One question you hear a lot from recruits and their families is “How will I fit in with the offense you guys play?” It seems to be an area of interest amongst recruits and their families to make sure they will fit in with your style of play.
For us it’s a tough question to answer. The reality is you will fit in at the University of Maine where you produce. It’s our job to make sure we fit our style of play to the talents of our players, and we allow the players to be themselves. It’s one of the reasons we value versatility as much as we do.
At Rhode Island College we made a living off of players who were versatile and didn’t fit into one position. Our approach was to discover where are guys were most comfortable and where they were at their best, and put them in a position to succeed. It took a while for me to learn this as a coach because most coaches want to be in complete control and dictate how things are done. By allowing your guys the freedom to play you feel like you are giving up control, when in reality you are getting the most out of them.
I always found that attempts to get players to fit into a certain box or force them into my style of play brought negative results. I discovered by allowing guys to play I learned a lot more than I thought about their ability. You might find that one of your big guys is an excellent 3-point shooter or that one of your guards can really score in the post. Without letting them play to their strengths you might never discover that. To get the most out of our players we need to be flexible and let them play – their strengths and weaknesses will come through very clearly. We then had to adapt to their strengths.
We can tell you all we want how you are going to fit in with us – if you are a big guy who likes to shoot 3’s, or a wing who likes to penetrate, we can talk plenty about how that will fit perfectly into our system. In recruiting you will usually here what you want to here. But the bottom line is you will fit in for us where you produce. But if you are big who likes to shoot 3’s but you don’t make very many of them, or a wing who penetrates a lot but turns the ball over, we aren’t going to tell you you can’t do that. You just won’t play very much.
So the answer is you will fit in where you produce. Your role for us will be to help us win, and that is it. Play to your natural ability and do what you do best – that is your best way to produce. It is our job to make sure our approach fits the way you play.