D-League Blog: John Townsend, League Shooting Coach
|John Townsend is in his fifth season as the shooting coach for the D-League. Throughout the season John will be sharing his experiences as he visits every D-League city and helps players develop their shooting skills. John is scheduled to travel around the entire country over the season, and he will also be in attendance at the D-League Showcase in Sioux Falls and the D-League All-Star Game in Las Vegas. Check back often for further updates to John's blog.|
Back Home For A Little Bit
Posted by John Townsend on February 21, 11:39 p.m. MT
My final day on this trip saw me rise and shine and get to the gym earlier than normal to work with Tony Bland. After completing my work with Tony I was able to stay at the gym to complete my work on his CD. Next I headed to the Albuquerque Thunderbird offices to drop of the CD's for the coaching staff. After a brief stop for lunch I was on the road. 7 1/2 hours later I pulled into Phoenix. 2,552 miles, 4 cities (Anaheim, LA, Vegas & Albuquerque, 3 teams (Arsenal, D-Fenders & T-Birds) and 17 days completed on this trip. Fortunately I have a few days off before heading to Austin and then Bismarck, ND for my next trip.
A Game At The Pit
Posted by John Townsend on February 20, 10:24 p.m. MT
It is hard to believe that I will be going home tomorrow. The trip has gone by very quickly. I was able to work with quite a few more players today and everything went extremely well. I was glad to see Chris Shumate, who I worked with last season in Arkansas. After finishing with Chirs, Steve Barber & Dijon Thompson I was able to finish up their CD's, grab some shut eye and then meet Coach Harge for the University of New Mexico / San Diego State game. I had an opportunity to sneak into The Pit last season just to grab a glance. It is quite different with 14,000 fans in it.
Working WIth The T-Birds, Day 1
Posted by John Townsend on February 19, 2:36 p.m.MT
Day #15 was a great day! I was able to meet Coach Harge at the gym and spend some time with two players (Glyniadakis & Rodgers). Because of the All-Star break I was able to work with the team in phases as they were all coming back into town. By only have two players on todays plate I was able to spend plenty of time with each as well as have ample time to work on and complete their respective CD's.
Back To Albuquerque
Posted by John Townsend on February 18, 9:05 p.m. MT
It was sad to have to drop off my wife at the airport. It was even sadder when I knew that I had to go around the Hoover Dam - to much Dam traffic. It took about 8 1/2 hours to go the 600 plus miles to Albuquerque. Yes Mom, I arrived here safely. Practice starts Tuesday (with most of the players coming in tomorrow) but assistant coach Joe Harge has a couple of players lined up for me to work with tomorrow. I am looking forward to getting back to doing some shooting work.
D-League All-Star Game
Posted by John Townsend on February 17, 9:24 p.m. PT
Brooke and I got up early and headed to Summerling - our old stomping grounds. We met the Little's and another friend (Phil) for breakfast. It was very nice being back in the old neighborhood and hanging out and catching up with friends. After breakfast it was off to The Palms to pick up our tix for the NBA Players Association party. From there we went to Jam Session. We met up with a friend of mine, Jamie, and were able to hang out and go through the Jam Session as well as watch the D League All Star game. Upon arrival we ran into Sam Vincent (asst. coach for Mav's) who once was a head coach in the DLeague. It was nice for my wife to get to meet him. We also ran into a good friend, Billy Lastra, his wife and son. He could be one of the funniest guys in Vegas. It was great to see him and his family. During the All Star game I was able to catch up with Alfred Dowe. He was a mentor for the Roanoke Dazzle - great, great guy. All in all the D League all star game was very good. I thought the coaches did an excellent job of turning it into an actual game instead of the normal show-boating/hot dogging contest. This only helped the players because there were a lot of scouts in the stands. Speaking of which (the stands) were packed. It was a loud full house for the game. I think this event definitely raised awareness about the league.
Viva Las Vegas
Posted by John Townsend on February 16, 11:02 p.m. PT
Probably the earliest wake up call of the season - 3 AM. I was in the car and leaving downtown LA by 3:45. No traffic and straight shot to Las Vegas. I was in Vegas by 8 AM. After getting a haircut at my old barbers I was off to my buddies house. Jason, a best friend that I have known since I was 18 lives on the northwest edge of Vegas. Jason, myself, his wife Jeanette and 1 year old son Caleb hung out for a while before Jason and I drove to the airport to pick up Brooke. After lunch and lounging around Jason & I went to the Rookies / Sophmores game. Our guy Dale hooked us up with the tix.
Taking In The D-Fenders Game
Posted by John Townsend on February 15, 11:23 p.m. PT
I was really looking forward to todays game. It did not disappoint. Andre Emmett had a great game and finished 2-2 from the 3. Sean Banks finished 2-4 from the 3. I was pleased with how these two in particular shot from the 3. It was really cool to be able to sit at the scorers table during a game at Staples Center. Unfortunately I have to get up very early tomorrow for my drive to Las Vegas and will not be able to stay for the Cavs / Lakers game.
Posted by John Townsend on February 14, 9:30 p.m. PT
Happy Valentines Day BLT(Brooke Leigh Townsend)!! Today I spent a lot of time driving. I was able to work with Sean Banks before this mornings practice. That went very well. (Sean spent some time with the NOK Hornets last season.) Once practice is over there really is no time to work with anyone because the Lakers take the floor almost immediately after. I was able to come back to the practice facility around 5 PM to work with Coach Panaggio's son, Michael. That too went very well. Unfortunately 6:30 PM is not the ideal time of the day to be driving from El Segundo to downtown. It took me a little over an hour.
Thanks For The Ticket, Chucky
Posted by John Townsend on February 13, 11:01 p.m. PT
Today was a very busy day. Up by 5:45 AM to arrive at the practice facility by 7. I was able to instruct / rebound for Andre Emmett the entire time before the 8 o'clock start. After practice I was able to drive through Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach & Redondo Beach. This allowed me to kill some time while the Lakers had their shoot around. Then back to the practice facility to work with 3 more players; Jackie Manuel, Wesley Wilson and Alex Graham. Assistant coach Chucky Brown was nice enough to give me his ticket to the Lakers/Knicks game tonight. Unfortunately the Lakers lost. Another early start tomorrow, time to get to sleep.
Posted by John Townsend on February 12, 8:15 p.m. PT
I just finished burning the CD's for Al Alagonye, John Gilchrist & Jereeme McGuire. I was able to work with these players after the Lakers finished there practice. It was a very busy day for me today. Practice began at 8. I was there around 7:15 AM. Since practice is in the Toyota Center, where the Lakers practice, I had to go through a lengthy security check. After practice everyone was asked to leave during the Lakers practice. This meant that I had about a 3 1/2 hour window to kill some time. It definitely was worth the wait. The sessions with the three aforementioned players went GREAT. I am looking forward to doing it again tomorrow.
Heading To The City of Angels
Posted by John Townsend on February 11, 10:24 p.m. PT
Day # 7 on this trip was a sad goodbye to my wife and then heading north to Los Angeles to check into my hotel. Because the D Fenders were coming home from an 11 day road trip practice will not take place until tomorrow. They practice in the Lakers practice facility. Since the Lakers are in town this week practice will begin at 8 AM. I am looking forward to working with Coach Panaggio as well as Coach Chucky Brown.
Arsenal vs. Jam
Posted by John Townsend on February 9, 10:02 p.m. PT
I was able to review with Corsley Edwards his CD before their shoot around. At the completion of the two shoot arounds I was able to crash for a little bit. My wife has been in town with me since Wednesday night. She is from the Orange County area. We were able to meet her father, stepmother and two of their friends for dinner before heading over to the Convention Center for the Bakersfield / Anaheim game. It was a great game. Jawad Williams went 4-4 from the 3. He had a great game. Corsley Edwards was 2-4 on jump shots and Tyler Smith went 3-3 on jump shots that we had previously worked on. All in all I was very happy with how the players shot the basketball. I hope they continue with their success.
More Work With The Arsenal
Posted by John Townsend on February 8, 12:36 p.m. ET
Today was a slow day. I have already worked with six of the ten players. One of the remaining three is Majic Dorsey. I worked with him last year in Ft. Worth. Steven Smith got hurt in practice and Andre Owens is suffering from flu like symptoms. The remaining player, Corsley Edwards, I was able to spend about 30 minutes with at the end of practice. Once the team left I stayed behind to finish my computer work. Upon the completion of my cpu work I was able to talk to Coach Harrick before the beginning his practice.
Anaheim, Day 3
Posted by John Townsend on February 7, 4:56 p.m. ET
Day #3 of 17 and the odometer is rapidly approaching 500 miles. I was able to work with three more players today. Davin White, Ha Seung Jin & Jawad Williams. It went great with all 3 players. Davin, a Phoenix native, was surprised to hear that I too live in Phoenix. I saw Davin working out with the Suns in the middle of September. He was shooting great then. Fortunately we were able to get his jump shot back on track. Ha Seung Jin, who was drafted by the Blazers, spent some time on his face up jump shot as well as his free throw. Jawad Williams was primarily interested in seeing his jump shot on the computer. Once I explained to him why he is such a good and consistant shooter I was able to show him the same thing from 3 point land. I am looking forward to Friday nights game to see the effect of some of the work that has been done this week.
Anaheim, Day 2
Posted by John Townsend on February 6, 2:36 p.m. ET
Day #2 of the trip went great. I was able to work with 3 players at the conclusion of todays practice; Milone Clark, Tyler Smith & Jamaal Thomas. A few of the players plan on meeting me before the start of Wednesdays practice. Things went very well. The facility that the Arsenal use for practice is very nice. It has about 12 basketball courts. The players have access to it just about anytime they want. The other thing that is great about being here is the weather. It's 73 and sunny.
Driving To Anaheim
Posted by John Townsend on February 5, 12:37 a.m. ET
Today was a "prep" day as well as a travel day. I started the day packing for a 17 day trip. Getting everything ready to have enough CD's to give to the players & coaches of the 3 teams that I will be working with. Before making the 5 hour drive to Anaheim I had to teach my Monday night basketball class at Life Time Fitness. It is usually pretty interesting since the players in the class are between 5 and 10. I was able to get on the road around 7:45 PM (MT) and check in to the hotel around 12 AM (PT).
Posted by John Townsend on February 3, 9:34 p.m. ET
Saturday, February 3rd A very early wake up call (4:15 AM) and off to the airport. A brief layover again in Salt Lake and I was in Phoenix by 10 AM. I actually had to drive from the airport to do a basketball lesson. Then I made it home in time for a nice long nap. My next trip starts on Monday and is a 17 day long driving trip. There will be "mucho" blogging.
Game Day With The Stampede
Posted by John Townsend on February 2, 11:10 p.m. ET
Friday, February 2nd Today is another game day. Normally I don't work with players on the day of a game. It is usually just me watching the shoot arounds and then reviewing with the players how to work their CD's that I have made for them. Today was different. Due to a dental appointment and a trip to the chiropractor I worked with Randy Livingston and Ricky Sanchez this morning before and after the two shoot arounds. I worked with Randy Livingston first. What a great, great guy. With a couple of minor adjustments he was shooting pretty well from beyond the arc. I did a little adjustment with Ricky Sanchez to get him back on track and he made 9 consecutive 3's. Unfortunately Ricky was unable to translate that into this evenings game. It will take some extra reps before he sees the results that we are looking for. Randy on the other hand went 3 of 10 from downtown. That might not sound like much but it is a 2% increase on his season average (28%) and 2 of the 7 misses were on shot clock situations where he was forced to shoot or turn the ball over due to the shot clock expiring. When his feet are set, he will consistantly knock down the 3. He went 1 for 3 the next night - totalling 4/13 (31%) for the weekend. I think you will see his percentage increase throughout the rest of the season. Being around him the past week I know how hard he works.
Posted by John Townsend on February 1, 3:36 p.m. ET
Practice was scheduled for 10 AM. Players began coming in around 9:30 and I began working shortly after that. Of the 9 players I was able to work with 7. The two that I did not get an opportunity to work with was because of injury and doctors appointments. I anticipate working with one or both of them in the morning before shoot around. Coach Lopes worked the players out on one end while I would pull one at a time to work with them on their jump shot, FT or 3. It went very well. We worked from around 9:30 until about 12:30 / 1 PM. Becuase I did work with everybody basically in 1 day my work was only about 25% finished. Needing to review the tape that I made earlier in the day of all the jump shots, adding my voice and teaching points to the players' individual clips, burning all of that to a CD (twice - 1 for the player, 1 for the coach) and the finally uploading this information to the internet I finished around midnight. Fortunately other than doing the voice overs I can have the TV on. There were some pretty good games on last night. I am glad that I was able to get it all done. I will be able to give each player a CD tomorrow as well as give Coach Lopes / Coach Gates their copy.
Posted by John Townsend on January 31, 5:12 p.m. ET
Today is actually a game day. I went to Idaho's shoot around and then stayed for the first 10 minutes of Austin's. Having a game in the middle of the week, or two games while I am in a market is out of the norm. I will really be able to take advantage of getting to know each player as well as their respective jump shots. I watched each player shoot making mental notes as to what, if anything, might need to be changed. During the game is when I actually wrote the notes on paper. I wanted to see each shot in the game to see if there was any sort of change. Having done this I feel much more prepared for the work that I have ahead of me tomorrow.
After talking with the Austin coaches about my trip there at the end of February I decided to take a walk throughout downtown Boise. It is very nice here. The downtown area is beautiful as well as very clean. I was able to walk down and into the capital building. I was also able to drive around Boise State University, taking a look at the famous blue turf on their football field, as well as going into Taco Bell Arena (basketball arena).
Shooting Coach... and Movie Critic
Posted by John Townsend on January 31, 2:36 p.m. ET
Today is my Mom's birthday. So I obviously need to begin by saying Happy Birthday Mom! 4:30 AM alarm and out of the house by 5. My flight left at 7:20 AM with layover in Salt Lake City and then into Boise. Unfortunately my flight from Salt Lake to Boise was delayed. This caused me to not only miss the tail end of practice but I was also too late to go with the team to their Read to Achieve. Instead, I checked into the hotel, unpacked and then drove around the city. I like to drive by the arena or practice facility to check the amount of time it takes to get to there so I can plan accordingly. Since the team was finished with practice and out of town (they had to drive an hour one way for the Read to Achieve) I had the rest of the day to myself. I decided to take in a movie. My choice was The Good Shepherd starring Matt Damon & Angelina Jolie. Siskel & Townsend give it two thumbs down.
Home Again... For A Few Days
Posted by John Townsend on January 27, 2:36 p.m. ET
Another early flight which put me back in Phoenix by 10 AM. A couple of days rest, paperwork and laundry before I leave again. I will be in Boise, Idaho next week.
66ers vs. Skyforce
Posted by John Townsend on January 26, 10:01 p.m. ET
Shoot arounds were at 10 and 11 AM. Immediately after shoot around I went over to the University of Tulsa to meet Dave Wojick. Dave is an assistant coach there. I spent some time watching him work with one of his players. I was also able to spend some time with his older brother Doug, the head coach at UT. Both Dave and Doug coached back east when I was the shooting coach at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. Dave was at Loyola of Baltimore and Doug at the Naval Academy. Both are great coaches. I was invited back to their afternoon practice. Quite an impressively run practice. I look forward to following the Golden Hurricane the rest of the season. After the UT practice it was straight over to the arena for the game.
The 66ers played the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Sioux Falls was the trip that I took prior to Tulsa. I was able to coach Corey Williams a little bit throughout the game. He had a rough start to the game from the FT line going 2 for 6. At half time I was able to explain to him what he was doing. Luckily it got him back on track. He finished the game 10 of 15 from the line (8 of 9 in the 2nd half).
Catching Up With Rob
Posted by John Townsend on January 25, 10:01 p.m. ET
I was able to work a little more with Frans Steyn on his free throw before practice. During practice I was able to catch up with Rob Werdann. Rob was an assistant coach in Columbus, Georgia with the Columbus Riverdragons. He was there in years 1, 2 & 3 of the league. He has been the advance scout for the New Orleans / Oklahoma City Hornets since leaving in year 3. He and I talk a couple of times a month. It was great to see him again and be able to hangout and catch up on everything. After practice I worked with Sean Felix on his jump shot and 3 point shot.
Immediately following practice Coach Rogers, Coach Meyer, Rob Werdann and I all went out to lunch together. Then back up to the arena for the 6 PM camp.
Practice With The 66ers
Posted by John Townsend on January 24, 8:42 p.m. ET
Practice started at 10 AM. I like to get there early in case any players are looking to get up extra shots. The trainer, John Joslin, was there along with Scott Merritt, both of whom I had met and known from previous seasons. I did a little work (while under the watchful eye of head coach Joey Meyer) before practice with Scott Merritt, Will Conroy and Frans Steyn. Two of the three had worked with last season while in Tulsa and Austin. During practice I was able to get much of my computer work done. Following practice I worked with Denham Brown on his 3 point shot. He, Coach Meyer & I were all pleased with the way he shot after the subtle changes we made. The rest of the day was spent formulating and burning the information to the CD's.
That evening I met coach Meyer at the Broken Arrow Recreation Center. It was quite a turnout. About 40 1st, 2nd & 3rd graders showed up for an hour and a half of instruction from Coach, 3 players from the 66ers and myself. After the hour and a half was up another group of about 40 4th, 5th & 6th graders showed up. Things went very well. I know the 66ers front office received many compliments in regards to the two clinics.
Next Stop: Tulsa
Posted by John Townsend on January 23, 9:30 p.m. ET
Time for another trip! The 5 days I had at home were great! My travel day to Tulsa was very nice. My flight was scheduled to leave at 8:50 AM. This allowed me to sleep until 5 AM leaving by 6. The flight was only about 25% full which was also very nice. Upon arrival @ 12 PM I called assistant coach Roy Rogers. Unfortunately practice had ended with everyone already gone for the day. There were basketball camps this week being hosted by the Tulsa 66ers. I had a few hours until the camp started so I checked into the hotel, grabbed lunch and a nap. The hotel in Tulsa, The Renaissance, is probably one of the nicest hotels I will stay in on my twelve team tour.
I left around 5 PM for the start of the 6 PM camp. One of the many activies the players have to take part in is working these types of camps. Coach Rogers and the players did an excellent job of putting the campers through some fundamental work.
Posted by John Townsend on January 18, 8:15 p.m. ET
It is hard to believe that the 10 day trip has finally come to an end. Although I am glad to be heading home the 4 AM alarm was just to early. An hour layover in Denver had me landing in Phoenix a little before 11. Home by noon with a 2 hour nap and I was ready to do some more basketball. I had a scheduled private lesson from 3:30 to 4:30. I am looking forward to spending the next 4 days at home. I will post another blog early next week when I travel to Tulsa to work with the 66ers.
Posted by John Townsend on January 17, 11:39 p.m. ET
I decided to write about all three days instead of each day individually. The Sioux Falls Skyforce staff in cooperation with the D-League front office worked incredibly hard to put on this 3 day event. Everything went great and the level of play was awesome. You never know what an NBA team might need, but with the level of play over the past 3 days, there are about 5 to 15 players with a legitimate chance of getting a coveted 10 day call up.
I did get a chance to work some during the 3 day showcase. I put some time in with Corey Williams (Skyforce). We were able to go over to the Wellness Center on Tuesday evening and again on Wednesday morning. We worked a lot on his pull up jump shot as well as his free throw. Wednesday evening he was 3 of 4 from the line. It's a start. He ended our shooting session on Wednesday morning by going 25 of 28 from the line. I will be watching his stats to see if and for how long he can maintain some of the things we worked on.
Walter Bond In Action
Posted by John Townsend on January 14, 10:58 p.m. ET
Today was a day that I was really looking forward too. The Showcase starts tomorrow, so most of the teams arrive into Sioux Falls sometime during the day. The scheduled events were dinner from 5 to 6 and a guest speaker from 6 to 7. The thing that I literally have looked forward to since arriving in Sioux Falls this past Tuesday was the guest speaker, Walter Bond. He has an amazing story and an undeniably gifted way of telling it. Mr. Walter Bond is by far and away the best speaker I have ever seen. I saw him speak this past summer to the players at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp. The lecture he did this evening was even better than the lecture I saw this summer. He is straight forward, serious, comical and hilarious all rolled into one. All the while applying basketball situations to life and life situations to basketball. He will do the same lecture to another group of D League basketball players and coaches on Tuesday morning. I will definitely see him speak again. The link below takes you to his web site where you can choose a sample of one of his lectures.
The Best of Sioux Falls
Posted by John Townsend on January 13, 9:17 p.m. ET
The 10 day trip is halfway done. Today was a day off for me. I was finally able to get to a gym and workout. I also did a little grocery shopping. I needed to replenish my supply of bottled water - a must when traveling a lot. No more soda for me. Earlier in the week I went to lunch at a place called Famous Dave's (www.famousdaves.com). It is a BBQ place here in Sioux Falls. Brett Hansen, the Media / Public Relations Director for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, recommended it to me. So when Kent, Abby & I were talking about grabbing some dinner, Famous Dave's was my recommendation. The place is great!
Because it was a day off I was able to watch the second half of the Colts / Ravens game. Whenever I have an inclination to watch or talk football I always call my guy Brian Mosher. Mosher, a skinny version of David Wells, played football at Northeastern University. He knows more about football, politics and geography than anyone I know (he coached St. Mark's to the 1999 PG County Geography Bee Championship - I was the token assistant). So I always call him to listen to his football predictions or to ask questions about the game.
I did stay up long enough to go through the box scores of last nights D League games. Checking the scores is something I do on a daily basis. I look for the players that I have put in some time with and see how they did in that days game. I can really only look at two things: their free throw's and 3's. Field goals are tricky because you never know if the shots were jump shots, runners, layups, etc... One thing that jumped out at me from last nights Skyforce game was that Corey Williams was 2 for 2 from the three. I am looking forward to talking to him about that as well as watching him play in the MLK Showcase. Jeremy Richardson of the Ft. Worth Flyers (I was in Ft. Worth last week) went 5 of 7 from the 3. I should see him tonight at the team meetings. Some of the ones that weren't as good came from the free throw line. I will try to catch these guys at practice on their practice day this week during the Showcase. The hardest thing about my job is trying to maintain good habits after I leave a market. With some players the quick fix that we accomplish can last for a few weeks, with others a game or two, and some still need more reps. Whether the results are good or bad I can learn from both for me to become better at what I do.
Skyforce vs. RimRockers
Posted by John Townsend on January 12, 11:39 p.m. ET
The Arkansas team had their shoot around at 10 followed by the Sioux Falls team at 11. I was able to spend some time with Jared Reiner after the shoot around explaining to him the CD and how it works. He is a "fellow blogger" for the D League web site. I encourage anyone who is reading this (Mom & Dad) to go to www.nbadleague.com and read his blog. It is pretty funny.
Game time was at 7. I arrived around 5:15. Because of the MLK Showcase most of the people from the league office are in town. Chris Alpert (Director of Player Personel), Doc Martin (Asst. Dir. of Player Personel), Brandon Barnett, Kent Partridge (Director of Communications) and Abby Pierce (Director of Sales & Marketing). I usually only get to see them a couple of times a year. Once at the Showcase and then maybe if our paths cross on the road. A good group of people. Most of them share my dry sense of humor and quick wit, as well as a love of the TV show "The Office".
When I watch a D League game I am trying to evaluate the players that I worked with and the subtle changes we made in their shot to get them back on track. Were they able to do the change(s) in the game? If so, were they successful? If not, how many more rep's will they need to get their respective shot back on track. I only worked with 5 players on this trip, one of which is now on the injured reserve list. The two main players that stuck out to me in regards to what we did in practice were Amir Johnson (FT) and Jared Reiner (jump shot). Amir went 6 of 8 from the line. I really think he only had 1 of the 8 that looked like his old FT. Speaking to him after the game he said that everything felt good and that he was happy with it. I do not have any previous stats on Amir's FT. He is in his second season with the Pistons and has four attempts from the line in those two seasons. So I really have nothing to compare the 6 of 8 to. He seemed happy with it. Jared had a series of three consecutive jump shots from 15, 17 and 20 feet. He used the footwork that we worked on. I was unable to speak with him after the game to see what he thought. I do know from practice time we spent together that he was happy with the subtle change in footwork. BUT - keep in mind he already was a great shooter. I think the changes we made over the 3 practices allowed him to get his shot off quicker.
Posted by John Townsend on January 11, 4:16 p.m. ET
Hace frio, which is spanish for "A wind chill factor of 22 degrees below zero in Sioux Falls!" WOW! The leather seats in the rental car are "no bueno" (my wife is a spanish professor - just trying to impress her). In todays practice I was able to give Corey Williams, Vincent Grier, Amir Johnson and DeSean Hadley their CD's, as well as explain to them how to work the different options on the CD. After practice I was able to finish up a few things with Jared Reiner on his footwork. He really seemed to like the changes.
After leaving practice I was able to finish Jared Reiner's CD. The process that I work by is usually creating the CD each player, then burning the CD's for the players, uploading the files to the internet and then burning the CD's for the assistant and / or head coach. I still had to upload the files and burn the discs for Nate (asst. coach).
Sioux Falls, Day #2
Posted by John Townsend on January 10, 5:10 p.m. ET
1 o'clock practice allowed me to catch up a little bit on my sleep. I was able to get in about 4 hours of computer work this morning before heading to the gym. It takes quite a bit of time to download the mediabooks that I generate for the players. I have to download them to CD's as well as the internet.
I worked with Jared Reiner for about 20 minutes before practice. Jared spent a season with the Bulls. A great kid with a very nice shooting touch. A subtle change to his footwork and release point hopefully can make his shooting touch even better. Towards the end of practice I was able to work with DeSean Hadley.
Whenever I travel I try to catch as many other basketball games as I can. I was able to watch the University of Sioux falls against Dordt College. Both teams were top 15 in NAIA division II. Quite a game with a packed house.
Meeting the Skyforce
Posted by John Townsend on January 9, 9:45 p.m. ET
Today is day #1 of a 10 day road trip. My day started with a 3:30 - that's AM - alarm and out of the house by 4. 6:25 AM flight to Denver, 2 hour layover and then on to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Fortunately the team did not practice until 6 PM. Head coach Mo McHone introduced me to the team after practice and I was able to work with three players; Corey Williams, Amir Johnson (on assignment from the Pistons) and Vincent Grier.
I was able to become reaquainted with Ryan Hoover, a player development coach for the Pistons. He is here with Amir Johnson. Ryan, Amir & I were all in Fayetteville, North Carolina last season during Amir's stint with the Fayetteville Patriots. I did not work with Amir last season but have spent some time with him at tonights practice. He really seemed to pick up on what I was doing with his free throw.
Home For A Few
Posted by John Townsend on January 7, 2:17 p.m. ET
It is great to be home. Brooke and I had a 8:30 AM flight out of Dallas this morning. We landed at about 10:30 and home by 11:15. I have about a 48 hour layover here at home before my Tuesday departure for Sioux Falls, SD. I will be in Sioux Falls for about 10 days working with the Sky Force along with watching the MLK Show Case on the 15th, 16th & 17th.
The Results Are In
Posted by John Townsend on January 6, 11:10 p.m. ET
Because of the late start and late finish to last nights game there were no scheduled shoot arounds today. Tonights game started at the normal 7:30 PM. It was a much better and closer game than the night before. I was pleased to see Pops Mensah-Bonsu (5 of 6) and Luke Schenscher (4 of 5) shoot well again from the FT line. Pops went 12 of 16 (75%) for the weekend and Luke was 8 of 10. I hope they continue with their respective successes from the line.
Another surprise for the weekend was Deji Akindele. He came into the weekend shooting 63% from the line. He was 2 of 3 on Friday and 6 of 7 tonight. 8 of 10 for the weekend was great. Kevin Burleson did not shoot as well from beyond the arc as he did the previous night. He was 6 of 15 (40%) for the weekend, nailing his season average shooting percentage. I anticipate him shooting more 3 of 5 and 4 of 5's from the 3 this season.
Posted by John Townsend on January 5, 5:10 p.m. ET
Game day. This will be the first game of the season for me. The game that I was to go to in Colorado was postponed due to the blizzard. Game day usually consists of a 10 and 11 o'clock shoot arounds. I attended both shoot arounds not doing much other than watching Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Luke Schenscher shoot some free throws.
A lot of the players shot very well. Pops was a 40% FT shooter so far this season. He finished the game going 7 of 10. Luke Schenscher was at about 56% FT (because he has attempted so few) and he went 5 of 6. Kevin Burleson finished 4 of 8 from the 3 point line. One of his attempts was blocked (or fouled). Kevin is right at 40% from the 3 for the season, so he would normally shoot well anyway. And, Jeremy Richardson went 2 for 2 from the 3. I was very pleased for all of these players that put in the extra time this week. Hopefully they will do just as well tomorrow night.
Fort Worth, Day #2
Posted by John Townsend on January 4, 7:10 p.m. ET
Due to a mix up in practice times I was able to get a lot of work in with some of the Flyers before practice. Jeremy Richardson, a rookie out of a division two school, Delta State, was the first player I worked with. He has a very bright future and is currently the leading scorer for the Flyers. I spent a lot of time with him on his 3 and was able to get some video of him making 6 in a row. Anthony McHenry, Luke Schenscher (again), Anthony Terrell (again) were the other players that I spent some time with today. Everything else was just putting video clips together with the respective teaching points. The Arkansas RimRockers practiced immediately following Ft. Worth's practice. I stayed for their practice as well talking with the coaches and some of their returning players.
Practice With The Flyers
Posted by John Townsend on January 3, 3:23 p.m. ET
I was definitely looking forward to practice today. There are a couple of familiar faces from last years Flyers team; Anthony Terrell and Luke Schenscher. I was able to put in a little bit of time with Anthony before practice started. Immediately following practice I put in a couple of hours with Pops Mensah-Bonsu (on assignment from the Mavericks), Kevin Burleson, Luke Schenscher & Deji Akindele. One minor adjustment paid big dividends for Kevin Burleson. He hit 16 consecutive NBA 3's. I think he was pleased with the adjustment to his shot. He already is a 40% shooter from beyond the arc. Hopefully this will make him even better. Pops and Deji currently have lower FT percentages than what they should have. However, having shown them their respective shots, tucking an elbow here, shoring up a release point there, I am confident they will be able to raise their respective percentages.
First Day In Fort Worth
Posted by John Townsend on January 2, 4:15 p.m. ET
My first day in Fort Worth was used for a little bit of sight seeing. It is very nice here. The Stockyards is a great tourist attraction. With a 7 PM practice I had plenty of time for my wife and I to see some sights. Unfortunately there were some problems with the arena and the Flyers were unable to hold practice. Looking forward to getting to work bright and early tomorrow.
Ready To Hit The Road
Posted by John Townsend on December 28, 2:53 p.m. ET
I began working as the shooting coach for the D-League during the league's second year of existence. Karl Hicks (then commissioner of the league) gave me a tremendous opportunity to help develop the shooting aspect of the players in the league. Fortunately there have been many positive results. I am now entering my fifth season as the shooting coach for the NBA Development League. Having done this now for a few years I have worked with some of the best players this league has seen (Matt Carroll, Bobby Simmons, Mikki Moore, Marcus Fizer, and many more). The opportunity that I have to work with these players is unbelievable. It is a great job that I absolutely love.
The job of shooting coach entails me traveling to each of the 12 teams in the D-League and working with the players on their respective jump shot, 3 and / or free throw. While working with each player I record their jump shot using a software program called Dartfish. Having a laptop on the court with me while I work allows me to show the player their shot immediately after they shoot. The instant visual feedback allows me to show them good habits as well as bad habits. I then take those video clips and formulate a CD. I give the player, the coaches, his agent and the D League office copies of the formulated CD. This is one of many services that the D League provides its players, and one of many things that separates it from other professional leagues.
Some of my preparation for this season has been underway for quite some time. My prep work includes following statistics(FT's & 3's) of the players throughout the league as well as watching the D League games that are televised on NBA TV. I look forward to writing this blog and sharing with everyone what I do, who I am working with and giving insight about this great league.