The Latest New Thing in Offense
Posted Aug 30th 2007 3:33PM
by Charles Rich, AOL.com Sports
A new approach on offense or defense is a gimmick until there is regular success with it, and perhaps more importantly, others adopt or emulate it. At that point, it becomes an innovative and ingenious.
Vance Walberg, a California basketball coach and coach junkie, had developed his own offensive strategy he called AASAA -- Attack Attack Skip Attack Attack. He had great success with it as a Junior College at Fresno City College. It wasn't, however, until Memphis Coach John Calipari adopted the style (and renamed it the "dribble-drive motion") of offense and went to two straight Elite Eights that it started attracting real attention.
The success of the offense led to two things. Vance Walberg became the coach at Pepperdine after the 2006 season and other coaches are trying to learn and utilize the principles. To that end, Calipari and Walberg put on a coaches clinic to help explain (July 23 entry) the principles.
One reason, (obviously) to make some money and generate more publicity, but also because so many coaches had been contacting them to learn about it and pick their brains on the matter.
So it may be a little flattering to Walberg when he sees [Bobby] Knight and Larry Brown next month endorsing his brand of basketball at the inaugural Adidas Mid South Coaches Clinic in Tunica, Miss.
They won't be the only ones, though. In fact, they're just one of many who have recently grown fond of Walberg's coaching philosophy.
Some of the game's newest teachers, from Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon and Texas coach Rick Barnes to recently-hired coaches Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M) and John Pelphrey (Arkansas), have adopted Walberg's run-and-gun style and will speak in front of the hundreds of high school coaches expected to attend the clinic from Sept. 14-16.
Coaches like Dixon, Pelphrey and Turgeon who emphasize strong defenses are integrating the principles of the offense. That's quite an endorsement for the offensive style.
One of the attractions for some coaches is that it utilizes the players athleticism and since it allows them to attack the basket. The approach not only generates more points and is an attacking offense, but it attracts top players who envision playing in that offense as a way to showcase their abilities for NBA scouts.