Four (cold) Corners – a brief history of Dean Smith’s influence on the game of basketball

michael_jordan_dean_smith_imgDate: 11 Jan 2019

QIC: Donut

Pax: Tiny Tank, Hooch, Rx, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Tombstone, Franks

Dean Smith’s influence on college basketball can not be understated.  Nay, I am understating…. his influence on basketball at all levels is unequaled.  Other coaches may have more wins, but the strategies he employed and the (now common) team dynamics he created, has fundamentally changed the way in which the game is played today.

I’ll focus on three legacies that remain an integral part of the game today.  1) Pointing to the guy who threw you the assist after you score -> Dean Smith.  2) The team meeting at the top of the key right before free throws -> Dean Smith.  The shot clock -> Dean Smith.  Now, you may say that the shot clock would be an inevitability, but without the dreaded “Four Corners” play run to perfection by Coach Smith, it likely would have been introduced much later at the collegiate level.

Prior to the shot clock, teams played at whatever pace they felt comfortable.  Basketball competitions were never the high scoring affairs we see today.  Now imagine you are playing a tough opponent, and your opponent goes up by 8 or so points.  Nothing would be more infuriating then having the opposing offense station players at all 4 corners of the half court and pass the ball from corner to corner indefinitely, or until a backdoor cut found a man wide open.  That is exactly what Couch Smith did.  In the early 80s, Coach Smith and the Tarheels passed the ball around for almost the entirety of the last 7 minutes of the ACC championship game to secure the win against Virginia (47-45).  That was pretty much the beginning of the end of the 4 corners offense.  I’m sure that pissed off a lot of fans, and it certainly wouldn’t make for riveting television.  So there you have it.

Today we played tribute to Coach Smith by running 4 corners for nearly the entire 45 minute workout.

Warm-up:  SSH x30; cotton pickers x20; Hillbillies x20

The Thang:  We perfected the 4 corners escalator today (all single count exercises).

  • First iteration x3:
    • Corner 1: 10 smurf jacks (SSH performed from squatting position).  Sprint to next corner
    • Corner 2:  10 smurf jacks and 20 plank jacks.  Karyoke to next corner
    • Corner 3:  10 smurf jacks, 20 plank jacks, 30 mountain climbers.  Sprint to next corner.
    • Corner 4:  10 smurf jacks, 20 plank jacks, 30 mountain climbers, 40 seal claps.  Karyoke to next corner.
    • If you finish early, sprint/karyoke around the 4 corners.  That was 120 smurf jacks, 180 plank jacks, 180 mountain climbers, 120 seal claps.
  • Second iteration x3:
    • Corner 1: 10 squats. Sprint
    • Corner 2: 10 squats, 20 merkins.  Karyoke
    • Corner 3: 10 squats, 20 merkins, 30 LBC.  Sprint
    • Corner 4: 10 squats, 20 merkins, 30 LBC, 40 SSH. Karyoke
    • Early finishers sprint and karyoke around the corners.  120 squats, 180 merkins, 180 LBC, 120 SSH
  • Third iteration x3 (only 2 corners due to time constraints).
    • Corner 1: 5 burpies.  Sprint
    • Corner 2: 5 burpies, 10 angle grinders (start in Carolina dry dock position, tap left knee with right hand, bring hand back down to perform a standard merkin, back up to dry dock position and tap right knee with left hand, repeat)
    • Total of 30 burpies and 30 angle grinders

Moleskin: The next time you see Hooch, ask him about the dangers of eating a bunch of wings the night before a workout.  Though I am not a professional, Franks did find a dime and gave it to me, so I guess I have lost my eligibility.  Without prompting, Tiny Tank became a shot clock.  He ensured I was aware of exactly how many minutes remained in the workout.  Strong work by all!

COT:  Thankful for the ability to rise and get after it this morning.  Prayers for those healing, those that protect, those that heal, and those that educate.




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