Didn’t get many opportunities to crow about our successes this year (we just won our fourth game), but two things happened last night that made me so pleased I had to highlight them. This is our first full year with R&R. I do believe that without the R&R, we don’t win any games. First, the light bulb went on for a few of the girls last night. (we’ll have to wait and see if it stays on!) We’ve been struggling with forcing passes to the first cutter, and either turning it over, or putting the cutter in a difficult position when the weak side defender came to help just as she received the ball. Remember, this is happening on the first cut, so the defenders have lined up correctly initially, and we usually end up double teamed, and throwing it away. In the second half last night, I decided to track the number of passes and the outcome. Here it is – the number is the number of passes per possession, and x is a missed shot or turnover, and o is a made basket, an F is a foul, and FT are free throws we took as a result of a foul. (the first three are 3 passes, missed. 5 passes, made. 1 pass, missed) 3x 5o 1x 2x 3F 1F FT FT 1x 1x 6x great kickout for a 3pt look 5o 1 FT FT 2F 2F 2x 3pt kickout 0F FT (fouled coming out of bounds) 6F FT 4x 1x bad 3pt look 1x another bad 3pt look 2x 4o 5o 1x 2o I put this on the board after the game, and the girls noticed immediately that our chances of success go way up when we pass the ball 4 or more times. 7 possessions, 4 scores, 2 misses (but one was a great look on a kickout for 3), a 1 time we were fouled and shot foul shots. On those possessions where we only made 3 or less passes, we weren’t as successful. 17 possessions, 1 score, 9 misses, 7 possessions where we were fouled. The second thing we did is we have worked on running our offense as a stall, where we only take uncontested layups, but disguise the fact that we aren’t holding onto the ball. With 2:27 to go in the game, and up by 2, we called timeout and went to our stall. We worked over a minute off of the clock before the other coach realized what we were doing and decided to foul with 1:20 to go. We ended up winning by 5, but were up 8 when they threw in a three from half court as time ran out. As I type this, I guess the third thing is we made clutch free throws at the end of a close game.