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Harried: Be Patient, Recognize Your Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Date:
    Jan 16, 2015

Herman Harried, currently in his 18th year as boys basketball coach at Lake Clifton Campus High School in Baltimore, Maryland, is this week’s USA Basketball Developmental Expert of the week.

Harried, who played for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse University in the mid-1980s, was named to USA Basketball’s Developmental National Team Committee in 2013. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach for the gold medalist USA Basketball men’s 2009 U16 National and 2010 U17 World Championship teams and at the 2005 Nike Hoop Summit. He was head coach of the 2006 USA Junior National Select Team that defeated a World Select Team to win the Nike Hoop Summit.

• Catching up with Coach Harried

Coach Harried took some time to answer questions that you submitted via Facebook and Twitter. Here are his responses: 


What is the best way to read a defense? -- Rakesh Maheshwari

You have to have patience. A lot of defenses are designed to give you a false look. So be patient, move the ball and see how the defense is reacting to the ball movement. From there, you can see if it’s a 2-3 zone, a 1-3-1, man-to-man or if they’re trapping. The key is to move the ball and see how they’re reacting.


As Coach, how can you maximize Players potential? -- Sharif Ahmed-Zeballos

By being very persistent, that’s the key. Reinforcement, repetition, working on drills. It’s important to recognize your players’ strengths and weaknesses. And continue to improve on both.


Do you think that athletes are more talented now than in the past? -- Elias Duarte-Lopez

I don’t think they’re any more talented than they were before. The media helps expose athletes more now than they did in the past. You’ve got a million web sites with about a million rankings. More high school games are being televised. So the exposure now is greater. Some people think the talent is better but I don’t think it’s any better. The difference is the exposure.


I always have trouble creating my own shot, any tips on that? -- Jacoby Fontanez-Muñoz

In order to create your own shot, a player must ask the question, “What am I good at?” So if you’re a shooter, work on drills getting open to get the shot off. If you’re a penetrator, work on drills to enhance your penetration skills. The thing is, just recognize your strengths, and then do a lot of drills to build on your strengths.


How do I go through USAB's coach licensing program? --  @payneinthetweet 

The new USA Basketball Youth Division is working hard to implement many new programs to empower coaches at all levels. I'm told the Coach Licensing Program will be launching in February, and it will be an excellent resource. In addition to checking back here at, a good way to find out when the Coach Licensing Program launches is to like the USAB Youth Facebook page.



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