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Pretty good discussion about this on another board. Some point to the lack of emphasis on skill development on the AAU level and the 1 on 1 "do yo thang" brand of ball it promotes for reasons why the game of basketball has digressed in the last 15-20 years.
I think that the rise of the Butlers and Gonzagas of the college game in addition to how much more polished foreign players as they invade the D1 and NBA levels show proof of how basketball skills have taken a back seat to the "showtime" brand of ball that is promoted in the AAU culture. How many guys can knock down a 1 dribble pull-up mid-range jump-shot off the glass from the short corner in todays game?
For basketball enthusiasts, feel free to chime in.
"The (All In) Family"
No doubt, AAU is now the primary learning ground for kids chasing a basketball dream. Many will play 75-100 games while only 25 or so during a high school season. The coaching is marginal, defense is a secondary idea, and the emphasis is on individual showcasing. The current college basketball recruit is now born from this environment. The exception might be in states like Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio where the game is still held in high regard and fundamentals respected.
I asked my wife this very question the other day. She played aau and her team finished second in the country her senior year in High School. She said with her AAU team it was girls from all over the state, I am sure it's the same with boys, and most of the time practice was scrimmage like just to get used to playing with each other. They don't really work on fundamentals, more work is on just playing with each other. Look at Trevor Lacey's team. He was on a team with Austin Rivers. There was no way that team really practiced.
I lost all interest in basketball around 2000 & IMO that isaround the time the game changed. I once really injoyed watching the college game but now wits just not fun to watch. Same with the NBA
By the way, I'd blame the style of basketball in the NBA far more than I would blame AAU for the "style" kids come to high school playing now.
I know a lot of folks want to bash AAU all the same, so just my opinion.
College Basketball is becoming very hard to watch. The game would be no more watched than College Baseball if it wasnt for the NCAA toruney. It seems every game I watch, that doesnt go into overtime, the score rarely gets into the 70's. The games are becoming more about the individual than the team. Everyone wants to be the hero. Look at the Lousiville kid the other night. They had 15 sec left on the clock and the kid wanting to be the hero walked the ball up the floor and took almost a half court shot. There was not one screen set, not one pass made, nor a shot made with enough time to maybe get a put back. That is not basketball it is more like pick up. Even when Indiana lost the other night why was not one player protecting the basket? They have .9 sec left and you give up an open layup is pathetic basketball. Another reason the game is poor now is the inconsistency in the way the game is called. A foul on one end isnt a foul on the other, especially when a team is on the road. Mike Greeny said it best this morn. "Until after the Super Bowl College Basketball is just backroud noise and after the Super Bowl I start to watch so I can be prepared to fill out my braket." I believe most people feel this way about a game that could be really enjoyable to watch if the above wasnt affecting the game.
I agree that the NBA has hurt the college game as well. When you see Lebron or Kobe walk up the floor with the ball and use the whole shot clock without a pass and take a contested shot. Kids think that this is the game of basketball.
No question for lots of AAU teams there is a lack of practice time and an almost complete lack of instruction on fundamentals. But I think the lack of players with a mid-range game can be related directly to the advent of the 3point shot. Kids spend an inordinate amount of time working on the 3 and completely neglect the other parts of the game. Additionally, there are very few really sound true post players and I think that is related to the introduction of the Euro influence on American basketball.
Perhaps the biggest problem for basketball development in the South especially is the implementation of very restrictive practice limits in high school. Kids are not coached very much by the high school coach and this retards the development greatly.
AAU has certainly been bad when it comes to recruiting. However, I don't think you can blame all of the lack of fundamentals on AAU. Officiating is the main problem with basketball these days, and in their defense, I don't think they know what they are supposed to call anymore. It all began with the Bad Boys of the Pistons and Pat Riley's Knick teams. Somewhere along the line, officials quit calling contact. The NBA figured out that they were losing fans because there was not enough scoring. They cleaned it up. You watch a NBA game now and there almost seems to be less contact than college. Officials now try to determine whether or not the contact effected the play rather than just calling contact. By doing this, coaches have figured out that if their team is not as good they can just grab, hold, and chuck the offensive players. They figure the officials can't call it all. These networks only allow 2 hrs. for each broadcast. I think they don't want a lot of free throws so officials let a lot of the extra bumps go and that keeps teams out of the bonus.
Jay Bilas seems to be on a mission about the officiating in college basketball and I hope he continues to draw attention to it. The only thing they have added to help the offense is the little charge circle around the goal. You let a guy lean on a screen these days and they get called for a moving screen. Meanwhile, the defender a lot of times is grabbing holding the offensive guy as he tries to go around that screen. Offensive guys cannot swing their elbows anymore. I was taught to "rip" the ball through if a guy was up on me. While swinging the elbows is different, the officials will go to the monitor for any contact above the head. I knew when a guy got a rebound that if I got too close I might get an elbow to the chin. Not anymore. Now coaches can teach their guys to get all the way up into the offensive player and the offensive player cannot do anything to get them off. Cutters are now being bumped in the lane as they try to cut thru. Shooters are getting ran over after they release the ball. A shot blocker may get a block clean up top but kill a guy with the body. If you have to worry about getting hit after your shot, you may not shoot as well.
Try watching a game anytime before 1990. It is crazy to see the space that is between the offensive and defensive guys.
I heard Tom Penders on the radio and he had a couple of interesting points I agree with. First, they need to add a 30 sec. shot clock. Then, they can get rid of the 5 sec closely guarded count. All officials call that different anyway. Guys are looking over at them all the time to see if they are counting cause they have no idea if they are or not. Also, I heard another guy talk about how high school does not have a shot clock and players do not grow up with it. Once they get to college they have to figure out what a good shot is or isn't in comparison to the clock. Not to mention, you get high school coaches that want to work clock and have scores in the 40's.
Anyway, AAU definitely has problems and needs to be cleaned up. I just don't think it is the biggest problem. I will say that the high school coach being undermined may be the biggest problem. If they could figure out a way that they could be involved more than just a couple of weeks of team camp in the summer it might help.
The NBA is thriving and those guys all played AAU. College and high school ball just needs to adjust.
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