Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mark Price Shoots Straight

Marc Iavaroni said in his WHBQ56 Radio that Mark Price was working out with our point guards this off-season.

My first thought was GREAT! Mark Price was a damn good shooter and is considered the best point guard the Cleveland Cavaliers ever had in their history (unless you want to consider LeBron James a point guard of course). He was part of the highly successful Cavs teams of the 90s that included Brad Daughtery, John 'Hot Rod' Williams, Craig Ehlo and Larry Nance. They were generally recognized as one of the best teams in the league during the Chicago Bulls run and Mark Price was among the best point guards in the league. Why shouldn't we hire Mark to work with our guys?

Then I remembered that not every ex-player is a great coach. Is this just a publicity stunt or what? I am usually a little skeptical after all. So I did a little digging.

Mark is currently partnered up with Suwanee Sports Academy in Atlanta, Ga where he has the Mark Price Basketball School. The premises have 100,000 sq ft of area and 7 full sized basketball courts. Mark has a special program he runs called the Mark Price Shooting School where he holds clinics for high school players to teach them fundamentals. He utilizes the NOAH Shooting System that measures the arc of shots. That combined with the DartFish Technology system can really break down a shot for a player and show him what he is doing wrong and how he can improve.

Does it work? I don't know. I was told that 5 NBA teams utilize the Suwanee Sports Academy to help them so someone thinks it does.

Mike and Kyle didn't actually go down to the SSA campus however. I was told that Mark Price came up to Memphis to work with them here instead. I don't know if he brought the machine or the computer program with him.

So what do I know?

I know that Mark Price learned to shoot from his father. That is the same father who taught Gary Bowen how to shoot free throws. Who is Gary Bowen you ask? Gary Bowen was the first, and as far as I know, only coach in the NBA who is specifically charged with teaching players how to shoot free throws. Dallas has finished in the tops of the league in FT shooting since he was hired. I don't think that is just a coincidence. I know that Mark Price wants to increase his representation with the NBA and so wants to make a good impression every chance he gets. The people I talked with in Atlanta said that while their emphasis is on younger players Mark wants to focus on the pros. His work with Lowry and Conley is important for him to build his reputation.

And his work with Conley and Lowry is very important to the team. If our players can improve their perimeter shooting then the team will be far more dangerous than expected. Apparently Rudy Gay just missed the practice because of a scheduling conflict but the idea that the team is taking a professional approach to improving their shooting is very encouraging.

I don't know who to thank for bringing Mark Price to Memphis but I sure do like the way that person is thinking.


AC said...

After listening to the interview, it sounds like Price will be coming in monthly to work with whomever is available; Iavaroni mentioned that Rudy just missed the session, implying that he was intending to be there.

What I like about this is that the Griz have an exclusive arrangement with Price's academy, and that even in the offseason, when other teams have access, Griz players will have priority. Since the team lost its last dedicated shooting coach after the Hubie era (forgive me, I can't remember his name) free throw shooting, and shooting overall, has been noticably down. I really like this move.

Eric said...

Is Mark a good coach? He got fired after 5 games in his last head coaching job in Australia. In short no, he's no good.

Anonymous said...

hey eric...that is head coaching

not shoot coaching

big difference

so he maybe good this time