Editor’s note: Canterbury girls basketball coach Scott Kreiger is writing an occasional blog about his experiences of being the Indiana All-Star girls coach.
On a day that had been circled on my calendar for quite a while, we were finally able to get together and start putting the pieces in place for a successful All-Star experience.
Mt. Vernon High School was the location and by the time I rolled into the parking lot, 11 of the 13 All-Stars were already eagerly in the gym stretching, shooting, and visiting with each other. It was 95 degrees outside, so we were thankful that the air conditioning was turned on.
A big red, white, and blue sign welcomed the players and coaches to Mt. Vernon and the hospitality was incredible. I knew we had picked a good place to work out, and we have athletic director Greg Roach, coach Julie Shelton, and the Brown family to thank for that. Several other families were there to support the girls and coaches and it was a very nice gesture on everyone’s part to help us put the mini-camp together.
Games director Charlie Hall spoke briefly with the girls, explaining some details about the experience and encouraging the team to represent Indiana proudly. After that, it was my turn to talk, and I shared my vision and some of the basic foundations of what we were going to try to accomplish throughout the day.
Following a brief warm-up period, we spent the next 90 minutes working through our basic half-court offense and related sets. There is a lot to learn in a short period of time, so it’s good that our girls seem to have pretty high basketball IQs. We have so much to do to get ready, hence the extreme importance of the mini-camp workout. Once we get to camp Saturday, it will be good that we have already put a lot of our basic ideas into place.
After an hour break, munching on Subway, fruit and veggies, and other snacks, the girls took a couple pictures and we got back to work. I introduced the transition game, Canterbury-style, and I was very excited to watch how quickly they picked up on the key concepts. It was apparent that this team is athletic and capable of pushing the ball up and down the floor effectively. I was encouraged by the effort and by the ability to run the break properly, despite the number of variations that we use.
Then it was back to the half-court where we worked 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 while limiting the players to a single dribble. The goal was to encourage an environment of screening, moving, passing, and playing without the ball. Too often, in All-Star games, players revert to the dribble in order to create and the other four players stand and watch. We are working with this team to pass, catch, and move – skills that are particularly necessary to run the offense the way we intend.
Finally, we finished up with some 5-on-5 action, working on the new offensive sets. At first, we went several possessions without scoring, but once the girls began to understand the timing and movement of their teammates, we definitely looked sharper offensively. As we finished just a few minutes shy of 5 p.m., I think everyone in the gym, players
and coaches alike, felt like we had completed a productive day on our way to even better workouts once official camp begins June 2. In the meantime, I’m hoping the girls are studying their playbooks and working on conditioning because once we start, it’s full speed ahead. I can’t wait and I think the girls feel the same way. It’s going to be fun.