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Episode 158: Ashley Howard, Coaching Offense with Concepts Instead of Plays
Episode 1587th April 2021 • The Basketball Podcast • Chris Oliver
00:00:00 00:59:22

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Guest: Ashley Howard, La Salle Basketball Head Coach

In this week's coaching conversation, La Salle head coach Ashley Howard joins the podcast to discuss coaching offense with concepts instead of plays.


Ashley Howard has the storied La Salle University men's basketball program on an upward trajectory heading into his third season as head coach in 2020.


The Explorers put together their first winning season since the 2016-17 season and had a number of noteworthy highlights. Getting key performances from different players each night, La Salle defeated three opponents in three days to win the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida. 


Each of those three teams that the Explorers beat would go on to win at least 20 games -- South Alabama (20), Murray State (23), and Wright State (25).


Over two-plus years, Howard has revamped the La Salle roster by focusing on talented student-athletes from the East Coast. Nine players hail from within a one-hour radius of La Salle's campus, with three more calling the nation's capital of Washington, D.C. home.


Prior to his arrival at La Salle, Howard spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Villanova, helping the Wildcats to a pair of National Championships. During his time with the Wildcats, Howard was involved in all aspects of the program including on-court teaching, player development, and recruiting. He was instrumental in helping the team set a new NCAA record for the most wins in a four-year span. 


The Philadelphia native recruited future NBA Draft Picks Mikal Bridges (10th Overall, Phoenix Suns), Jalen Brunson (33rd Overall, Dallas Mavericks), Donte DiVincenzo (17th Overall, Milwaukee Bucks), and Omari Spellman (30th Overall, Atlanta Hawks). 


He was also a member of the coaching staff that developed Josh Hart into the National Player of the Year in 2016 and a first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2016 NBA Draft.


Prior to Villanova, Howard accrued a decade's worth of college coaching experience at three different stops. He began his coaching career as a student assistant coach at his alma mater, Drexel University, in 2002 after an injury cut short his playing career for the Dragons. In 2004, following graduation, Howard was hired as an assistant coach at La Salle by Dr. John Giannini. 


He spent four years with the Explorers before returning to Drexel in 2008 as an assistant coach to James "Bruiser" Flint. He was part of a staff that led the Dragons to consecutive 20-win seasons, including a school record of 29 victories in 2011-12. In 2012-13, Howard served as an assistant on Chris Mack's staff at Xavier University before landing back in his hometown with Villanova.


1:00 - Influence of Villanova on his Coaching Philosophy

5:00 - Playing Out Concepts

10:00 - Biggest Challenges Playing with Concepts

12:00 - Driving Space and Drive Decision

15:00 - Specific Cues

19:00 - Importance of Upper Year Players

23:00 - Nash

25:00 - Cues on Cutting on a Drive

28:00 - Teaching the Weak Side

31:00 - Small Ball Concept

33:00 - Concept of Jumpstart and Spacing

36:00 - Practice with Video

39:00 - One-on-One Concept

41:00 - Modern Analytics and Offensive Mentality

44:00 - Importance of Two-Way teaching

46:00 - Keeping the Opponents Off-Balance

50:00 - Modern Defensive System

51:00 - Shot fake

53:00 - The Atlantic 10

55:00 - Conclusion

Ashley Howard’s Bio:


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