John Patrick, Ludwigsburg’s coach, joins the BCL Podcast

When we look at Ludwigsburg roster, one thing that catches attention is the overall physicality of the roster. Only three players are over 2.00, we sometimes see lineups with guys like Yorman, Darden, or Simon at the 5. In an environment like the BCL where being physically big matters, is this going to create problems for you?

I don’t know. I don’t know if it creates problems for Milano to have Kyle Hines at the center. Sometimes the height of the head is what we measure guys. So, we say that Tremmell Darden is 1.92 or 1.93; we say that Justin Simon is 1.95, 1.96 and we say Kyle Hines is 1.94. But actually, these guys have high shoulders, long, strong arms. They play bigger than some guys who are 2.10 with maybe a long neck and short arms. I don’t wanna get into biometry but we’re looking for the guys that play big.

It’s true that sometimes our tallest player on the court is smaller than the other team’s smallest player. Sometimes Tremmel is smaller than the other team’s point guard and he’s the biggest guy on our team at the time.

We do have versatile guys who are athletic. Some are 39 years old; some are 17. All of them can jump, and run, and handle the ball, and shoot. So, sometimes our quickness and ability to pressure the ball in defense can be a small-ball advantage, instead of being a disadvantage.

On the team, there are also two more Patricks: Johannes and Jacob. You know them very well, I guess.

Yeah, I just made ‘em lunch.

It’s kinda interesting to me because my father was a teacher and although he never taught at my classes, he had an even stricter approach to his own child. Is that the case for you?

It’s a good question. I think it’s difficult. You may be able to – if your father was a teacher – recognize the difficulties from both ends. At home, I’m a father. I just made them soup and some bread and they can’t really escape. They go to basketball practice and the same guy is there. I can’t treat them softly because then it looks like I’m giving them an advantage as my sons. I’m harder on them than I am on other players. But I think they can take it; I think that makes them tougher.

They’ve been in the gym since they were born, basically. I was a pro player when they were born and a coach. They understand but it’s not always easy, especially not easy with the expectations. I think they are both good young players and they tasted the national team at a young age, going to national team camps.

It’s tough that we’re playing at a high level and at 17 and 19 to play against guys like D’Angelo Harrison or Marcelinho Huertas. It certainly could be intimidating and I’m proud of them going in there and mixing it up. We try not to talk about basketball all the time but sometimes it’s inevitable.

You being a guard when you played must help them shape their games…

I’m really big on defensive footwork, which is a lot of the same footwork in soccer. Actually, I take a lot of this stuff from Mark Grabow – crazy story.

He was a high school soccer coach at my high school in Washington, DC. And then I saw him again when I was at Stanford because he was the San Francisco 49ers’ (NFL) defensive backs and footwork coach. And by the time I finished college, he was the Golden State Warriors’ strength and conditioning coach in the NBA.

He combined this defensive footwork from soccer where you need quick feet, and American football where balance, contact, quickness, and also change of directions are important, and from basketball. I’ve been really focused on that, and also on ball-handling and shooting. I do that for every player, it’s just that my kids have been exposed to it since they were tiny. I was always doing these drills as a player to try to make myself as quick as I can be, even at an older age.

“Some of our guards play bigger than some guys who are 2.10”


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