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......