We are excited to continue a lasting tradition of excellence in the Boys Basketball program here at Glen Allen High School. Therefore, to increase the level of competitiveness and success of our program, we must make cuts and “Team Selection” becomes a necessary component of the season.
Unfortunately for many student-athletes, we can only keep at MAXIMUM 30 players total in our program due to Virginia High School League rules stipulating that only 15 players may dress out for contests. Because we want all members of our program who show up for practice to dress out for games, 15 is the MAXIMUM we can and will keep. With 15 adolescents on the roster, however, it becomes very difficult to divide playing time effectively thus creating a negative “team” atmosphere. With the right group of student-athletes, we might be able to keep that many. But there are only 32 minutes in a game, and only 5 can play at one time. There simply isn’t enough playing time for every one of those 15 to be truly be happy with the amount of minutes they will play. We will attempt to avoid negativity this season by keeping a lower number of players on the roster and hopefully maximize each player’s chances at seeing time on the floor throughout the season. However, this does not guarantee playing time for all players who make the team. Playing time will be given to those athletes who are best prepared to perform at the varsity level during that game.
There are many factors that enter into “Team Selection” and this process is one of if not THE most difficult part of coaching. As coaches we try very hard to be fair in our judgment, as we fully realize the athlete’s desire to be a member of our teams and the disappointment that comes with not making the squad.
It is impossible to make a purely objective evaluation based entirely on the mastery of basketball skills or any other criteria. Too many other things have to be considered in order to build a successful program. Consequently, subjective evaluations are basically opinions and are open to many arguments both for and against these evaluations. Please keep in mind that the coaches have been hired as professionals to make these types of decisions. Also realize that the coaches want to make the teams and the program the best they can possibly be and will not exclude players they believe will accomplish this in the end.
Coaches will make selections based on the following general guidelines:
Players that embody the CORE VALUES of our Program. In the Summer of 2016, the coaching staff created a set of core values that our program will build upon. The student-athletes that represent our program must also represent these core values by placing “We Are” in front of these attributes:
WE ARE Grateful, Respectful, Intelligent, Tough, and Together. The acronym “G.R.I.T.T.” is used to display these values. We also believe the student-athletes who represent these values make our teams better, have a realistic chance to contribute to the varsity basketball team at some point in their career (if they are JV-caliber this year) and fit the available positions for the greatest benefit of the team.
More specifically, coaches will consider:
Is the player coachable? Does he listen intently to his coaches and apply what is being taught to the court? OR, is the player a “Know-It-All” who believes he doesn’t need to follow coaches’ direction?
Is he a team player OR is he selfish and believes he can do it all himself? Does he care that the TEAM wins or that he scores 20 points?
Does he speak positively with his teammates, offer words of encouragement, talk on defense in order to help his teammates? OR does he run his mouth to talk “smack” with his opponents, or worse still, negatively yell and point out the mistakes of his teammates?
Does he work hard ALL THE TIME, even when coaches AREN’T watching? Or does he get lazy in drill work or at various times throughout practice and/or games?
Is the player mentally tough enough to work through times of adversity? OR does he simply quit when things don’t go his way/sits on the bench/misses a shot/turns the ball over/gets beat on defense, gets fouled but doesn’t get the call, etc.? Has he quit the basketball team before?
Does the player truly enjoy stopping people on the defensive end? Does he understand the concepts behind both individual AND team defense? Zone and Man defense? OR is the player focused on offense only? Does he get lazy on the defensive end? Does he believe that he only has to stop HIS man?
Does he block out and attack the defensive glass every possession? Does he follow his own shot on the offensive end? Does he attack the offensive glass when his teammates shoot (3, 4, 5) or does he get back on defense to stop offensive transition (1, 2)? OR does he lazily watch shots go up from the perimeter making no attempt to box out or go after rebounds?
Does he have great shooting form, whether the ball goes in consistently or not (easier to correct “in-season”)? If he does not have great form, does the ball go in consistently or not (harder to correct “in-season”)? OR does he lack both great form and consistency?
Does the player take care of the basketball when it is in his hands? Does he make quick, strong moves when he catches the ball? Can he relieve defensive pressure easily and stay out of trouble? OR does he turn the ball over consistently? Does he find himself in trouble too often? Does he dribble too much, make too many moves? Does he dribble illegally or travel when he attempts to make a move?
Does the player possess great floor vision when he has the ball? Can he find the open teammate and deliver the ball effectively at the right time to allow his teammate to create a scoring opportunity? Does he make the “right pass” at the “right time”? Does he make bounce passes to post players? OR, does he turn the ball over consistently when trying to find an open teammate? Does he deliver the ball too late/too low/too high/too fast/too slow?
Does the player sprint the floor in transition from offense to defense, and vice versa? Does he sprint on and off the floor during substitutions? Does he sprint in-between drills and in conditioning drills in practice? OR, does the player play/move at his own pace, jogging or, worse, walking on the basketball court?
Does the player possess exceptional lateral quickness, especially on the defensive side of the ball? Is he able to free himself from the defense by changing speeds quickly on the offensive end? OR does he get beat easily on defense? Is he bothered by quicker players while he is on offense?
Does the player possess the ability to “jump out of the gym”? Can he use this ability to improve his overall game? OR can the player simply not jump well creating a disadvantage on rebounds, etc.?
Did the player arrive at tryouts physically ready to handle the entire basketball season? Can he complete sprints, practice, games without tiring easily? Is he able to play AS hard or harder in the final moments of practice or a game? OR does he tire too quickly, take too many breaks, and is otherwise physically unready to last until the 4th quarter, or until the end of the season (March)?
Other criteria that goes unmeasured but will be taken into account include attendance records, grades, teacher/administrator comments, and discipline issues on and off the court, and both past and present.
In addition to all of these things, the coaching staff must consider:
Was the player part of our JV team?
Are there any newcomers (freshman/transfers) to the school and what level of proficiency do they display?
What kind of offense/defense will we run this year and how do the players fit in this scheme?
Put simply, will this player be able to help this program be the most positive and successful program it can be this season?
By no means is this an all-inclusive list we use to evaluate players but it does cover many of the things we look for in the selection of our teams. We strive to use our best possible professional judgment, and, if we error, we try to do so by keeping more players on squads, rather than less. As always, we appreciate and value each student-athlete as an individual, but will base ALL decisions on what is best for the PROGRAM.