Texas Tech Hoops – Notes on Chris Beard from NABC

Searching for articles on the internet to find some insight to Chris Beard’s coaching style, I stumbled upon the website run by Army men’s basketball Assistant Coach Zak Boisvert. It is a great site with a lot of X’s & O’s breakdowns, articles, and it also has clinic notes. In his clinic notes section he writes his own electronic notes from various coaching conferences and clinics that he attends. A really cool site for you basketball junkies like myself to check out.


It so happens he attended the NABC Convention back in April. The National Association of Basketball Coaches Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA Men’s Final Four, is the nation’s premier professional development and networking event for basketball coaches. This past Final Four was held here in Houston where I live, and I did get to make it to watch the tourney in person. It was such a special event.

Shifting through Boisvert’s clinic notes you will find his jottings on listening to Chris Beard at the NABC Convention. It was written during the brief 19 day commitment form Coach Beard to UNLV, so the title is labeled “CHRIS BEARD (UNLV) CLINIC NOTES”. Yet, you can just dismiss the title. Here are a few cool things that stood out to me…

Relationships with your players – Beard keeps a small note on his desk at all times that has each player’s name on it. Beard wants to have face-to-face interaction with each kid every single day. He will place a check-mark next to the kid’s name as he goes. He replaces the card the next day and goes through it again.

That is extremely significant. Some coaches like to be the head guy in charge, and let their assistants get close to the players. To me it seems that Chris Beard really cares about his team, and he has a goal to develop a real relationship with his guys. It makes it that much easier for the team to fight for Coach Beard on the court. Just take a look at the Rice, WVU, and K-State games.

Coach Beard, “The most sacred thing in our program is honesty. We won’t tolerate liars.”

That is the key to trust in about everything in life. Honesty is crucial, and I am happy that Coach Beard will implement this into the Texas Tech basketball program. I do not get the feeling that anything shady or unethical will be happening with him running the show.

Advice from Bobby Knight, “I hope you understand that the reason we’re having this meeting (Knight, on the brink of taking the Texas Tech job, had agreed to meet Beard in the Oklahoma City airport) because your body of work has created respect from people you may not even realize (Knight had spoken to two people — Mike Kundstadt, Texas’ premier high school basketball talent evaluator, and Jerry Mullens, arguably the most knowledgeable junior college talent evaluator in the country — who Beard had made an impression on).

Chris Beard – “You never know which relationship is going to lead to your big break. I didn’t even have much of a relationship with Jerry. It was just about him observing my teams. You never know who’s watching.”

I love it! This is such a great recipe for success. Always work hard to make great impressions on people, because you have no clue who will be the guy to catapult you to the next level… or who is actually observing your work from a distance.

3 types of screens in their motion:
1.Down Screens
2.Back Screens (“We love to re-screen this one.”)
3.Flare Screens

If you have been watching the motion offense this season with our Red Raiders, you will see a lot of ball movement. A down screen is when our player runs from the top of the key or three-point line to screen an opponents man under the basket. This allows our other baseline player to pop out to the top of the key or outside the three-point line.

The back screen occurs when the post/inside player sets a screen away from the ball on the opponents back. The lets our guard/outside player slash and attack the rim.

The flare screen is a set where it is a back screen to the perimeter players opponent from another teammate. It usually takes 2 passes, but the perimeter player that started the pass will end up with the open shot or open drive to the basket. Take a look at examples below –

There are a lot of different ways to run the screens, and Beard will mix in some variations. But, our motion offense is a pretty thing to watch when we are making our shots. K-State probably did the best to slow us down this season getting on the open guy by anticipating our screens. We also seem to have trouble sometimes when teams switch to a zone defense.

Individual Development: “I’ve never coached a good 3:30 guy. Individual development happens when guys spend time on the court outside team practice. You don’t win championships with 3:30 guys.”

This is so true, you need guys that want to win and are willing to practice on their own time to get better. I’m sure that comes with Coach Beard and his staff’s recruitment of these type of players. They want to pick guys that will go the extra effort to work on three-pointers and free-throws themselves after practice is over.

All in all, the clinic notes really helped me gain some knowledge into what Chris Beard is trying to do with the team to get them better. It seems to be working. Now on to an away game on Saturday with a nothing to lose Oklahoma team in Norman. Unfortunately I had to cancel my flight out of Houston and hotel to get to the game because of a winter ice storm advisory in the area. We didn’t want to bring the baby on those icy roads and in those sort of conditions. I hope our team stays safe and has successful travels to Norman. Wreck ’em Tech!!!


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