Coaching is a tricky business. Striking the proper balance between training players’ bodies and minds is crucial, and difficult to quantify.
And, even when focusing just on the mental aspects of the game, there’s still more nuance. Chadrack Lufile found that out recently, when he asked Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall to give him more material to study; something to help him make a difference in the paint for a team that’s losing Carl Hall and Ehimen Orukpe from a wildly successful Final Four team.
“This was the first time I went to coach’s office and said, ‘I want to be better. I want to see what I do in practice and what to work on,’” Lufile told the Wichita Eagle. “It’s like being a professional artist, you’re working every day to get that drawing to its best, as detailed as you can. I’m trying to get my game as detailed and polished as I can.”
The 6-foot-9, 250 lb. Lufile should be hungry for more. The juco transfer saw just 19 minutes of floor time in the NCAA tournament last season.
The key, as far as his coaches are concerned, is to turn a pile of book learning and game film studying into instant action. On the court this season, Lufile isn’t going to have time to think.
A year’s experience in WSU’s system helps. His movements on the court are becoming more instinctive and getting to the right place is no longer a thoughtful process. That frees him to concentrate on improving shooting and ball-handling skills.
“I can work on my game more without having to think about the plays,” Lufile said. “I’ve got to finish better. I’m getting better on my moves.”
As always, the coaches want more defense. Lufile, despite good size and speed, didn’t provide much deterrent to scorers last season. He is not a naturally aggressive defender and that needs to change. Defending, rebounding, setting screens are his primary jobs.