Keeping Up With Hank Raymonds

Former Marquette Head Coach Hank Raymonds spoke with MarquetteHoops.con's John Dodds recently and here is part two of the Q & A. In this segment Coach Raymonds talks about some of the differences of the college game today as opposed to when he coached in the late '70s & early '80s.

John Dodds: Coach, the game today, it has the 35-second shot clock and the three-point line, how is the game different from 25 years ago when you coached?

Hank Raymonds: I tell everybody today the rules tell you how to play. They tell you how to play. You've got to shoot and it's the three. You're only 10 seconds different from the pros and the 24-second clock verses 35. Otherwise, you would be playing a pro game, so there is a big difference, and I think you plan now, you have to play. Years ago you didn't have to play. You could hold the ball, peel it, knead it, make other teams play you, and you could really coach. Now you can still coach today and decide what defense is to play, whether they are going to change and things of this nature. But you have to play a certain way, John (fast pace, threes), there is no way that you can stop.

John Dodds: I don't know if you saw the HBO shows about John Wooden and the UCLA dynasty, but in the 60s and 70s, UCLA showcased its major weapon, the 2-2-1 full court zone press. But that reminded me that you guys at Marquette had a suffocating 2-2-1 press, too. Why don't you see the 2-2-1 press done that much anymore? Are the guards too good?

Hank Raymonds: No, I have no idea because I think today what you do is keep changing defenses, that's the way you get teams to throw the damn ball away. You start making them think a little bit. But Marquette tried it a few times this year with the press. There should be more half court press. And the other thing is the clock is running down. Let's say the clock is running down and it appears they are going to have to go maybe, they are going to go for the last shot, now what you do is go in the zone. You change it. Now they are not going to drive down that damn middle on you like they are doing now with the one-four or whatever the heck you want to call it. That's all their doing. You see the pros. They all do the same thing. Just go into a zone.

John Dodds: If you were playing against a more patterned offense like the Swing, would you want to go token pressure in the back court so they waste about five seconds on the clock, come over to half court and they don't have enough time to do the rotations?

Hank Raymonds: You always should put pressure on the ball, John. You don't let people to do what they want. You dictate and that's what today I don't think they do enough of. They let people handle the ball. You've got to get up on people. Pick and roll just like the pros, they (college players) can't handle the pick and roll. There are only five things you can do against the pick and roll. Only five things. And if you can practice those and work on them. Today the college teams play the center out high against the pick and roll. The center! He's outside all the time. I see whenever he's got somebody open under the basket, you guys either have to double up and really get the guy or you've got to switch. You can't be jerking around and then you get your big guy stuck out there.

John Dodds: Coach, they say there are three stages of life:

* Stage 1: You are too young

* Stage 2: You are too old

* Stage 3: You look good

Coach, at 83, you look great! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.

Hank Raymonds: Thanks John, I would love to get back in coaching. I don't want to recruit but I'll coach!!

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