The first ever CLF Showcase; Summary of the day. How and why coaches at all levels, all over the wo
Updated: Apr 13
**As stated at end of the article; You can register here for both the information pack and also access to the footage from the event here: https://bit.ly/31OAjXz **
In April 2019 Coach Liam Flynn reached out to me to begin discussions on a unique event for Adelaide. He was sounding out my views on the value the event could add to Adelaide athletes, basketball in Adelaide in general, and if there would be value to college coaches, pro coaches for that matter, to evaluate prospects in the event.
PICTURED: Coach Liam Flynn with members of the German All Star team in the league's All Star game, a game he was an Assistant Coach in.
Having been involved with the first-ever Basketball Australia CoE prospects combine (👉 Basketball Australia's College Prospects Combine) and attended the 2nd one as an observer two years after (👉 Basketball Australia Prospects Camp. About this camp and the first one; Where are they now?) I had seen how these kinds of exposure events work first hand and thought Liam's concept would be a great idea too. Obviously, due to recruiting and evaluation windows coaches could not be present at this event so compiling quality information and footage from this non-live event was critical.
PICTURED: Quite a number of talented athletes from Adelaide's Sudanese born Australian community took part in the CLF Showcase. Here we have Ayual Garang pictured clearly.
The event Coach Flynn was proposing was going to showcase athletes from around South Australia and hopefully Australia, offer them some high-level player development, coaching and expose them to an environment where they were playing games and competing with each other as well. At the High Performance Hoops Network, we have had quite a few approaches for this kind of thing and generally, we’ve decided not to be involved. However, with the changes in the NCAA evaluation calendar for kids in AAU being reduced to only 1 week, the fact this event was to be set up by Coach Flynn, who is renowned for running outstanding player development events in Adelaide, as well as the talent levels currently in South Australia in the relevant age groups for this event we felt it would be an outstanding concept to support. We then approached a range of Division 1 college coaches for feedback on various aspects of the event and we were fortunate to receive some valued input from them. It was decided that this event would really help athletes in Adelaide, and coaches abroad to recruit them, so Coach Flynn started putting it all together.
The event was advertised through social media, and each South Australian club had a person involved in providing talent ID insights and knowledge on the athletes within their club. This support at club level was needed to both target talented guys for the showcase but also because we could only accept 40 participants, these people would help provide evaluations on the athletes to assist with selections. As expected, the event was oversubscribed and these advisors were very useful in helping to select the most suitable applicants. Probably without exception, barring injuries to a few guys, the best talent in South Australia in these age groups took part in the day. High level prospects from interstate also traveled over to take part, which was impressive to see for an event in the first year.
The showcase took place on August 4 and from an organisation, player development and capturing data and footage on the athletes it was a resounding success as we expected with Coach Flynn organising and running it. We’ve had just over 80 professional and college coaches show support for the event so far. Over the coming weeks we expect that number to grow significantly as we've completed the compiling of footage and information into a coaches' pack. Registration is open to anyone from the public and it is 100% free for them to register too. Joey Wright of the Adelaide 36ers talking about the event and how much he values player talent ID and development too;
"“At the 36ers, we have enjoyed been a part of the development of a lot of young athletes from SA and abroad coming in as development and training players over the past years, including top South Australian players prior to heading to college. We track talent both playing in SA and the kids from here in college probably more than people realise."
Joey continues, "Just this offseason myself and my staff have enjoyed working out with guys back home from college. We want to do whatever we can to support their aspirations and development and the CLF Showcase seems like a great opportunity for us to do that, right here in Adelaide. We’ll definitely have our fingers on the pulse on August 4 and looking forward to checking and evaluating the talent out there on the court.”
Coaches involved in the day were fantastic. For me personally, it was awesome to work with coaches I have worked with a lot in various capacities over many years and with long-established relationships. We had long term pro with multiple championships, multiple Premier League title-winning Coach Rupert Sapwell. Jason Williams who assists our state teams and also won multiple titles with the 36ers. Tom Giles, who played D1 juniors, Premier League and High School ball in the USA. Alex Mudronja, a former Featured Athlete at www.HighPerformanceHoopsNetwork.com, also formerly at the CoE, college player with St Mary's Gaels and now in his first year of a 3 year deal with the 36ers. And of course Coach Flynn himself. The collective knowledge, enthusiasm and experience of the coaching group was awesome to be around.
PICTURED: Alex Mudronja, who recently inked a 3 year deal with the Adelaide 36ers, also a former featured athlete of www.HighPerformanceHoopsNetwork.com was one of the outstanding coaches in the showcase.
Prior to the day Coach Flynn was thorough in his preparation, and wanting to test the athletes basketball IQ and understanding so he forwarded participants a playbook to study up on in preparation. Liam stating the purpose of this process "Before I go into the house keeping notes, part of being a professional athlete or a student-athlete is taking responsibility for your correspondence and communication with your coaches (its not up to your parents to email me). Please reply to emails in a timely manner, especially if there has been a request of you (as there is below). Thanks for your help here. "
PICTURED: Coach Liam Flynn, an outstanding clinician, working with several of the 40 campers that took part in the event.
Included the playbook he included 4 set plays, 1 bob and 1 sob play. Was really impressed on the day walking around and seeing printed copies of playbooks by many of the athletes playbooks with handwritten notes and circles. Prior to playing they had some time to break off into groups and take each other through the sets and it really stood out which guys had studied up on the plays and which ones had not.
One guy that stood out was Central Districts Premier League player Isaac Atuer (6'0'' PG, Class of 2020) Isaac at 6'0'' is small in stature but as a PG he makes up for that in leadership and IQ. He was running the show on his ring taking players through the finer points of each set, getting guys organised and ready for their games.
My favourite set out of the playbook was 5 under. I liked it because it had a lot of early player movement an good action for a post feed, and some screen the screener action that can be used as a post feed automatic or an action to create space for the next pass. As someone that runs a lot of horns I feel this is a nice little addition to my horns playbook. Here is the set:
The first part of the day was physical testing.
The following anthropometry were tested:
Athletic capabilities were tested too:
Vertical leap (standing)
1/2 court sprint
Lane agility test
Finally, it was some shooting tests:
NBA 100 - Timed for for mins. 5 spots, start outside 3 pt line. 3s are worth 3, mid range pullup worth 2, layup worth 1. Keep shooting 3 till you miss at a spot, then keep shooting mid range till you miss, then shoot 1 layup and move to next spot.
5 mins of 3s - 1 ball, 1 rebounder
Layups in 2 mins (1 pt for layup, 2 pts for a dunk)
PICTURED: Outstanding facilities,excellent athletes and coaches, a typical CLF event.
In regards to bodytypes there were some impressive dimensions showing these guys had some big potential. Magok Manyang (6'7'' Wing 2020 prospect) was tested at 6'7'' with a 7'0'' wing span and Ethan Bryan (6'7'' PF/Wing, 2021 prospect) also having the same measurements. These guys have NBA length and both have skillsets to go with it suggesting they are excellent prospects. Of course Ben Griscti and Lewis Rowe, 2 of the state's best big men, came in at 6'11'', both with good skillsets for their size and rapidly evolving athleticsm and speed too.
VIDEO: A package of good plays from the event. Check it out and register for more information and footage.
When it came to vertical leaps we broke down measurements into athletes above 6'6'' and athletes below. Cameron Huefner (2020 prospect, 6'7'' tall, 6'8'' wingspan, 28.35 inch vert), Hayden Meakes (2020 prospect, 6'7'' tall, 6'8'' wingspan, 28.35 inch vert) and Magok Manyang (2020 prospect, 6'7'' tall, 7'0'' wingspan, 27.56 inch vert) all having very impressive combinations of height, length and vertical. To understand how impressive these combinations of length and athleticsm were we can observe the leaps of athletes from this past year's NBA draft camp, these guys showing they have NBA level athleticsm to go with size that puts them in contention too.
PICTURED: NBA draft combine scores. Some athletes in the event had NBA length and athleticism. https://stats.nba.com/draft/combine/
In the under 6'6'' category for vertical leap NSW player Earvin Dizon (6'3'' tall, 6'6'' wingspan, 30.31 inch vertical). 15 years old rapidly emerging SA talent Josh Clifton (6'5'' wing, 2023 prospect) was also impressive (6'5'' height, 6'4'' wingspan, 29.92 inch vertical) with a multidimensional skillset and lots of growth and development to go coaches should be keeping an eye on Josh all over the country.
In the past we've laid claim to Joel Dyer (5'9'' PG, 2020 prospect) being the best shooter in the world in his age group (👉 How I developed an elite, world class skillset). He showed this when his club team emerged as the probably the best club team in history out of South Australia at the Melbourne Classics Grand Final and recently at AAU tournaments in LA and Vegas. For the showcase, among some great talent, he dominated the shooting drills. In the NBA 100 drill Joel's score was 85, with the next closest being 55. In the 5 mins of 3s his score was 54, also winning that drill.
Impressive too, in the 5 mins of 3s, in the 6'6'' and above category, was Logan Kyle (6'6'' Wing, 2019 prospect) one of our interstate participants, with 48. At 6'6'' with good athleticsm, toughness and able to shoot 3 ball Logan seems to have all the tools, and we are looking forward to following his journey. Likewise, the ever-improving and developing Toby Woolcock (6'6'' Combo Guard, 2021 prospect), at 6'6', won the NBA 100 shooting drill with a score of 55 in the 6'6'' and above height range. Toby is an intriguing 2021 prospect with a good combination of size and skills.
After the few hours of testing it was time for some instructional sessions. Coach Flynn wanted to make sure the games were well organised and structured but just as importantly help participants learn some key, advanced concepts to take away from the event. Coach emphasising the following points leading in to this phase:
We want to do a lot of teaching rather than just scrimmage
We will use different terminology. Learn the language for here. When you're in Japan you speak Japanese.
We worked on packline defense in the first stage emphasising:
Impact the ball, inside hand up. We wanted to disrupt the ball without giving up straightline drives.
Playing long on and off the ball.
Shrink the court off the ball by being in the driving lanes
Vision - "see it"
Chest block middle drives
We then moved into ball screen coverages where we worked on ball screen coverages; hard hedge, switch and flat coverage.
After working on D principles and coverages it was time to move into O. Main thing I found interesting was Coach Flynn liked to run sets out of non-dead ball changes of posession. I tend to run single or two action super quick sets into motion (or whatever you want to call your principle-based offense) on non-deadballs. We were looking to push the ball in early trans, find an advantage and if there was not advantage pull it and run a set. The sets were called shoulder, shirt, 5 under (as shown above). All could be started from a horns configuration. On a make the offense was spin which was similar to flow (👉 3 side actions in the Australian (.... And Lithuania.... umm Duke too) flow offense) but on the 2nd ball reversal the guard would be on the seam to catch the ball instead of the big man and the guard would get a high pick and roll aka punch screen from the big man.
Then it moved into games. It was interesting to see that with such limited prep which guys took the lead and which guys had great understanding of the concepts and the whys behind each set, as well as figuring out some counters without being told. Earvin Dizon, Isaac Atuer, Sebastian Griffin, Taine Mitchell were guys that I noticed oozing leadership in the games (I am sure there were many more too),
Games were really solid. The athletes were tired as it was a long day but this was also interesting to observe guys that could still play at a high level under mental and physical fatigure.
By the end of the day it had been a roaring success in the eyes of everyone involved.
It is now time for coaches at colleges and pro clubs (anywhere for that matter because it is open to the public) to register for information and footage. It is free to register and open to the public and therefore complies with all NCAA requirements for college coaches to register. The type of information you get is all the physical testing measurements, get to know each athlete through their responses to various questions we asked. Here is an example of the kind of information you will get on each athlete:
The film has been put together by Lennon Cooper of Flix Productions (https://www.flixproductions.com.au/). Lennon is the best basketball filmmaker in the country, here is some of his amazing work he has done on the NBA:
Coaches accessing the footage will have access to multiple streams and watching the streams with handbook in hand coaches from the pros, to high majors to junior colleges, at all levels, anywhere in the world will find talent they are looking for.
So excited by what the future holds for this event as it develops and grows form year 1 and we can't wait to run it bigger and better next year too.
You can register here for both the information pack and also access to the footage from the eventhere: https://bit.ly/31OAjXz