Tag:Brad Stevens
Posted on: August 26, 2010 9:29 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 10:33 am

Butler never really cared about tempo

I spent Monday and Tuesday at Larry Shyatt's coaching clinic in Florida, then spent Wednesday traveling home and writing a column about the experience. I focused more on the concept of the event than I did any lessons learned. But Butler's Brad Stevens made a point during his allotted time that I found interesting, and I wanted to highlight it here.

Stevens was the clinic's first speaker.

He spoke about man-to-man defensive principles.

In the process, Stevens touched on the Bulldogs' trip to the Final Four, and how most previewing games suggested that Butler must "control the tempo" to have a chance to succeed -- first against Michigan State, then against Duke. But guess what? Stevens never once mentioned "tempo" or "pace" or anything like that to his players.

"We didn't care about tempo," Stevens said. "We weren't trying to pound the ball into the ground [on offense and run the shot clock]. We just wanted to be hard to score on."

In other words, Stevens said a review of Butler's win over Michigan State in the national semifinals and loss to Duke in the title game showed that Michigan State and Duke, not Butler, actually led in time of possession, point being that there's no merit to the theory that Butler's goal was to stall offensively and by extension shorten the game. Again, Stevens never discussed that with his players. All he asked was that they prevent transition buckets and "be hard to score on," and that strategy caused Michigan State and Duke to use a higher percentage of the shot clock because the Spartans and Blue Devils had a difficult time getting good shots early in a possession. So the games slowed, sure. But it wasn't Butler "controlling the tempo" that slowed things, Stevens said. It was Butler's willingness to do whatever necessary to be "hard to score on" that actually lowered the pace and final scores, which should come as a surprise to all those who insisted last March and April that the Bulldogs were determined to shorten the game.
Posted on: August 23, 2010 7:22 am

Coaching clinic in Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- I'm spending the next couple of days -- i.e., Monday and Tuesday -- here on the Florida campus, and not because I'm starting graduate school. Rather, I'm speaking at an annual coaching clinic organized by Florida associate head coach Larry Shyatt. It should be both fun and educational. I'm glad I'm involved.

Here's the rundown of Monday speakers:

9:15: Brad Stevens
10:30: Del Harris
12:00: Me
1:45: Jeremy Foley
2:30: Jamie Dixon, Shaka Smart, Matthew Driscoll
4:00: Buzz Williams
5:15: Rick Turk
6:30: LuAnn Humphrey
7:45: Billy Donovan

Coaches scheduled to speak Tuesday include Matt Painter, Sean Miller, Travis Ford, Scott Duncan, Mike Hopkins, Brendan Suhr, and Kevin Eastman. I'll try my best to Tweet anything interesting. So make sure you're following me at this link.
Posted on: April 8, 2010 5:23 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2010 5:43 pm

Butler signs Stevens to 12-year extension

Brad Stevens signed a 12-year contract extension with Butler on Thursday and effectively ended any chance that he'll leave the school for a more lucrative offer after leading the Bulldogs to this week's national title game.

"[My wife] Tracy and I are thrilled and very thankful for the opportunity to continue to play a role for Butler University," Stevens said. "We are already looking forward ro the 2010-11 season."

Details of the contract were not disclosed because Butler is a private university.

Stevens, 33, just completed his third season at Butler.

The Bulldogs finished second in the AP poll and are third in the 2010-11 CBSSports.com preseason Top 25 (and one).
Posted on: February 21, 2009 4:41 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2009 4:44 pm

Hayward, not Curry, the star on this Saturday

The nation tuned in to see Stephen Curry.

Now everybody is talking about Gordon Hayward.

The Butler freshman finished with a career-high 27 points and nine rebounds in the Bulldogs' 75-63 victory at Davidson in which he outshined Curry's star while introducing himself to a country that doesn't see enough Horizon League basketball. Despite the hostile environment and big stage, Hayward looked comfortable from start to finish. He made six of 12 field goal attempts and 11 of 12 free throws, further proving that his decision to focus on hoops instead of tennis was a wise one.

And he was a pretty good tennis player, too.

"This is the first time he's really been playing basketball for 12 (consecutive) months because he's been such a good tennis player for so long," Butler coach Brad Stevens said Saturday afternoon by phone, noting that his 6-foot-8 wing spent many summers playing tennis instead of basketball, which explains why Hayward was an unheralded recruit according to most scouting services. "He's a good player and an easy guy to coach. He's a great kid and a great student, and it's fun to be around guys like that."

As for Curry, well, he looked out of sorts.

He played for the first time since spraining his ankle last weekend and appeared to have no rhythm or feel, though it would be wrong not to give Butler some credit for making things difficult. No question, the Bulldogs did a great job on the All-American. But Curry missed a lot of shots he usually makes and actually started 0-of-8 from the field before finishing 6-of-23 with 20 points and seven turnovers.

Still, Stevens never felt comfortable, even late.

"Steph is so good," he said. "You're just sitting there saying, 'Please don't be another chapter in this book.' Up 13 with four minutes to go or whatever, that's what you're thinking. 'Please don't be another chapter in this book.'"

To Butler's credit, it was not.

Instead, the Bulldogs exited Belk Arena with a nice road win.

And they looked like a team worthy of keeping their national ranking.

Posted on: December 23, 2008 11:25 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2008 11:43 pm

Butler 10-1 for second consecutive season

You know what's tougher than beating Xavier in Cincinnati?

Getting out of Cincinnati after beating Xavier.

"I'm just trying to navigate through this weather," Butler coach Brad Stevens said by phone, from the cold and rainy streets of Cincinnati, after his Bulldogs beat 14th-ranked Xavier 74-65 on Tuesday night. "It's nasty up here."

Portland State's win at No. 7 Gonzaga took a little of the spotlight off Butler, but the reality is this: The Bulldogs are now 10-1 with the lone loss coming at 15th-ranked Ohio State, and because they don't play again until Dec. 30 they will almost certainly be ranked in next Monday's AP poll, which will be quite an accomplishment for a team that lost five of the top seven scorers from a 30-win team and was picked fifth in the Horizon League.

Did you get that?

This team was picked fifth in the Horizon League.

But the Bulldogs got a win over Horizon favorite Cleveland State in early December, and now they have this signature non-league victory to go with it. So the obvious question for Stevens late Tuesday was how? How is this second-year coach off to another 10-1 start despite a totally different roster?

"It's not me," Stevens said, but I'm not sure I believe him, because I watch a lot of college basketball and tear through tons of rosters, and I know what usually happens when a 30-win team loses five of its top seven scorers. Rather, I know what doesn't usually happen, and what doesn't usually happen are 10-1 starts featuring road wins over top 15 teams, and if you don't believe me call Bill Self, John Calipari or Ben Howland and ask them if they'd take 10-1 with a road win over a top 15 opponent.

Betcha they'd all say yes. So that should prove that what Stevens is doing is both unique and impressive, and that he's doing it while starting three freshmen around a better-than-the-nation-realizes sophomore named Matt Howard borders on unbelievable.

"We've got good, mature guys, even though they're young," Stevens said. "Even the young guys who have never been here before always prioritize team above self, and that's given us a chance to start off well."

No argument here.

But take some credit yourself, Brad.

Because back-to-back 10-1 starts with totally different rosters is not something anybody could do.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 20, 2008 11:32 am
Edited on: February 20, 2008 11:32 am

Fifteen candidates for National Coach of the Year

Gregg Doyel wrote a column this week about the National Coach of the Year race.

His pick (at this point): Duke's Mike Krzyzewski.

That's a nice selection, assuming Roy Williams doesn't strangle Coach K before the ceremony.

And though I believe it's too early to name a winner just yet, I feel comfortable providing a list of 15 legitimate candidates.

So here is a list (presented in alphabetical order):
  • Rick Barnes (Texas)
  • Randy Bennett (Saint Mary's)
  • Mike Brey (Notre Dame)
  • Jim Calhoun (Connecticut)
  • John Calipari (Memphis)
  • Keno Davis (Drake)
  • Trent Johnson (Stanford)
  • Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)
  • Sean Miller (Xavier)
  • Matt Painter (Purdue)
  • Bruce Pearl (Tennessee)
  • Bo Ryan (Wisconsin)
  • Herb Sendek (Arizona State)
  • Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt)
  • Brad Stevens (Butler)
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com