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Coachspeak with Milford Mill boys basketball's Mike Silverman

The Baltimore Sun

After spending the previous five seasons as the school's junior varsity coach and varsity assistant under former coach Albert Holley, Silverman is excited about the prospects of maintaining the program's lofty standard on and off the basketball court in his first season in charge of the varsity squad.

The No. 5 Millers, who have won four straight Baltimore County championships and two state titles in that span, are off to a 4-1 start and coming off an impressive 62-46 win over New Town on Wednesday. 

Silverman has maintained many of the same successful philosophies Holley incorporated into the program with some new twists thrown in.

In addition to coaching, he's also the school's Physical Education and Health department chairperson.

A Dulaney and Salisbury University grad who played basketball and football at both levels, Silverman also coaches AAU basketball and is an avid golfer.

What has been the biggest difference taking over as the head coach this season?

To be honest, there's not that much of a difference because in the past five years we've really established the program as a whole and we have never separated the varsity from the JV. So everything is similar as far as study hall every day, stressing academics and then the transition with the game speed and the play, it’s very relevant just because of the nature of the community and the ability these kids bring to the table as basketball players. Learning the new system we’ve established is the only change and the kids have done a great job of adjusting to that. I see progress every single day at practice and every game we’re getting better, which is a great thing.

What are some of the tweaks you’ve added as head coach?

There’s not too many big tweaks. We have a much deeper offensive system and our defensive philosophy has changed some. I’m a firm believer that defense is going to win games for us, so if we can limit teams to eight to 10 points a quarter, that’s our mind set.  We really stress the importance of team. Our motto is ‘A team can’t be beat, a team won’t be beat.’  We stress that every single day: playing smart and playing together and outplaying our opponent and, as a team, our philosophy is built into those things.

What are the keys to maintaining the strong foundation that has been set in place at Milford Mill?

I really stress running this program much like a college-level program. We have early morning practices on Saturday, study hall every day, film sessions and we’re firm believers in the weight room and the sprinting and conditioning aspects. It’s a year-round program and we’re together a lot. It’s not just showing up on Nov. 15thand pumping up some basketballs and getting out there with the kids. The foundation is there to be great and we work truly hard to be a family.  We’re emphasizing the points that we’re all in this together for the same reason and that’s getting these kids into college and preparing them for their future endeavors.

What’s in store for the upcoming holiday season?

The holiday is great. It’s a time for us to practice over the holiday together as a family and it’s also great to see all the alumni that graduated from Milford the past 10 years come around and talk to the players of today, especially about the importance of education and what it means. The kids enjoy their time with their families and we also come together at practice over the holiday and it’s great. We have the Showcase Tournament Invitational next week to go to in Philadelphia and it’s an overnight trip for us, so we’ll be together quite a bit. Keeping that family mentality is a big thing.

What goals are set for the team this season?

We have high expectations as always and we have team goals, but we really stress taking it one day at a time. We can’t overlook anybody. We know everybody has us circled because of the success we’ve had, so we just have to get better every single day at practice and academically and let the chips fall where they may. I think with our ability and with how we’re progressing every single day, the sky is the limit for this program and this team.

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