In basketball, much attention is paid to the players, and rightfully so. But watching a good coaching duel develop can be like watching a work of art being created in front of you.
TheDribbleDrop has always appreciated all facets of the game and will be linking with a distinguished high school basketball coaches every week to discuss the ins and outs of the game and what happens in-between the lines.
This week, Franklin High head coach Audrey Taylor. Coach Taylor was NJ.com 2017 coach on the year. During our interview she discusses the her offensive philosophy, creating the right environment in practice and more .
By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop on IG and Twitter
TheDribbleDrop: Coach for those who don’t know, tell us a little bit about your coaching background.
Coach Taylor: I've been coaching for 20 plus years. I’ve been the head coach at Franklin High for the past eight years. I eat, live and breathe basketball. If I’m not coaching here at Franklin High, I’m developing kids from 2nd grade up. All I do is basketball.
TheDribbleDrop: If you were use one word to describe your coaching style, what would it be and why?
Coach Taylor: Aggressive. I believe it mirrors my style of play when I played in college. I was an aggressive player. I valued defense as a player and I still hold it at a high regard now. Everything starts with defense with me.
TheDribbleDrop: How do you get the guys comfortable with your style of play early in the season?
Coach Taylor: A big thing that we work on it communicating with one another. How to communicate on defense and how to rotate on the fly in situations. We do a lot of intense game simulation drills and focus on pressure.
TheDribbleDrop: Tell us a bit about the environment in practice and some things you highlight every day.
Coach Taylor: I would say that it’s intense. We focus a lot on conditioning as a well. I like to get up and down so we do a lot of conditioning.
TheDribbleDrop: Offensively, what is your ideal style of play? Do you prefer a free flowing, fast paced transition game, or a more detailed and structured offensive approach.
Coach Taylor: I would say a controlled transition. I like to be able to get up and down but it’s important to pay attention to angles and spacing. The details matter. One move should set up another situation.
TheDribbleDrop: In the half court, do you prefer a "less structure is more" approach, or do you prefer a more layered offensive approach?
Coach Taylor: In the half court we stress hard cuts and good passes. Penetrating and kicking. Everything is based on movement. With that being said, l have always been a “less is more” type of coach offensively.
When you are dealing with high school kids, making them think a lot can be a bit much unless you are running that one main set all year round. You tend to get one or two players that can’t run the play you want a certain way. I focus more on reads. Observing how the defense plays you and how to attack it.
TheDribbleDrop: You have a dynamic player in Diamond Miller. What are some things you do to free her up?
Coach Taylor: With her spacing is key. I constantly stress spacing on the court which allows her room to work. She’s a special player that can create things on her own if the spacing is right. We also try to run her through screens depending on how the defense is playing her.
TheDribbleDrop: How do you gauge success at Franklin?
Coach Taylor: Growth. If we can go from game one to game two and learn from our mistakes I view that as success. Our end of the year goal is to win a championship. To do that we have to learn from early season mistakes and learn how to close out games. If we have adjusted late in the season and can find ways to win down the stretch, then I view that as a success.