6 Ways to Become a Better Basketball Player

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As with any other sport, becoming a good basketball player takes a huge amount of hard work, dedication and perseverance. Of course, it’s not as simple as just spending every day working on your shooting skills, as there is a lot more to basketball than just tossing a ball through a hoop. With this in mind, here are six ways to boost your skills and hopefully become a better basketball player.

Sweat Your Way to Success

If you want to become a better basketball player, you have to be ready and willing to work for it. This means spending countless hours in the gym and on the court to continually improve your physical fitness and skills. A basketball academy or camp will only take you so far. No amount of skills training will matter if you’re not willing to put in the time and work to actually practice what you’ve learned and improve yourself.

Pay Attention to the Mental Side of the Game

The physical side of the game is only one part of the equation. You’ve got to be mentally tough in order to have a chance of making it. This means not letting yourself get discouraged by a bad game or unfair calls and also being mentally prepared to stay calm, cool and collected under pressure. In short, focusing on the mental side of the game will allow you to become someone that your teammates know they can rely on when the going gets tough.

Skills Training Is Key

When we said, ‘Sweat your way to success,’ we weren’t discounting the huge benefit that basketball training camps can provide. Through these training camps, you will learn a huge number of new exercises, skills and ways of training yourself to become a better player, both physically and mentally. The fact that many training camps are taught by successful players and coaches means that campers have a great opportunity to learn from people who know exactly what it takes. In this way, they can prove to be an invaluable tool in your effort to improve your skills and become a better basketball player.

Test Yourself Against the Best

As the old saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect.’ However, practice can still only take you so far.

You’ll also need to constantly test yourself in real games in order to make sure that you can actually put all those skills you practiced into good use. In this sense, playing in as many basketball tournaments as possible can be hugely beneficial and allow you to continuously test your skills against new opponents.

Identify and Focus on Your Weaknesses

No matter what position you play, it’s important that you work to become as complete of a player as possible. This means spending as much time working on your weaknesses as on your strengths, maybe even more. It also means knowing how to take criticism and using it to drive yourself to improve, instead of letting it get you down. No basketball player will ever be great at everything, but it’s still important that you try to focus on becoming a well-rounded of a player as you can.

Yoga for Improved Strength, Flexibility and Mental Toughness

Yoga is becoming extremely popular among a huge range of different professional athletes. The truth is that yoga is far more difficult and rewarding than most people think and it can provide a huge boost to your overall strength, flexibility, self-awareness and mental toughness. In fact, Coach Steve Kerr credits yoga for some of the success that his Golden State Warriors team has experienced in recent years. Although you may be hesitant to try it, there is absolutely no doubt that yoga can provide some huge benefits to your overall game.

The same thing is true for basketball as for virtually everything else in life: If you want to become better, you need to spend a huge amount of time focusing on improving yourself. While there is no guarantee that any amount of hard work will ensure that you make the team or enable you to go pro, the only way to find out is to set yourself a goal and do everything you can to work towards it.

Previewing the Pac-12

Arizona

The Pac 12 had the most successful Spring of any conference last basketball season. As a whole they got four teams into the tournament, three into the Sweet 16, two into the Elite 8 and one into the Final Four. And let’s not brush over USC’s upset over fan favorite SMU team. Following the Madness, the conference then saw two of its players go #1 and #2 in the 2017 NBA Draft. The trend of success should continue, as more highly touted prospects join the conference for the 2017-18 season. Let’s take a look at some early pre-season predictions. It should be noted that this does not include the potential transfer of Marvin Bagley, the top player in the Class of 2018 that several Pac 12 teams are in the running for.

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Jahvon Quinerly Heading to Arizona

The University of Arizona has long been regarded as Point Guard U by Arizona fans and college basketball fans alike. The list of Wildcat Floor Generals is long and illustrious. Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Miles Simon, Jason Gardner, Damon and Salim Stoudamires,  and most recently, TJ McConnell. On Tuesday shortly before the tip of the Stephen Curry Select 30 game, coach Sean Miller, a good PG in his own right at Pittsburgh, picked up a commitment from one of the best PG’s in the ’18 class in Jahvon Quinerly. Quinerly is the second point guard commitment in the ’18 class, joining Brandon Williams who committed earlier this summer. Arizona pitched the idea of the two being able to coexist in the back court, with Williams playing off of the ball and Quinerly handling many of the point guard responsibilities. Quinerly could be the most talented prospect Miller has signed yet. He is certainly capable of helping get the Wildcats over the Final Four hump that has eluded them since Miller’s arrival in Tucson.

While Quinerly, a long time Hoop Group Alum, has been regarded as one of the best lead guards in the ’18 class, his play during the spring/summer Under Armour circuit for SportsU/Team IZOD  helped continue to boost his stock. Jahvon is a quick and athletic guard that can get to the rim at will. He also is able to keep defenses honest with his jumper, as evidence by shooting nearly 45% from 3 during the AAU season. Quinerly is seemingly in control at all times, which will be huge for an Arizona program that could be looking at a large roster turnover after the ’17-’18 college season. There was a lot of talk in the Spring and Summer of Quinerly teaming up in college with AAU teammate Nazi Reid. Attention will be turned to Reid now to see if he will commit to Miller and the Wildcats as well.

With his college decision out of the way before the start of his senior year, Quinerly can focus on trying to bring home a Tournament of Champions title to Hudson Catholic with top 100 teammates Louis King and Luther Muhammad. Quinerly will be a fan favorite from Day One in Tucson, and will keep the Wildcats atop the conference standings as the Jelly Fam movement extends its foot print to the “Conference of Champions.”

An Early Look At The ACC

ACC Basketball

We are 51 days away from the college basketball season. While college basketball season is fast approaching, many of us cannot have the new season come soon enough. With that said, let’s take an early look at the ACC for next season. Here’s our 1 through 15.

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The 8 Tournament Recap

The Annual Jordan Brand “8” Tournament in Las Vegas brought out some of the best talent in the country. The event was even bigger this year, with two brackets of eight teams. Team Takeover, the AAU program based out of D.C., came out as the winner of the main bracket with respective wins over Team Final, Bradley Beal Elite, and Oakland Soldiers.

Takeover led for most of the game in their matchup with Team Final. The Philadelphia-based AAU program featured two of the best players in the country in Lou King and Cam Reddish, but they couldn’t keep up with the balanced attack of TTO led by Jalen Smith, Myles Dread, and Xavier Johnson. Team Takeover defeated Team Final by a final score of 85-70.

Team Takeover faced a familiar opponent in Bradley Beal Elite, who defeated TTO out in LA on the EYBL before losing to them in the Final Four of Peach Jam. Darius Garland, considered by many to be one of the best point guards in the country, had the hot hand early for his team. TTO managed to hold a two point lead heading into halftime, and began defending Garland more aggressively. Xavier Johnson and Anthony Harris were the two guards who primarily defended Garland, and each did a commendable job. Team Takeover controlled the pace in the second half, and defeated Bradley Beal Elite by a final score of 80-62.

In the much anticipated championship, Team Takeover faced Oakland Soldiers, the team who defeated them a few weeks back in the Peach Jam Finals. The first half, and most of the game was nip and tuck. Both teams played a relatively poor first half, but Team Takeover it up in the second. After trailing by 3 at the end of the first half, TTO opened up on an 8-0 run to take the lead. Once again led by Myles Dread, Jalen Smith, and Xavier Johnson, with contributions from Brandon Slater, Bryce Golden, Anthony Harris, Tre Wood and Miles Latimer, they were able to avenge their earlier loss and come out with a victory in the championship. Team Takeover won the game by a final score of 78-72, and began their well deserved celebration.