Quin Snyder: Looking For Talent At Toros Open Tryouts

by Lauren Brill, D-League.com

Any casual sports fan has heard a nameless to famous epic journey of a modern day athletic hero. It is the feel good story of an athlete whose beaten the odds and become anywhere from a substitute on a top team like Notre Dame’s Rudy or a world renknowned elite athlete like the NBA’s Gilbert Arenas.

On October 13th and 14th at St. Edwards University the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League will be hosting open tryouts. New Toros head coach Quin Snyder is eager to see what kind of talent will walk through the doors this weekend.

“It is always a long shot for people but I think it is a great opportunity. And I think that is what the Development League is about,” said Snyder.

Snyder is new to the NBA Development League. His resume includes a head coach position at the University of Missouri and an assistant coach position at basketball powerhouse Duke University, where he also starred as a player. In both instances he has held open tryouts for aspiring athletes and has had success in discovering talent through this method.

“I was the head coach at Missouri and we always had tryouts for kids at school that wanted to quote on quote walk on the team,” Snyder explained. “And when I was an assistant at Duke we had them as well and we usually ended up taking one or two guys from those college tryouts.”

Expecting 75-100 hopeful ball players to come out and showcase their talent, Snyder has an idea in mind of the type of players he will be keeping his eye out for.

“Certainly a basic level of skill, that is probably a pre-requisite,” remarked Snyder. “But I think we are also looking for people who can blend into a team concept, that understand how to play and would be good teammates.

Snyder intends to model a team after the Toros’ parent team, the San Antonio Spurs. Also a team oriented squad, Snyder and staff plan to learn their system and then apply and adjust the gameplan to the players they have listed on their roster.

“It is kind of a cooperative effort there (with the San Antonio Spurs). They are taking the lead on that and we are following,” commented Snyder. “But we know as well as they know that there are things that are going to be different. We don’t have Tim Duncan. So I am sure there will be things that we will have to adapt to along the way, particularly with the turnovers of players.”

Besides the fact that Duncan will not be attending the open tryout, Snyder has little knowledge about the players who will suit up. While he hopes for quality athletes he does not expect perfection. He understands each player on his roster will have their own personal strengths and weaknesses.

“There may be certain skills they need to develop more than others to take that step,” Snyder explained. “Sometimes it is as simple as a player maturing, maybe emotionally or their psychological approach to the game, physically getting stronger or any other way, losing weight, getting into shape.”

As a D-League coach he is excited to help athletes improve their game on the court and positively influence them off the court.

“I have an opportunity to impact the lives of these young men in a positive way, whether it be from teaching, coaching, or mentoring,” said Snyder.

Excited for the upcoming season, Snyder speaks with great anticipation about the task of assembling a roster. With a system in mind and a roster yet to be completed coach Snyder hopes open tryouts will bring him that player that he can help groom into the next D-League success story.