Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I think I'm learning some things about this team. I think that it's definitely a team that has to grind everyday in practice. With the new guys, the young guys and the personalities of the veterans, this team has to grind out in practice everyday. What I mean by grind is that we have to go hard and rough it up everyday. Some teams you can have light days etc. but not this group. At least not right now anyway.

I shared with them a conversation that my son had with one of his uncles. His uncle (my wife's uncle) Dave Bing, was a great player at Spingarn High School in D.C (All-Met) and a great player at Syracuse University (All-American) and a NBA Hall of Famer from his days with the Detroit Pistons. He not only was a great player but he has been one of the few old timers to successfully transition into the business world by establishing a million dollar Steel Company, Big Steel. Tough times right now, but you get the point. Anyway, Dave and I were talking one day and I asked him to speak with Blake and give him 2 things that he did that helped him achieve the goals he set for himself. One was to obviously to get an education (work hard in school) and the second one was to embrace practice! I thought that was huge and it said alot about why Dave has had the success that he has had for so long. Embrace practice says so much...you have to learn to enjoy the hard work that goes into getting better.

We had practice this morning at 6:30 a.m and leave for Chicago this evening (8:30 p.m) to play DePaul tomorrow night. We come back Thursday and will give the fellas off for a couple of days to finish up exams for the semester. After that I hope they learn to really embrace practice or practice will surely embrace them! :) Yeah....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

American Gangster! Look Around....

It's always better waking up after a win! Especially when it's against the school that's in same town as you, the same conference as you and has been the bench mark in the conference for quite some time. Fang Mitchell has done more for the MEAC conference than any coach ever and there has been some really good ones. I call him Frank Lucas...from American Gangster. Not calling the man a gangster people but he 1) Is the OG of coaches in the league (27 years at Coppin), 2) he has upteen wins in the conference, 3) he has knocked off some of the giants in college basketball over the years, 4) his teams play with an aggressive style, and now...5) he has gangstered the coaches in the league and we all pay him 10%! LOL Just playing ya'll! I respect the man to the highest power. He almost hired me back in the day and wasn't afraid to tell folks that he was going to give a guy a second chance and that everyone deserves one.

My youngster plays today 3 p.m but we have practice at 12 noon first. They play Roman Catholic from Philly in this weekend High School basketball classic. There are quite a few teams from the Baltimore Washington area playing teams from all over the country. Then, the Redskins play Da Ravens! Sunday Night Football ya'll! The Ravens defense plays with bad intentions....American Gangsters huh?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday....O.D.B?

I answered the phone this morning and my Mother says...HAPPY BIRTHDAY son! I said Wow mom, 45 years ago you were in labour giving birth to "Boze", she said whatever...."your head was so BIG, I was in labour ALL day!" Thanks for bringing me back Ma! :) Mothers keep you in check huh?

Today was a good day. Lots of birthday wishes, probably because I saw a lot of folks today, Facebook and the stars lining up I guess. This was probably the most that I've ever have received! Lots of Love!! That's true! The fellas all wished me Happy Birthday and tried to act like they wanted to do the old school thing where they give you birthday licks! Yeah...Right! I'm a groan A$$ man dog! :) It was cool tho!

I rushed out of practice to get all the way across the DMV to Fairfax, VA to watch my son Blake's high school team play. They happened to be playing a kid I'm recruiting so it really worked out. They won the game and youngin is getting better. Youngin in my son...he signs his text messages "Young Boze", how bout that! lol Does that make me OLD Boze? Hey...That make me think about what my players at Cal called me. I know ya'll gonna crack up on this one! They were always calling me O.D.B. If some of ya'll are reading this I know ya'll are on the floor right now. O.D.B was a rapper back in the day with WU-Tang and O.D.B stood for Old Dirty Bastard. Anywho...they called my O.D.B and said it stood for Old Dirty Boze! lol Funny right? Yeah, whatever...they got a kick out of that too...that was in those moments where they were imitating me or just having fun on a road trip. That'll be one of those stories at my funeral.

We play Coppin tomorrow at 4 p.m...you think they could get a Birthday win for O.D.B?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

HIV/AIDS Serious Bid Ness...GET TESTED!

You know...maybe you don't...but this Monday was national AIDS day. This is the week that the Nation places extra attention on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Well, in my attempt to continue to show the guys that sports and life mirror each other, for to try to keep them current in their thinking, the speaker today was Maria Davis. Maria is a AIDS survivor and a national speaker about HIV/AIDS. I met her awhile ago and since I've always had someone in the speakers bureau speak on AIDS it was a timely meeting.

We've stayed in touch since early fall and thought that this week would be perfect for the fellas to receive a message from her. Some of the guys recognized her once she got up in front of the room and started to speak. Maria was THE promoter in NYC (New York City for those of you that might have thought that was a text thing!) and was on Jay-Z album once. She is well known in the music industry and has a compelling story. She definitely had the guys attention and her daughter, who attends Morgan State came in the room too. Her daughter is not infected but offered a different perspective on dealing with the virus. I love Maria and spent the rest of the day with her, taking her to lunch at the faculty dinning room (great food by the way) and seeing her off before I headed to practice at 3:15 p.m.

Maria told the fellas that AIDS doesn't have a face and that she contracted the virus in 1995 and only found out because she had applied for an insurance policy to take care of her children in case something happen to her. How bout that? Finding out you have HIV/AIDS through the mail. She was in denial for a minute and dealt with rumors etc. before she told the world. She had the guys' attention and I'm really trying to get her to speak to the entire student body at Morgan State because this is serious business! She and I encouraged the guys to get tested cause she is proof that people can live a long time with the virus even though she has suffered alot. I won't go through her whole story but you guys will hear more about her soon!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No Blooppers just reality....

Today is that mandatory One day off a week that the NCAA make you give your team. Otherwise you would be tempted to practice em EVERYDAY til they get things right. Well yesterday we had the team watch the game tape from start to finish by themselves with the assistant coaches standing outside the room in case things got out of hand. The seniors ran the film session and we did this the first year after one of those games where we played like crap and should have either won the game or simply played better. We play Coppin State Saturday afternoon and will have to certainly play better to have a chance to win that one.

The goal is for the guys to take responsibility for their actions. Stop blaming someone else, stop looking for a crutch and keep it moving. Again, life and sports mirror each other. As a coach you have to keep the big picture in mind or you'll go crazy. Get it back baby!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Little BIG Things

First of all, I want to say RIP to Mr. Fleets Hazel Sr. as I attend his Homegoing service this morning. He fought the good fight and will be truly missed. His son Fleeks "Butch" Hazel Jr. is a good friend of mind and I am really sorry he had to join club of us, who have lost our fathers. It's a tough club that no one wants to join because the initiation process is SO hard! I saw alot of cats I've known for years at Mr. Hazel's service and had to jet out right after to prepare for our Home game vs Saint Francis University of Pennsylvania.

Wow! That was the worst game we've played since we've been at Morgan. We lost to a Saint Francis, PA team that I'm not afraid to say that we were better than or should have beaten at home. Now, obviously they were the better team tonight because they won but as bad as we played...we had a chance to send the game into overtime but missed a free throw at the end. The guys came out with NO energy, NO focus, NO respect for their opponent and NO respect for each other. It was embarrassing for sure! We also hadn't lost a home game in basically a year and a half....17 games.

At shoot-a-round I pointed out once again that little things matter and that a level of commitment is necessary in order to be successful regardless of the endeavor. I recounted some things from a story 60 Minutes piece on Michael Phelps (the historic Olympic Gold Medalist). His swim coach pointed out that Michael Phelps practiced EVERYDAY for 5 straight years...Christmas, New Years...YES Everyday! That was impressive...when you love something and make a commitment, you WILL succeed. He recounted how during one of the races he won in Beijing, his goggles were filled with water and he could see, so he continued to push through by counting strokes! That is unbelievable to me. Now, the kicker was when he was shown a picture of the famous event where he won by a fingernail. The thing he noticed right away about the difference between him and his opponent was a very basic swim technique that I guess swimmers are taught at an early age. They are taught to keep their heads down throughout the race til it's completion. Well from the photo finish, which was taken from the bottom of the pool, you can see that the swimmer who Phelps beat...had lifted his head up and Phelps' head was down. It was BIG! Again...something small being something BIG! I shared this with the fellas in hopes that it would sink in.

Basketball and Life mirror each other and just like in Life...we learn some tough lessons the hard way! And sometimes you have to hit the bottom and accept responsibility before things will get better. Let's hope this is the bottom...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sometimes kids don't believe fire is HOT!

You would think that after I addressed the team from a positive stand point after a loss they would feel good about themselves and come to practice pumped and ready to go. NOT! They weren't ready to practice, guys arrived late, etc. Unbelievable is the only way I can explain it. I through them out of the gym today cause they weren't ready to focus and practice. I preach to them everyday that this thing is more than about basketball. The little things are BIG! I told them to get themselves together and be ready for the shoot-a-round tomorrow or they are going to get their A$$es kicked Monday night. Only time will tell...

I spent the day meeting with the assistant coaches and then the senior captains of the team. Hey...it's their team and their last opportunity to enjoy a college basketball season. It's a count down for them and you would hope that it means enough to them that they would step up and take the reins of this team. I'm be on communicating and sometimes it's better to get everything out on the table so there are no misunderstandings. We'll cccccccccccccccccc......

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Out of Mississippi in one piece...

Man, it feels good to be home. That was an interesting trip to say the least. We lost 78-70 to Mississippi today and headed right to the airport to get back home so we can sleep in our own beds for a change. Whew! Although we lost the game, I thought that we took some positive steps in the right direction. We had 25 offensive rebounds, led by 4 at half and were aggressive the entire game. Considering the travel we did the guys had some energy and were excited about playing. We had a stretch in the second half where we had a couple of turnovers in a row and that allowed Ole Miss to come back and take the lead. There were two stretches like that and we could over come it. We got some positive results from some guys and that's what's important. An SEC team on the road and the officiating was as even as you could expect. Don't get me wrong, I hate losing and I think we should have, could have won the game. We will get a good night sleep and practice tomorrow at 12 noon.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Road LESS Traveled

Ok...so you have got to hear about this day we just had. First, Thanksgiving was cool, we had a great time and I thank God everyday for the blessings he has and continues to give me. I think the fellas really felt as tho they really gave back to the community by assisting Bea Gaddy with their feeding of the homeless at Patterson Park. We practiced afterwards and then went on our separate ways to enjoy Thanksgiving dinners.

This morning we arrive at the BWI airport for what was suppose to be a 11:30 a.m flight only to find out that the company that booked the flights, scheduled the tournament etc. gave us a different flight time a week earlier and changed it without informing the assistant coach who handles travel etc. Well, in the first time ever for me...We missed the flight! Let me state again...I have never missed a flight! There are huge ramifications if we don't make it to Mississippi for the game but we can't focus on that at the moment. We end up on separate flights thru Charlotte then all but 4 were on the same flight from Charlotte to Memphis, where we were scheduled to practice and stay for the night. We all at least arrived safely into Memphis. We checked into the hotel around 7 p.m then headed over to the Forum, where the Memphis Grizzlies play and practice, to practice and go over the University of Mississippi's stuff. Practicing on an NBA floor was probably enough to geek our guys up to get by the fact that we spent all day in airports. Practice lasted an hour and a half and we got them something to eat and now I'm updating da Blog before I shut it down. Yeah...long day ya'll, but da show must go on...and we betta be ready to play! We play at 1 p.m...actually later on today!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I wanna THANK U....

Yes we are practicing today. Yes, it Thanksgiving and we practice every Thanksgiving! I like to have the guys get a good workout before they get their grub on. Actually every Thanksgiving we go down to Patterson Park and help feed the homeless with Bea Gaddy! This Thanksgiving they said they need us for set up and delivering the food from the church to the gym. We will also help take clothes and food off trucks and move them to a location that they can distribute to the folks that need em.

The fellas always have enough time to then spend with their families or where ever they are spending Thanksgiving. I always take my son with me because I think it's important that I make sure he gives back as well. We start practice in a circle like we always do and I start by stating what I'm thankful for and we go around til everyone has a turn. Let's get it on....I'm thankful first of all that the Lord has blessed me with another day, a healthy loving family, an opportunity to coach and affect lives. Preciate it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Classic N ding

Monday afternoon on the Morgan State campus and I'm about to call it a day...on campus anyway. I have tape to watch and evaluate for the next week. We lost our last game of the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach to Wisconsin-Green Bay yesterday morning and flew home last night. We were down 2 at half and still didn't shoot well from the field and we once again put the opponent on the free throw line too much. We are going to have to do a better job defending without fouling. We play one more game in the Glenn Wilkes Classic on Saturday November, 29th at the University of Mississippi (I still sing that spelling whenever I write it. lol). It is an exempt tournament and it only counts as one game for the NCAA allowable games but obviously counts as 4 games on your schedule and record. We will continue to work and get better. There were some positives during the tournament and we have to build on that. Playing on the road out of conference is also a beast.

The fellas have today off and we'll get back in the gym tomorrow after the guys lift. We will practice Wednesday and Thursday morning then participate in a Thanksgiving dinner deal for the homeless, like we've done for the past two years and then fly to Memphis on Friday. We have to fly to Memphis to get to Oxford, Miss where we will practice on their floor, play Saturday at 1 p.m and return back to Baltimore Saturday night. That will complete our participation in the Glenn Wilkes Classic.

Only thing good about Sunday was that we arrived home safely and that the Redskins won! Gotta find something positive baby!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No Time 2 b licking Wounds...

It's Sunday morning 9 a.m and I'm sitting in the lobby of the Hilton in Daytona Beach, Florida. We've had our pre-game meal and scouting report session and I'm waiting for the fellas so we can walk across the street to the Ocean Center to play our last game of the Glenn Wilkes Classic. We play Wisconsin-Green Bay at 11 a.m and then jet right out to the Orlando airport for our flight back to Baltimore.

Yesterday we got our butts kicked! It was one of those games. At half time we were down 8 and only shot 18% from the field with no 3 pointers and I thought man...tough half but it could have been worst. The first 5 minutes of the game and the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half are very important and we didn't get off to a very good start in the 2nd half either. Utah is a good team with a 7-2 NBA center and I thought the first half we played him pretty tough. He had 2 fouls and our center, as of right now (Rodney Stokes, who's injured will be the center and Kevin Thompson can move to Power Forward), was doing a great job defending him and taking it to him on the offensive end. This was the first time since I've been here that we didn't make a 3 pointer in the entire game. Tough day, it happens but the Sun came up this morning and we have to keep it moving. Mama said it would be days like that! Utah was very discipline team and really shot the ball well. We had a game like that last year vs Niagara out in the Cable Car Classic. It happens, like I said. It's how you respond is what counts. We ended up winning 22 games last year so, keep it moving. It's been a good experience for us and we will take what we need to grow and move on. Just like life...bumps in the road only make you stronger! I love challenges baby! If everything was so predictable why play the game! The fellas are filling up the lobby now so let's get it on!
Yeah...it's the day after and losses feel worst the next day for me but when you have to play again the next morning...it's no time to dwell in the past!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


That HURT! Enough said....

Black Listed!!

Ok...so I was awaken at 6:25 a.m by my cell phone buzzing on the bed. It was my son, wanting me to give my wife the fastest directions to his high school so he can make it to his 7:30 a.m practice on time. Well, first of all you get up on time...no I didn't say that, but I was thinking it! :) They seemed stressed enough...lol. I hooked them up but now what...I'm up and once that mind gets going...the energy flows! I've got the song "Tie My Hands" (by Robin Thicke featuring Lil Wayne) on my mind, it's a song about New Orleans, rebuilding and the after affects of hurricane Katrina. Great song! I play it on my iPod and get moving.

We won the first game of the Glenn Wilkes Classic yesterday. It was a good team win vs Marshall University. A team win, cause everybody contributed. I was proud of them for bouncing back after the tough loss in NYC. After the game I went back to the hotel to chill while the assistant coaches scouted the rest of the field for our remaining games. I happen to catch a show on HBO called "The Black List". Wow! It was a powerful and I'm gonna try to get it to show to the fellas on one of those long bus rides we have during the season. The show was a series of interviews/testimonies with prominent African American figures (entertainers, athletes, artist, political figures, dancers etc. all kind of folks) discussing their "Ah" moment or significant moments in their lives. They shared in depth details of what helped get them through the barrier(s). They talked about events/people/moments that made impacts on their lives and you could feel the sincerity. Well, at least I could! Put it this way, I really enjoyed the piece! Colin Powell talked about hearing that people always referred to him as the token black or that he only had his position because they needed a black (folks don't really know you or your struggle so press forward young man...be above the nonsense). Puffy reflecting on how he carried himself and spoke of himself as the next Berry Gordy while a student at Howard University (positive thinking/ you are what you think you are). One of Al Sharpton's closet friends was James Brown (You can process your hair & lay it back to son! LOL), naw, Sharpton had some good stuff too! Just a lil light moment ya'll...

After watching some tape on Utah, our opponent today, I shut it down. Utah has a 7-2 center and big time shooters on the perimeter. In other words...a huge challenge looms folks! But that's what this thing is all about! Dream big baby! Dream Big! I'm excited and want to jump it up RIGHT NOW! We got shoot-a-round at 10 a.m and we play at 4...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Life's a Box of Chocolates...

Friday morning and there's still some residue from the lost to Man..hat...n the other night! We arrived in Daytona Beach, Florida at 7:45 p.m by bus after flying to Orlando. The flight was jammed packed and I couldn't wait for the plane to stop and my aisle let me stretch my knees. Man...a 6"5" cat squeezed into that window seat. I usually get an aisle seat but upon check in...I discovered that they had assigned my a seat and that was that. Sit down slim and be happy we held the flight up for U! No...I don't ride in First Class...I know that's what you were thinking! :) Since we are on the topic of checking in...you know how you have a funny feeling and kind try to express it and the person you're addressing kind of blows you off? Well, when the cat was checking me in and he tagged my bag he didn't place it on the belt. I was patient but then asked if he would place it on the belt so I could make sure the bag arrived when I did. Well, you know he gave me the..."man this dude is tripping, let me do my job DUDE" type of thing and then put my bag on the belt without looking at me. Yeah, a no look pass type of thing!

You know the rest of the story. My bag didn't come in and would be scheduled to get in at 11 or 12 midnight and then Daytona is an hour and 20 minutes from Orlando so...no PJ's tonight homeboy! So Mama...I couldn't brush my teeth before I went to bed! It wasn't my fault! :)

We checked into the hotel (The Hilton) and went immediately across the street to the Ocean Center (arena where we will play) and had practice. We didn't go long and really just walked through some of our upcoming opponents stuff. Afterwards we had dinner at Bubba Gumps! Bubba's was good! They had the N.F.L playing on one television and the movie Bubba Gump on the others. There was Bubba stuff everywhere. They even come out and played a fill in the blank game of Bubba Gump questions! The whole team participated! It was cool and the food was good too! Our trainer had grilled Mai-Mai with a lemon sauce and said man, this was amazing! Amazing dude? Come on...our table got a big kick out of that. Just like ya'll just did.

Hey, we play Marshall at 2 p.m today in the Glenn Wilkes Classic so thought I would share before shoot-a-round this morning. Run Bubba run!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Growing Pains R...A Pain N da....

Ah...the frustrations of blending new players into the system! We lost to Manhattan 61-60 last night (we were up 1 with 15 seconds left and they hit a shot with 5 seconds left) and like always it feels worst the next day! Not taking anything away from the teams we've played but we just are sloppy at times and it's mostly coming from the bench. Lazy passes, forgetting plays or assignments and lack of concentration. Now, I know that it's early in the season and things take time but...Damn! We have to also figure a way to stop fouling so much. Again, we out scored the opponent from the field, 3 point line and on rebounds only to have them shoot 26 free throw to our 15. If we make some free throws it's a different outcome too.

Well I guess this is growing pains so we will stay the course and grind it out. We go over the sets, out of bounds plays and press breaks everyday so there really is no reason why these guys aren't picking it up. There is an adjustment to the level of play but...man. That's my job though...so I'll figure it out. We leave today for a three game in three day classic in Daytona Beach, Florida. We play Marshall tomorrow, Utah on Saturday and Wisconsin Green Bay on Sunday morning then head back to B more. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Game Day Morning...

We had a staff meeting til 1 a.m so I slept in a lil this morning. Just checking wit my guys...a lil maintenance making sure everybody is good. The bus leaves at 10:15 for our 11 o'clock shoot-a-round at Manhattan College. Shoot-a-round typically last for about an hour and a half. Sometimes you might not be able to get a shoot-a-round time but for the most part the hosting school accommodates you. As a coach you try to get a chance for your squad to get use to the floor (sometimes there are dead spots etc), the rims (sometimes they are tighter, looser etc.) and the shooting parameter.

Pre-game and film will be at 3 p.m...we play at 7. I slept good...thanks for asking! LOL I'll get my run in after shoot-a-round, watch a lil more tape and chill! I don't answer my phone on game day...

Man...let me get to this bus, ya'll gonna make me late! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

U can have whatever u like....but I don't cook 4 everybody!

I tell you what, it's Tuesday morning and as I fix my children pancakes and sausage, it feels a helluva lot better after a W. Yeah...I fix hot breakfast almost every morning. I'm like a short order cook some mornings...if my baby girl wants French Toast, then dag nab it...she's going to have French Toast. "She can have whatever she likes...."T.I baby! :)

We were able to execute alittle better last night but we still have a ways to go. I guess that's not all bad because some coaches have a theory that if you are perfect early, it'll be tougher later. We are playing hard and that's a start but we have to execute and have consistency in our effort and focus. It was a good win and a positive step, just gotta keep stepping.

Marquise Kately cramped up alot last night and had to get an I.V before he left the gym. The trainer reminded the fellas to drink plenty of fluids and to definitely eat. Young folks don't always understand that you have to really take care of your body. They eat juke food, skip meals and don't drink enough water. Now, we played at La Salle Saturday, at home last night vs UMBC (Monday), at Manhattan Wednesday and we travel to Daytona Beach, Florida for 3 games in 3 days (Friday, Saturday & Sunday). That's a tough stretch and their bodies will be very important and reverent to their ability to produce. We leave at 12 today and will practice at Fordham University this afternoon, have a walk thru at Manhattan Wednesday morning and play at 7 p.m. Somewhere in between there we will eat cause as of 5:30 this mornin...da kitchen is CLOSED! Daddy put you a plate in the refrigerator baby! Don't hate Ya'll...she's a daddy's gurl! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Put that Weekend Trash Out!

Wow! Glad that weekend is over. It was a tough weekend for my teams. We lost a tough one at La Salle, the Morgan State football team took one on da head to South Carolina State and the Skins dropped one to of all teams....the cowgurls! Im not sure which one hurts the most! The good thing is...Monday starts a new week!

We play UMBC tonight at home at 7 p.m. So I have my routine that I follow at home and will shave, workout, get a hair cut and relax. Oh yeah, I gotta order the fried Turkey for Thanksgiving! If you haven't had it fried...whew you don't know what you're missing! Anyway, we will have shoot-a-round at 2 and pre-game meal at 3. Hey, let me get my children to the bus stop...man Blake needs to get that trash. Trash day is Monday's and Thursday's...lol this weekend the trash bag was definitely full of a whole lot of %#@*! Damn... to the Cowgurls!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

That's Y some folks like to eat at HOME...

Folks always talk about how tough it is to win on the road. I'm not from that school because I always preach that you play the way you play...give us two baskets and a ball and let's throw it up! I've been saying that since I've been coaching and that's what I stress to my teams. The only problem is that you assume that everything else is even. La Salle played well enough to win and that's all you have to do so congrats to them but man...when you don't reach the bonus in a game...it's pretty ridiculous! It's was a tough lost and I didn't think that we played well. We still had a chance to win the game down the stretch and we made enough mistakes of our own. Just because I'm venting to ya'll doesn't mean I expressed it that way to the fellas. I mean we made the same amount of field goals, we made 4 more 3 pointers and had 19 offensive rebounds. They made up the difference at the free throw line. I guess that's why they call it Home Cooking! Aiight, enough of that! We just have to get better! Thanks for the motivation!!

A loss always hurt more for me the next morning. It's like I respect the game, congratulate the opponent and start to focus on the next game, then the next morning I have that hole in my stomach. But it's on to the next opponent. We will watch film today of the La Salle game just to tighten up the mistake that we made, then watch tape of UMBC (our next opponent) then practice for a while. UMBC is a NCAA tournament team and Randy Monroe does a good job with his team so we got our work cut out for us. That's what this thing is all about tho! I love this game! Skins vs Cowgurls tonight ya'll!!! Here's hoping the cook feels at HOME tonight too! :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What Time is IT???

We arrived at our hotel yesterday around 2 p.m and had a chance to chill before our 20 minute ride to practice. Teams generally practice at the game site the night or day before the game. Now, it doesn't always happen, sometimes because of scheduling conflicts etc. the floor is not available but for the most part, teams get the opportunity to practice on the game floor. Mostly everyone is afforded an opportunity for a shoot-a-round. Shoot-a-rounds are usually 5 to 6 hours before the game and teams use it to walk through the opponents scouting report. In our case the shoot around would mean, we'd have to shoot around at 8 a.m and we just think it more important in this particular case for the fellas to get the sleep. We will have pre-game meal 4 hours before the game and then have the guys get taped and be on the bus in time for us to get to the gym/arena an hour and a half before game time. In this case, because we didn't use the shoot-a-round time we will get to the gym/arena 2 hours before so the fellas can have some extra warm up time.

After practice, we headed back to the hotel to shower and go to dinner. After dinner we watched film and went over the scouting report. This is the toughest part...now the anticipation starts to really dig atchu! The time before the game ALWAYS gets me! Not the nervousness, just the AN...TI...CI...PA...TION of wanting to play! I would just as soon jump it up at that moment!

After watching some more tape last night, checking on my family and rapping to my cousin and a buddy of mine, I turned on "KEM" on my iPod (the lil portable stand joint) and hit dream land hard. Now I'm up at 5:30 a.m to shave, workout, relax and get my mind right. Damn...you would think I'm playing huh? It's the same routine for 30 some odd games baby! Gotta LOVE it! We play at 2....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

U Drink Sprite?

Yesterday the speaker was a woman named DeNita Turner. DeNita has a company called Image Builders and Image Builders is a....da...da...da...daw...a image consultant company. She has many corporate clients but her the client most relative to da young bears in the room is the N.B.A. She works for the N.B.A, individual teams and individual players themselves. The league has vested interest in their young stars understanding the big picture and it really makes sense to use her services. I could name names but the individual names of the players are not important. Wish I could say my name was on that list, especially, earlier in my coaching career!

Well she conducted a session that had the guys captivated! She taught us and helped us to really understand a lot about our team and the fellas individually! It was a great session and had plenty class participation. She shared some the names of the guys/companies that she has worked with over the years and the heights each was able to achieve once they understood and accepted reality. Your image is your brand and as a teacher, you get a certain amount of satisfaction when something you've been trying to teach is repeated by other folks in, let's say...a different language. I'm always preaching body language to the fellas and it's importance and hopefully they get now. Thanks DeNita, I really appreciate you sharing your wonderful insight and knowledge with da bears! Hopefully there is a great R.O.I!!! Time will tell...the bus leaves at 11:30 this morning and we have practice at 3 p.m at LaSalle. What time is it!

"But you R not AT... your Big Momma's house right now!"

Ah...that dreaded day after the day off! Man, if you have children, it's like gettin your kids back after they've spend the weekend or in some cases the afternoon with their grandparents! God bless grandparents, so don't get me wrong but when your children come back from them...man, you have to re-learn 'em how things go at home. I'm going to be the same way as a grandparent if the good Lord blesses me to be, cause that's what "Big Momma's" and "Pop-Pop's" do! Well, it's the same effect after your team has a day off, in some cases. You go through explaining or re-explaining to guys that they have to focus, pay attention and follow the rules, etc. then proceed to teach them whatever it is that you are trying to teach them that day. This is more so the case with young teams or teams with new players on it.

Wednesday was no different at Hill Fieldhouse in B-More. It was a tough practice but we made it through and Thursday and Friday's practices will be preparation for LaSalle University, who we open up our regular season with Saturday afternoon in Philly. The fellas have a speaker today at 11 a.m then we will get it on at 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Is a Day Off, really a Day Off?

Tuesday was the fellas day off. This is the staffs time to catch up on paperwork, double check grade progress, clean up practice plans and gather all tape and info on upcoming opponents. Most of the guys come thru the office anyway. Some guys come through on their way to class, the training room for treatment of injuries or just to stick their heads in to say hello. It's funny because you want to give guys a break or a chance to gather themselves but that day off can be a beast too! The reason I say that is because when you have the guys on a consistent basis, the kind of stay in a flow. They hear your voice, the message, the plays and they develop a routine. When they take that day off, if they aren't mature enough they drift, their people (whoever that is) get in their ears and they break the mental routine. Now, I can hear some of you say, "Man, what is he talkin bout?"

Well, some guys can handle it. Some guys can't. I just want them to be able to stay focused or refocus when it's time to. When you think about this generation of kids, they've got all kind of things to keep them occupied. I don't think they have enough reflection time. Time to think about things that may have occurred or things that could effect them. The young people today have iPods, cell phone (where they r texting at unbelievable speeds), computer games, face book, my space and often times are dealing with serious issues on their owns. Now, when do they have time to reflect properly. Yeah, we deal with an incredible amount of things as adults but these kids...they haven't learned to appreciate patience or hard work and sacrifice. Some obviously have but we're talking about the majority. Some of them have been raised by people who were subjected to this kind of lifestyle and some were or are being raised by folks that are single parents (even some where both parents are there is tough) and doing the best they can to just survive.

There my friends, (No, it ain't John McCain speaking) lies the importance of teachers, coaches, the people that run the Rec, the neighbors (the solid ones) and mentors and respecting their time with our young people. It really does take a village to raise a child! I count on my children's teachers, coaches, instructors, responsible relatives and older friends to set them straight if they venture outside their lanes. Wow, I really went on a tangent huh? Preach, preacha! Sic....jus playing. It's just my opinion from my few years observing folks all the time!

All that cause I'm trying not to give these cats a real day off huh? LOL Damn...I miss prack tiss!!! It keeps me from writing these long a$$ blogs.... :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back N Da Day!

Monday is always a day people drag into work...NOT IN HOOPS BABY! Everyday is a new exciting day ya'll! After watching more tape of our scrimmage vs Mount St Mary's that took place Saturday afternoon, it was clear that I needed to spent some extra time with the point guards. I need those cats to really understand where I'm coming from and what I want done. Point guards should be an extension of the head coach on the floor. We (all three PG's) spent time watching tape separately and discussing their teammates, situations and the objectives of the game. We then had a film session with the entire squad and I took that as an opportunity to share some history of the game and how my generation learned how to play the game. I told them that they don't have to wait until they get to the 40 & over league before they start to appreciate the game.

In other words, I'm trying to get them to learn to appreciate the finer point of the game and value possessions. We I was growing up we would have pick up game with a who's who of; Len Bias, Johnny Dawkins, John Battle, Brian Ellerbe, Anthony Jones, Adrain Branch, Brian Waller, Dominique Pressley, Kelvin Johnson, Tom Sluby etc.. I could go on and on but point is, is that it was 35 deep in the gym and when you finally got an opportunity to play, you didn't want to lose cause it would mean that you had 6 or 7 downs before you would get on the court again. Now, if you think guys didn't value possessions in that situation...you're crazy! It pressure each possession and you better be confident if you were going to venture out and take a shot that everyone else didn't expect you to take. Even before that time, when we were younger and went to the court (i say court because we didn't always have an gym to go to) the older cats made you earn your way to play with them. You could walk up to the court and ask if a guy had his team and he would say yes and you would look around and it would be 2 people on the side. You'd look back and say, "you got yours?" and he would look you right in the eye and say, "yeah slim." Now, I know some of ya'll are cracking up right now...cause we all been there!

Then another guy everyone knew could really play would walk in and the guy with next would go, "Yo, you trying to run?" and would also take two guys off the losing team when his chance to play came up. You would look around like, what the *#@? is going on? But the reality is that, until you got a chance to prove yourself on that court, cats treated you with NO respect. Eventually you would earn the cats respect and have a chance to play wit da big boyz! You had better play defense tho! Cause one of those older cats that didn't like sitting on the side after a loss, would cut your a$$ in a minute! lol

Well, Monday's practice was crisp and the fellas did have bounce and focus. Next we'll have to see how they will respond Wednesday after a day off. Remember, the NCAA rules say you have to give them a day off every week. I wish I could send them back in time to the courts we played on...that would learn 'em!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Da Day After....

Well, the scrimmage at Mount St Mary's didn't go our way. I got the report from the coaches while on my drive to the Atlanta airport. Seems the fellas relaxed alittle...that youth thing ya'll. We are always trying to teach em how to prepare to compete before you compete. Hey, I'm just glad we were able to get some bump in before our first official game on Nov. 15th at LaSalle.

Some of the stats they texted to me were, "we were 9-21 from the free throw line, they were 22-30. we had 21 turnovers and 9 assists, they had 20 turnovers and 12 assist and Marquise Kately scored 1 point." Wow! The little things are always muy importante! We will really focus on free throw shooting this week in practice and start going over the scouting report of LaSalle around Thursday. Today's practice was one of those that you just want to get thru. The guys were a little tried but they really needed to fight thru this one. I recommended ice baths for a couple of guys to bring their legs back faster. It's time to grind it out baby...got to get er done! The day after is always tough but I like going the next day while things are still fresh in the guys minds. I'll watch the tape sometime this evening and sit down with the point guards tomorrow to discuss the game in further details. We'll watch the tape as a group later in the week but I feel it's important to help the point guards understand where I'm coming from and that can only happen with extra sessions. Man...let me get a bite to eat so I can dive into this game. Hell, I got time...the Redskins don't play this week. For real they have a bye next week too! Ya'll get it later.... :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sittin at da Dock of the Bay (Airport)

After getting about two hours sleep last night, I'm sittin in the Dulles airport waitin on a flight to the ATL. I'm on my way to the home going service of my beloved Aunt Peggy! The day started at 3 a.m, left the house at 3:30 and the flight leaves at 6. We arrive in Atlanta at 7:50 a.m and will drive 1 hour and 45 minutes to Dadeville, Ala. The viewing is at 12 noon service starts at 2. Our flight back is a 8:50 p.m so we'll be really humping to get back to ATL by 7 something for the flight home. We'll get back around 10:30 p.m and to da house at 11:30. Long day ya'll...

Friday, November 7, 2008

For Example...

Practice, was better yesterday than the day before. During my pre-practice talk, I touched on the importance of team work and how we have examples of it around us all the time. I used the results of the Presidential race as a classic example. There was clearly a lack of discipline in the Mcain camp as Palin wasn't following instructions, wasn't coachable and allowed information to get out time after time. There also was a fury of excitement when she first was named to the ticket but the Obama camp never wavered. Barack Obama handled the race with class and followed the game plan of his advisors (coaches) to a 'T". I also pointed out how organized and discipline the Obama camp was and the ending results showed how important those two aspects were. Hey...we are always teaching. Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new! Hey I got practice

These are my Confessions...

The speaker yesterday was a successful entrepreneur that lives in Prince George's County, Maryland. He is one of the funniest people I have ever met in my life. We play golf from time to time too, well, I play...I not sure what we'll call what he does. LOL! Hey it's my blog...it's like being on stage and having the mic. :) Well, anyway he is a former Crack addict and he detailed his story of how he was a high school basketball player, went to college to play basketball, had never used drugs before college and never had sex before college either. I could have left that out but...it adds to how straight of an arrow he was. He left college as a graduate but also as a drug addict. He talked about hanging with his buddy, who was a drug dealer, after graduation and that he had a plan to sell drugs and invest the money etc.. Hey, he was a Finance major! But he started using his own drugs more and more and moved on to start smoking crack. Any-who, he then spoke about how he hit rock bottom and was standing in an alley in Washington, D.C having smoked his last rock of crack. He told the fellas that he thought about all the things his mother had done for him and that he knew he could do better than that. He took himself home, told his mother that he needed help and day by day he got better and that next month will be 20 years that he's been clean. He acknowledged that he also couldn't have done it without God. He was even a feature on 60 minutes. November 4th, he drove down to Petersburg, Virginia on election day to knock on doors and drive the elderly to the polls to vote. He said, "Man, Obama had to win Virginia", that's why I wanted to do extra. Giving back baby! Thanks for sharing "Bear"! That's his nickname ya'll...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wake Up Everybody time 2 teach a Nu Way...

You would think that after Barack Obama won the Presidential race, the excitement around campus and the speech I gave them dudes...they would have had extra energy in practice today. NOT! I heard the campus was off the hook last night and I'm sure my guys were in the middle of it. Maybe it's a generational thing cause Cats just aren't as self motivated as they use to be. Whatever you do on your time is fine, just don't let it effect my time. Yeah, I know what you're thinking...but these cats are like this a lot. I try to give them something everyday to help get them going! And I mean Everyday! So you can imagine the energy level you need as a coach to approach practice everyday! Come on...ya'll know I'm down wit my man da nu Pres. but I gotta still learn these cats how to be responsible. I know, stop trippin, it's a blog ya'll...I know the proper lingo is to teach but, learn em hit the point betta.

We still have a couple of projected starters out with injuries. Hopefully they will be back by the first game at LaSalle University on November 15th. In the meantime we'll continue to put work in and attempt to get better everyday. We have a scrimmage at Mount Saint Mary's University Saturday afternoon November 8th. I prefer scrimmages to Exhibition game because you can stop and correct things, really talk to the officials and play extra halves etc.. NCAA rules allow teams to play either two exhibition games, two scrimmages or one of each. Unfortunately, I won't make the scrimmage because I have to attend my Auntie's funeral in Dadeville, Alabama. Coach Mc Clain will handle the duties of coaching the fellas Saturday, he was the first guy I hired and he does a good job wit the guys. I really hope we continue to take more positive steps. Wake Up fellas!!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

THE CHOSEN ONE! One Nation...Under a Groove

One NATION under a groove...gettin down just 4 the funk of IT! WOW! Barack Obama is the next President of the United States!!!!! One Nation and We're on the MOVE...NOTHING can stop US now!

Unbelievable!!!! Hey people please believe in the IMPOSSIBLE! The PEOPLE have spoken! I can't SAY No More!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Man n da Mirror

I staring at… the man in the mirror…I’m asking him to change his ways. If we want to make the world a betta place…take a look at yourself…and make a… CHANGE! Michael Jackson’s joint hits the point doesn’t it? Each one of us has to look at our selves today if we want to change the direction of this country we need to get out and VOTE!

Today will mark history! Unbelievable! It’s not a racial thing per se, like we got a black president so...now! It’s a thing of, it’s fair and equal opportunity now! As a people, brought here as slaves, treated as second class citizens, not given an opportunity to learn or vote and to becoming President of the free world…DAMN! Barack Obama is the best candidate regardless of race. The cat has a unique view from both sides of the racial barrier but even the folks that named him couldn’t have thought he was going to run for President of THE United States wit that full name! Going feel real good…sha moan…make that CHANGE! Man, look the words up, that’s how da song goes and you try to spell “shamoan”…well I know he was saying “come on”, but it sure doesn’t sound like that. Mike was BIG back then…he was making his on words! Hey, if this Presidency thing don’t work out..look at the Man in da mirror! I voted...did U?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Enjoy every minute...cause, You never know

We had a good practice yesterday considering we were coming off our first successful scrimmage of the year. Normally, you have to check guys and put them back into their place because they don’t know how to handle success, however small it is. Now, don’t get me wrong, we played well but we still have a lot of work to do but it was a good start. Positive steps are all we want to take right now..

I’m glad we had a good practice at least, cause I got some disturbing news afterward. Everyone knows how close I was to my Dad, who past New Years Day 2006, well the closest person to him outside of my immediate family was my aunt Bernice “Peggy” Hill. Well Saturday didn’t start off well for her and unfortunately it was her last day here. :( Man, I spoke to her a little in the afternoon and…then... Cancer is a beast man and I pray one day that they will find a cure. My father and aunt were so tight growing up, when you saw one you saw the other. She knew more about the dude than anyone else. :(

Hey, she knew that we are going to have a Black President and was ecstatic about too! She told me in August, when I went to Alabama to check on her, that when her and my Dad were growing up, they never thought a black man could be Governor, let alone President. RIP auntie, I love you and will miss you! Muah!!! Tell Pop hey for me and I’ll see you guys on da other side…Damn!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What had happen was...

We got back from the University of Delaware around 7 or 8 pm. The scrimmage went well! The fellas had energy and bounce. We made a lot of mistakes but for the most part we played well! We played two 20 minute halves, like a regular game and we out scored them in both. Then we played another 20 minute half where we tried to get the reverses some minutes. I played those guys the entire time while U of D subbed guys in and out. Then we did situations (situations are, we are down 4 with ball, no time out and 2 minutes on the clock etc.) and we won some and they won some. It was a good trip overall cause we got a chance to play against some one else and we were able to get tape of it. Tape is the best teacher because it doesn’t lie. Sometimes guys will fight you to the end when you tell them some of the things they are doing on the court. Then you bring that tape out and…BAM! Oh, “I didn’t realize I was doing that!” The names and the faces are the only things that change baby! If you’ve coached anything at any level…you know what I mean!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Experience is the BEST teacher!

Yesterday's speaker was a gentleman named Joe Branch. He runs an organization called "U Want Game" (www.uwantgame.org). His organization reaches out to student athletes regarding life skills and is a mentoring program. He's a great example for the guys because he is a former division one athlete, who had aspirations to be an NBA player. We all know the percenage is low so it behooves them to prepare for a second career anyway. Joe, who is in his early 30's, played at Northwestern University, has an M.B.A and worked with various NBA franchises, the NBA front office and the sneaker giant NIKE. He a sharp cat, leave it at that. He gave them 13 points to focus on to be successful including networking and appearance. I won't give away all my man's speech but it was good and I think it hit home with the guys.

They had the rest of the day off and we reconvene today for our last practice before our first scrimmage, which is tomorrow at the University of Delaware. We'll take the bus up scrimmage, eat and had back to B-more!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

They got it Twisted!

FIVE mo days ya'll! 5 more days until the election! Man...the anticipation is killing me! I won't comment on the ignorance that folks are displaying regarding Obama, his policies, his religion and heritage. I will say what I said earlier on...it will be a blow out! It's a new sheriff in town!

We were supposed to have practice today, but we had some discipline issues to deal with regarding the team. I will spare you the gory details but the entire time alloted for practice was spent running! All coaches have their opinions on how valuable practice time is and discipline etc., I feel that you nip things in the bud as early as possible. Because you try to ignore an injury doesn't mean it's going to heal. Often times it gets worst. Mold in a house ain't going to go away, it's going to get worst. Correct it now! I told the guys that they had to realize how mad or upset I would be because of missed practice time, cause they know how much I really LOVE practice. We talkin bout prack tiss ya'll! It's a classroom, a learning environment, a lab, a refuge, my get-a-way...ya'll get the point! Don't mess wit another man's work! They will have a speaker tomorrow after their 5 a.m run and practice Friday with a scrimmage at and against the University of Delaware on Saturday. Oh yeah, that scrimmage is after their 5 a.m run Saturday morning! Yeah...I'm a lil pissed off about something! But I'm keeping my cool! For real I am...I see ya'll laughing, but believe me...:)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Plan your work and Work your plan! U r what U eat too!

Tuesday afternoon in Northeast B More. It's pretty cold today as everyone pumps up their heaters in the offices. I just finished lunch. I've packing my lunch lately...turkey and cheese, sometimes tuna but always on wheat. I keep gatorades, diet coke and H2O in my fridge so I'm good wit the drinks.

I'll start planning our practice for the day around 2:30 or so. I had a couple of meeting with a couple of the guys and watched a little tape of our first opponent scheduled for Nov. 15th. When thinking about practice, I try to incorporate fundamental work and the schemes that we want to run during the season. It's a challenge for every coach because you only get 2 hours or so a day and have to give your team a day off each week per NCAA rules. It's just a lot to cover but that's the beauty of it too. I'm trying to find a group that can play together and get some continuity. I think I've found the perimeter group and a Big, so we gotta keep the pedal to medal!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Health Care is important 2 Everyone!

The Redskins pulled out another one! Dallas fans have been quite lately...they have enough to worry about! lol Man, they play alittle to close sometimes. I know it's not by design but went I'm talking Skins football I'm a fan, not a coach. We play Pittsburgh next week, hope we get some of those injured cats back.

Practice was late today...7-9 p.m. We actually went alittle later cause we had officials at practice again. We are covering alot as we get closer to Nov. 15th. That's our first game of the season and right now we have a one game season! Practice was o.k. I'm a little frustrated cause I want these guys to be further along right now. We have some vets out because of injuries so I'm trying to remind myself of that and that the new guys are at least getting reps. We do have depth this year cause, if this would have happen last year, we would have not been able to do much for a lack of bodies.

Three weeks away from jumping it up baby! I love this game!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Show MUST go On! A little rain ain't gonna hurt Nobody!

Rain or Shine...the show must go on! Homecoming was cool it just was WET! Man, it rained hard on and off all day! The officials started the game with those little...too small shirts and at half time they changed into the long sleeve joints. The cheerleaders were soak-n-wet too! They didn't stop cheering tho! I was on the field of course...I'm the "Get Back Coach", the Head "Get Back Coach"! I tell everybody to "get back" when ever someone gets to close to the field. :) Listen, don't hate...everybody doesn't have the skills to handle that position.

Well we had practice first. We had officials at practice today. We had them there so the guys could get use to the calls (fouls, traveling, etc.). Practice ended up better than the day before and some of the guys play better with the officials present. You should see the way they foul each other and look at us when we call fouls. We will have the officials at practice on a regular bases now as we get closer to the season opener.

Anyway, I had my rain suit on and my boots so I wouldn't get wet. The wind was blowing crazy and I sure there would have been a ton more people at the game had it not rained. Well da Bears won 20-3 over Delaware State! It was really good to see the football squad play so well. I know the Alumni were happy. Not happy enough to donate more money, mo money to the athletic program. Man, if everyone really focused on donating something to the schools' athletic program they would be surprised what levels of success could be reached. Congratulations Bears! Go get that title!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Protect Da House Ya'll...No Pain...No Gain

Today was hectic around campus as the Tailgaters started setting up their tents etc. It's like the Morgan Mob is ascending on North Baltimore for 48 hours. We couldn't practice in our gym because they had a tarp down. A tarp for those that are scratching their heads...is a plastic cover they put on the gym floor to protect it from scuffs etc. during events. The problem is that they are using the old or a very old tarp (that caused the old floor to get jacked up) and they should buy a new tarp. The gym floor really looks good! It's going to look great for T.V games. It's a shame they won't buy a new tarp to save the floor, it's like wearing old shoes with a new suit. It don't work homie!

Practice wasn't very good. It was sloppy and their attention span was weak. We gave them off yesterday and were concerned how they would respond to a day off. I really try to be an example to the guys that everyday is a new day and you have to motivate yourself everyday or as that say in D.C...erry day! Growing pains I guess. Young people have a hard time these days being self motivated! We're working wit 'em ya'll! I love my job or what I do but it doesn't come without some struggle...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You don't have to Sing to show off your Bling!

We had a speaker today. Yeah, ya'll...it's Thursday! Hey, you guys have to keep up. :) Peter Harvey (Attorney at Law, former State's Attorney for the state of New Jersey), spoke to the fellas today. It went really well and a couple of the guys asked for his card afterward to discuss career paths. Peter is a Morgan Alum and I really appreciate him taking the time to share his story and views with us.

I taped a pilot for my T.V show today too. I thought it went well and during the taping Marquise Kately and Gene Johnson happened to be coming from class. Hey, it wasn't a set up...those cats were actually coming from class. :) Just kidding, but it gave us a chance to interview those guys and hear their views on the direction of the program. Mark Gray (Co Host of the show) asked if Gene was on the squad last year and my man "Jug" just casually held up his hand to flash his Championship ring. It was classic! We laughed and wished we had it on tape but we didn't get it and didn't want to attempt to recreate it. The fellas handled themselves well and continued to enjoy the rest of the day off. The show started at Hurt gym (the old gym where Marvin Webster played), we walked by the brand new library (it's a beautiful building), the new student union and ended the show in Hill Field House in front of the trophy case.

Mark Gray and Jay McQueen (producer and former college football player at East Carolina/Arena League) were great to work with and I look forward to big things with these cats. We'll seeeeeeeee

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Watch What U Say....

Practice is interesting...Wow I guess I have to watch what I say or write in the blog huh? We have a lot of guys but three are out due to injuries. Two should be back by the time we play Nov. 15th. We will scrimmage Sat. and Sun. with Delaware (11/1/08) and Mount St Mary's (11/8/08). Both scrimmages will be tough for sure. We will travel to both schools...we travel a lot in the month of Nov./Dec. and might as well get use to it now!

We have a lot of our stuff (Offensive & Defensive plays, calls etc.) in and we're just fine-tuning things. We have 9 new guys and it's a matter of reps for those guys. Let me get out there to the gym. Gotta give my "words for the day" to start practice. Practice starts at 3:30p.m......

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The HOME team! Is COMING around!

Washington Redskins 5-2....dallas cowgurls 4-3. Just wanted to set the record straight cause all I heard last week was that we had the same records. All the dallas fans talking bout how banged up they are etc...I'm not trying to hear ANY of that bull! No sympathy or symphony here busters!

After our practice this morning, I tried to get some rest. Kind of napped until da Skins came on. They gave us a scare but pulled it out. The squad is coming around, with 9 new guys it's going to take some time before they really gel. We will practice Mon.-Thurs. this week and give them Friday off. Our Homecoming is this week so we won't have our gym from Wednesday on and the NCAA rules mandate that you give the team one day off each week. It'll be crazy around campus this week, as all the alumni come home to celebrate and reconnect. Safe travels to everyone and we'll see you when you get here!

How bout them Skins!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Who said Saturday was for relaxing?

Saturday...whew...full day for sho! Last night was our Midnight Madness. It was cool...it could have been structured differently but I appreciate the folks that worked on the program and everyone that attended. The guys from last year's team got their championship rings and it was good to see the excitement on their faces! We just didn't get out of the gym until 11:30 p.m or so.

We had practice this morning from 6-8:30/9 a.m so I had to leave da house at 5. After practice I was going to go to the grocery store to get some items to fix breakfast but because of time...I picked up some breakfast from Pete's near campus. Good thing I did cause by the time I got home there was only time for a quick shower and my ride was out front. I rode with my buddy Hop to the Morgan vs Howard game at Howard University. We played Howard for their Homecoming! My daughter actually met me at the game too! Great game...went into double overtime but Da Bears were victorious! Had to rush to drop my baby gurl off at home and head back to campus for our 2nd practice of the day.

We went from 7-9 p.m and it was off to the house for some needed rest. The fellas tried to get me to watch the Hopkins/Pavlik fight (I got Hopkins...He's a Warrior!). I dropped by the spot just to holla at those cats, then I really came home to shut it down for REAL. But not before I blog! Ahh! Busy day, but the excitement of practice starting, the football team winning and the start of practice (yeah I know I said it twice) is enough to keep me going. Let me get some zzz's... gotta be at the gym at 8 a.m tomorrow. Sleep is overrated!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Count your Blessings! Wait...Can u count?

It's Friday Baby! We can start official practice today! Let's get it ON! I'm ready and excited! I've been listening to and singing Norman Hutchins' "God's Got a Blessing...wit your name on it!" all morning and I'm pumped! Wit my name on IT!

We will actually start our practice at 5 p.m. but start the Midnight Madness celebration at 9 p.m.. We will also have a ring ceremony for the rings the fellas earned last year for winning the MEAC regular season championship! Wit their names on IT! Stay wit me ya'll. It's the first regular season title in the school's history. All the guys will be there except for Boubacar. He's playing somewhere and couldn't get back. This day is the start of the quest that every Division 1 program has of reaching the NCAA tournament and winning a National Championship. And as I told my guys yesterday...a dream without commitment is a fantasy!

And if you don't have dreams, what is fueling you everyday! Wit your name IT! I'm living one of my dreams everyday...Coaching college basketball and making positive deposits in people's lives (my children, my family, friends, players, staff, colleagues, etc)!

Sometimes we get caught up with the little things in life and as my grandfather use to say when someone would ask him how he's doing..."If you check the obituary column and you aren't in there...it's a great day!" Look at every tough task, situation or challenge as a blessing. Trouble and trials come to make you strong! It's your homework and you're practicing for the big Game! God doesn't put more on you than you can handle! Who is the weather man to tell me it's going to be an ugly day cause it's raining? It's just raining homeboy! Wit your name It! I'm baaaaack! Thank You Jesus! Prayer Works!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who's on First? What's on Second? Let's Eat!

Yesterday we had the MEAC Head Coaches meetings here in Winston-Salem, NC. We discussed the 2009 MEAC tournament, the conference schedule for the 2009-10 season, bench decorum, rule changes, new NCAA legislation and the Pre-Season All-Conference picks and team predictions. We also discussed the ESPN bracket buster, which, Morgan State will represent the conference this season. It's historic because it's the first time ever, that a MEAC team or HBCU (Historically Black College or University) will participate in the Bracket Buster. Marquise Kately was voted to the 1st team All-Conference while Reggie Holmes was voted to the 2nd team. This time last year we didn't have anyone on the pre-season teams. We are at least making progress. The league coaches and SID's voted Morgan State as the pre-season pick to win the conference. How that happened when we lost the Player of the year in the conference, the Defensive player of the year and our starting point guard, I don't know. But we'll take it as a sign of respect for the program. Now, while it's nice for your peers to recognize your potential and your hard work, you don't win games on paper! "We talking bout practice!" That's was my man Allen Iverson's famous quote for those that didn't get that!

We will stay with a sixteen conference game format which means that each team will play 8 home games and 8 away games. Each team has been randomly selected to play 4 teams once and 6 teams twice. Winston-Salem will not count in the conference standings. Don't ask me to explain that...

Anyway, we have the Kick off luncheon this afternoon, where they will announce the pre-season picks etc., we will grub and then break out about 2 p.m..

Monday, October 13, 2008


Man...it's Monday morning and I'm really getting excited about the official start of college basketball practice Friday at 7pm! The good thing is all teams are undefeated and have the same goals! Yeah, ok some are more realistic than others but, that's not the point. :) Everyone is starting behind the line, at the begining of the race.

I will fly to Winston-Salem, NC tonight for the MEAC (Mid Eastern Athletic Conference) conference Head Coaches' meeting tomorrow morning and the Conference's annual Kick Off Media luncheon
Wednesday. This is the opportunity for the media to speak with the coaches in the conference regarding their expectation(s) for the coming season. A couple of weeks ago, all the head coaches and SID's (sports information directors) voted on pre-season all conference teams, player of the year and the pre-season predictions of where the teams will finish. The head coaches meeting is designed for the coaches to strategize about the coming season's issues regarding college coaches and the future of the conference. We meet with the supervisor of officials, talk about the scheduling of non-conference opponents and discuss ways to highten the visablity of the MEAC as a whole. Oh, if you are wondering why we are having the luncheon in Winston-Salem, it's because that's the location of the 2009 MEAC tournament. I wonder if I will have to pay for the peanuts, pillow, soda or leg room on my flight? There's no telling now! Oh yeah, I'm flying Southwest, I should be aiight!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Brother, brotha, brah the.......

Friday around 11:30 am or 12 noon I went to George Washington University to watch my little brother, my bag (my Dad always thought it was my "Bag" instead of my "Bad"), my youngest brother, run his team through a workout. The NCAA rules allow a team to do a team workout for an hour or so each week until official practice starts on October 17th. Mike's the head women's coach at GW and I stopped through to learn a thing or two from my baby brother. Whatever, I was here first...so I can say it the way I want to say it! :)

I walked out of there with my chest on swoll! He's doing his thing and I know my Pops is smiling down, really proud of him too! Anyway, it was a good workout and I always get a kick out of whenever I meet someone from his circle and they ask, Who's older? LOL! He hates that by the way! Just the fact that the question has to be asked is good enough for me! For the record...I'm 3 years older than Mike. But if you are around us at the same time, for the first time...ask anyway! :) Go Gee Dub!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"Smooth" landing!

Yesterday I had breakfast downtown with my man Scott Perry, the GM for the Detroit Pistons and it was good seeing him and having a chance to catch up. Scott P was one of my assistants during my Cal days and went on to coach at Michigan (Assistant) and Eastern Kentucky (Head Coach) before becoming a scout with the Pistons and moving up the ranks. He's a Pittsburgh Steeler fan (his father played for them back in the day) so you know you have to hear some s#*t about that damn towel, especially during football season! :) I also got a chance to meet Joe Dumars for the first time (President of the Pistons, former All-Pro and future Hall of Famer) and see my main man Chauncey Billups. I recruited Chauncey out of high school and got really close to him during that time. I hadn't seen him since my days as an advance scout with the Toronto Raptors and he wasn't doing very well and was actually on his way out the league. We talked in the hallway of the Orlando Magic's arena and "Smooth" was having a tough time. He hadn't found his groove in the league and that had to be tough for a cat that was all state for 4 straight years in high school, was a college All-American and a top 5 NBA draft pick. Well, you know what happened next, he found a team, found his groove and became a world champion, finals MVP and an All-Star. I hadn't seen him since then and was glad I had a chance to tell him how proud and happy I was for him that he hung in there to really live out his dream!

We laughed about the time I went to see him play and a gang fight broke out causing total chaos! That was my introduction to gang violence in Denver, Colorado. Yes Denver! Well, we exchanged numbers and I wished him well as they boarded the bus for practice. I love that dude and thought he and Shareef Abdur-Rahim were going to play together (at Cal). I got the big fella (and he made History at Cal) but my man stayed home and went to Colorado (he did great things there too). One of my favorite things in life is to see people reach their dreams and goals cause in the end...that's all that matters!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Old School to New School....Can U hear me?

Tonight I was invited to speak to the Bishop McNamara high school football team. They have a team dinner every Friday night before their Saturday games. I have special memories regarding my high school days and I happen to be in the school's Hall of Fame, so having an opportunity to share my story with the new-age generation was cool. They wear their game jerseys and get together with their coaches and some of the parents cook and serve them a team meal. They also have a speaker address them before the evening concludes. Well tonight was yours truly! I really enjoyed speaking to the youngsters and sharing my story from my McNamara days to now. It's a different generation for sure and you're not always sure how they receive things, so we'll see. My days at McNamara were different because it wasn't coed back then so it was just the fellas! So you know we cut up more and we had a sense of camaraderie or male bonding going on! You would probably take a little more teasing off a cat when you weren't embarrassed in front of a little "honey" you were trying to crack on. "Crack on," I know that took some of ya'll back huh? "Little Honey," man, let me stop! I'm about to write a song up in here in a minute! lol Thanks for the opportunity to speak to the team Coach, thanks for your undivided attention fellas and thanks for the chili! I hope the fellas throw down tomorrow like their mothers did tonight!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

House Call!

Today is, of course, our speaker's bureau...where we have someone from the community come and speak to our guys. Last week instead of having a speaker, we took the guys and made sure they were all registered to vote. Today, we had a Doctor speak to the fellas. Doc grew up in Southeast D.C and was a high school basketball player himself, so I thought the guys could really relate. He spoke about his younger days, being a student-athlete and that day, when the air went out of the ball and he had to do something different with his life. It was a really good session. The guys asked questions afterward and Doc promised to come back to check on us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Knock, Knock....Who's there?

Hey I'm not feeling the Presidential debating scene right now. My man Barack is knocking on the White House door but, that debate wasn't cool. Man, if Barack went after McCain like he (McCain) went after him(Barack)...they would be calling Barack an angry black man! Come on, "That One!" that reference was nasty! To his credit, Barack is handling it like a champ. A couple times you could see him agitated by the comments and a couple of times he tried to defend himself as a pose to staying on the topic and letting dude look like a fool.

Let's face it, politicians are skillful when it comes to answering questions. Some are better at maneuvering around the in your face questions than others and then there are the McCains of the world who are clearly out of place and start to sling mud. The cat even insulted one of the participants when he said, "You are hearing a lot about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, names you probably never heard of." Huh? Out of touch is all I can say! Keep your cool "B.O" and continue to take the high road! McCain is losing more ground each day and he continues to show that he can't handle the pressure. Barack is showing it everyday! As I blogged about earlier...it's already written, Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. He has a calling and he's about to answer! Helloer!!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

B-More...careful it's College Hoops Season

Tonight the Legends Sports Museum in Baltimore hosted all the local college basketball coaches for a forum about the local teams etc. The local media covered with channel 2 being the only news station I saw. We all spoke about our programs and our plans for the upcoming season. The museum has sports memorabilia from all local sports teams and their special seasons or accomplishments. The display for Morgan State was interesting and highlighted the great football teams and future Hall of Famers, the great track accolades, the division II National team led by the future NBA All-Star Marvin Webster and ten Bears led by the late Chip Silverman.

All in all, it was a cool evening and I think the event will continue to grow. Last season was very good for college basketball in Baltimore and this season shouldn't be any different.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hi Haters! Hi Haters!

This just in for all the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles fans...ya'll both share something in common. We (The Washington Redskins) KICKED A** on ya'll's home Field! I know when Philly went up 14-0 all the bars in town were hopping! All the Dallas fans could say after we beat them was, "That's aiight, Philly gonna whip ya'll." My last comment on this subject is...STOP HATE N! :) Washington 23 Philadelphia 17

Some folks joined our church this morning and had the nerve to announce that they were Dallas Cowboys fans too! How bout that!!! We'll pray for them anyway! :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Another One Bites Da Dust! But....Today was a GOOD day!

Today was a good day! Every time I say that, it reminds me of Ice Cube’s song “It Was A Good Day.” “I gotta go cuz I got me a drop top…and if hit switch, I can make the….drop”, the old school cats know what I’m talking bout! I say it was a good day because my cousin got married today. My mother, brother, sister-in-law and I drove to Richmond, VA to see my man and his bride jump the broom. I drove by myself because I had to drop my son Blake, off at his high school basketball workouts first and I didn’t want to hold up the rest of the crew.

Anyway, it was a nice wedding and it was really good to see all of my aunts, uncles and cousins on a happy occasion. To often families only get to see one another on not so happy occasions. You know what I mean…man, do I have to spell out everything? :) Congrats cuz! Or cousins now huh! She was the happiest bride I’d ever seen! When the pastor asked if she would take cuz to be her husband…she shouted, YES! There was laughter in the church as all the fellas interpreted that to mean a beginning to the end of Sunday afternoons of watching NFL. The women laughed as if to say, “Another one of us gains control of a household.” lol "Hooked it up for later… as I hit the Doe....thinking will I live...another Twenty-FOE!” Yes, but without the Remote!:)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rock The VOTE! Go Register Youngman!

Thursday's at 11 am are usually designed for our speaker's bureau, but today we took the fellas to register to vote. We've had discussions on the importance of registering and voting so it was a good opportunity to take the first step. Some of the guys had already registered (as we had directed earlier) so it was a matter of getting the rest of them set up and finding out the procedure for the out of town guys. There was actually a rally on campus focusing on the Presidential race so there was a campaign spirit around campus today. So, today was a good day!

The Vice Presidential debate is tonight! Let's see what happens!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If THEY win...the JOKE'S on US!

One of the funnies things I’ve seen in a long time, is the spoof on Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric and the Barack Obama/John McCain debate on Saturday Night Live. You can watch it online by googling “Saturday Night Live Palin.” If you haven’t seen this…please go on and watch it! Hilarious!!!!! As a friend of mine said, America can’t possibly vote McCain and Palin into office after we’ve laughed so hard at their expense. I mean, I read an article this morning and the woman writing the article didn’t even sound right trying to justify Palin. She talked about how the words Palin uses are more familiar to American people and that “heck” and “darn” is part of her appeal. People can relate to her and that Barack uses too many long uuhhs. HUH? Can you say Katie Couric? Please Google this folks…I mean, “heck” what else do you have to do “darn!” Live…It’s Saturday Night!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Momma said KNOCK U OUT!

Today…Today…The Redskins whopped the Cowboys’ BEHINDs! Yes Sir…I can’t wait to talk to all those hating Dallas fans! My man Jason Campbell is growing up in the Quarterback position! I can’t say enough to emphasize the excitement! They (all da Dallas fans) will down play it and I refuse to entertain any of them today! I know they are sitting back wondering why I haven’t called them yet. Don’t worry…it’s coming! How bout them…Oh…REDSKINS! We shut down Texas stadium! Hail to the Redskins…Hail Victory! Hail to the Redskins…FIGHT for old D.C! Yeah…Boyeeeee!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The road less traveled....learn ur lessons thru the lessons u learn

Today, Sam Cassell, of the world champion Boston Celtics spoke the team. Sam’s a good dude and I’ve known him for some time and really appreciate him taking time to share with the young fellas on the Morgan State University hoop squad. He shared his views on winning and what it takes to win (he has three NBA championship rings). He also gave our guys some good stuff on being a student-athlete and following your dreams and goals. I really like the fact that a lot of what he shared in terms of succeeding as a player or competitor were a lot of the same things that we as a coaching staff say often. Now he said those things without us speaking before he spoke to the guys. He asked the group who thought the Lakers were going to beat them and YES, I raised my hand! In the words of the late, great Bernie Mac, “I ain’t scared of them …..ers!” HA! HA! Anywho…he goes on to explain that they said they weren’t going to lose to a bunch of cats that weren’t even from the United States…the place where the game originated! And he said that when the team returned to Boston at 12:30 am after game 5, he and K.G went into the gym to work. He said K.G worked on his game for about 2 hours and when they walked through the training room (where Kendrick Perkins and Tony Allen were getting treatment in the wee hours), he shouted, “We gonna be world champions tomorrow baby!”

It’s not an accident that he’s been in the league for 16 years and knows how to win. He told the guys that when he got traded to the Clippers he asked Mike Dunleavy for tapes of their games so he could study the team and find out why they couldn’t win even though they had a lot of talent. It boiled down to the little things. Hey, I always say…the game is simple, players make it hard. Sam plans on being a coach after he retires and he traveled a different road to the NBA. He didn’t qualify for a scholarship out of high school (after signing with DePaul), went to prep school, still didn’t qualify, went to JUCO, then went to Florida State and after being passed over for lots of other guards, he was drafted late in the first round and 16 years later he tells the guys it’s an honor to play in the NBA not a privilege. Thanks Coach Cassell and by the way…Kobe is from here… homeboy!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thanksgiving isn't always just in November!

Today the fellas had a representative from Bank of America speak to them. It was a good presentation regarding bank accounts, opening an account, balancing a check book and keeping change. The guys were attentive and some have bank accounts, some don’t but they all pretty much asked questions and so…it was a good day. I think it’s important to attempt to provide these guys with information and tools that will help them beyond basketball. Some of the questions were regarding establishing credit and maintaining credit. The fellas really had their minds on their money and their money on their minds. Lol! Some of ya’ll will get that, some won’t!

Today is also Dr. Richardson’s birthday and I was glad I had a chance to see him and to congratulate him on his recent announcement that he will be retiring in December 2009. Doc has been the president of Morgan for 25 years, has done tremendous things for Morgan and deserves to chill and watch the fruits of his labor. After he hired me back into college coaching, I told him that I wasn’t having anymore children, but if I did, I would name the baby after him. Now, my baby girl would have a tough time explaining why her name was Earl but a promise is a promise! :)

Regarding his retirement, I told him that I was happy for him, sad for me. Of course he said, you’ll be just fine…that’s Doc’s way. He’s a really good cat! No disrespect intended I’m just keeping it real with the way I’ve been doing the blog ya’ll. So stop tripping! At least the term “Cat” is from his era and he can relate to it! THANKS again Dr. Richardson…for believing in one of the young Cats and GIVING him an opportunity to continue a dream!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dream On, dream on....Dream ur self a dream come true...

One of my favorite TV shows is “The Biggest Loser”! First of all, I don’t watch a lot of TV other than sports or major events, but I really like “The Biggest Loser” and American Idol. Anyway, I really like these shows because I really enjoy seeing people reach their dreams and goals. I have to admit that I tear up sometimes when the winners are crowned. You can see the relief in their faces and body language. Lives are changed on these shows and on the biggest loser, lives are saved. We all need help sometimes and this is reality TV at its best.

Any who…when you watch the show and see these people become who they once were or always wanted to be…it’s really special. Presently, the show has Family biggest losers. There are teams of two, father/son, mother/daughter, and brother/sister etc. and they work with these trainers at a ranch for weeks at a time. I won’t go through the whole process but hopefully you get the picture. This is the same feeling I get when young people (players, managers and coaches) come through the program and we play a small part in helping them reach their dreams and goals. Now…back to your regularly scheduled program…..

Monday, September 22, 2008

Homie Don't Play That!

Man…all I needed was a red nose and some extra big shoes and they would have been calling me Homie da Clown. I have a friend I grew up with that approached me back in the summer, during my camp at the Bowie Gym, and asked if I could conduct a semi clinic/birthday party for her son, Freddie. I told her I would take care of her but told her to call me later after I was done recruiting, etc. and we would talk. I had every intention to get someone to do the birthday party for her (someone to do it right now, not just to do it). Anyway, I agreed to the birthday party and to have my son, Blake, and my nephew, Okoye, assist me. WOW!

WOW again! Hey, I entertained those 5 and 6 year olds for almost 2 hours and they completely wore me out! They were cute kids and energetic but not particularly interested in the finer points of what we refer to as basketball. We did trick them into learning or participating in ball handling drills and some of the parents were amazed that we were able to hold their attention the way we did. We did relay races, played duck, duck goose and dribble tag, etc. and when the gym monitor told me the time was up….whew! I don’t know who was happier, my helpers or me! My body was beat up for sure, having played the women’s softball team Saturday and entertaining the land of the little people on Sunday, but I got my church on earlier and the Redskins won so…all is good! Some parents actually asked me if I did this on a regular basis for birthday parties and after a nice laugh, I told them…NO WAY! :) That was my first and last time! Homie Da Clown won’t have to worry about me!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Batter...Batter! Don't Start None, Won't Be None!

Well, I know you want to know all about the softball game we had today. First of all, it was A LOT of FUN! We had a good time and really enjoyed ourselves. The ladies were really good sports and the guys hammed it up as usual. I pitched, just so you know. They let us have 10 guys in the field and they also shared their gloves with us. We thought we had some gloves but Coach McClain’s friend accidently took them out of town with him. The fellas did a little chant before we got started and Mr. Carson took a picture of all of us that I can’t wait to see and put on my office wall. Then... we got it ON!

The ladies took it easy on us and didn’t throw too much HEAT! Some of the pitches were tight and I know they weren’t use to such large pitching pockets (I know I’m saying it wrong but you guys know what I mean). We started out the first inning down 2-0. The ladies were all over us! Chanting, cheering and chanting…it looked like it was going to be a long day. I actually asked Coach Bozier if we could play a couple of games, not knowing how beat up my body would feel after 7 innings. Well, needless to say, the Men’s Hoop squad came back in the game and won 6-2! As I said, it was a lot of fun and the ladies were good sports. We talked about mixing the teams up next time. It was a good day! Hey…I think the pitching was “Da Difference”! LOL

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Each One Teach One...

We started our Speaker's Bureau today. That’s a program we have where we bring in professionals from all facets of life to speak to our guys. It’s a program that I ran in my Cal days and I thought it was very productive. The speakers will range from Police officers to Nutritionists to Bank Managers to Attorneys to reformed drug addicts. In the past, I’ve had speakers that were HIV positive, media consultants and retired NBA players, so the range is far reaching. We also have a program where we will read to kids every week to put our guys in a position to give back to the local community. The obligation is to teach these guys more than just basketball and to show them how life and basketball, or sports in general, mirror each other.

We have a softball game on Saturday verses the Women’s softball team. These young ladies are really coming after us. I didn’t mean to insult or instigate anything when I proposed the game. I just wanted to do something where we could have some fun. We were planning to play the people in the financial aid and admissions office but settled on the women’s softball team and Coach Bozier has generously accommodated us. I was driving to campus the other day and some of the ladies taunted me! How bout that? I really hope they take it easy on us cause lord knows we can’t hit those speed balls they throw! We’ll see though…as Master P use to say…”We Bout, Bout It!” Bring it on ladies! lol

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Body Double Needed....Work That Body!

Today is Wednesday and it’s an individual workout day. We have four groups of four players each that we workout for 30 minutes until everyone gets an opportunity to improve their skill level. It’s an intense session and we’ve had other coaches (High school and college) sit in on the sessions to observe. This is also my third day in a row swimming. I’m trying to incorporate another form of exercise to keep my blood flowing and my weight down. I’ve been running in the mornings and swimming in the evenings, trying to shock the old body. Next week I will alternate the days and pace myself. That swimming is a beast! I’m not sure if there is another form of exercise where you use every muscle in your body. I started out with just a few laps and will increase it each day until I can do 20 laps straight and roll out! Just know that I am sleeping good at night 4 sho!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Closer I Get 2 You!

Today(Sept. 15th) marks the first day college basketball teams can start team workouts. You get an hour per week to workout the entire team. That is in addition to the workouts with no more than four players at a time and the conditioning. Makes for a long week huh? That’s the life of a college basketball player. Today’s workout was cool. We introduced some defensive concepts and will slowly incorporate our defensive schemes and principles. We still have guys throwing up because of the work. Hey I know the returners told all the new guys that, “Boze” is crazy and you better do some extra running on your own to prepare. I am excited about this day because it gets us closer to October 15th or based on the rule, we can start practice on the 17th because it’s the closest Friday to October 15th. I'm excited, but my guys will tell you that I’m always excited….I love practice, what can I say!

Friday, September 12, 2008

What have you done for me lately?

It’s Friday morning and I just dropped my baby girl off at her bus stop. As I was driving back down route 50 I reflected on yesterday’s individual workouts and was encouraged by the competitiveness of “The Bigs”. That’s the big men on the team if you’re not following. They competed in yesterday’s workouts and it was good to see. Coaching is so satisfying when you see young people grow and become more confident in themselves and their ability to go beyond what their minds initially thought they could. As I always tell the fellas though, one good day doesn’t make you a player. Anybody can have a good day (a broken clock is right twice a day), anybody can have a good week. Can you be consistent? Can you motivate yourself every time you step on the floor or wake up for that matter?

We will have a conditioning day today and we are participating in a parade tomorrow afternoon. We were invited by the mayor’s office to participate in the Parade of Champions in the city of Baltimore. The starting point is at Patterson Park but I’m not sure where it will end. It’ll be an opportunity for the fellas to receive some recognition for a successful season last year. We have to move on though and not continue to stay on last season because last season is exactly that, LAST season. We’ll have one more acknowledgement of last season when we receive our rings for winning the conference regular season title last year. We will get them right before we start our first official practice of the year on Midnight Madness. Man, let me go get my workout on cause my body keeps reminding me that the working out I did last week ain’t gonna carry me through this week! Anybody can have ONE good week huh? :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

No Pain...No Gain!

Individual workouts are done in groups of four. We generally put the point guards in a group, the 2 guards in a group, the wings in a group and the bigs in a group. They rotate in the gym every 35 minutes and go through a series of drills to fit their particular positions. This is the time to incorporate the shots the guys will get in the games and teach them the pace that we want to play. It also serves as a conditioner as well. The individual workouts are on opposite days of the team conditioning. I love this time of the year cause you have an opportunity to help guys get better, which is what you promise them during the recruiting process. So far the guys are working hard but we've had one pass out, one run to the rest room to vomit and one that couldn't finish a drill! They don't make em like they use to huh? It happens every year and whenever you try to prepare incoming guys for the difference in the level of preparation, they never truly understand until they hit that wall on the very first day. To quote one of the newcomers, "Coach, it's more than I expected, but I'll be aiight!" And in the words of Chuck Brown...."Sho your right!" :) We've got 3 more weeks of pre-season conditioning to go and it only gets worst! "Run Joe, Run Joe"....only the Go-Go folks will get that!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Boot Camp! Let's Get It On.....!

We started our conditioning program Monday afternoon. We put our guys through a test to gauge what kind of shape they are in and to no ones surprise...they still have a long way to go. The thing I will never understand is how a college athlete can ever really get out of shape. At the risk of sounding like Mr. Johnson(the old cat at the rec we all know who made us take our hat off every time we came in the door)...I wonder how a college athlete could ever get out of shape. I do realize that game shape is different but as a former college athlete...I always ran in the summers and worked at staying in some kind of shape. Hey, I would stay in shape just to avoid that burning you get in your chest when you just start to get into shape for the first time.

Just so you know, the guys generally improve their stamina once we complete the conditioning program but as a coach you would hope the new guys take heed to the returners forewarning them that the conditioning/ workouts are a BEAST dude! The next day consist of the individual workouts and then back to team conditioning the following day. It's an ongoing process that ends a couple of days before the first official day of practice, which always starts on the closest Friday to October 15th every season. That's Midnight Madness baby!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Pause for the Political Cause....Rock the Vote!

Vote People Vote! I just hope that people really get out and vote this November. The Presidential race, to me, is already written. People should still get out and vote so the process will truly represent the voice of the people. Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. I say that because of his ability to communicate, his ability to deal with adversity, his racial makeup, his ability to move people, his calm demeanor, his position on the issues and the fact that he likes hoops! Nah…just kidding on the hoops deal. He has succeeded despite the many obstacles he has faced. No one thought he would defeat Hillary Clinton either and I don’t think women will vote for McCain just because he put a woman on the ticket. I would think that that would be insulting to women to think they would vote for a candidate just because a woman is on his ticket. Sure some folks are voting for Obama because he’s black (some in the black community are and they shouldn’t) but the majorities are not. Plus the cat represents both races and the Democrats wouldn’t just put a candidate up just to get a particular segment of votes.

Hey, the Democratic Convention's audience had much more diversity in it than the Republican Convention did. The DNC also was livelier than the RNC. You talking about boring…hey but I watched it. One, to give them a fair chance to hear what they had to say and two, so I would know where they were coming from and what angle they were going to use. I had my children watch both for the same reasons. Aiight…enough of the political rhetoric but I really do hope people get out and Vote. A lot of folks have sacrificed their lives etc. for all of us to have a right to vote. I am Todd Bozeman and I approve this message…LOL!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back Where We Started From.....

Monday September 1st was a travel day home for us. We had breakfast at Elias Deli. This was a small spot we found the first day in Windsor and it worked. It was like our dining hall. The staff got use to seeing us everyday and it was simple and easy. The bus picked us up at 10 a.m and off through customs we went. As we crossed the bridge back over to the United States, the customs police were searching under cars that were in the long lines and searching the trunks of cars etc.. One officer got on our bus and checked our passports while the others checked under the bus and in the cargo areas. They try to make sure folks don't bring anything back into the United States that's not supposed to be there. We all know that's impossible but they try. The fact that the officer got on our bus and checked the passports actually helped us clear customs faster and we were on our way to the Detroit airport. On the way to the airport we notice that certain exits were blocked off as we rode by them. The bus driver made the comment that someone important must be coming through. Then we noticed the Obama caravan, with the big bus with smoked out windows and several official cars and trucks around it as it cruised down the freeway. We gave a peace sign to Barack and his people and proceeded to the airport where it was confirmed that Barack Obama was indeed in Detroit. We arrived at the airport at 10:45 a.m but our flight wasn't scheduled to depart until 1:40 p.m.

Why they had us connect through Chicago is beyond me but that's the route we had and you know we had to hit the Garrett popcorn spot once we hit the O'hara airport. A burger at Johnny Rockets and I was done for the day. While in the airport I watched some tape of the games we played and shared some of my thoughts with some of the guys on how they can improve. Tape is the best teacher cause it doesn't lie. We really didn't play bad but we do have a lot of work to do defensively. Glad we got a head start! B-more....we're baaacck!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Every Little Step We Take....You Will Be There

Game two was against the home/host team, the Windsor University Lancers. I really thought it would be tough for us to beat the home team especially since they lost their first game vs SIU. I thought the officials would make sure they shot enough free throws or that we wouldn't have enough players on the floor to finish. Hey...I'm just being honest. Look, we are playing FIBA rules, foreign teams and fans view American teams a little different and they were already 0-1 vs the US college teams. But, we won 70-59 and the guys played better. We still didn't shoot well from the free throw line but there were some positive spots and we will build on that during the pre-season work. Rogers Barnes and Ameer Ali led us in scoring and Marquise Kately even played, which makes a difference for us too. We probably could have gotten out of Windsor after the game but our flight was not scheduled until this morning. We will have breakfast at the same deli we've been eating at and catch the bus to the airport at 10 a.m. We are connecting through Chicago so, that means more Garrett's popcorn.

Again, win, lose or draw the extra practice time and the game experience is well worth the time. It was a good trip, the guys had a chance to bond and the youngsters got a chance to play. We learned a lot about our team and tried some new things so now we have a baseline. The guys really do seem to like each other now they just have to get in shape! We took another positive step!