Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Savior Is Born

Christmas marks a day of celebration, hope, and joy.

I can't describe what joy is any better than the excitment on our kid's and neighbor Ella's faces last night when they heard Santa's Reindeer bells outside Brooklyn's window. (My niece Ashley was outside their window jingling the bells off her phone.) All of the kids sprinted out of their rooms and screamed, "We heard Santa's reindeer bells!"

My sister and I told them it means Santa is close so we better get to bed. That's when they all sprinted back into Brooklyn's room, including Ella. Ella's mom Angela and I just cracked up and after gathering ourselves, clarified they needed to go to bed in their own rooms.

At 5:55am this morning we heard 6 feet shuffling down the stairs as my oldest nephew Tyler throws the door open, "IT'S CHRISTMAS!" I said, "Don't you remember our agreement, 6:50am is when we get up." He comes over to me and gives me a big hug as for me to get up. What stories of joy.

As we watched our kids overwhelmed with joy unwrapping presents, I think of how Jesus must feel and the excitement He must have when seeing a new believer receive His wonferful gift of salvation. It feels so good to give and thank you Jesus to the best gift ever to receive.

Have a Merry Christmas,

Coach Bin

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Since I have been asked the question daily why we have two weeks between our North Dakota and Illinois games I thought I could just tell you all on my blog.

Scheduling preseason games is one of the most challenging tasks we have here at Montana State. That's why I gave the task to Amy!

Scheduling away games is easy as EVERYONE wants a home game. Home games, however for a remote, and winterland tropicana, NOT SO EASY. If I was a California school I would be jumping at our offer to come play us. How many times do your players get to make snow angels or have a snowball fight.

The two week downtime is mostly because we couldn't get one more home game and that we wanted next week off so our athletes could be steller students and Ace their finals. That we will certainly accomplish.

In the end, I think our schedule has been fantastic. It has been difficult, compact, and about to take new heights as we take on Illinois and Georgia in Las Vegas. It will have prepared us for the upcoming Big Sky season especially with the home and home games we have against UND to see how to prepare for a familiar foe a second time around.

Most importantly, this downtime will give us the recovery we will need to be truly at our best when conference play begins.

If you are interested in coming to Bozeman to play, please don't hestitate to call!

Coach Bin

Coach Bin

Friday, December 2, 2011


I remember growing up and having milk with every meal of the day. I assume 1% milk and skim milk were around back then, but I never saw it. It was always 2% or if I went to my best friend's house, who lived on a farm, she could just squeeze whole milk straight from the cow. I didn't actually try it that way though.

I was always told that milk would make me grow.I have now since come to the realization that may actually be a myth. I do believe milk is extremely important, especially to females in having strong bones. I remember my doctor telling me after my first knee surgery that he was impressed at how strong my bones were.

With all the pounding that athletes are doing at higher levels than ever before I want to encourage all young female athletes to get their calcium in.

On a different topic, is it me or are females getting taller every year? This season we have already played 6'7, 6'5, 6'4, 6'3, and 6'6 again tonight. I think I might ask her if she drank a lot of milk growing up.

Coach Bin

Monday, November 28, 2011


We are in the thick of preseason right now with 5 games over 9 days. It feels like a WNBA season.

This past weekend we played Wisconsin on Friday with 3 players playing 30+ minutes. These same three players played 30+ minutes on Saturday against Valparasio. With ten minutes to go we were able to pull away. That spark of energy down the stretch managed to be the difference in the game for us and it was led by these three.

When you have that many games piled up in a row, your ability to bounce back physically and mentally is critical. Simple methods such as hydration, stretching, ice baths can be hugely beneficial. I also make them do my version of "yoga", which is not real yoga.

Proper nutrition is also crucial. I am thankful that Katie Bussey is a Kinesiology major as she does a better job of educating our underclassmen than I do.

We have Colorado State coming to Bozeman tomorrow. Our strength coach will take the team through a recovery workout today, we will go through our scouting reports, loosen up our bodies on the court and get ready for CSU's tendencies.

Fortunately for Coach Starr and I we do not have an In N Out Burger in Bozeman so we are all forced to prepare properly for our next home game.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

To all of our families and supporters we want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Our team will be in Boulder, Colorado tomorrow preparing for the CU Thanksgiving Tournament. I was asked yesterday what food I was most excited about eating. After Tish Adams gets through the line, I will be thankful if there is any food left at all.

Coach Bin

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cat & Griz Brawl of the Wild

Yes, today is the day of the Cat Griz rival. It's going to be a high of 17 degrees so layer up because the show begins with a presentation of the United States Flag that is the length of the football field, a fly by of some kind of jet(my husband would know what kind), and senior introductions on our new video screen. If that's not enough, the new lights will be turned on, and the game will begin!

Good luck to our football team today, ranked #1 in the nation. Let's finish #1 as well.

Hope there is hot chocolate!

Coach Bin

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Official

We want to welcome our newest members to the Bobcat family, Lexi Dawkins, Peyton Ferris, Jasmine Hommes, and Lindsay Stockton.

Not only are they talented young ladies, but they are tough, competitive, and most importanatly, great people.

In our press release, however, you won't hear about the most important details that make each of them so special.

Beginning with our most local, Lexi was the first Bobcat to commit by a card that she placed on my desk. I was only gone five minutes, but when I returned and read it, along with a cool basket of creative goodies, I sprinted out my office to find her younger brother filming me in the Fieldhouse. (Lexi- I am out of Diet Pepsi). Lexi is so fast she even won in Go Kart racing.

Peyton, our second closest to Bozeman is our recruit behind the new knee pads the team is currently wearing. Peyton likes to be on the floor more than a broom, hence the knee pads, so our players thank you! They LOVE them. Your mom will also thank you when you cut down your ER visits to one per year.

Jasmine may be furthest in distance, but her name is quite familiar for Bobcat fans. What you wouldn't know about Jasmine, however, is that she actually got her great height and strength by eating hundreds of her favorite food, PICKLES. All of the signs pointed to MSU for Jasmine as we have The Pickle Barrel and a jersey already with the name Hommes on it. Her aunts never threatened her if she did not commit to the Cats. HA!

Lindsay, our second Washington recruit actually taught her dad everything she knows rather than the other way around. John wanted to do behind the back, between the legs, and flip passes, but Lindsay's first words when she was born were, "Keep it simple, dad." We almost had a nightmare for Lindsay's visit when she forgot her makeup. When she was able to turn around and get her makeup she realized Bozeman was close enough. Crazy connection, but John's sister was my trainer when I played for the Utah Starzz.

It was a big day for all of us and we are just thrilled. Now seniors- go win your high school championships and finish off some amazing high school careers.

Go Cats!

Coach Bin

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Congrats to our Football team as our victory this weekend over Weber State University guarantees our team a share of the Big Sky Title. One more game and they can OWN it all together!

As a fan of our men's program, but also looking at it from a coaching perspective, it is not a surprise to any of us that our men have consecutively won the Big Sky Conference Championship. The reason is in their habit.

Example #1-The weight room is to Cody Kirk as a home is to the rest of us. He lives in that place and I can honestly say there is NO ONE that will out work him.

Example #2-Leadership. Since Coach Ash has taken over our men have improved in the classroom, given more hours in the community, and taken the field performance to a whole new level. Champions are disciplined in everything they do. They don't just pick and choose what to apply that habit to.

Example #3-Accountability. Teams can only go so far with the coaches. The trenches where huge changes happen is within the team itself. Accountability and responsibility to one another can vastly improve a team's ability. Ours starts and ends with Denarius McGee. He is a leader in every sense of the word and the guys raise their level because of his motivation.

Example #4-Mental Toughness. Talent can only get you so far. The ability to overcome a physical challenge is hard, but the mental challenge is a unique gift. Focusing on what is in your control and letting go of everything else, whether it be a call, the opponent, or just the last error was exactly what our guys did yesterday. They started the game with multiple turnovers. Many teams would tank in a situation like that, but our guys didn't. They stayed confident in who they are and what they do.

Congrats boys. We are proud of you on and off the field!

Coach Bin

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tea Party

Sorry to disappoint Rachel on the spider costume. That seemed to be WAY too much work. The good news is that Brooklyn changed her mind by Halloween and wanted me to be a frog instead. Fortunately she was distracted by the other trick & treaters that I got away dressing warmly.

Tonight we had an evening practice, did a self scout, ran a drill over three times until we got it right, but finished with crisp execution. Then I came home to a Tea Party hosted by Justin the waiter while Brooklyn and I were the guests.

It was a very entertaining evening as it began with Brooklyn spilling our drinks as she poured actual water into our tea glasses. Our waiter cleaned it up quickly and reassured Brooklyn that his job was to pour our drinks.

Justin is quite the creative spirit as he cooked over Brooklyn's toy kitchen in her bedroom. It was your typical kitchen with the stove, microwave, and dishwasher. Then Justin started to pretend to utilize another utensil on the stove. I asked him what it was. "It's a cool down device so you don't have to blow on your food to cool it down yourself." Not a bad idea I thought.

Justin said it would be cool to have water fountains where you can push a button for every drink you would want. He said my drinking fountain could have Diet Pepsi in it.

Our evening was a delite as Justin brought us the final bill on one of the building blocks. I paid with a heart. He told Brooklyn and I we made the cook's day as "he was a little grumpy before we arrived since there was no one to cook for."

I look forward to tomorrow's pretend and tomorrow's reality. My main focus will be to make sure my cup of tea is at minimum, half full in both.

Coach Bin

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Eclectic Week

Took Todd to see the movie Courageous. Didn't know I would need a box of Kleenex.

The NCAA asked the conference captains to take the Officiating test and I won't tell you my score. I may know the rules of the game, but where the lead official should be in comparison to the trail is gibberish to me.

Cooked pumpkin seeds after practice. Justin added more salt.

Put in our zone defense. That was the key to beating our scout team for the first time as we beat them yesterday in our final scrimmage!

Worked on a 1000 piece puzzle with Justin. Brooklyn likes to hide the pieces.

Met with our new sports reporter, Colter at Spectators to fill him in on our team. I was impressed not only by his in depth questions, but that he was able to finish all of his waffle fries. Good work.

Worked on Justin's reading homework. First grade is intense.

Brooklyn played the piano and sang for us. I hope she is athletic.

Bribed my kids and babysitter to go to practice with me on Saturday with sushi afterwards. Justin finished off an entire Widespread Panic roll all by himself.

Found a wig at Wal Mart for Brooklyn's Rapunzel outfit. Now we just have to find her dress.

She wants me to be a spider but can't quite find that costume.

Had quiet at church after dropping kids off at Sunday school. That is a miracle in itself.

The weekend is a wrap!

Coach Bin

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Eval

You thought this blog was going to be about fall evaluation weekend. I tricked you since it's October and we deserve both a trick and a treat.

The treat was for me since I stayed home for practice while my three assistants went all over the northwest.

Utilizing my student assistant coaches Kelsey Roben and Sarah Balian we were able to pull off practices with great energy and focus by our squad. I did have to ask Kelsey if she had blown her whistle. She said I was just too quick on mine. That never happens, lol.

We managed to finish the weekend off with a small scrimmage as we are only 5 practices in. Here is the breakdown from my Clint Eastwood interpretation;

The Good: Despite graduating great scorers in Lyndi and Sarah, we can score.

The Bad: We still communicate better on a bus than we do on the court.

The Ugly: Our new scout guy Kevin (who looks like Kevin from Home Alone), drained about 6 tres in our face.

It's week one, and we are moving in the right direction. Ladies, we just have to move there a bit faster.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Off and Running

Two practices in to the 2011-12 Season and we are off and running. The best news of all is that we have enough players and scout guys on the floor that our coaches don't have to lace up their shoes.

Our newest manager Taylor has gotten a good workout running to put the rebound rim in, then running back to start the shot clock, then sprinting to go pass. I think we may start having her and our veteran manager Stephanie start warming up with the team.

Our newest coach Giuliana has learned you don't hit Katie Bussey with the pad above the waist, and you don't hit Chelsea Banis below it. Adrenaline is flying everywhere!

Coach Bin

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Mermaid

Right now it is a contact period in recruiting so we are able to do home visits, watch an athlete in a different sport, and even get to an open gym.

I am not a coffee drinker but in my travels I do enjoy the caffeine pick me up on occassion. So I found myself standing in line for a place I rarely visit, Starbucks. I chose a green tea, alhtough I do not even know if it has caffeine. However, the fact that my last flight had no heat and my feet were still frozen I thought a warm beverage sounded nice.

So I sat down waiting for it to cool enough to take a sip and looked at the symbol on the cup. After all of these years I hadn't ever really noticed that it was a lady. I texted Amy to see what the lady was, and the answer, a MERMAID.

What's the purpose of this blog you ask? Absolutely nothing, unless you are on Jeopardy. Amy e-mailed me the Wikipedia link about Starbucks and how the Mermaid came into play. It was interesting, but I will not win any trivia games so I promptly deleted it.

Coach Bin

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Game Day

Last weekend our team had a tailgate in front of the football stadium entrance in anticipation of an aggressive performance by our 'Cats. We enjoyed the pulled pork, peanuts, and Todd lifted Brooklyn into the air to cheer everytime we scored a touchdown. We even started the wave across section 113!

Our team showed they will be Big Sky contenders once again! We are off to a rockin' start this season.

It could be the $20 million dollar campaign that gave us an additional 5,000 seats in a new end zone; or maybe it's the shoulder to shoulder blue and gold, head-to-toe student section? I must admit, it is helpful that we have the MVP of the Big Sky taking every snap for the Bobcats!

When you add up all of the factors- community, college campus, amazing venue, talented athletes, and savvy coaches- it makes for an awesome game day experience!

Go 'Cats!

Coach Bin

Monday, September 12, 2011

Official Visit

Signing Period is just around the corner as prospects visit campuses to make their leap of faith on the perfect choice for them.

What's interesting about the recruiting process is how much the conversation changes as the final decision gets closer. The initial calls deal with size of school, location, major interest, success of the team, which are all important pieces and help narrow the list of what schools to visit in person.

So what is the official visit about then? It's all about the relationships! How does the prospect feel about the coaches, the players, and the community?

Ask yourself who you want to spend 20 hours a week with and that's your answer.

I made my decision within the first 30 minutes of my official visit. I didn't tell anyone that soon but I knew. I knew that if I was happy, enjoyed the people I played with and for, then I would work that much harder every single day.

I believe you can have great team chemistry and be extremely successful. Neither one should suffer because of the other.

At the end of the day, if the journey isn't valued then the result doesn't matter.

Coach Bin

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Emily Allen's brother passed away this weekend. We ask that you keep Emily and her parents Craig and Julie in your thoughts and prayers.


Coach Bin

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thank You

I would like to thank Coach Scanson for being so persistent 5 and a half years ago when I had an assistant coaching position open. He literally did everything imaginable, including driving to my office from Las Vegas to convince me he was the perfect candidate for the job, and he was.

Coach Scanson has been a valuable coach and teacher to our student athletes bringing more than his enthusiastic "rock star" energy to practices every day.  He was a visionary and pushed our social media networking capabilities to a whole new level. When asked for an idea he would give me twenty options.

The Scanson "Diet Book".
  •  If the restaurant has dessert in the name of the restaurant you can have dessert. Ex. Cheesecake Factory.
  • You are not allowed to have more than 4 breadsticks.
  • Don't eat off of other's plates. He learned that after the first year of finishing my meals on road trips.
  • Pick bacon or sausage not bacon and sausage.
Although we will have to find another brilliant chef for team dinners, and I will have to call ITC five times a day, I wish Coach Scanson and his family the best in their new adventure. Our staff and team will miss you but know this is a great opportunity for your family.

So you ask where is Coach Scanson going? Our program has been utilizing the services of a software company called Fast Model that organizes playbooks and opponent scouts. Fast Model just got a great addition, but he won't "break" when you ask him for MSU's plays!

The best news of all is that he is still in Bozeman and now can dance WITH his daughter during the music before our opening tip.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cagey Squirrels

My family went camping with some friends this weekend and found ourselves in a pickle with the local squirrel community. The second we set up camp squirrels were running in a dither, which at first was a joy. All of the kids were pointing with excitement trying to catch them.

The next morning, however, was not so wonderful. Our friend came over and said that squirrels had gotten into his camper and stole something underneath the hood. Then we saw a squirrel running from another vehicle carrying something.

So my husband popped his hood, a squirrel jumped out, and he jumped out of its way with his own cat like reflexes. Our children will be so athletic!

As we looked in the hood we noticed the insulation was all torn up. These nice, sweet rodents were destroying our insulation to build themselves a cozy nest. Instead of sweet words our children were now pointing saying "mean squirrels."

We went into immediate protection mode.
  • Keep the hood raised so the squirrel can't reach the insulation. That didn't work as they can jump.

  • Spray the insulation with mosquito spray. Failed! They aren't mosquitoes.

  • Wait with my son's Indiana Jones whip and then scare them. I'd rather go boating on the lake.

In the end we let them have our insulation and build themselves a comfortable Silverado Sofa. They have learned to adapt to city slickers coming in on their neck of the woods so we might as well let them have what they want.

Coach Bin

Friday, August 12, 2011


I, along with assistant coach Mandy Close, spent the last two days listening to amazing speakers at the Global Leadership Summit. Going into the summit my expectations were to learn how to be a better leader, better teacher, improve my skills, and grow stronger in my faith and relationship with my Lord and Savior.

What I got out of this summit was so much more. I think the core of this Summit challenged each of us, more than 160,000+ listeners to ask a very important question. What is our purpose and how do we fulfill it to the best of our ability? As Pastor Steven Furtick put it, "don't survive the world, change it."

I feel blessed and humbled that I have been given an opportunity to coach and teach young women. Our student athletes learn the importance of sacrifice, putting their teammates above themselves, serving their community with thanks. .In fact, the best and most admired student athletes are the ones who hone such humility.

If I could accomplish one goal for each student athlete, besides winning the Big Sky Conference and Championship, it is that they identify their purpose beyond basketball and run toward it with perseverance.

I am a work in progress as always, but feel re energized for an incredible 2011-2012 Season,

Coach Bin

Monday, August 8, 2011


What do you do when you finish July recruiting? YOU GO TO DISNEYLAND!

My family and extended family including my niece and nephew, sister, and Nana and Papa planned the day to a tee. Todd and my sister organized the day with the "must rides"  list. They used a company called ride a max to map the day out for what times to go to certain rides so we didn't have to stand in lines all day. However, when we got through the doors at 8:32am instead of 8:00am we threw that sheet away.

It didn't matter because the first thing we saw was GOOFY! Brooklyn was so mad that we didn't just hang out with him the rest of the day.

Brooklyn's first ride was Astro Boy, or something like that, a space ship while the others went on Space Mountain. Once we got buckled in she started pulling on the yoke saying "it's broken."

Finding Nemo-AWESOME for all ages. Would have been a better first ride for Justin as he thought he was going to fall out on the Space Mountain ride.

Walking & Waiting. Grabbing and holding, making sure we don't lose anyone. The names and numbers we wrote on the kid's arms that morning had already smeared off. Great idea in theory.

Eating ONLY for nutritional value as food is not Disneyland's strength. Ironically Brooklyn ate very well.

Pirates of the Caribbean was the longest line but worth standing. Isn't it funny that you lose all sense of sanitary thinking when you get tired? We sat on the ground, leaned on anything stationary, and who knows what we touched. Once on the ride though Brooklyn realized it was more intense than Astro as we dropped like a roller coaster and she screamed. As a concerned mother I leaned over thinking she would be scared and she said, "mommy, we dropped and I said awww!" she loved it.

Finally for Justin, only asking the seventh time of the day when we get to go on the Indiana Jones ride, we at got to go in the store. He was now in costume, Brooklyn had her Princess Hat with Micky Mouse Ears on, and the group was ready to go find the Lost Ark. Mainly because Brooklyn fell asleep in the stroller.

Nana and Papa hung out with their grandchild and the rest of us sprinted over through the "fast pass" lane to see Harrison Ford. It was exciting, entertaining, and frightening as my sister ducked when she thought the boulder was going to actually hit her. Justin was so excited that he......didn't want to go on the ride again. I guess it was scarier than we initially thought.

For a 2 year old and a 7 year old, the day could have easily been done around late afternoon, but being the frugile parents that Todd and I are, we decided to get our money's worth. So we fed them cotton candy and that second wind caught right up to our 12 and 17 year old niece and nephew.

We raced to Winnie the Pooh, Buzz Lightyear, Toon Town, saw Micky's family in the parade.  I found out that my sister is actually a secret spy after her ride on Star Tours which explains a lot.

As our feet got tired, we waited it out for one final push down Splash Mountain, and then had two children crash on me for the fireworks. I lost count of how much money was spent because when you go to Disneyland, it really is the land where dreams come true.

So I didn't really spend $10 on a cup of macaroni for my kid.

Coach Bin

Sunday, July 31, 2011

July Evaluations Over

Coaches have accumulated frequent flyer miles, rapid rewards, and maybe a few speeding tickets for some. I would love to do a poll to see how many coaches received s ticket trying to make a game from a different gym. Isn't that just crazy.

Beginning this week questions will start to get answered by both sides. How interested is the prospect in your school and how interested your school is in the prospect. The chess match begins.

It would simplify things if the prospect could just say yes, but it is more complicated than that. They need to step on campus, meet the team, see a coach in action, get a feel for the community among a million other things, and they need to cut out schools before they get to that decision.

I think of it as a privilege that a prospect will decide to visit our program as one of her top choices, better yet when they decide to be a Bobcat.

Let the calls begin.

Coach Bin

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Three Weekend Evaluations

The buzz this summer is about the possibility of July recruiting moving to three three day weekends instead of the entire month of July, excluding the Dead Period of course.

I am in favor of shortening our recruiting evaluations for a number of reasons.

1. Prospects won't have as many injuries. Every year it looks like more knee braces and sleeves because athletes don't get any rest.
2. It will save on everyone's budget especially the prospects although I would be extremely disappointed if I couldn't do anymore Red Eyes, lol.
3. Coaches could spend more time on campuses with their student athletes and help that transition during summer school.
4. It would open up more opportunity in between evals for athletes to visit some schools and narrow their lists.
5. I could really enjoy our beautiful July weather in Bozeman with my family.
6. Athletes would perform at a higher level of play.

We want our game to be great and we want prospects to have the opportunity to compete. Coaches get on board because this change would be great for everyone.

Coach Bin

Friday, July 22, 2011

Forehead Freeze

Have you ever had a cold forehead? It's kind of Annoying.


Sitting in the passenger seat of the Mustang and the air conditioner blows directly on your forehead.

Sleeping in your hotel bed and the aircondtioner blows directly on your forehead as the rest of your body is snuggling under your comforter.

These are the two experiences Mandy and I had today.

I am just shocked she didn't have a brain freeze from eating ice cream as we all know she loves her sweets.

First day of the second round recruiting is a wrap. I will talk to you tomorrow from Las Vegas,

Coach Bin

California Girls

Mandy and I are here in Santa Clara watching the MSNM Tourney. I need to give all you Californians a hard time because it's warmer in Bozeman than it is here. So Destini and Symone, when it's January, no complaining.

What's hotter than either spot, however, is Mandy's rental, a fireball two-door red Mustang. I feel like a character from the movie "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" since the passenger's seat is extremely low.

We took a break from the morning games so I could introduce Mandy to the best spicy chicken in the U.S., Popeyes. She is still on staff after agreeing with me that it is incredible!

Tomorrow I head to Vegas for the day, yes to recruit. I will keep my money in my pocket, but today I will soak in the palm trees and sea level workouts.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Dress

As I touch down in Bozeman in between trips I continue to be amazed how quickly my children change in a day or two. The good news is that my husband seems to be consistent except the additional gray hairs that take place.

My daughter right now is a 2 year old going on sixteen. We have a constant battle of clothing and what she'll wear, much different than what we experienced with Justin. For him, if it had a ball or Transformer on it, he'd wear it.

Brooklyn, however, only has one dress that she wants to wear. She will wear it every day of the week, she'll wear it to bed, and even if it smells and stands on its own because it's so dirty, she doesn't really care.

My choices are to throw the dress away, let her scream her head off as I put on what I want her to wear or better yet, OUT SMART HER.

I first called my friend who purchased the dress to see where she bought it so I could buy another one in a bigger size. Unfortunately it's a store that we don't have.

The next plan was to take Brooklyn to the store and have her pick out a dress similar so we did. Once we got home, however, she didn't want to wear the new one anymore.

It doesn't help that in public everyone seems to acknowledge her "pretty dress". If you are one of those people, stop it, jk.

Last resort will be to throw it away, and although there will be a few tears she is tough and will eventually grab ahold of a new obsession.

I just hope that one is with a basketball in hand.

Coach Bin

Sunday, July 17, 2011


This morning we bracketed the 64teams for the NCAA Tournament. To simplify the challenging process of accomplishing this task I will cover a few points.

1. Teams from the same conference cannot play each other before regionals.

2. Teams are to play at home if they are a host site even if they are a higher seed.

3. Travel is taken into consideration so if a team can bus rather than fly you try and place them there if possible.

The software used to bracket has all kinds of tools to help the bracketing process more efficient.

For example, it shows you distance to each host site for the team being bracketed. It will inform you if you have made an error in placing a common conference opponent in the same bracket, kind of like spellcheck.

Despite all of these resources at our fingertips it still feels like piecing together a 1000+ puzzle piece.

In the end I have found an even greater respect and appreciation for the amount of research, time, and integrity by our committee that is put into the process of creating a solid tournament bracket.

Thank you to the NCAA, WBCA for creating this experience for us, to the coaches and commissioners, and the A Team.

When the MSU Bobcats make the tournament I am calling on Ralf to be our voice. He knows what "sparkle" from yesterday's discussion is all about.

Coach Bin

Saturday, July 16, 2011


We are now beginning the seeding process. Just kidding, we started, took a dinner break and tour of the NCAA facilities, and now are trying to wrap up the seeds.

The A Team has remained united throughout the process and each brought a unique skill. Danielle is our scribe wizard. Courtney-win or be forgotten! We learned "you need to have a sparkle about your schedule to get a number 2 seed.

Coach Bin, AKA RPI Genius is signing off.

The Bubble

Afternoon session has consisted of discussion and voting of teams that should be considered for post season play. We have found that it is easier to complain about the decisions made rather than finding a better solution.

I think I will stick with coaching for now.

What's for snacks you ask? The A Team, as we now call ourselves, or in my case "when all else fails look at the RPI", is having whoppers, pretzel nuggets, and reeses. If you know me, I am not eating the sweets,

Coach Bin

Danielle's I Pad Tutorial

She just showed me how to fold my cover so I can type easier.

Courtney's Automatic Qualifiers

I also forgot to tell you Courtney automatics qualifier is nothing short of remarkable. Danielle and I tried to challenge her five times and were incorrect. Her mind was quicker than our computer.

I am supposed to be working,

Coach Bin

Mock Bracketing

I just finished the morning session here in Indianapolis and already learned a ton. I want to be clear, however, that it is not rocket science how Montana State gets into the NCAA Tournament as my quotes might have sounded otherwise on our website.

What I have learned so far is the process of scheduling officials and an in depth knowledge of the RPI which does not stand for Rest Peacefully Indoors.

I am paired up with Danielle Donehew from the Big East Conference and Courtney Banghart, the head coach at Princeton who both want you to know how beautiful and smart, and prepared they are.

Well, of course, Princeton!

Keep you posted,


Friday, July 15, 2011

Frequent Flyer

After Oregon City Mandy and I covered the Midnight Summer Madness Tournament in Seattle while Justin flew to Chicago.

As the head coach I get to pick where I recruit so why wouldn't I choose Seattle who has the best sushi ever at Shiro's restaurant that my friend Janet and former teammate took me to last year? I took Mandy with me this time around and she had to agree with her boss that it is in fact the best!

We got to hang out with Janet for the evening up on top of the terrace of her condo overlooking Seattle, but then it was back into action at Arco Arena. Coaches were so impressed that I had an I Pad I actually had to act like I knew what I was doing with it. Unfortunately, I still had to take some notes with my pen for "new" recruits that weren't yet in our database. That allowed me to write on pretty much everything including my new shorts from the Nike store, the cover of my I Pad, and my former coach June Daughtery. I didn't know if I should tell her or not, but she was cool with it because she loves me so much.

I flew home to see my family, my student athletes in summer school, and our lone coach holding down the fort Amy. Our student athletes are doing great, transitioning well, and competing to break our Top 12 WBCA Academic Finish of last year.

I took my son Justin golfing. He enjoyed raking the sandtraps, taking out the flag, and had pretty good contact on the ball. Brooklyn got to hang out with me in the office, and Todd enjoyed a few hours rest before I take off again.

Tonight I head to Indianapolis for a Mock Bracketing exercise where I, along with 18 other head coaches across the nation learn how the NCAA charts their seeding for the tournament. I will try and blog in between sessions at lunch and dinner, but don't want to give too much information out because you might be angry with who I pick, LOL.

Aisle, or Exit row?

Coach Bin

Saturday, July 9, 2011

End of the Trail

Justin, Mandy, and I finished The Oregon City Tournament today. Here are the highlights:

1. Mandy helping Jerry Rice pick out sports bras for his wife at the Nike Employee store. Jerry had a purple outfit picked out so Mandy suggested an orange bra because it's on the opposite end on the color wheel. He went with the purple.

2. Five Guys Burger and Fries. In N Out Burger is still the best for cost and quality, but these burgers are bigger and it's the only place where I can't finish the fries. They give you so many you leave feeling like a potato.

3. GPS-I still need to name my GPS. I will call her Sue. I have to give her a girl's name because no guy would ever ask for directions so why would they be a GPS? I didn't get lost once. Great work Sue.

4. The games. My last game of the tournament kept me on the edge as Montana Hoops went to the wire with Corona Force? Montana was down one, called a timeout for a back screen play. They got fouled, hit two free throws to go up one, and then Corona nails a three to win. What a battle.

My bumb is now in full padded mode, yet somewhat numb. I like to also sit up high so I can get more excited about how tall players are because they look bigger from above. Although when I sit lower they are still all bigger than me.

5. We told you more evaluation tips to come so here they are;

First rule of thumb-every player must be taller than me. That gets my list narrowed down by five percent.

Second they have to shoot at the right basket, another five percent.

Last, they should pass the ball to the people in the same color uniform as them, and stripes are not include in that.

That leaves me five percent now to watch and reel in for future bobcats.

Isn't recruiting easy?

Coach Bin

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Spider

Yesterday I am driving from One gym to another as the GPS takes me on the country road in between. As I am driving with hands on the 10 and 2 steering wheel a huge hairy black and white spider starts weaving down from my visor.

Trying not to wreck I am thinking hairy could mean poisonous almost tarantula style and then all of a sudden it jumps on my steering wheel. With no edge on the side of John Denver's Country Road I brake off the lip, jump out just barely escaping death. The spider then hops on my seat looking at me as if to say "thank you."

As I look to see what kind of spider this is I think it must be the "car camouflage" spider as it totally blended in. Nit wanting more of tHis I tried to sweep him out of the car but couldn't see if I got him or not.

Anyone want to trade cars today?

Coach Bin

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Exercising with Mandy

ManDy and I went for a run to start off the day. Yesterday I ran the same loop without Mandy. What's the difference you ask? It's five minutes and feeling refreshed or nearly dying.

Mandy just slows me down I guess.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 1 done!

Day 1 wrapped up! I went to the restroom more times than my two year old daughter because I stayed hydrated. It would be a miracle if they could get the gyms all the same temperature.... Do you wear a jacket or do you not? Do you wear flip flops or shoes and socks? I feel like I'm in a Katy Perry song- hot and cold!

Here are a few examples of sayings in our evaluations:
1.Wiry means skinny but tough
2. Smooth means it's ok if they are not the quickest because they make flowing decisions
3. Bulldozer means get out of her way!
4. Handsy means she can really get after it on defense (like latisha Adams)
5. Savvy means she is a coach on the floor and is a smart player (like Ashley Albert)

More to come tomorrow.... We need to do brackets and Mandy and I need to split our fish dinners!
Coach Bin


I am on my fourth game already montana hoops vs lady swift and am not sure if they do the bonus at this tourney.

Definitely july as no fouls are being called. It seems to be a hack fest or I should say no blood no foul.

Players are playing hard. I can still feel My bumb so life is great.

Random comment I know, but I don't understand why new bathroom sinks shut off so quickly. Aren't we supposed to wash our hands for at least 30sec or the duration of singing "happy birthday?"


Oregon city

It's the first day recruiting and I am sitting in the Oregon city gymnasium for the first game of JUly recruiting. I will also have a few typos as I am learning my new I pad that JUstin made me purchase.

The reason I think he got me an I pad is so I can type my notes when I evaluate directly to scout ware our recruitingnsoftware because they cam never read my handwriting or maybe it's so I buy them an I pad too.

Who knows, but it's a fun new toy.

Firstbday getting back into the swing I already forgot my clip to hold the book in place on the two teams that are playing each other. I guess I will just have tp flip through the book.

No worries, right Emily and Kate?

Coach Bin

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer School

Our five new freshmen are settled in to their new homes for the summer, the DORMS, managed to find their classes, and complete orientation. Tomorrow they will catch their breath.

Breakdown of the weekend.

Jackie Elliott-visited her room first. She has her schedule and classes mapped out. I may ask her for directions on campus.

Destini French- It was only 9:00am, but she already had make up on and Katie had already introduced her to the entire community of Bozeman. I will put her in charge of marketing.

Symone Brown-my daughter walked into her room ahead of me and grabbed one of Symone's granola bars. She was stocked up. How many shoes do you need though Symone?

Kalli Durham-First thing I saw was her t.v., and I asked her when she will be watching that? She is a perfectionist when it comes to the classroom as well as the court.

Kayla Dewit-Last room around the corner relaxed as can be until I told her she needed to get a parking pass.

The first week is always overwhelming getting settled, finding where everything is at, but now they are ready to roll. Instead of catching their breath it's really more of a gasp when you have a senior like Katie Bussey.

All I have to say to that is it makes my job pretty easy.

Get after it ladies!

Coach Bin

Monday, June 27, 2011

Smiling Moose

I don't do this often, but I can't help myself. I had lunch today at the Smiling Moose. The Smiling Moose is the newest (and one of the tastiest) deli in Bozeman and if you haven't been there yet...GO!

It's not that often you can find a "healthy" food option that you can pick up at a drive thru. It is right next door to Signs Now on Main Street right next to the mall. It has dine in, dine outside on the patio, or the drive thru for those of us on the run.

You know I love my food and Smiling Moose gives you all kinds of great options, wraps, salads, sandwiches, and even "spicy" combinations for those of us who want to speed up our metabolism.

If I could think of a complaint, it would be my limited vocabulary trying to say some of the items on the menu. I just point instead. Smiling Moose is terrific!


Coach Bin

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What is a "Vacation?"

For vacation, do you go somewhere tropical or travelling internationally?

For me, a vacation is anywhere I don't have access to my cell phone or the internet. We are now a generation that is attached to our phones, 24/7 accessible, and it makes it difficult to truly take a break or "vacation" from our jobs.

Think of the last vacation you took. How many times did you read your e-mails, follow up with a coworker, or work from your laptop?

My solution, CAMPING

My family this past weekend went to a Bobcat Club Function in Kalispell, Montana. After WINNING the ladies challenge in the golf tournament my family headed to Swan Lake Campground with some friends of ours where there is no cell service.

I will admit, it didn't feel like a true vacation the first 24 hours as it was rainy and cloudy. Waking up to a sore back from tent camping isn't exactly spa refreshing, but camping makes you appreciate the little things.

#1 Just sitting still-I had a span of about 10 minutes where the kids were playing, not fighting. I didn't need to unpack or pack anything, cook or clean anything and said to myself I can actually grab a book! I think I beat Emily Allen's record of sitting still at one time.

#2 Air fresheners-I have seen all kinds of outhouses. You definitely don't want to look around (in case you see an insect not yet discovered), and no way are you looking down to see what kind of waste has already been "unloaded" so to speak, but an air freshener in an outhouse goes a long way! As a parent you worry about everything with your children. Try worrying about them in an outhouse.

#3 Food-I remember when my dad used to take us camping growing up and we lived on Spam. My brother and sister and I liked it so much we asked him to buy it when we were at home. He warned us we wouldn't like it and he was right. There is just something about food and hunger when you're camping, though, that everything tastes like a 5 Star restaurant. Burned pancakes-yummy, oatmeal-I'll have seconds, hotdogs-how would you like it cooked? Grilled, Boiled, or Roasted over the camp fire? Roasted for sure.

#4 Appreciating God's Beautiful Creations-We saw a rabbit (Brooklyn tried to catch), chipmunks, squirrels (Brooklyn tried to catch), a deer, and a bear had gone through our campsite the day we arrived. I am glad we didn't see the bear and Brooklyn didn't try and catch it.

#5-Camp Fires-Yes, your clothes and hair smell horrible afterwards, but you can't tell anyway. You can roast smores, tell stories around the camp fire, worry about your kids falling in the camp fire, tell your kids a million times not to make S O S smoke signals with their sticks, and keep shifting your chair as the smoke continues to follow you. Camp fires are awesome!

#6 Water-What is it about water that just refreshes you? Is it the aqua blue or maybe it was the 51 degree lake that takes your breath away. Kids seem to never get cold. Our kids were all playing off the tube the day it was cloudy and rainy. All of a sudden the clouds broke and it was gorgeous. We went waterskiing, tubing, and wake boarding, and we were the only boat on the lake. Maybe that's because it had been cloudy and the water was so cold, but we didn't care.

We packed up Tuesday, headed home, as soon as we came around the bend to Seeley Lake I had service.

I won't tell you how many messages, texts, or e-mails were waiting.

Coach Bin

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's a Wrap

Either I am shrinking or the campers continue to get taller every year. The highlight for me, however, is when my players like Ashley Albert, Rachel Semansky, and Katie Bussey seem like they have grown an inch or two. Sorry, Ausha, you and I still see eye to eye!

Some of the highlights this week besides growing like trees:

  • Champ appearance-He talked this year, although that scared a few of the campers.
  • Coach Starr Post Demonstration-Now the campers know why Sarah Balian, Rachel Semansky, and Chelsea Banis have developed like they have.
  • Coach Scanson Intensity Station. Every year he increases his caffeine intake. I think he may need to go to counseling for his addiction.
  • Coach Close Cross Training Workout-If you were at camp this week you saw how busy our Camp Coordinator was running from gym to gym, making sure everything was running smoothly.
  • Multi tasking by our student athletes-I was watching Katie and Rachel officiate, take the whistle out of their mouth and then coach, put the whistle back in and call the foul. It was hilarious.
  • Last but certainly not least, great improvement every day by our campers. Not only did we have a record turnout this year but we had some terrific basketball.
Thank you to our parents for financially supporting your daughters to get better at a great game and have a fun week with new teammates.

We hope to see you again next year.

Go Cats!

Coach Bin

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Camp Is In Session

What a fun an amazing week already. Our nearly 200 campers are working so hard I feel like I am getting in shape.

Little Dribblers are so fun to watch. I have three nieces in camp this year and my youngest was hilarious after defending another camper. She said "that girl is really tricky." That means our camp coach Carrie Feenstra must have taught her a good move.

I demonstrated to our day and elite campers this afternoon how important it is to move without the ball. So much time is spent working on moves with the ball that we sometimes don't realize how simple we can make this game if we just do all the work before the catch.

Last night I discussed with our elite campers the importance of knowing your role and how to make the most of whatever role that is. Have you heard the word "assume?" Ouch is right.

Our Camp Director Coach Close lost her voice yesterday but got it back today. I am not sure how she pulled that off but tomorrow is Bobcat Dress up Day so it keeps getting better.

Go Cats!
Coach Bin

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why To Choose An Indoor Sport

Yesterday when I was golfing in the "windy" Billings Bobcat Club Tournament I was briefly,(over the next 5 hours), reminded why I chose to play basketball; It's indoor and always 70 degrees inside.

Growing up in Carbondale, Colorado only 30+ miles away from Aspen I learned how to ski almost as soon as I learned to walk. I loved the rush of the speed, hitting the slalom poles with my inside arm, leaning into my turn, and then "playing" on the jumps afterward.

I ski raced competitively until junior high against boys and girls. I was once recognized as "Trash Bader" in the paper instead of Trish Bader which was my first taste of humility. My coach's name was "Bozo" because of his big curly hair. I remember being glued to my chapstick and most importantly never losing a race to any of those boys.

In junior high, however, each sport started to demand more time of competitors and I was forced to make a decision on cutting down some of my commitments. Basketball didn't require as much equipment (snow boots, socks, gloves, goggles, hats, etc). and my feet always stayed warm. I was able to enjoy it WITH my friends as a team sport and could practice it at home every day. Although I loved slalom racing it was a pretty simple decision for me at the time for me to play AND be warm.

Yesterday, I reapplied my chapstick a few times and wore my parka on occasion to warm up in between the holes similar to my days on the Aspen ski slopes.

I had packed every kind of clothing for the day and it payed off. I stayed warm and had a great time with my group from Vision Net. However, when it comes to attending a basketball game, fans can be reassured that the only clothing they need to be concerned about has to be Blue or Gold.

Go Cats!

Coach Bin

Monday, June 6, 2011

CAMP-Make a Commitment

Camp is exactly one week away and we already have a record number signed up.

If you are reading this blog and you are a basketball player (with eligibility left) and are not signed up for an individual camp then I am going to challenge you to GET signed up, and here are the reasons.

1) You get BETTER from individual camps. You can improve your game by playing more games at open gym, or playing with club and high school teams, but you vastly improve your SKILL work at individual camp.

2) You get new tools and drills to practice on your own. It's called repetition. If you go to camp and never pick up a basketball again you probably won't see the improvement you are hoping for. Our camp will give you the necessary drills to practice to improve your ability when you leave.

3) You will improve your skills at your specific position for the "elite" level taking your game on further. How often do you work on speed and agility? How much time is put into passing, one on one defense, boxing out, communication? Have you ever put time into mental training? What's the difference between training as a point guard verses a combo, shooting guard, power forward or center? These are the areas you can focus on in our MSU camp.

Now is the time to get registered (click here: You can come up with a million excuses not to attend, but I already gave you the three reasons why those million excuses aren't good enough.

See you Monday,

Coach Bin

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Thank you to all of our men and women in uniform.  Our prayers are with you and your families.


Coach Bin

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Celebrate Life

Margo Dydek, a former Utah Starzz teammate and friend passed away.

Margo carried herself with grace and class, and my prayers go to her family.

Tricia Binford

Star Wars-Coach Bin Interpretation

I was reading one of the Star Wars books with my son this week and talked about the similarities between the Jedi and Sith, or Good verses Evil in our own lives.

  • Jedi-Yoda is one of the smallest characters in the Star Wars Trilogies yet one of the most powerful because of his strength in mind. Yoda spends a great deal of time in meditation and like all Jedi's uses his gifts to help and serve others. Jedi use what's called the "Force" to use the strengths of their minds for good.

  • Sith-Darth Vader is one of the scariest villains of all time. He is also strong in the Force, also spends time in meditation in his chamber but uses this skill for evil. The Sith are selfishly focused, do not care about hurting or destroying others, and use anger to funnel their energy.
Here are a few challenging questions in relation to Star Wars in our own lives.
1) Do you believe in God?

2) Do you believe in the Devil?

3) What do you believe your purpose is in life?

I am a Christian, one who believes in God and that God sent his son Jesus to die for all of us on the Cross. I also believe that Jesus was resurrected three days later and that if we believe in Him his Holy Spirit lives in us and we will get eternal life with Him and God in Heaven.

This is what leads us to the discussion my son and I had regarding the "Force."

Binford interpretation of Jedi-"Jesus". Darth Vader or Sith "Devil"

Binford interpretation of "Force"-Spending quiet time in prayer, reading the Bible, serving others, controlling our thoughts to be positive by the way we choose our time. We can all have more strength in our own spirits if we focus on this aspect in our lives. Our thoughts controls ours actions. The Force is my understanding of working toward purpose.

Binford interpretation of Darth Vader utilizing the "Force"-He is always waiting, looking for opportunities to attack us. We live in a fallen world, and it's important we stay strong and vigilant on the good that surrounds us.

The best part, however, after my deep discussion with my seven year old he said, "Good always Wins." If you believe what the Bible says, then you know that by faith to be true.

God Bless & May the Force Be With You!

Coach Bin

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sleep Is Overrated

Last day of the trip began at 4:00am heading to the Costa Rica airport. Chelsea Banis checked her 50+ pound bag, the one that Danny said had a "flat screen t.v. in it" because it was so heavy.

Once boarded, we sat on our plane for 3 hours before we were told to deboard so they could fix a part on our plane. Five hours later we were in the air to Denver airport.
If you know the feeling of being past tired, but not in a position to sleep, it's extremely frustrating. I tried the lean back, lean to the side, lean on the tray table, but none seemed to work. So I settled for a Diet Pepsi instead.
When we landed in Denver safely but starving we sat for another few hours waiting to get vochures from Frontier for the delay and missed flight for the evening. We were just happy everyone cleared customs this time despite the interrogations through customs. I was just glad Todd remembered where he was born.

We apologize to everyone who was worried about us since we heard the news reported us "lost". I should have also taken a picture of everyone on their cell phones in the Frontier aisle as it's amazing how much we miss this device when it's not available.

Realizing our party was dehydrated from travel and not eating for 10 hours we spent $40 on water. As I walked back to the team and opened up the bag Sarah Balian was so excited until she opened it to see "just water."

Finally Sarah and the rest of us did get dinner and spent the night at the Holiday Inn for what seemend to be an extended nap, (at least we got to lay horizontally), before heading back to the airport once again. Coach Scanson worked his miracles with Anthony Travel and managed to get us all on flights, not easy to do with a party of twenty.

As we flew in over the Highlight Mountains we were all ready to be home. As the saying goes, "all great things come to an end" (except Heaven of course), the trip to Costa Rica is in the books. What an amazing experience with unbelievable people. It reminds me that in every great thing you experience the best part about it is getting to share it with people you care about. I think that's what made this trip so special.

Many thanks to Ellen Kreighbaum, a huge supporter of this program. I am so thankful you were able to experience this trip with us; to Amy Starr for planning this trip & delivering a beautiful baby; Coach Scanson for figuring out colone currency and the travel, Coach Close for having gifts to share with our new Costa Rican friends, Ashley Wilde for getting us through a trip healthy despite some sunburning; Tom Schulz & Justin Scanson for allowing everyone else not with us to experience the trip through our social networking; Joe Bateson, our Administration, Rex Roben, & everyone else who had a part of getting Tish back to us in Costa Rica; Sports Tours &  Emily Bauer and Savanna for putting on the best & most unbelievable tour for a team you can ever imagine; Swiss Travel & Danny & Jamie for hosting us this trip, teaching us so much of your country, getting us everywhere safely, and making it so entertaining and enjoyable; Radolfoe & the Costa Rica National Team for organizing our games, clinics & visit with the kids with Down Syndrome;  Ellen, Dona Wallace, Larry Aesheim & Universal Athletics, Lou and Charline Spain, Tom & Celia OConner and all of our other donors of this trip; and most importantly our team. What an incredible group of individuals that have grown so close, given so much to others, and bring so much enjoyment to the rest of us.

To our parents, I want to thank you for trusting us with your daughters. You have done an incredible job of raising them and would be so proud of all of them. We didn't take for granted or waste one minute of this trip. We may be exhausted but this was an experience of a lifetime.

This year's theme may have to be "Pura Vida!"

Coach Bin

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Sports Tours certainly saved the best for last.

Whitewater rafting-We had groups of 6 in 4 different rafts. My raft included my husband Todd, Ellen, Justin Scanson, Mandy Close, and Ashley Wilde.

Our guide, Evan told us he picked our group because he knew we were the best. What we didn't know is that the "lead" guide also makes you work harder. From the start Evan wanted our raft to be first so we paddled HARD! After we managed to clear a rapid we'd high five our paddles, "pura vida" and Evan says "there is no team without work." Boy was he right.

This guiding crew was incredible. They floated kyakers ahead and behind each raft to make sure we had help ready if one of us fell into the water, and sure enough I look back and Ellen is just floating along enjoying the scenery. We managed to get her back in, but she was just disappointed she fell out in the rapid called "rodeo."

We stopped for lunch about 2 hours in which included some "heart of palms" potatoes, tortillas filled with everything, and unbelievable fresh fruit. Personally I would have just brought PBJ's.  Danny, from Swiss Travel, said after lunch he wouldn't date any of our players because they eat too much.

We saw all kinds of butterflies, vulters, birds of every species, and even a sloth. Our guide showed us where a scene from Gorillas in the Mist was filmed as we turned our raft around to view the waterfall in the canyon, and then we were allowed to jump out and swim for awhile on a calm spot. I suppose I shouldn't say "allowed" as Justin was forced out by Evan.

The fun of the river included one of our player's rafts getting stuck on the rocks, Emily Allen trying to get in her raft while our guide made farting noises, Chelsea's guide struggle to pull her in the raft and tell her she was "grande", and Evan scaring everyone by grabbing their legs with hog noises. He was quite the entertainer.

We finished off the evening with another wonderful meal overlooking San Jose. Of course the clouds cleared so we could enjoy the beautiful view as Emily from Sports Tours has now told us to go play the lottery. Every day has been gorgeous.

After dinner the Costa Ricans put on a traditional dance before grabbing Ashley Albert, Kelsey Roben, and Rachel Semansky to join them. I personally think the dancer grabbed those three because they were so tall.

The Bobcats closed the dance floor, and about five hours later we will be hearing our alarms go off for a 3:30am wakeup call.  No problemo as we can sleep on our 5 hour flight to Denver. Tom and Pam just need to make sure they don't sit in the exit row.

Danny said we now have a tour guide when we land in Denver, LaTisha Adams.

Buenes Noches,

Coach Bin

Arenal Volcano

Danny told us you are only able to see the full view of the Arenal Volcano probably twice a year. Well, for us today it was one of those days, and it was incredible.

Our hike was around 3-4 miles around the volcano, so if you don't have visions of Dante's Peak it may be one of the most enjoyable hikes ever.

We found out that Tarzan swung on roots not vines, saw a green vine snake, and an animal that I can't recall it's name that looked like a mixture of anteater and racoon.

After our walk we sat in some hotspring pools that had a variety of temperatures. My favorite had to be the waterfall that gave you a comfortable massage while you were sitting under it.

Emily Allen challenged me to a swimming competition which I refused as I only take on a competition I know I can win, LOL.

After a 3 hour drive back to the hotel I decided to sleep instead of blog to all of you. So, here it is, we are off to our rafting trip, and most importantly Congrats to the Starrs for their beautful baby boy Caden Isiah who was born yesterday at 9 pounds 4 oz. It's a good thing he was a week early.

We all looked at the pictures of Caden on Coach Scanson's facebook before dinner and can't wait to hold him. Ausha Cole, AKA the "rock" as the Costa Ricans call her, offered to change diapers.

Coach Bin

Sunday, May 15, 2011


This trip has already produced some of the most hilarious facial expressions I have ever seen. I present to you the top 4 of the trip so far.

#4 Justin's face before the last quarter of mile zip line. "Do I really have to do this?"

#3 Kate Webb eating the Mamone fruit. What 'exactly is this that I am eating?"

#2 Chelsea Banis watching the Michael Jackson impersonator. "I am not sure what this is about."

#1 Expression of trip goes to Ellen Kreighbaum dancing before our game verses the Costa Rican National Team. "Yes I can rock the white man overbite!"

Today's events
  • Katie and Lyndi milking a cow. They drank the milk afterward. Later on the bus Danny, our tour guide, told us "you will get diarrhea if you drink the milk straight from the cow". Good luck at game time ladies.
  • Visited with children's school who have Down Syndrome and exchanged gifts. We connected so well that they will be joining us on our bench for our game today.
  • Rachel Semanksy joined in a parade and rode one of the Oxen. Unfortunately she ended up with some poop down her leg.
  • The horses riding in the parade had a professional trot. The first horse had perfect technique, a Sarah Balian type of horse. The second had its own unique style which I described as Emily Allen in a horse's personality.
  • Heading to the game we learned how Costa Ricans get around since they don't have street signs or addresses. They use landmarks to describe their destination. If we want to send Danny a postcard it might take the whole letter to write the directions.
  • Learned that Baby Jesus brings presents to Costa Ricans for Christmas rather than Santa Claus.
  • The kids from the school gave us a great presentation before the game. We gave them some Bobcat face stickers for the bench and they helped us to our final victory. 3-0 Bobcats!
Tomorrow we head to the volcano and hotsprings. Every day gets more spectacular than the next.

Coach Bin

Saturday, May 14, 2011


We began the day driving the "OMG" road as it's important to pray in order to get to your destination. It's a one way road although cars can go the opposite direction. Fortunately for us we have Jaime as our driver who is blind but with nocturnal instincts.

As we pulled into the Cloud Forest Hotel sitting in the middle of an amazing Cloud Forest it just felt like complete serenity. Our rooms are in bungalows each with a private view of the Cloud Forest.

If you want to take a hike you can stop on the trail and see numerous kinds of hummingbirds. Otherwise, walk down the road for a horseback ride or head to the spa. I have to remind myself that, oh yeah, we have a game today!

After lunch we got back on the "OMG" road to head back to the town of San Ramone. We put on a clinic for the local kids which Ashley Albert proved she will be one of my future assistant coaches. What a great job our kids did today despite the language barrier.

Before our game verses the Costa Rica National Team we had a beautiful presentation by a Special Needs kid of Michael Jackson's "Bad." He was incredible and may be a better dancer than Katie Bussey.

Tip off hit at 6:00pm with a slow start by the Bobcats. Fortunately turning to some pressure defense led by Ausha Cole we had a 25-0 run in the 2nd quarter to break the game open. Final score 82-31, just in time for the Costa Rican Soccer Finale.

We are now back in Serenity at the Cloud Forest Hotel. I think it is just as cool at night with the fog rolling through the dimmed lights around the resort. Tomorrow will bring horseback riding, a visit with some Down Syndrome children and our final game of our trip.

A great night's rest will bring another day of serenity here in paradise. Most importantly, however, it better bring 3 in a row victories for the Cats!

Va Gatos!

Coach Bin

Friday, May 13, 2011

Zippity Du Da, Zippity Day

Day 2 Costa Rica

• Started off the day working out in the fitness center with the t.v. playing Frashier, “with subtitles.”

• Food-Breakfast included beans & rice again (try with scrambled eggs). I picked fish for lunch although this time we had a hard time guessing what kind of fish. Everyone thought it was Salmon. Correct answer = trout. You would think all of us Montanans would have figured that out. Fruit of the day was mamone, a small fruit with a huge seed in the middle surrounded by a slimy texture like a slug. Needless to say, not everyone enjoyed the sweet & sour taste. However, we each had fresh mangos after our game. That pleased everyone’s palette.

• First activity of the day was to pick up Tish. She had a standing ovation on the bus. She was exhausted but made it.

We drove to a coffee field that was as majestic scenery as they come. The coffee doesn’t have as much caffeine as ours at home. Most of the children begin drinking coffee when they are 6 months old mixed in their bottles. Ellen’s way to counter was to have 7 cups.

Today was the first day of adrenaline rush sponsored by 12 zip lines. Coach Scanson and Tom were the most nervous especially when we were told that last line was a quarter of a mile long. What an amazing experience, zipping with views of the volcano, cloud forest, or in Tom’s words “orange.” He only looked at the instructors wearing orange shirts and didn’t look down. The best zip line form has to go to Katie Bussey. She looked like a compact battery.

As we rested for the game at our hotel, a 5.2 earthquake hit, the first experience like this for most of us. I just looked at Todd in our room while our t.v. was rocking back and forth. We then walked out to the hallway as did everyone else in shock. The good news I guess was that we didn’t have any traffic heading to our game.

• Costa Rica differences-Traffic –Common courtesy doesn’t exist when you are crammed nose to nose. The most common car here is the Huyndai or as Danny would say the “belly button” because everyone has one.

Home insurance includes barbwire over your house and bars on the doors and windows. However, this didn’t keep the lizard out of Mandy’s and Ashley’s room today.

• Game tonight was a spectacular 60-22 victory by the Bobcats. The floor was cement so the rule was no diving for loose balls or taking a charge. We still had three falls to the floor. I only had one FIBA rule mistake on the evening when calling a timeout. I now know to walk to the scorer’s table and call it there.

• Danny’s line of the day-He told Mandy she looked like Gene Simmons from Kiss when she tried to kill a fly.

Who knows what is in store tomorrow. With the watches off, the cell phones nonexistent, it’s once again, “pura vida!”

Coach Bin

"Pura Vida!"

(Sorry for the delay, Blogger was down. Follow everything on Facebook at )

Pura Vida”, as our tour guide Danny would say. Pura Vida stands for pretty much everything positive in Costa Rica.

We began our trip with a 7 hour layover in Denver that turned into a 9 hour layover. Todd, Mandy, and I had just taken our Nyquil when the Frontier attendant announced we would be delayed. We fought off the grogginess as long as we could but succumbed to the floor of the Denver International Airport for a few zzz’s like the rest of our party, excluding one, Ellen Kreighbaum.

Ellen, who is our Fast Break Club President was still reading her book at 1:45am when we began to board. We arrived in Costa Rica at 7:30am. Tom Scultz, our SID, made the mistake of choosing the exit row that didn’t recline so he is still yet to get any sleep.

As we walked through customs our season of obstacles added one to the belt when I heard one of the players ask, “where’s Tish?” Yes, she got sent back from security to the plane as her passport wasn’t the correct one without even letting me talk to her or figure out a solution. Long story short, she will be meeting us tomorrow after many, many people helped her get the right passport. Thank you to everyone in Bozeman that helped, Rex Roben, Kelsey’s dad, letting her get some shut eye in Denver, and Tish’s mom Barbara.

So the trip continued as we ate a wonderful breakfast, jumped on the bus and headed to Jaco Beach to take in some sunshine and cool waves. Danny, however, had one surprise none of us were expecting, a stop on a bridge to see 15-20 feet crocodiles below. I am just glad we were a bridge’s distance away. If you don’t know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile, just ask Danny. He will demonstrate how they bite you.

The beach was breathtaking. Rachel, Kate, and my husband Todd were the first in the water and all managed to get up on surfboards while the rest of us cheered them on from a safe distance from shore. I saw one fish swimming in the water and thought that was the biggest fish I needed to see for the day.

We got to have lunch on a patio overlooking the ocean. It was so majestic that I toasted Emily Bauer, our host from Sports Tours and Montana Native that she has started off our trip in style. The sea bass was incredible, and I understand we will get familiar with the beans and rice dish with every meal, except at dinner it is “rice and beans.”

As day one is nearly complete, I can only imagine what tomorrow will bring. Mostly I hope it brings us Tish. We wanted a culture experience for our student athletes. Well, Tish just got an experience of a lifetime. Safe travels young lady. We will see you in the morning.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Costa Rica

We are leaving today for San Jose, Costa Rica.

We will have player blogs, daily photos, video feed, etc.

Check in with us daily to see what our team is doing. It's going to be a blast.

On another note, I want to congratulate our winners at our team banquet Monday night.

Community Service Award-Lyndi Seidensticker

Ellen Kreighbaum Award-Debby Leadbetter (Founding Fast Break Board Member and contributor to our program)

6th Man-Tyler Wiltgen (radio voice of the Bobcats)

Most Improved-LaTisha Adams

Defensive Player of the Year-Sarah Balian

Bobcat Pride-Rachel Semansky

Most Valuable Player-Katie Bussey

I don't have time to write up the amazing evening, but our SID Tom Schulz had two pages of the records broken this season. Check out our highlight film by Coach Scanson!

Coach Bin

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


ALL stands for Academics, Leadership, and Life Skills. It is a competition between the athletic teams at MSU in regards to our community service hours, academic and athletic achievements.

Anyone in athletics knows how competitive people in our department are, so to have a healthy competition like this benefiting our community and making the student's degree the number one priority is pretty cool. Our Athletic Department does an amazing job of hosting this banquet with our great MC, Tyler Wiltgen, and food by Outback Steakhouse.

When the awards started to be announced, however, I was quickly reminded of why I am so proud of who they are as individuals.

Our student athletes do community service because it feels good to help others. Take Lyndi Seidensticker, the 2011 ALL Challenge Individual Community Service Award winner. She is a Big Sister in the community and gets to play with a kid in our community every week. Hanging out with her new brother is what she looks forward to. She gets a break from her studies, her training, and sees how much he enjoys spending time with her.

I could list every student athlete on our team who has given back to our community in many ways as they gave nearly 300+ hours this year. Our team won the 2011 ALL Challenge Community Service Award.

Academically our team has prided themselves in this category. We had two students on our team Sarah Balian and Rachel Semansky awarded the District Seven First Team and Honorable Mention this year, and Lyndi Seidensticker was one of 40 All Excellence Award Winners on campus. As a team we won the 2011 ALL Challenge Academic Performance this year.

We also love to win athletically, and our ten game winning streak this year won the team the 2011 ALL Challenge Women's Team Performance. I think at this time the crowd was starting to get annoyed with our team's success. That felt pretty good as a coach.

I will wrap it up with the overall most prestigious award of them all which totals all three categories, the 2011 AL BEYE Memorial ALL Challenge Trophy. I will display it in my office with pride until next season in hopes of continuing to keep the dust off.

Ladies, I am so proud of who you are, and I want to keep the trophy, so let's go get it again next year. This may be my first "bragging" blog, but it's well worth it for what you do for others.

Coach Bin

Monday, April 25, 2011

Family matters by Tom Schulz

(This article can be found at:

Family matters

Values are at the core of Tricia Binford's success
by Tom Schulz
Many basketball coaches will say that the essence of their program is the team, but for Montana State University's Tricia Bader Binford, it's all about family.

"At our level, recruiting is a constant battle," said Binford, who is coming off her most successful season at MSU. "But what is unique about Montana State is that we can sell a great education, a safe community and being part of a family. And that is exactly what the parents of our potential student-athletes can embrace."

It's no secret that when a prospective student-athlete signs to play for Coach Binford's MSU women's basketball program, she instantly becomes a member of the Bobcat family. She is also expected to embrace all the components that make the unit run--whether in good or bad times.

Ashley Albert, who was slated to start as the Bobcat's point guard until she tore her ACL three days before the season started, said that the team's coaches play a pivotal role in the family atmosphere that is the key to the team's success.

"They (coaches) care about each of us individually as people, not just as players. In this long process of rehabbing from my ACL tear, the coaching staff has been there every step of the way," Albert said.

"It's so great knowing I have such a great support system in my coaches and teammates."

Lorey Bussey, the mother of MSU junior all-conference performer Katie Bussey, had no reservations to send her high-octane daughter to Bozeman from Alamosa, Colo.

"We worry, like all parents do, about our daughter being so far away all by herself," Bussey said. "But, when we visit MSU, we get a really content feeling that she is in a wonderful college community in a town full of decent people, and that she is a member of the caring family circle of MSU women's basketball. You can only imagine how comforting that is to us."

Twenty years ago, Jim and Lyn Bader were in Bussey's shoes sending their daughter away to college.

Binford was raised in Carbondale, Colo.,--a ski town 40 miles from Aspen. She received her core values from her father, Jim Bader, who was the superintendent of schools, and mother Lyn, a school counselor.

A self-described adrenaline junkie, Binford began her basketball journey as a four-year-old "tree jumper" hopping from trunk-to-trunk in the woods by her home. It was where she first learned to challenge herself and take risks.

She parlayed her proficiency in tree jumping into a successful career leaping from the second-story window of her parent's house, at the urging of an older brother.

"There was a certain thrill--pushing yourself to the limits," Binford said.

Binford also excelled at basketball. She was Colorado Player of the Year and a Street and Smith's High School All-American in that sport. Yet, she said she had never seen a women's collegiate basketball game until she got to Boise State, where she played college basketball. She was drawn to the Broncos by former BSU head coach June Daugherty, who is now at Washington State.

"I know my parents felt at ease with her, and she sold them on a smaller university in a safe and supportive atmosphere," Binford said. "To this day, my folks still stay in touch with her."

At Boise State, Binford was an all-conference point guard, leading the Broncos to a national ranking and its first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament. For her efforts, she was named the 1996 Idaho NCAA Woman of the Year.

Binford left BSU with the school's career assists record and was second in program history in steals. In addition, she poured in 1,171 career points. Her tenure with the Broncos resulted with an induction into the Boise State Hall of Fame in 2001.

After college, Binford had double-knee surgery. Following rehab, she played for two years in Australia for the LaTrobe Demons. She then jumped to the WNBA, playing two years for the Utah Starzz, where she honed her skills working out with the likes of Utah Jazz Hall of Famer Karl Malone. She then joined the Cleveland Rockers after the team's starting point guard went down on a broken ankle.

"Cleveland's coaches had watched me warm up previously in a game with them, and liked my work ethic," Binford said.

Binford went on to play for four seasons with the Rockers, which culminated in an Eastern Division Championship. She also was an assistant coach at Boise State during the offseason, which is where she met her husband, Todd.

Heading into her sixth WNBA campaign, Binford had an opportunity to coach as an assistant at Utah State, which was in the process of resurrecting its women's basketball program following a 16-year hiatus. She and Todd decided it was time to hang up the sneakers and pursue her coaching career.

"I found great peace in our decision, and I felt like I had improved my game as best I could," Binford said.

Again, through connections at Boise State and her Colorado club team, Binford landed a spot on Reagan Pebley's staff at Utah State.

Two seasons later, Binford was named Montana State's 11th head women's basketball coach on April 13, 2005.

Character, integrity, and work ethic were the building blocks to the future, and Binford began to instill a sense of belonging to something much greater than just the team.

"Tricia has done an outstanding job with our women's basketball program," said MSU Athletics Director Peter Fields. "She is player-centered and has a caring attitude towards her student-athletes."

Binford intertwines her family, including children Justin and Brooklyn, with her student-athletes so everyone can be invested in the Bobcat program.

"My six-year-old son Justin might just be our best recruiter," Binford said. "He loves meeting our recruits, and he does a great job of entertaining them with his youthful exuberance."

Binford has steadily built the Bobcats into a league leader. The Bobcats have played in two Big Sky championship games in the last three years, were the top team in the league this winter, and would love nothing more than to bring a title to the Bobcat family.

"(Yet) At the end of the day our relationships are what matter," Binford said. "As in all families, our team works at it. Our family believes in hard work and knows the biggest reward is who we get to celebrate it with. We look out for each other, believe in each other and respect each other. Each player in our program was recruited to fit into our system, which boasts strong values and putting the team above anything else."