Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Here are some questions to decide if you are a risk taker, or to ME a competitor.

1. Are you afraid to lose?
2. When you play open gym, do you guard the worst player on the floor or the best?
3. When is the last time you tried something new?
4. What is the hardest obstacle you've had to overcome?
5. Who gives you your confidence?
6. Last but not least, would you go skydiving?

Now as a coach, I look for those risk takers that aren't afraid to take the program the next step, the unknown because someone has to be the first. You can't be the first if you are afraid of what it might look like. Anyone can come into a successful program, but only a few get to CREATE it!

I wonder what Neil Armstrong's answers would be to these questions before walking on the moon.

Coach Bin

It's a wrap!! pt 3

6) We are getting healthier late in the season which is almost unheard of. Sarah's knee is getting stronger, Jenny is working through her legs with toughness, and Katie can finally get down in her athletic stance. Our trainer found her a chiropractor and she can now move like before her injury!

7) Senior night clinches the third spot for the Big Sky Tournament; Mara Hoefer has her career high with her parents watching her for the first time all the way from Germany. Nubia Garcia breaks a 1,000 career points, and Anne Phippard his a time out drawn play to hit a 3 for all players to have scored. We head into tournament with great momentum.

8) Nominations are announced for Big Sky All Conference. Erica Perry is 1st Team, Nubia Garcia 2nd Team, and Katie Bussey Freshman of the Year. We feel the team is coming together with our new offense, getting healthy, and grasping our defense at the right time.

9) Open up tournament with NAU who was our most difficult matchup of the year. Erica does her damage, Nubia defends like the Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year makes HUGE baskets down the stretch to send us in to the semi final round.

10) Our season finished 2 games short of our hopes to a high octane PSU, but we feel that our inconsistent up and down season finished on a solid 6-8 wins to losses down the stretch. Given our circumstances, obstacles, we did not give up, but instead regrouped and found a way to make a competitive run. That is PERSEVERENCE.

After a 3 hour banquet highlighting the year with an amazing highlight video by Coach Scanson, here were the team awards.

Academics: 4 President's List (straight A's) Anne, Sarah, Jamie, Mara

Most Improved Academically: Jenny

MSU Excellence: Mara Hoefer

Team: Will be in Top 15 again this year nationally. 6 players All Big Sky Academic Team

Community Service: Erica

Awards voted by Team

6th Man: Jamie

Defensive Player: Nubia

Most Improved: Mara

MVP: Erica

Bobcat Pride (voted by coaches): Anne

Tyler, our radio announcer told a few jokes that I won't throw out, and had a few laughs and tears and recapped why it is so fun to be a Bobcat! You get challenged, you grow, you compete, you have a blast, and you have a complete student athlete experience on and off the court.

I will miss these seniors, but like I told them last night. The foundation that was once broke four years ago when they started with me in this program is now fixed. It is stable because of their hard work and ready for the next step!

Thank you to the 2008-2009 WBB squad. What a year full of memories that will never be forgotten.

Coach Bin

It's a wrap! pt 2

3) Started off the schedule with major injuries and limited practice time.

Our starting forward Sarah Strand was still rehabbing back from micro fracture surgery. If we pushed her any harder she may not make it through the year. Other reports of micro fracture injuries had been career ending.

We had high expectations for our freshman Katie Bussey to pick up some scoring load with the graduation of First Team All Conference and MSU 3 point record holder Rebecca Mercer. Katie had a huge setback with a bulged disk in her back and was also limited and held out for 2 weeks around Christmas. Her back was so severe that she couldn't get down into a defensive stance. Could we get her healthy enough to contribute and learn our system?

Veteran and 2nd Team All Conference Jenny Heringer has chronic compartment syndrome in her legs. Rotating her in and out of drills limited numbers for practice players and time for her to get her feel back.

Nubia Garcia gets a concussion in conference and MUST sit out of road trip to UNC. We lose in overtime.

Mara Hoefer gets pneumonia second round of conference and miss at least 2 weeks of play.

How do we as a staff move forward in practices with limited players and not over work those who are in every drill? How do we get enough reps for players to be ready for games but healthy enough to contribute? Are we going to finish strong enough to make a run?

4) We hit conference to the most competitive balance in the Big Sky since I have been here. We started 0-3, and had to have a serious CHANGE of approach.

5) 3 overtime losses in the season we hit our fourth on the road at PSU who was undefeated at home and first in the conference. The turning point of the year, Erica Perry has a career night, and freshman Katie Bussey hits a game winning shot to turn the season around.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's A Wrap! Part 1

We had our 2008-09 Season Banquet last night, and it was as fun as any.

Here is my quick recap of the year.

1) Selected in the fall to finish 3rd in the Big Sky Conference. Every year previously we had been nominated LOWER than what we finished. We had great expectations.

2) Took the chance of putting in a new offense called dribble drive motion even though we knew that our defense was most vulnerable. We, however, had the most dynamic point guard in the Big Sky for two more years, so getting her involved was a priority.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Have you ever taken a ride in a convertible or on a Harley? It's one of the best getaways possible to have the wind in your hair, being out in the open, just taking in the beautiful scenery.

That's until a bug SMACKS right into your teeth, and you hopefully don't crash!

Well, I can't imagine being out in the "open" last night from my trip back from Miles City, Montana. On a four hour trip, I used my entire windshield wiper fluid and 3 stops to scrape the DEAD bugs from my wind shield.

I don't know if it's like birds leaving for the winter, but it seemed this spring was calling all bugs across the nation to literally head out to I-90 from 5:00-9:00pm. At first I thought it was merely rain even though my associate head coach who was also travelling with me said it was bugs smacking the windshield.

Then as I payed more attention I could see them coming toward me as if in a slow motion action movie right before their lives were instantly cut short.

If you have ever looked at one of those pictures that you have to gaze at for a while to see the picture unfold, it was just that as my eyes began to wander from the road to the thousands of insects starting to approach.

The good news is that I refocused, made it home safely. Unfortunately I feel bad about taking so many creature's lives in the process.

As I pulled into my driveway, I was extremely thankful to walk into the arms of my five year old with no bugs in my teeth.

Conclusion: Don't ride on a Harley or in a convertible on I-90. The scenery is just as spectacular through a window.

Coach Bin

Thursday, April 16, 2009


That word seems so personal, but that is what coaches do. I am heading out to the east coast this weekend to evaluate, critique, observe, and watch every little detail of an athlete's game.

My job as a coach is to decide if a player is going to be physically good enough to play in our system, mentally tough enough to survive it, and emotionally passionate about this game so much that they would go above and beyond their competition.

Then the most important evaluation comes into play. What kind of person are they? Will they be a good teammate? Are they coachable? Are they of high integrity? Will they "fit" here?

Once we decide that, the recruiting begins. We know you. Now it's time for you to know Montana State.

Go Cats!


Now, some of us know the significance of Easter as the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For a five year old, however, to comprehend the meaning of this day seems to be a little more difficult.

This is why I think the "Easter Bunny" was created. To believe that an Easter Bunny would bring you nice treats is hard to dismiss for any age.

My son is highly competitive. Where he gets that I have no idea. So when he heard about the Easter egg hunt he asked when and where!

So we headed to the Bridger Golf Course where our church organized one of the biggest Easter egg hunts of all time. You could see it in my son's eyes that he was ready to go. He had his basket, focus, got in his stance, and NO ONE was going to get more eggs than him.

If you want to see chaos, just watch 300+ kids running at the same time to pick up eggs in the fairway. Someone should have required helmets as it was going to be more physical than a rugby match.

The gun went off and the screaming began. In uder 30 seconds the eggs were swept up, my son's basket was full, and he was ready for more.

So we went home and created our own Easter egg hunt about a dozen times over the next two days, before church, after church, before bed. I would hide them. My son would hide them. My husband would hide them. I am pretty sure we broke a world record.

After the weekend was over and the energy subsiding we all crashed on the couch. As my son gets older he will begin to appreciate more regarding this unbelievable holiday, but for now, I am happy he didn't eat all of the candy in the eggs he found.

Coach Bin

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Yesterday I was watching our players squat as our strength coaches spotted them. That's when Erica Perry suddenly failed her last rep and Andrea (strength coach: alias the "machine") threw Erica's elbows under the bar to catch the weights.

Andrea did not allow Erica to drop the 200 + weights as if she did, Andrea could have two severed biceps. The reason I know this is that Andrea told us of a strength coach that wasn't paying close enough attention and an athlete dropped the weights right through their arms.

No easy task is it! After that story I decided it best to let our strength coaches continue the spotting and our players ultimately thank them for every extra rep they achieve with the sense of security that someone is supporting them.

Today ask yourself what you have achieved and why. I guarantee there will be more to your answer than "me". Go thank those people today.

Go Cats!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What Off Season

Watching the championship game this past week I began to think of how much the game has evolved even since I laced up my shoes. That sounds like I am old, however, it hasn't been that long.

Just begin with the training of our athletes and you see how players are picking one sport earlier on in their careers than ever. I was a three sport athlete throughout my high school career. That trend has since changed. Now, there seems to be no off season.

I won't say I am in favor of this change as part of me feels our athletes are prone to more injuries and or burnout then ever before. The reverse, however, is getting behind your competitors.

That's where we head into our basketball team's spring training. As soon as our team finished our season at the Big Sky Tournament I reflexed on the year and immediately started brainstorming our next steps for the 2009-2010 season. No, I didn't do the Pat Summit and bring my team in the next day as I knew they needed a mental break from me.

After two recovery weeks we have since hit the court hard in prepartion for next season. The spring, however, is considered our triathlon. We hit the pool, stadiums, weight room, and court. I will say we are better in some areas than others.

In order from worst to best, 1 being the worst:

Sarah Strand is our fastest and Erica Perry, being conservative I will say sinks a bit more. Even so, we completed our first workout in a little under an hour covering a half mile that Michael Phelps could do in 10 minutes. My philosophy is the worse the swimming technique the better workout they are getting. We need to improve just a bit for survival skills though.

Since we completed the year top in our conference offensively and last defensively our bright academic students figured we'd be concentrating on defense, right they were. Only two weeks in, though I am instantly seeing improvement in our footwork, anticipation, and commitment to this end of the floor. Our defense will be the reason we finish in conference in the top in the most important category, wins & losses.

Our strength coaches and entire staff have been at every weight workout to set the precendent that the weight room will bring tremendous change to our game. The team has responded with focus and intensity. They are on a mission. They have challenged themselves on every lift, jump, plyo, and sit up.

Only two weeks left before our spring training wraps up, but what a jumpstart to the summer program. When you are reaching new heights you have to make every day, every workout, every drill count.

When you are a CHAMPION, there is no offseason.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I just got back from a great trip to St. Louis for the Women's Final Four. Here are some of the highlights.

1) Seeing Family-I had dinner with my cousins in St. Charles for a fun evening recalling some of our favorite stories. One of the best stories was with Uncle Roy who took my sister, brother and I to a St. Louis Cardinals game. We had the Cardinals t-shirts, caps, bought the hot dogs. Then the Cardinals started to get blown out. We decided to beat the traffic and left early only to hear of the greatest comeback in the franchise's history.

2) Visiting Coaches-Katie Falco, one of my former assistant coaches just finished a tremendous season as an assistant coach at South Dakota State. We decided to go to the "piano bar" with their staff. When you hear of piano bar you assume it will be a nice quiet evening catching up with your friends. We found out quickly this was not a typical piano bar when they decided to play KISS.

3) Professional Development-The convention is an opportunity for coaches to learn from each other and check out the latest new ideas for improving your programs. Whether it's the NOAH shooting machine that talks back to you like R2D2 or the Matrix Power Suit that enhances your training, I feel like a sponge taking it all in. The question is the limit on the credit card.

4) Watching Practices-These aren't your traditional practices as the home team's bands and cheerleaders kick it off and entertain throughout. Every team had probably 10 managers with them.

Oklahoma-FOCUSED. They were intense and communicated better than any program I had ever seen. They were a unit. Coale's team had it together.

Louisville-LOOSE. Walz talked on his cell and chatted with the media. They finished with "assisted" dunks by the coaching staff. I looked at my assistant coach Justin Scanson and said "I don't think our trainers would approve" as a Louisville guard landed on her tailbone.

Connecticut-GENO-Geno works the room as well as he did when I played for him in the Olympic Festival. He hadn't changed a bit. MAYBE one hair out of place. They are Women amongst girls.

Stanford-Focused & Loose. Probably a little loose becaue of the Cardinal Tree that is the ugliest mascot of all time. I think he had one too many Red Bulls. I was pulling for Stanford as the Pac 10 represented the west coast very well in the tournament.

5) Semi Finals-Oklahoma vs Louisville: Can you believe that ending? Did she know they only needed a two, or did she not think she had enough time to get to the basket? Regardless, I felt bad for Oklahoma. What a great season they had. Stanford vs Conneticut. All I can say is Appel is only a junior.

6) Championship-I was home for the championship game with my family, coaching staff, and team. Unfortunately it wasn't as close as we'd hoped. That may be one of the reasons one of my players kept clicking over to American Idol.

It is amazing what UCONN accomplished. I told my team that I'd be satisfied with 30+ wins as they all chuckled. Instead, we'll take one step at a time which is what we've done all four years so far at Montana State. The next step, 20+ wins. I will settle for that next year as long as we get to start "dancing."

Coach Bin