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zag buddy
03-14-2014, 01:48 PM
Seth Davis has a new book out on John woodens coaching career. He coached for 16 years before making it to the NCAA tournament. I believe Seth stated that coach Wooden never took a timeout. He would coach his players throughout the week and right before the game he would tell his players "We have practiced what you need to do all week . Now go play the game." Seth states there are two types of coaches -coaches (like Wooden) and coaches that are strategist (which is where I would place coach Few) To me both of these coaches are archtypes of the two styles of coaching. A boxing analagy would be Tyson & Ali. Two totally different styles but both effective.
Which brings us to the NCAA tournament. It is hard to argue with coach Wooden's record at the tournament. I believe he won 10 titles in 12 years and only 5 of those wins came with Kareem or Walton on the team. It is hard to argue with coach Fews 80% win record. But if you look at his tournament record he has definately underpreformed. Which brings me to my point of the article which is that there is a time to be a strategist and there is a time to be a coach. To be a great stategist coach there comes a time when you have to trust your players and say as Wooden did " We have practiced all week, you know what you have to do, now - Go Get Em."

gonzagafan62
03-14-2014, 01:51 PM
Seth Davis has a new book out on John woodens coaching career. He coached for 16 years before making it to the NCAA tournament. I believe Seth stated that coach Wooden never took a timeout. He would coach his players throughout the week and right before the game he would tell his players "We have practiced what you need to do all week . Now go play the game." Seth states there are two types of coaches -coaches (like Wooden) and coaches that are strategist (which is where I would place coach Few) To me both of these coaches are archtypes of the two styles of coaching. A boxing analagy would be Tyson & Ali. Two totally different styles but both effective.
Which brings us to the NCAA tournament. It is hard to argue with coach Wooden's record at the tournament. I believe he won 8 titles in 11 years and only 5 of those wins came with Kareem or Walton on the team. It is hard to argue with coach Fews 80% win record. But if you look at his tournament record he has definately underpreformed. Which brings me to my point of the article which is that there is a time to be a strategist and there is a time to be a coach. To be a great stategist coach there comes a time when you have to trust your players and say as Wooden did " We have practiced all week, you know what you have to do, now - Go Get Em."

I like most of this post. Its really interesting that you brought this topic up with John Woden. I think its really remarkable the constrats of both ideas and upbringing. Its very cool. Thanks for posting.

Although I really have to disagree. I don't think he's really underperformed in the tournament at all. Maybe one or two games that he lost that he shouldn't hve, but most of the time, we were up against far better talent. That's my only beef, and Ill let it go :)

Thanks for your post. It was really neat.

gonzagafan62

CDC84
03-14-2014, 02:05 PM
One thing that has to be kept in mind with Wooden is that you didn't have to win as many games to win the title back then. Also, the west region was really the west region. It was all west coast teams. Until Tark emerged on the scene at LBSU, UCLA had a virtual cake walk to the final 4 every year. And then there was booster Sam Gilbert.....

My point is not to diminish Wooden's accomplishments, but to point out that it was simply a different era back then. It's hard to compare coaches and coaching styles from different eras.

zag buddy
03-14-2014, 02:14 PM
All good thoughts above but I was actually trying to get a discussion going on styles of coaching. Coach Few tends to micro manage the game (strategist) insisting his players run specific sets etc, while coach Wooden would let his players make more decisions and play hard. Your thoughts.

bartruff1
03-14-2014, 02:16 PM
There might be some additional factors at play...

MDABE80
03-14-2014, 02:45 PM
NCAA ws way different ( ie small) in the 60's and early 70's . Not so sure selected things would be done in the modern era. Things were just wildly different then. CDC's comments are well taken.

cjm720
03-14-2014, 03:11 PM
I have a feeling kids were more willing to be coached back then too...no espn highlights or me first basketball.

coolhandzag
03-14-2014, 04:18 PM
I own a couple Mustangs. A '66 coupe and a '10 Shelby. Both are great cars, but they are hard to compare......they come from completely different eras. You really can't compare the two . It's better to appreciate each in its own way.

Just like Wooden and Few.

Zag365
03-14-2014, 04:29 PM
Funny, I had the opposite reaction. I've always thought of Coach Few as a throwback to Coach Wooden in so many ways: personality, loyalty, the educative, professional, and ethical approach not to mention consistency, emphasis on team game and fundamentals and the calm and reserved demeanor.

wnczagfan
03-14-2014, 04:52 PM
There might be some additional factors at play...

Please enlighten me…not sure what you are talking about, but always enjoy learning something new.

NumberCruncher
03-14-2014, 05:05 PM
Funny, I had the opposite reaction. I've always thought of Coach Few as a throwback to Coach Wooden in so many ways: personality, loyalty, the educative, professional, and ethical approach not to mention consistency, emphasis on team game and fundamentals and the calm and reserved demeanor.

I was thinking the same thing. I remember the UCLA glory years well. It seemed like they had all the best recruits and a coach who knew just how to take advantage of the situation. Just like Coach Few in the WCC, only it was for the entire NCAA in Wooden's years.

bartruff1
03-14-2014, 05:15 PM
Please enlighten me…not sure what you are talking about, but always enjoy learning something new.

To be sure I don't know anything new, I just suspect that coaching success is calculus that involves hundreds if not thousands of dynamic factors... scouting...recruiting.... teaching....motivating....competition ....scheduling....matchups ...chemistry.......execution....luck.....ect...it is next to impossible to isolate a factor as the key to winning.

I am not minimizing coach Wooden's unique accomplishments ...unique is not even a adequate description...nothing comes close...

I doubt he would have accomplished it at Gonzaga....maybe....but I doubt it.

I will only add that I think Few's record in the NCAA compares favorably with any other mid major coach....imo those are his peers.... Wooden has no peers.

Oregonzagnut
03-14-2014, 05:40 PM
The biggest thing about Wooden was his Christian faith. He spoke of it first and foremost. And he required his players to address it in their lives as well. Faith has a way of taking the stress out of the unknown of the future and it allows a more healthy focus on the now. Wooden supported Jabbar in Islam and he even supported Walton in his "holistic mysticism". Committing to his faith in a higher power as the meaning of life cannot be separated from his coaching, philosophy and his demeanor.

I would compare Few to Wooden in many aspects, but Few is not the consummate opposite of Wooden as far as micromanaging or strategy. IMO, that honor goes to Bobby Knight along with ultra-discipline. Prior to Phil Jackson, I think Wooden was the real Zen master. Practice makes perfect, then you let them perform what you taught them.

IMO, These are 4 "Woodenisms" that sum up John Wooden.


Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.


Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.



What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.


You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one.

His philosophy of faith is truly a forgotten way of life. The "me-first" culture of our world is growing exponentially with social media.

wnczagfan
03-14-2014, 05:52 PM
To be sure I don't know anything new, I just suspect that coaching success is calculus that involves hundreds if not thousands of dynamic factors... scouting...recruiting.... teaching....motivating....competition ....scheduling....matchups ...chemistry.......execution....luck.....ect...it is next to impossible to isolate a factor as the key to winning.

I am not minimizing coach Wooden's unique accomplishments ...unique is not even a adequate description...nothing comes close...

I doubt he would have accomplished it at Gonzaga....maybe....but I doubt it.

I will only add that I think Few's record in the NCAA compares favorably with any other mid major coach....imo those are his peers.... Wooden has no peers.

Thanks!

It is interesting to me that Coach Few takes a group of players each year that have different levels of expectations surrounding them, and consistently wins the conference as well as the WCC tournament (where if you just have one bad night you can easily lose). I confess I did not expect to win the regular season title this year (although I hoped), and I had misgivings going into the tournament as well (although I hoped). I didn't expect that Sam Dower and Przemek could fill the shoes of Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris, but I have been pleasantly surprised at Sam's consistently high level of play, and Shem's tremendous improvement this year over last year. It seems that each year when the players get to be seniors, they become responsible, exemplary leaders of the team; and they set the tone for the team emotionally and by showing a great example. David and Sam have shown that in a big way again this year. I believe that Coach Few deserves a lot of credit for this, if not by directing it, at least by creating a winning, goal oriented environment, and selecting players for his team that have a sense of responsibility and that are winners, who grow and then become exemplary mentors to the rest of the team. As success breeds success, I believe the players each year internalize the Zags past successes and feel personally responsible for keeping the streaks alive. Kudos to Coach Few and to these fantastic young men he selects for our team!