State of the program

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stevemaz
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State of the program

Post by stevemaz » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:00 am

Well, I had only been to two games before yesterday and had felt like we were on the right track, but now Im worried. There is just something missing with the team's chemistry and we very well may have an issue at head coach. Per usual, I tried to be over the top optimistic with the McCall hire but it is clear to me, he made a huge mistake going the transfer route. Probably would have been better off going with 5 or 6 freshman last year.

From here, the goal has to be to find the mix of players that will be the nucleus for next year. I would immediately begin to play Baptiste 30 mins and sit Holloway. I would also take PT away Pipkins (whom I would firmly expect to transfer out) and Pierre (who has clearly taken a step backwards). Would like to see if McLean could give the team a boost with his defense and if Hayward can make a difference with 3 pt shooting.

Let's face it, with the schedule we have played we should be 11-3 if not 12-2. As the A10s largest school we need to be in the leagues top 4 year in and year out at the minimum.

wmmmfan
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Re: State of the program

Post by wmmmfan » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:50 am

I agree McCall overreacted to the exodus when hired and should have concentrated on HS Seniors with selected transfers. This is why I am taking a low expectations attitude this year and next year, .500 and .650 winning percentages this season and next are my expectation. Transfers are fine when you take one with a special skill but not how you build a college basketball program.
The thing that concerns me more is the reliance on the three point shot and the lack of a true offense. It’s not just UMass either, most teams are “just letting the players play” which I guess is fine if you have all 4 and 5 star players but not for the vast majority of programs. I don’t see much difference between McCall and Kellogg at this point, I enjoyed last years team more, they ran a simple offense with movement and passing as opposed to this high ball screen with the objective of looking for Pip. At least that’s how I see it.

78
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Re: State of the program

Post by 78 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:07 am

^^^^^
Could not agree more with almost every point you make. Last year’s team was much more likeable than this year’s team. The one thing I might disagree with is your winning percentage expectations. Based on the fact they lost the conference opener at home to what is seen as one of the worst teams in the conference, I’m not sure .500 is realistic for this year.
Last edited by 78 on Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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UMassHoops
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Re: State of the program

Post by UMassHoops » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:45 am

Agree with everything above except the low expectations for this year and next. I didn't expect this year for UMass to be world beaters with a glorious return to the tourny and unexpected Sweet 16 appearance, of course not! What I did expect was that MM has his type of players stacked across the roster now. He recruited and selected all of the freshmen and transfers to his prototype player and philosophy.

I noticed a trend on a lot of guys we are recruiting that they seem under the radar and sometimes we seem to be recruiting against pretty low level schools. But the narrative, and I've agreed, has been that MM seems to have an eye for talent a.k.a. Carl Pierre that was under recruited and he is getting his type of players: high motor, high work ethic, team first with talent that will fit the program.

But now all of of sudden we are talking about effort, chemistry issues, no clear offense? The VERY LEAST I expect this year are high intensity efforts every game, a cohesive offense (high IQ players) and a team that is improving as the season goes on. Maybe we will start to see that but right now the trend is the opposite this team has been inconsistent, and getting worse. We've had a couple suspensions already for team discipline. Some players don't appear to be playing for each other but hero ball and stat padding. The defense has huge holes and perimeter issues. The offense is just... ughhhh.. ugly and boring, simplistic feed Pip and watch him go sets.

And yes I know these aren't all MM players yet, but these are the guys that he vetted and chose to stay. So I expect much more out of them, they are MM players now.

We should finish in the top half of the A10 this year and top four forever after, that's my expectation. No more 8 year leashes and program building expectations -- 3 years and it better be right.

minutefanjsf
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Re: State of the program

Post by minutefanjsf » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:54 am

McCall is getting out coached. LaSalle coach had a game plan to not let RH get the ball. He said so in his postgame comments. The fact that McCall said he didn’t know how or why RH didn’t get the ball points to him not recognizing what was happening and therefore not making adjustments. Why he didn’t realize what was happening is extremely problematic. There is film on our offense, etc. if we are going to be a one trick pony, we are in for a long season. Hopefully, the root of not identifying the issue was being misinformed by players who communicated that they knew how to fix it while meeting in timeouts.

Almontis
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Re: State of the program

Post by Almontis » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:29 pm

I agree with much of the posts. I don't know that you can't build a program with transfers, however. Nevada and other schools do it. I'm starting to become concerned, though, with other aspects of McCall's recruiting strategy. I hate to call players out by name, but we're playing guys who don't look to be A10 caliber, and Hayward can't even get off the bench. The substitution patterns look erratic, too. I wonder how this contributes to, as another poster put it, players looking tentative.

I agree w others and would like to see a more reined in, disciplined offense.

I also notice our defensive positioning is usually not very good, where guys are consistently getting beat off the dribble. Less athletic teams can compensate with positioning and discipline, falling back on principles. Same goes for rebounding.

We looked much more like disciplined overachievers last year. What happened?

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Floyd
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Re: State of the program

Post by Floyd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:55 pm

stevemaz wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:00 am
I would immediately begin to play Baptiste 30 mins and sit Holloway. I would also take PT away Pipkins (whom I would firmly expect to transfer out) and Pierre (who has clearly taken a step backwards).
Might as well print up your resume then too 'cause you'd be looking for a new job
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capezona
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Re: State of the program

Post by capezona » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:06 pm

Floyd wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:55 pm
stevemaz wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:00 am
I would immediately begin to play Baptiste 30 mins and sit Holloway. I would also take PT away Pipkins (whom I would firmly expect to transfer out) and Pierre (who has clearly taken a step backwards).
Might as well print up your resume then too 'cause you'd be looking for a new job
This is a knee-jerk reaction. I agree with Floyd. If you sat Holloway and limited Pip and Pierre you would have results like last year.

TruBluMaroon
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Re: State of the program

Post by TruBluMaroon » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:15 pm

[quote=stevemaz post_id=484340 time=1546786817 user_id

...... As the A10s largest school we need to be in the leagues top 4 year in and year out at the minimum.
[/quote]

Wasn’t sure of this, so I checked out George Mason and VCU and they are both bigger....

TheOFFSeason
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Re: State of the program

Post by TheOFFSeason » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:02 pm

Yesterday was the first game I was unable to see so I am reading everyone’s thoughts on it and I’m hearing a lot of the same things that I’ve seen the rest of the year. Here are a few thoughts on what is going on:

1. There is an overall culture problem and I don’t think I’m saying anything that everyone on here isn’t already thinking. I think taking 4 transfers at once that we’re struggling at losing programs is tough because they bring habits that were developed at those losing programs. Habits of guys in winning programs include communication on the court amongst each other, not settling for just an ok shot but working for a good to great shot, staying in a defensive stance for the entirety of the possession, cutting hard on offense and definitely competing on the glass on both ends. These are things that are a daily staple in practice on winning teams...they are expected by the players of each other...the coaches cannot be coaching this on a daily basis, the players need these habits.

2. Winning cultures don’t have already overweight players actually GAIN weight in their first 20 months on the job and that player still plays. I like RH as a person and I believe he has some ability but he needed to be 275 to be effective here for a Winning team and he is 380 from what I am told. For those that were around for Calipari, ask yourself if RH would’ve played for him in year 2 if he weighed 380? The thing I always marvel at is how Cal was able to change the culture around so quickly as he took over one of the worst groups of misfits any coach has EVER inherited. Basically he didn’t accept anything but the very best from his players and he did a great job of recruiting guys with winning habits. We beat out Fairfield for Harper and he was A10 player of the year.
I’m a big fan of Buggs and I think Santos also has those same habits...Diallo shows me that too...so I think that help could be on the way but the staff needs to up their standards on everything.



Also, MM gets a little too much credit for Pierre...the Ops kid Grossman has been affiliated with CP’s AAU team and he got that ball rolling...it wasn’t that MM evaluated him and found a sleeper.

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uz2b-len
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Re: State of the program

Post by uz2b-len » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:08 pm

Maybe MM didn't find him, but he recognized him as a keeper. Same as with Calipari and Camby. Not that Pierre is anywhere near Camby's level.
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78
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Re: State of the program

Post by 78 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:41 pm

Really glad to see TheOFFseason comment on what is going on. Brings a lot of common sense to the equation. Many troubling things in his post and he confirms a lot of things many of us have been posting. Here’s hoping this staff is up to fixing it. Holloway at 380 is astounding, but I believe it. What a shame he was never more disciplined. Could have been a really good player.
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Juice Stand
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Re: State of the program

Post by Juice Stand » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:58 pm

One of the best "negative" threads I've read in a long time. A lot of really good opinions and solutions, no name calling and bashing, just good analysis. I agree with what most have said, and OffSeason's point about RH's weight is so valid. I've been a fan of RH and his potential, and it seemed like in year 2 Kellogg and staff had worked on getting his weight down a little. Since Kellogg was fired though, we've seen an academic suspension and his weight has obviously gone up. It's up to McCall to set the standard.

wmmmfan
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Re: State of the program

Post by wmmmfan » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:12 pm

MM needs to MAKE this his program, I don’t want a “player’s coach”, this is college basketball not the NBA. You can be supportive of your players and their futures and still instill discipline, expectations and attitude.

Two comments I liked from Walt Bell when hired were about going after the right players and not just filling numbers and whether he was being positive with a player or correcting a player it would be with love. You can teach, take corrective action and be a positive influence doing both. Coddling only reinforces bad habits and does the player an injustice.

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Old Cage
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Re: State of the program

Post by Old Cage » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:13 pm

Men yesterday: Assists - 8 Turnovers - 18 Points - 60 Lose
Women today: Assists - 20 Turnovers - 8 Points - 70 Win

Just sayin'. :cry:
"Jack didn’t have any envy in him," Calipari said. "He was the greatest coach to ever coach here."

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