Discussion

The importance of experience

Updated: April 26, 2011, 5:04 PM ET
By Fran Fraschilla

With recruiting trips over until July, this is the perfect time for coaching staffs to take stock of their basketball programs and begin the process of building toward next season.

The approach each coach chooses to take will largely depend upon the level of experience he has on his team, as well as the length of time in which he's been the coach at that particular school. Here are four coaches in four different situations heading into the offseason:

Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt Commodores

Stallings provides us an example of an established coach who has a team returning lots of experience. While Stallings must be excited about returning all of his key players (including three potential NBA first-round picks) and being talked about as a preseason top-5 team, there are issues to resolve. Remember, this is a team that lost five of its last eight games and suffered its third consecutive first-round exit from the NCAA tournament.

Even a team with the potential to have a great season next year must analyze what went wrong in the previous season. In those five losses, the Commodores, a team with one of the country's best shooters, John Jenkins, shot 25 percent from the 3-point line. Ignoring that fact would be silly, and I guarantee you that Stallings and his staff will pour over the video to determine whether his team took good shots at opportune times during the games they lost.

In addition, Vanderbilt gave away five double-figure leads last season. Analyzing why they lost those games will be the first step into having a great season next year.

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