2021-22 Season

Podcast: Why coaches should rethink two-foul autobench, more defensive issues vs. Nebraska & Purdue preview

Dylan and Eric break down Michigan’s win over Nebraska and where the Wolverines stand entering the final few weeks of the season. Then they dive into a quick look ahead at Purdue.

Listen to “Why coaches should rethink two-foul autobench, more defensive issues vs. Nebraska & Purdue preview” on Spreaker.

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Notable Replies

  1. eric_shap

    This is the play I was referencing on the pod re: Houstan’s process

  2. quickdarshan

    Terrible job boxing out by Nebraska there. Williams got right to the hoop to give Michigan a man advantage on that board.

  3. silverblue

    Let me just say this, the title implies that coaches don’t really think about how fouls might play into their decisions to sit a player or allow a player to continue to play with fouls, two or three fouls for instance,
    or what some would call, “foul trouble.” The term “autobench” itself, literally, suggests that there is no thought process by the coach during the course of the game, but rather that it is “automatic,” no thought just “automatic,” and predetermined. As one who sat on the bench (actually I was up and off the bench a LOT except during the "seatbelt"era), as one who has been there and made those decisions, that suggestion or implication bothers me more than just a little.

    When I was coaching the decision, for me, to play or sit a player who was in some level of foul trouble, depended on many factors. How was the game being played? How was the game being officiated? Were these officials consistent in their calls? Was the game being officiated tightly or loosely? What was the maturity level and discipline of the player who had gotten into foul trouble? What was the momentum of the game and how would/could it be affected by my decision. And other factors, too, were all part of it. It wasn’t “automatic,” it was thoughtful and not haphazard.

    I spent so much time OFF THE FLOOR, too, thinking about and planning about a lot, offenses, defenses, press break, so much, and I also thought about playing time for my players, and it was important. It was not taken lightly. It depended a lot on the circumstances of the game

    Folks will respond, in all likelihood, to my comment here, with all kinds of statistics and analyses, and that’s great, and it can certainly be helpful, but there are human factors, too, and they must be considered in decision making. I know this is a different world than the one in which I coached, and that’s terrific. It’s GOOG stuff. I hope coaches utilize those statistics and analyses when making the decisions they make, but the human factors I mentioned must be considered in their decision making, too.

    I think fans often don’t really stop to think about what really goes into the decisions coaches make. If they’ve never sat on the bench and had to make those decisions during the “heat of the battle” I suppose that’s understandable. It’s always easier to criticize or to simplify the process than it is put oneself in the arena, to enter the fray, to join the fight.

    Coaches make decisions, and they’re held responsible for those decisions. And they should be. They live in a fishbowl where EVERYONE gets to watch and critique every decision they make. And people do. I suppose some decisions “may” be automatic, but usually there is more thought that goes into coaches’ decisions than people may realize. And they WILL be held responsible for the decisions they make. As I said, that is as it should be. There will be a result, and it WILL be up there on the scoreboard, and that is as it should be, too. But not everything is as people think it may be.

    “Autobench” is a convenient term to use, it’s simple and it’s easy, except that it isn’t always automatic. There are reasons decisions are made, and they are oftentimes made thoughtfully, by very human people, human people who are very competitive and who want to win. I know this because I sat on that bench and I made those decisions, and my decisions were made with thought even in the “heat of the battle.” Juwan is SO much better than I ever was, and I can assure you he is a very thoughtful man and a coach who REALLY wants to win!

    Again, sorry for the length of this, but the very use of the term “autobench” makes me bristle with consternation.

  4. umhoops

    Did you listen to the discussion about it? Or just commenting on the headline?

  5. ChathaM1

    Ugh, I had totally forgotten about that era. As an official, that was terrible. Not only was it one more bench rule that had to be enforced, but it also often made it difficult to have a productive conversation with a coach. I think it was a rule that was intended to make life easier for officials, but it actually made life worse.

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