Bulls’ player development needs viewed through team concept, not individual prism

(670 The Score) One of the many traits that Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas was looking for in a new coach was a strong track record in player development.



Billy Donovan wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd


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Coming off a 22-43 campaign that was shortened by the pandemic, the Bulls remain stuck in neutral in their rebuilding process. What they do have is some promising young talent that hasn’t developed well enough or coalesced yet. In hiring Billy Donovan on Tuesday as the franchise’s 21st coach, the Bulls believe they’ve found someone who can play a leading role in connecting with and fostering the growth of youngsters like Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Coby White.

And to Donovan, development means more than improving players’ on-court skills. It means taking a holistic approach to the needs of the individual and team.

“It is a very, very broad concept,”

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Tennessee focuses on player development with “VFlight” program

The program focuses on personal development, community development and professional development.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — When players walk into Assistant Athletics Director for Player Relations and Development Ashley Smith’s office, it doesn’t feel like part of the football complex. It’s an escape.

“I think that environment and setting the tone is very important,” Smith said.

She said that her office is meant to set a tone like “a little touch of home.”

From inspirational quotes to a sign that reads, “Home Sweet Home,” the tone is clear.

“(If) a guy’s having a rough day, he can come in here,” she said. “Just kind of have a moment and just maybe read some things around the room and just regroup to go out and tackle whatever hurdles he’s looking to jump over.”

It’s not only in her office that she wants to help the people in the programs she runs.

Smith oversees

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Games or not, O’s turn Bowie site into strong player development experience

Were this a “normal” baseball season, players would be getting into games on the farm and getting plenty of at-bats and innings in during minor league games. It would provide chances to improve their skills and advance their careers.

Without that this year, the Orioles have tried to develop a strong Plan B at their alternate site at Prince George’s Stadium, home of the Double-A Bowie Baysox. Players get at-bats and innings, but against players from their own farm system and organization. But with a number of coaches there, in addition to an extensive use of technology, we may be seeing that the Orioles are thriving in some respects. Even without minor league games.

Perhaps left fielder Ryan Mountcastle would not have gotten the same very targeted and focused development work he did in Bowie this year had he been playing in games at Triple-A Norfolk.

During an interview Sunday

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