Jay Triano
Triano
Jay Triano, head coach of Canada's Senior Men's Basketball team, responds to your trickiest Ask JT question.

From Tyler in Wingham, Ontario:
Hi, I have a couple of questions. First of all, what are the most important skills (besides shooting) for a young player to develop? Secondly, what are the most effective plays that an experienced coach would use? Thanks.

Jay Triano:
The most important skill that should be taught is how to pass the ball. All players in every position should be able to pass the ball. We need to teach it and make it a point of emphasis. I think defence and rebounding are effort things that can be taught and need to be consistent, but learning to play with other players and how to get them the ball without turning it over is very important. The biggest difference between the NBA and the rest of the world is the passing. In every level from youth league to the NBA that you progress through the biggest jump is in the passing.

The most effective plays are plays that have movement passing and good screens. I like plays that have ball reversals to wear down the defence. I also like plays that have both guards screening for the big players and big players screening for guards. The defence can't switch these screens. The most important thing to do is to play to your team's strengths.