to rely on someone else to give it to me and I was NOT the one to get cut that day.

3) Commitment. Commitment has many levels. To take the next level, however, I expect our players to put in a higher level of commitment that the average Division I program. Who wants to be 500? I sure don't. Our team wants to take our program to the Next Level as well which is why all 13 of them decided to be here for six weeks of summer school so they can all train together.

I had my first team barbecue last night with our 2009-2010 squad. Let me tell you, this team has character. I first learned from LaTisha Adams that in Albuquerque a "barbecue" includes ribs and steak. If you cook hotdogs and hamburgers it's just a cook out. So we made sure to include some ribs. Then I found out who our next American Idol Finalists for the 2010 season won't be, Katie Bussey and Erica Perry. Beata Bak tried to jump in on karaokee but we didn't have any Polish songs available. We finished off the night of smores on the back patio and I saw this new squad begin to come together.

This team is not only commited to getting better individually, but they are commited to each other. I can't wait to see what this six weeks will do for our upcoming season.

There is no doubt in my mind we have the Next Level of commitment. How confident and competitive we end up being is why I coach.

Coach Bin


I just returned form Dworshak State Park with my family. Nearly 20 in our party, it was nearly a Binford family reunion. The trip was a success without any major injuries, my 11month daughter sleeping through the night, and no bear encounters.

With that being said I thought I would give you the pros and cons of my last camping trip

1) No cell service = break the phone addiction. It was amazing to not be able to check my e-mails, messages, etc.
2) Eating. Everything tastes great when you camp. When I was a kid my sister, brother, and I all loved SPAM when we camped. We finally got our dad to buy it for the house even though he said we wouldn't like it. Dad's are always right. It was horrible. This trip, however, we ate better than when we are at home. It may be the first time I gained more weight while camping.
3) Rest. For some camping might not be restful, but to me being in the woods, taking in God's creation, listening to the crackling campfire, and laying out on the dock put me at complete peace. That is until your brother-in-law does a cannon ball dive right next to of course.

1) The bathrooms. There are a variety of ways to go to the bathroom. a) cop a squat-you never know what's behind you b) RV-toilet included-not real camping. We are tenters in our family c) jump in the lake-where everyone else is waterskiing d) outhouse-this trip included 2 gag reflexes from the stench and a National Geographic insect the size of my hand. He was just staring at me.

2) The cleanliness. This trip we did have showers and running water so my daughter smelled pretty rosy. The rest of us did jump in that lake (look at con #1). I also am not quite sure about the ten second rule for food falling on the ground when it's around the campfire.

3) Packing & Unpacking. Can I just say my husband is an animal in this department. Not only do we have to think about packing tents, sleeping bags, etc. but boat supplies, food, cooking gear, baby pack and play, flashlights.

Oh wait, did I say WE? I meant Todd had to do that. I am on vacation relaxing, remember?

Coach Bin

Friday, June 26, 2009


No, this has nothing to do with Next Level. I hope everyone can stay tuned for that next Friday.

Instead, I would like to tell you how hard my job is. Thursday morning, I packed my bags and was getting ready to depart to Fort Benton, the "Beginning of Montana". As I headed out the door my son asked me why I had to go to work. I said, "It's my job."

Then my husband chirped in saying, "Mommy's not really working today. She is going to go have fun."

Yes, I admit my job brings great joy, and the past two days felt like a vacation. I was driving four hours to Fort Benton to speak at the Bobcat Club social which raises funds for student-athlete scholarships.

I pulled in to Fort Benton around noon and was picked up by Rita Elliot, the Bobcat Club Chapter President and her neighbor Kathy to do some kyaking down the river before the social. I will tell you, we got a lot of work accomplished on the river. We saw three deer, one pelican, and chatted about everything and anything.

It was one of the most relaxing two hours of my life. No cell phone in hand, in the great outdoors- God's beautiful country, and the only thing missing was a layer of sunscreen on my calf that I had missed. I am still paying for that today.

We finished off the evening with a great social with people from all over, including Hamilton, Chester, Belt, Fort Benton, and probably the entire Highwood community there to support my most recent signee, Rachel Semansky.

Therefore, I am now putting out a challenge to all surrounding areas of Highwood, Hamilton, and Fairfield (our 3 Montana signees) that if you all come to our home games this season we are sure to win the Big Sky attendance!

Today I wrapped up a scramble on 18 holes on the Fort Benton golf course with a wonderful and very skilled group. I have decided to throw away my 3 & 5 woods because it was obvious that the reason I couldn't hit with those today were because they were bad clubs. It had nothing to do with my perfect swing. Other than that I want to thank my team for a great vacation before my vacation.

After four hours back I am ready to pack for our family's trip tomorrow to Dworshak Resevoir. The good news is that the speed limit on Oak street in Bozeman has FINALLY changed to 35 instead of 25 so the 7 hour trip may only become 6 hours and 59 minutes.

Do you think you can turn in a speeding ticket for reimbursement from 2 years ago?

Coach Bin

Monday, June 22, 2009


I apologize to my passionate readers for not posting my Next Level blog on Friday, but rather today.

For the five of you, (ha) I hope that today's blog was worth the wait as it is the most challenging trait of them all, PERSEVERANCE.

I am going to give you a quiz, and I want each of you to answer these questions before reading on.

1) If a fan, friend, parent, or coach tells you you aren't good enough, how would you respond?

2) If putting the time in to take your game to the next level would lose your best friend's friendship, what would you do?

3) If you didn't have anyone to navigate for you, or should I say, have someone to set the example on what you would have to do, how would you train?

4) If it was your senior year of college and tore your ACL 2 games into your season, how would you repsond?

5) If you wanted to play professionally in the United States, but you had to have double knee surgery a week before the tryouts, would you quit?

6) If you had one chance to make it in the WNBA by playing in the WNBA draft camp, but had a third degree sprain a day before the camp, who would you blame?

7) You finally make it to the WNBA but get cut in the middle of the season, would you believe that it is unfair?

8)If your coach signed another player at your position, do you believe the coach is going to play her?

9) If you believe you should be playing, but are sitting the bench, do you complain to your teammates & bad mouth your coach?

10) Who do you want to be in control of your future?

So now that you have read through these questions and attempted to answer how you think you would respond, I am going to give you my answers to these questions because those are questions I was forced to answer... and this is my story.

1) My parents, brother and sister have NEVER told me I couldn't do something. They have always believed in me. I have had college coaches tell me that I was too short to play collegiate basketball. I obviously didn't sign with them.

2) I had some challenges in high school with my friends as I passed up a lot of "fun" time to shoot hoops in my driveway. My best friend and I went through a spell when I was put on the varisty and our circles began to change. We matured a great deal in the process and found out that we were pretty good friends if we both supported each other's dreams. I will warn you though, there are people out there who will be happy for you to stay where you are, never helping you to move forward. I always say it's easy to stay at the base and look up. Few will be committed enough to climb.

3) I didn't have a college or professional athlete to look up to growing up. I lived in a small town and played in my first college game before I actually saw one. I think that was actually an advantage for me as my only tool for navigating was to work as hard as I could and never give up. I played 1 on 1 with my older brother daily in the driveway to challenge myself. I never once beat him but I kept going back for more. Everyone's story and challenges will be different, but you WILL have them.

4) Injuries were a major part of my career. The longer and harder you play they are just bound to happen. The ACL tear was the first major injury I had to overcome, and I will admit it wasn't that easy to work through. Mentally I had to deal with an identity crisis of finding out who I was without a basketball in my hands. Physically I had to work to get back to the level I had left off on. We all want to push ahead, but sometimes you do have to take a few steps back. In hindsight, I think the ACL tear brought my first love for the sport back to a new beginning. It was probably the best thing that could have happened for me to compete as hard as I did for eight more years.

5) I had planned on trying out for the ABL (a professional league that started before the WNBA), but had to have double knee surgery. That was the first time my mom said anything about considering hagning it up, since I looked like "Robocop." She was concerned like any mom that one day I wouldn't be able to pick up my kids. Instead, I was stubborn like I have always been, had the surgeries, and found an agent to play in Australia right after my rehabilitation was over. The ABL folded and the WNBA began its first season as I finished my 2nd season in Australia.

6) Those who have someone to blame will flat out stop climbing. I had my first sprain ever playing open gym at Boise State the day before the WNBA draft camp. My foot swelled up like a balloon. My doctor, physical therapists, trainer, family, friends, all made an impact on me that day. With MANY prayers and support, I flew to Illinois for the two day camp that ran from 8:00am to 8:00pm and didn't think about my ankle once. I couldn't walk on it for a week after, but I got selected by the Utah Starzz in the third round.

7) I want to initially say, if you expect life to be fair, then go ahead and settle for being less than your best. You have to fight, and sometimes you get knocked down. A month into my second season with the Utah Starzz I got called into my coach's office during warmups. On my way there I saw my "replacement" in the locker room suiting up. He told me they were going another direction. Ouch! But two weeks later the Cleveland Rocker's starting point guard Suzie McConnell Serio broke her ankle and I got the call and ended up on the team that won the Eastern Conference two years later. I can take a little humility to end up on a championship team.

8) It doesn't matter. If you're good enough, you will find a way to get on the court. My second season with the Cleveland Rockers, our head coach Dan Hughes (2008 Coach of the Year with the San Antonio Silver Starzz) drafted another point guard. That made three of us, and more were invited to our training camp. Three years later Coach Hughes told me he couldn't cut me because I raised the level of competition in practice every day. I ended up playing some two guard on top of the point to find some time on the court.

9) The hardest part of my professional career were the games I didn't get in. It was a role I wasn't used to, but I found a way to work through it because I cared about my team and respected my coach so much. I found some teammates who were in the same boat to workout with. We kept each other mentally and physically ready to step in when our opportunities came, and they did. My dad and husband, however, might have had it even harder than me as those were the people I would call to vent to.

10) Pay attention to this question. If you can work hard at everything you do, and not WORRY about the things that aren't in your control, you will be a winner. As you can see in my story, I didn't plan on a lot of these things, but many opportunities presented themselves that weren't initially in the cards because of my PERSEVERANCE.

For me, strength lies in my Faith. Whether or not you share in this, remember last week's blog about being an optimist. Either way, the ability to persevere begins with your heart.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Things Kids Say

Today is the conclusion of camp week. Kids are playing games, doing their ball handling routines, painting their faces for intensity station, and winning all kinds of awards. What a fun week this has been.

In most camps coaches have a point of emphasis that they would like all of their campers to learn. My highlight is hearing what the campers have interpreted from that goal. Here are a couple of examples.

1) Football Camp. My son attended the MSU Football Camp and was probably the smallest camper in attendance. However, he definitely was not the smallest in intensity. At the end of the week Coach Ioane was asking the campers through the megaphone what it meant to have good sportsmanship. The kids would raise their hands and when called upon, give an intellectual answer like "be a good teammate," "don't give up", "lose with dignity."

Well, my son got picked to give an answer. Here is what he said,

"Don't pick grass." Yes, you heard it. He told me later that you wouldn't have a football field to play on if all the grass was picked. You can't argue that.

2) WBB Little Dribbler's Camp. A parent told me this story this morning. One of our little dribblers, Claire, was so excited about what she learned at camp. She went home last night to show her parents how to play defense.

"See, you start by putting your butt out." I hope our coaches used appropriate terminology. "Then you put your arms out. You just can't push or that will be a vowel."

Her dad then told her she meant to say "foul." In her mind, however, he was wrong, and she was certain she knew what she meant. "No, it's a vowel."

The Things Kids Say.

I want to thank all of our campers for their energy this week, our camp coaches for their hard work, and our parents for giving their kids this opportunity. What an incredible week.

Coach Bin

Monday, June 15, 2009


We are in action here in the Fieldhouse. We finished off team camp Sunday with an overtime championship finish. CMR was able to hold off Sidney down the stretch after completing five games in two and a half days.

We just concluded our first day of our individual skills camp. I am so proud of our 100+ campers for taking the time to work on their skill work rather than just playing basketball all summer. My philosophy is that if you can put in the time on both you can become a champion during the summer.

The day of excitement began with our 2 clap cheer orchestrated by Coach Scanson (RockStar, Monster, or Red Bull) camp coordinator. Just wait until "intensity" station later in the week. I am pretty sure we have a caffeine limit for him.

Our Little Dribblers had the most energy of all screaming out their "BEEF" balance, eyes, elbow, and follow through for all of you non shooters. You give them a little encouragement and they will give you much more in return.

After lunch we jumped to the game challenge of shipwreck by Coach Saneholtz. She would put Bob Barker to shame. Our camp coaches, none other than our players, get very competitive. However, it was former MSU Alum Scotta Morton and a camper that won the game.

A camp would not be complete though, without the most important instruction of all, defense. Coach Close is no stranger to that as she introduced Cat and Mouse like "Tom and Jerry." Our campers are fierce, tenacious, and they will win a championship with that defensive mentality.

We'll see how our energy pulls up tomorrow after a stiff night's sleep.

Like I tell my team when taking a charge, it's time to


Friday, June 12, 2009


Team camp starts today and teams are going to play five games in less than three days. OUCH!

Therefore, I thought it appropriate to talk about what athletes should do to help their bodies recover in order to keep their performance at that top level.

Here are a few examples where I feel recovery will affect the results:
  • Overtime games. How many games are won or lost in the last five minutes? We won three state championships in high school and the third took two overtime games in a row to finish it. I felt pretty good, but I am not certain the other team did. Who do you think felt better last night in the overtime of the Lakers vs Magic?

  • Here is how you win championships in Division I College Basketball. You win on the road. The Big Sky this season has ruled in favor of Friday, Saturday games. Do you think your athlete's recovery will affect those games? Absolutely.

  • In the WNBA we had training camp for nearly a month before games began. I did this five years in a row. During this time coaches would decide who to keep, who to cut, bring in new players, and throw out players who couldn't consistently perform. I counted one year of going two a day practices for 16 days in a row without taking a day off. Then you hit the season and play four to five games a week travelling commercial airlines. Does this sound easy?

Everyone WANTS to play professionally, but can you get through the two a days?

I believe a few simple tricks can help you recover quicker and take your game to the NEXT LEVEL.

1) Be the best conditioned athlete on the floor. You will recover quicker and be less likely to get injured when thrown into a hard training environment.

2) Jump in an ice bath after every work out. It may not sound fun, but I lived in the ice bath when I played for the Cleveland Rockers, especially during two a days. The "rookies" did not.

3) Slide your rear to the wall and put your legs up for 10 minutes. The circulation will get your legs back sooner rather than later.

4) Eat some fruit within 30 minutes of your workout. You can also throw in a nutritional shake as well, but you need the nutrients as soon as possible.

5) Buy some "skins" and get comfortable in them. Just go to Australia and you'll see every national team in them. They are designed for recovery but look like tights. You can wear them on airplanes, buses, and even sleep in them. I wish I knew about these when I was a player.

6) Properly warmup and stretch down.

Now, if I would have taken my own advice this past week then I wouldn't have pulled my quad on Monday.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


You will be extremely proud of me as I played basketball this past week. Not only did I pick up the ball again, but I played two days in a row, then played volleyball, and then played basketball again!

Three questions came to mind as I picked up my favorite sport in life.

1) What was I thinking?

2) What part of my body doesn't hurt?

3) Where did my game go?

As a competitive person, it has taken me FOUR years to get back to this game because I knew I wasn't going to be remotely close to being as good as I was at my prime. I suppose two children and coaching may have had some impact on that.

What I came to terms with is that I won't be as good as I used to be and that is ok, or in other words, throw away your PRIDE.

Example: Mara Hoefer, recent graduate. Decided she would play ball with us. As I am stretching before we start our first game, Mara asks a guy shooting in the gym if he wants to play with a former WNBA player. I am thinking, please don't say that. I don't want to embarrass the WNBA.
Here is a recap.

Day 1) A lot of shake and bake, along with slip and trip on the floor. Remembering what I used to be able to do was like riding a bike, physically performing those moves was a tougher task. Did my feet get cut off?

Day 2) A bit of stiffness and soreness. Instead of taking it to the rack, a better agenda was to drain it from DOWNTOWN!!!! I didn't want to pull something but the "Swish Trish" was more like the "Bricking Binford!"

Day 3) Let's change it up and move to volleyball. I can rest my muscles for a day and just enjoy the competition. WRONG. I forgot how much you jump in volleyball. I guess I should have said how much I USED to jump in volleyball as I have since become vertically challenged. Oh, and I forgot to mention that my shoulder still hurts three days later from spiking.

Day 4) Back on the court-I think I may have pulled my quad. I am old. Dang it. I forgot to ease into it. That mentality has not changed at all.

With all of this being said, my love for this game hasn't gone anywhere. I was brought to life again just loving every aspect of it. I am having a blast this summer, and I can't think of a better way to get back in shape then being on a basketball court.

Go Cats!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Did you read the previous blog on Mara?

If not, read that before you come back.

Ok, now you know Mara is going to be playing professionally in Germany, I want you to also know that she couldn't shoot a free throw three years ago when she first came into our program. She had a shoulder surgery her first year and sat on the bench her second. This past season she became a starter and a powerful center in the Big Sky.

How did she take it to the NEXT LEVEL?

1) Last summer Mara did every single one of her summer workouts that were given to her
2) She did each workout as HARD AS SHE COULD. There is a difference between working out and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.
3) She then asked for more. She went ABOVE & BEYOND what was asked. She was voted by her team most improved player this past year.
4) She is an optimist. She believes that good things will come for those who work for it and it did!

The question is, how hard are you willing to work?

Coach Bin


We have great kids here at MSU who do incredible things. I am proud!

Here are two articles on two of our athletes written by Tom Schulz our Sports Information Director

Jamie Thornton, a 6-4 center on the Montana State women’s basketball squad, recently participated in the NCAA’s National Student-Athlete Development Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Six-hundred student-athletes from Division I, II and III were selected out of over 2,000 applicants to attend the conference. The NSADC focused on such issues as diversity, student-athlete well-being, substance abuse, personal branding and sportsmanship.

Thornton will serve as president of Montana State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee this season, and has been part of SAAC the past two years. In addition, she is a three-time All Big Sky Conference academic selection.

“We’re proud of all of her accomplishments,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “She was a perfect representative to go out and be positive voice for our student-athletes. The conference was a great opportunity for Jaime to take a leadership role, and glean knowledge that will help our program as a whole next year. She was able to learn from other student-athletes from around the country, as well as share the accomplishments of the Bobcat athletic department.”

Thornton currently has cumulative 3.96 grade-point average and is majoring in mathematics.

Montana State women’s basketball player Mara Hoefer, who recently completed her senior year at MSU, has signed to play professionally for BBV Leipzig, in the German second league later this summer.

“Mara is a real center with solid post moves and thus she’s just what we needed last season,” said BBV Leipzig head coach Ritz Ingram. “Furthermore, she makes a professional impression and is very hard working.”

Hoefer, a 6-1 native of Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany, played in 27 games, including eleven starts this past winter. She averaged 5.5 points and 2.7 rebounds, while shooting 48 percent from the field. Hoefer recorded a career-high 15 points in MSU’s win over Eastern Washington, along with a season-best seven rebounds on two occasions.

Hoefer was a two-time All Big Sky Conference academic selection and recently graduated with highest honors from Montana State with a degree in business marketing.

I am more than proud of our athlete's accomplishments.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I have always been an optimist so being an undersized guard throughout my career I have always valued my 5'4 size.
1) Posts can't see you sneaking in for the steal
2) It's a much shorter fall to the ground when taking a charge
3) Mass defense: After 3 minutes of fatigue, you aren't as noticed as your 6'4 post's stance

Well, last night brought out another situation where being 5'4 has its advantages, Country Swingin'. My husband and I left our kids with Lyndi Seidensticker and Sarah Strand, at my son's request of course. Justin took charge organizing the puzzle play as we left for the dance floor.

We met up with some of our coaches and friends including Coach Saneholtz, Close, Schuab, and from the men's staff, Coach Starr. How cool of a name is that!

Now, I won't lie to you. I don't have the rhythm of Erica Perry which is why I prefer country swinging. However, Todd and I haven't been on the dance floor in three years so we were a bit rusty.

Todd is 6'2 so it's fairly easy to just spin around underneath him. However, he did brake a lady's nose once who was a little taller. ADVANTAGE #4.

Todd and I got the kinks out before we grabbed Coach Starr and Coach Saneholtz for instruction. I took Starr who at first was a very good apprentice. That was until he took me down for a dip but forgot to pull me back up, "SMACK!"

Low to the ground, not too hurtful. ADVANTAGE #5. Just no more dancing with Coach Starr.

Coach Saneholtz said we had to stay until 11:00pm based on principle. We had to show we weren't THAT OLD. As soon as the clock hit 11:00pm I said "Ok, so are we ready to go?

Todd and I got home to a quiet nest. After a night of dancing I was ready to crash. ADVANTAGE #6. My 7'2 teammate for the Utah Starzz Margo Dydek had to have her bed made.

Margo had told me once that she got to tall because she drank a lot of milk. She also can dunk and see over people in a crowded environment.

I suppose all of us can find advantages to what we have been blessed with if we look at it with optimism.

Coach Bin

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I won't lie to you. I love to eat. My staff laughs at me when it's 10:00am and I am ready for lunch. I also love to try new foods. Coach Scanson will tell you that I should stick to my "usual" as I am often upset with my choice, but when it comes to unique tastes my son takes after mom. How many five years olds do you know love crab legs, sushi, and artichoke hearts?

The interesting thing about food though is how it can be prepared a variety of ways. Have you seen the movie "Forest Gump"? There was a character in that movie named Bubba that LOVED his shrimp. He would talk about all kinds of ways to prepare shrimp; gumbo, fried, grilled, or if you are from Australia "shrimp on the barbie."

Ok, that was not from Bubba but when I played my first year in Launceston I expected to eat shrimp on the barbie. It must have been a hoax because we grilled everything but shrimp. I loved it all though; the meat pies, Charcoal Chicken (with fries and gravy), seafood, seafood, seafood. I hope my players don't see the fries and gravy as I am supposed to be a positive example. It's all in moderation, right?

However, I was stumped this morning when I heard about CRISPY M & M's. I know there are all kinds of colored M & M's,peanut & non peanut, but not crispy. So guess what, Coach Scanson is at the store as I type in this blog to search for the crispy M & M. I have got to try it. I do not have a sweet tooth like my husband, but I MUST know what this is, what it tastes like.

And why do you ask? It's 9:42am, almost 10:00am.

I am starving.

Coach Bin

Friday, May 29, 2009


This is always an exciting time of year for me as the NBA Playoffs begin to wrap up. The reason, the WNBA season is starting.

The overlap of the seasons was pretty sweet when I began my WNBA career with the Utah Starzz as I was in the Delta Center to witness the push off, fade away, last second, buzzer beater shot by Michael Jordan against Byron Russell. The crowd was devestated.

Two years later I felt like I was Russell during my second season with the Cleveland Rockers when I took a charge on Cynthia Cooper of the Houston Comets. I was stationary for so long that the cement trucks had come and gone and plastered my shoes to the ground. However, that wasn't how the officials saw that call either. I will admit she was VERY good.

This time of year always gets me pumped. I am just glad I don't have to sit in the ice baths getting through those two a days.

Coach Bin

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Become a Better Ball Handler

Whether you are a point guard, forward, center, 10 years old, 30 years old, this skill will improve your game at any position and every age.

Here are a few easy and FUN tips:

1) Everything you eat from now on must be with your weak hand. The skill is more important than the image. Tell that to your date before he takes you out to Chinese.

2) Go rock climbing. Strong forearms improve your ball handling, passing, and rebounding. Just please make sure to have someone hold the rope. When I was in college on a ropes course I jumped off a 30 foot pole when my teammate wasn't holding the rope. That's why I ended up 5'4 instead of 6'4.

3) Find a racquetball court, bring a basketball, and shut yourself in for an hour. Practice any and every ball handling and passing drill you've ever learned and OVER EXAGGERATE it. Bounce or throw that ball as hard as you can. If you make a mistake you have four walls to bring that ball right back. Tell your mom to bring the video camera and you might make $10,000 on America's Funniest Home Videos.

4) HAVE FUN. To take it to the next level you have to put in more time than others are willing, so you might as well enjoy it. Be creative, innovative, and challenge yourself in ways you haven't imagined before.

My five year old can climb our fridge in under 5 seconds. He is destined for greatness.

Coach Bin

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


"Vacation" is defined by as a period of suspension of work, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel.

The definition didn't include, however, 10 hour drives both ways, two kids, three cousins, and preparation for a wedding and rehearsal dinner. Therefore, the rest has been suspended until the vacation is over!

Here are the highlights.

1) Recreation- Golfing with my dad and husband. Todd and I can hit hard but inaccurately. Dad, on the other hand, is calm and consistent. I describe that to my team as the spectacular move to only miss the layup (100 dollar move, 10 cent finish). I'd rather a good move and a great finish like my dad.

Horseback riding- We took my son Justin out to ride my mom's horse called Brody. He was quite the cowboy but I think may have had as much fun playing in the dirt. And yes, this dirt probably had horse poop in it.

Volleyball- To finish off the week I jumped in on the "Binford" vs "McDonald's" volleyball match. This has been an ongoing battle since the beginning of time. Unfortunately we didn't have Big Sky officials so we got homered on the score.

2) Eating- I think this should have been a category under vacation as that seems to be all I do with my extra time and I quite enjoy it! Starting off with my dad's home cooking, salmon, halibut, barbeque ribs, chicken, and yes I am still eating. Todd sees the similarities as my dad and I can multi task very well. You just won't be able to find the counter top after ward.

Eating at Todd's parents. Let's just move forward to the PIG at the rehearsal dinner. When I heard they would be roasting a pig I imagined it being cooked over a grill without a head. This, however, was not the case as the pig was already cooked for 17 hours, and came positioned like superman.

The pig also had a skirt and sunglasses to match. There were more pictures taken of the pig than there were of the bride and groom to be. I will also admit that my son and all of the other kids had to touch it just because they had to touch it. As we got ready to eat, Justin asked if he could get some "pig" rather than "pork."

3) Family and Friends- I can't write enough how fun it was to see my friends from Boise, and both of our families. To finish off an amazing week Mike (Todd's little brother) and his beautiful bride Marie (sister-in-law) had a great wedding day. Justin walked his cousin Kendall down the isle arm in arm like a perfect gentleman and Todd gave a roasting toast to his little brother.

The newlyweds flew off to Cancun and I thought it ironic that is where the "PIG" or should I say "Swine" flew in from as well.

Coach Bin