Getting rid of Lap would be a horrible move right now

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MinuteGuy
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Getting rid of Lap would be a horrible move right now

Post by MinuteGuy » Sat Apr 12, 2003 6:44 pm

Granted the program has regressed in the win/loss column, attendance continues to decline, there have been transfers, there have been horrible losses, etc.

I am not his biggest fan right now, but to give him the boot after 2 years makes absolutely no sense. He hasn't had enough time to build with his own recruits. I honestly feel most coaches would have struggled these last few years. If you think about it, Bruiser left almost nothing to build with. Lappas was left a bunch of players that don't fit in his system or basically any system that reguires their players be able to shoot and score. He was left a total enigma with Brand who only appeared to try a little less than some of the time. Rogers was playing on his 4th? team here. Anyone know of any strong leaders in college basketball that transferred 3 or 4 times? Anyone know of a player that transferred that many times?

There has been a TREMENDOUS lack of leadership among the players over the last couple years. You have the older players coming from a losing regime combining with the younger players who are supposed to be the future. These guys obviously never gelled, and that's happened at a lot of school's that make coaching changes. There definitely was some resentment and animosity because these guys never clicked. Not only that, but the older guys just aren't that talented to be perfectly up front.

I know a lot of people are upset about the Lasme transfer, but this is a kid who really almost backed out the first time around, and now he's looking at the prospects of sitting behind AA for another 2 seasons. AA to me is clearly a better pg and has to be the starter no matter who recruited him. I think Bowers needs to be the answer at the 2 because we need to get bigger and more versatile in the backcourt. I can understand the Lasme transfer. You don't like to see transfers happen, but this is a kid that wants to be an NBA basketball player(sure) and he's not going to get there sitting the bench. If that's his attitude, let him go. UMASS needs players that want to build a WINNER here and want to be a MINUTEMAN.

As far as the other transfers go, look at where these guys transferred to. We didn't lose a Scoonie Penn to Ohio State, a Michael Bradley to Nova, a Dahantay Jones to Duke, etc. Jenkins, Pugh, and Lamb will be attending programs I've never heard of. These guys weren't capable of playing at this level, and they obviously didn't want to make the sacrifice and see little to no time. Lamb showed spurts his freshman year, but Viggiano is CLEARLY a more talented player with a much greater upside. It's a shame that Wilson got squeezed for a player that wasn't going to stick around, he could have been a sericeable player.

Lappas won at Villanova. His teams never lived up to their billing come NCAA time, but the guy won. Just look at his record.

I think we need to give this guy a couple years with the current roster. Depending on the recruiting people you listen to, the guys coming in next year could be the best 4 players Lappas has brought in.

These young guys will have a chance to make it their team and they will have a chance to play together for years to come. They have a chance to rebuild this program, and there won't be any leftovers(don't like to call them that) to cause any friction.

Briggs is a talented player/kid who screwed up and wants to redeem himself. He wouldn't have come back to UMASS to dog it. Freeman from what we've heard about taking class seriously and working out with his year off to get himself ready sounds like a leader. This is a kid who took pride in being physical in high school and really came on his senior spring.
Lee showed he can be a pretty decent shot blocker and he's only going to get better. I want to see this frontcourt grow together like Temples young frontcourt did last year.

Bailing on Lap now serves no purpose. I think he should be given the next two seasons to show what he can do. He's got players to build with now.

He brought these guys in, you have to let him coach them.

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Post by Floyd » Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:12 pm

Good points, but next year has to be an improvement or I think a change has to be made. By improvement I mean increased intensity, consistency, and some sort of direction with leadership. This program seems to be in limbo with no direction or leadership. Would love to see it turn around and am still supporting them next year.

DTM80
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Post by DTM80 » Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:14 pm

I agree with you minute guy. This seems like a real step backward for the program. This could have been a factor in Montgomery not signing with us. I wouldn't be surprised if Maxwell, and possibly Bowers never show in Amherst. If I was a season ticket holder, I would really have to wonder what product will hit the floor next year. I would like to see Lappas get at least one more year. Sounds like politics of a new regime working here. Hope the Lappas haters are happy now.... If true this really sucks!!!

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whiterhino42
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Next year at least

Post by whiterhino42 » Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:18 pm

I agree, Lap at least deserves next year to prove himself. His best recruits havn't hit the floor yet.

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DEM
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Post by DEM » Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:20 pm

Don't know if I agree with everything you've said, but I agree with the title of your post. If the coaching change is made now, I (and many others I think) will be seriously questioning McCaw's judgement/motives.

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DEM
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Post by DEM » Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:28 pm

:?: ...And another thing...why does it seem like McCaw does things on a whim? I mean, the guy signs Lappas to an extension just this past season, and now all of a sudden he pulls the plug? Does he even think these decisions out? If he was going to consider doing this, he shouldn't have burned more money by signing the extension...the university can't afford bad decisions like that.

vanmeter
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Post by vanmeter » Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:09 pm

First of all before we all get carried away, this is only a rumor. I would doubt that this would happen so fast. I think that Lappas deserves another year, however if the results don't improve significantly next year then I think a change needs to be considered.
With the entire team next year except AA being players he recruited, we should all expect a big improvement.

ItsWhatsBest
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Post by ItsWhatsBest » Sat Apr 12, 2003 11:13 pm

Name one thing that Steve Lappas has done since he got here that indicates that he is worth keeping. One. His recruiting hasn't even been all that impressive. His best recruit was Lasme and he wasn't even all that effective and he's gone anyway. Keep in mind he was paid about a million dollars over the past two seasons. And that performance deserves another year?

Steve Lappas should be gone already.

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Minutemanfan
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Post by Minutemanfan » Sun Apr 13, 2003 7:58 am

ItsWhatsBest wrote:Name one thing that Steve Lappas has done since he got here that indicates that he is worth keeping. One. His recruiting hasn't even been all that impressive. His best recruit was Lasme and he wasn't even all that effective and he's gone anyway. Keep in mind he was paid about a million dollars over the past two seasons. And that performance deserves another year?

Steve Lappas should be gone already.
If nothing else, this rumor ought to serve as a shot across Lappas' bow. This year will be put up or get the hell out of here for Steve Lappas.

I'm cautiously optimistic about the upcoming season. I'm not all that broken up up about Lasme's departure and I'm excited about the potential of the incoming class of Bowers, Briggs, Freeman, Maxwell. But, that said, if the team doesn't show cohesive, spirtied play on the floor, next year, I'm all for getting rid of the coach. UMass basketball is on the brink of either returning to respectability OR vanishing from the national scene completely.

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Post by Quinn » Sun Apr 13, 2003 8:01 am

Rumors happen and in many cases they eventually become reality. There are arguements that could be made for either positon, but one thing that bothers me is that the rumor also includes Ron Everhart as a replacement. It was questionable enough that UMass brought Ian in as AD. It's always nice to bring in an alum, but ideally, it would have been nice to bring in someone with more expericence at a larger level. If Umass were to bring in Everhart as coach instead of any of the 100+ candidates out there that have shown more, just because Ian likes him an hired him at NU (assuming that was the case), I'd have a probelm. Programs make replacements and people can argue whether it's right or wrong to get rid of a coach. But let's at least hope there are some rumors of coaching candidates who if are in one of the 3 worst conferences in the country, can at least win the conference. 5 America East titles are about as worthy as 1 A10 title in coaching credentials. And the fact that Northeastern couldn't win the AE the past 2 years alone, with the departures of it's 3 top programs (replaced by Division II upgrade Binghamton, as well as Albany and Stonybrook) should keep Everhart off of A10 radar for some time. Let him move up to the CAA to refine his craft.

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Post by deke » Sun Apr 13, 2003 10:13 am

When you look at assistant coaches as potential head coaches, you never know what you're getting. Some guys are great at Xs and Os but can't sell the program. Other guys are exactly the opposite. So there's a lot depending on how they're able to round out their staff.

Plus, some guys can recruit really well when they're at top programs, but things change when they go to a different conference. Karl Hobbs comes to mind. UConn could sell itself, but at GW he's got to be a much better salesman.

I think made a great transition from Pitt to UMass, but he had Bruiser and Bayno doing a lot of the leg work.

ItsWhatsBest
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Post by ItsWhatsBest » Sun Apr 13, 2003 11:16 am

Minutemanfan wrote: I'm not all that broken up up about Lasme's departure and I'm excited about the potential of the incoming class of Bowers, Briggs, Freeman, Maxwell.
Why are you excited about the incoming class but not broken up about Lasme leaving? Where is the logic? Lasme is and was more highly regarded than all of the incoming players except perhaps Bowers and easily the best player Lappas has put on the floor thus far and his performance had so little impact that his departure isn't viewed as a great loss for the program. So why are you anticipating players who aren't as good as Lasme are going to have an impact?

It seems that the fans' view of UMass' players are at their very best in the months before they get to campus. If Briggs gets kicked off again, I'm sure he'll be treated as the 2nd coming of Anthony Oates on the way out the door.

If Lasme is as expendable as your sentiments would indicate then it shows just how overrated Lappas' recruiting ability is. And recruiting is the only aspect of the job where anyone could say Lappas has even approached earning his salary.

Lappas is a quitter and his team knows it so it should be no surprise when they blow 20 point leads to teams ranging from UCONN to Richmond or when they get blown out by 20 by teams ranging from Dayton to Tennessee to LaSalle.

Removing Lappas now is a good thing. I don't want to see another year of Lappas teaching our players how to quit when it matters.

MinuteGuy
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Like I said

Post by MinuteGuy » Sun Apr 13, 2003 12:03 pm

The first two years have been a struggle. No one is arguing that. However, he didn't come in here to get a group of players to the next level, he was brought in here to start over and rebuild.

I don't care what anyone says, Lappas was left with NOTHING. He wasn't left with a young stud pf, a great young sg, a great young center, etc. He was left with Anderson, that's the only player he was left to build with. If I remember correctly, when he was at Nova, he was given Jon Haynes, Kerry Kittles, and Eric Eberz. All three of those guys turned into really good college basketball players and one of them became Big East player of the year and lottery pick. Those were good young players to build around. He then added some good recruits to that mix and you have a Big East Champion in year 3.

Besides AA, who did Bruiser leave that could start on any good team in the A10? Forget about the Big East, ACC, SEC, Big Ten, etc., just the A10.

Forget about the older guys like Crooks, Rhymer, Williams, Rogers, etc. One year players do a rebuilding effort no good, you need guys who will be there for years to come. Older guys who know nothing but losing also do you no good.

This has been a losing program for a while now. The recruiting took a huge dip Bruisers last few years, This program had a 2000 point scorer and one of the best players in the A10 with Monty Mack, and they didn't win squat. Lappas was supposed to lose him, inherit a bunch of older players who aren't much, try and convince recruits that you don't have to cheat to win here, throw your young players to the wolves, and put up a lot of w's? I think many fans have underestimated the rebuilding that really had to take place here.

I understand that there have been some bad losses, they bother me as much as anyone. I also understand that this guy is trying to rebuild and these last two years he really hasn't had one guy to give the ball to who could kind of carry the team. No, Rogers wasn't that player. Rogers was an OK pf on a bad team, but he wasn't a clutch player, a guy who would demand the ball and stop a run by the opposing team, a guy that would get a key rebound, a guy that would block a guys shot. The guy averaged 12 points and 5 rebounds. Woopy! How many of those points came when it mattered?

This program needs leaders, go to guys, winners, clutch players, consistent players, etc. That player has not existed in this program Laps first two years. Lap is trying to find these guys. Say what you want about all the great coaches(not putting Lap in there) but they all have players that make plays. Basketball players win the games for you. No coach ever won a basketball game. Coaches put you in a position to win, but if the players can't execute it doesn't matter.

To be honest with you, the best thing that could have possibly happened to this program has happened. This team is going to be overly young next season and Lap is basically starting from scratch, but this team is going to have a chance to grow together. Not one guy from next years squad is going to graduate. Now I know people keep saying we don't know how talented these guys will be, but come on. The young talent Lap has brought in on paper is about as good as you could expect from a UMASS program right now. UMASS aint landing any top 20 classes and isn't getting an Anthony to turn everything around in one year. I'll tell you one thing though, a group of Briggs, Freeman, Bowers, and Maxwell would have to be considered among the top 30 groups of first year players. You could ask any recruiting guru, he probably couldn't argue with that.

I really believe that you need to give Lap the next two seasons. If they look as flat as they did for a lot last season, then maybe we should go in another direction, but I think we might have some pieces to work with.

Just take something like practice. Practice will probably be so so much better now. It will be a team entirely comprised of the UMASS future and knowing that will keep these players motivated and together during the down moments. How up for practice do you think the seniors have been the last few years knowing they weren't going to see any postseason, they aren't the future of the program, and probably knowing that a lot UMASS fans were waiting for them to graduate. How many times has a UMASS fan said or a reporter said, "wait till Lappas gets his own players in here." These kids are human and hear and read this stuff, it has to effect them. This leads to sloppy practices and that translates into the games.

Bottom line, there is no reason for there to be any animosity or negativity. It's all Lappas guys and guys who chose to play for Lappas. They are all guys who are going to be around for years to come and have a chance to grow together. UMASS fans should be excited to watch these guys grow.

I want a group next year that plays like it's having fun and show's improvement throughout the season. I want wins, but that's what's most important. I'm forgetting these past two seasons, it does no good to keep pointing at them. Lappas has a young team, his team, and I want to see what he can do with it.

No more excuses Steve, show us what you can do. That also goes to the players.

I'll tell you one thing, and I know it will never happen, if the UMASS fans came out and really supported a very young team for every game and in large numbers, it would do WONDERS for this program. The players would absolutely embrace the fan base and make them that much more determined.

Having said that, there will be 2000 people sitting on their hands.

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Post by vanmeter » Sun Apr 13, 2003 12:07 pm

As an off guard Mike Lasme is not very good. He is a poor shooter and lacks size for that position. While I do think he would be a decent point guard, he is not better than AA - thus him leaving does not damage the program in terms of on court issues. It does, however, send a bad message that a player that Lappas recruited walked after 1 year.

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DEM
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Post by DEM » Sun Apr 13, 2003 12:16 pm

I agree with Vanmeter. Lasme was far from our best newcomer last season, that was easily Viggiano. His departure hurts somewhat, but on the court I don't think it's going to change the direction of the team in any monumental way.

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