Waiting is the hardest part

Originally Published: November 24, 2004
By Fran Fraschilla | Special to ESPN Insider
There is a running joke around college basketball coaches that it is a great job -- except for the games. Actually, for me, it was not the games themselves but the waiting around on game day that was the worst. The later in the day a game was scheduled, the worse my stomach churned.

Like all aspects of coaching, there are a lot of different ways successful coaches handle the day-of-game activities with their teams. By this time, most teams have completed the majority of their preparation for their opponents, so what else goes on?

Game day shoot-around or walk-through practices are very common in college and NBA basketball. The shoot-around reportedly was made popular by then Lakers coach Bill Sharman in the early 1970s. It was a way to get his team awake and out of the hotel on the morning of a game. The early practice, however, drew the ire of Lakers' superstar Wilt Chamberlain, who reportedly told Sharman, "I go to the arena once a day. Do you want me there for the shoot-around or for the game?"
Fran Fraschilla is a college basketball analyst for ESPN. He formerly was the head coach at Manhattan, St. John's and New Mexico.