Is there a right number as far as how many players to keep on Varsity?

Discussion in 'About Anything' started by James LaMacchia, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Would love a some feedback on how many players you have kept on your teams and the Pros and Cons of each?

    I am a first year varsity coach with some good returning talent, and 4 seniors that did not play last year.

    1st senior: 6:4 somewhat athletic, but a very soft and unmotivated at times. Could he help me? Sure he is battling for backup minutes behind my starting big.


    2nd Senior: He did not play last year as he had a ton of family issues, i pulled him up as a freshmen my first year as the JV coach and he was starting by the end of the year. Second year scored and rebounded the ball as well as anybody in the program, should have been pulled up to Varsity and then his Junior year (This past season did not play) Plays hard, tough kid, is a type of kid that will raise the level of intensity and has been nothing but a pleasure to be around.

    3rd Senior: Tore his knee up and did not play last year. He is also battling for backup minutes with the 1st Senior. Limited but a great kid. His Mom came after me before i was even voted in as the coach and tried to get the AAU guy in and went to the President of the school board to try to make it so i was not voted in. Lol, don't or will never take it out on the kid, but he is a boarder line player.

    4th Senior: There are two -first team all league guards that are going to be seniors who are the best in our area, this guard was even or a little better when they were all on JV two years ago. He has lost a lot from two years ago, but will be my starting point guard.


    There are 6 Seniors and 1 Junior (Stud) returning from last years team. So including the 4 seniors above with the 7 returning that is 11 players.

    There are 10 incoming Juniors coming in with 6 that will make the team for sure.

    That is 21 players trying out.

    My main question is how many?

    12?

    13?

    14?

    15?

    Not an ideal situation to walk into, the good thing is, i have coached all the these kids from the time they have left Modified basketball. 4 of the incoming juniors could not help me next season either and will most likely be cut.

    Thanks and looking forward to the different opinions on how many kids other coaches do things in regards. I realize numbers are always based on year to year situations. But if you do go with a set number each year, why? Why Not?

    Thanks
  2. Coach VK New Member

    It all depends on who will play next year as juniors and who will not complain about sitting out. I like keeping alot of kids but if they are juniors who won't play for 2 years or a senior who won't play at all, it is only going to be problems (parent not kid usually). If you have a good assistant, then more players is not a practice problem, merely a game problem.
  3. coachberno New Member

    For a number of seasons I was assistant to a very good coach on an open-age men's team (here in Australia club basketball is big, not school basketball), and here was his take on the numbers issue:

    He always wanted to have at least 15 players at practice. He believed in scrimmaging a lot but only if it was intense, focused scrimmage. Having 15 players means that if your team loses, you all have to sit off - it does wonders to keep the intensity up.

    So 15 players was the minimum, 16 was the best number because you could play 4 on 4 at each end, and still have 3 teams for scrimmage even if someone got hurt. 17 was still pretty good, 18, 19 became a bit crowded with everyone on one court, and 20 was better than 19 because you could play 5 on 5 at each end, or play super-fast paced fullcourt games with 4 groups of 5. More than 20 was a bit too many.

    So my head coach would usually have a training squad of around 21-24, meaning that with injuries, work commitments etc. there would usually be 15-20 guys at training. Another benefit of the large squads was that occasionally a player who would otherwise have been cut would improve more than anyone had expected and end up playing a role on the team. One important thing, though, was he always upfront with players. If he didn't envisage them playing much that season he'd let them know as early as possible so that if they weren't satisfied just training they could go somewhere else.

    Basically, it was a philosophy based on a love of the game and a desire to help players improve. If you were happy to just train, and you were up to the standard of the training sessions, and the sessions weren't too crowded, you were welcome.

    However, your situation is obviously a bit different - primarily because you've got a JV team as well. I don't know if I've been much help, just offering a different perspective.
  4. Rod Briggs New Member

    I would keep only enough to practice and I would keep some young players. Way too many seniors in my opinion.

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