Getting rid of Lap would be a horrible move right now

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Post by MinuteGuy » Sun Apr 13, 2003 12:25 pm

Prepstars Final Class of 2002 Recruiting Rankings:

106. Rashaun Freeman
Schenectady (NY) High

128. Stephen Briggs
Houston (TX) Westside

137. Mike Lasme
Burlington (NJ) Life Center

249. Jeff Viggiano
Suffield (CT) Academy

285. Alassane Kouyate
Cuyahoga Falls (OH) Jesuit

PrepStars 2003 Winter Rankings

44. Art Bowers
Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s

So Lasme was clearly the most talented Lappas recruit? Not according to Prepstars, who's 2002 National Rankings look pretty good to me based on what the freshman actually did this year. I actually think PrepStars does a better job than Rivals.

Does losing Lasme help the program, absolutely not, but come on. You are being totally blind about this.

You are talking about a poor kid from Africa who obviously has dreams of playing in the NBA. The kid almost didn't come the first time but came because of his obvious loyalty to Lappas. The guy refers to Laps wife as "MOM." The kid committed to UMASS before AA every touched the floor, he finally ends up at UMASS and learns that he's going to have to sit behind this kid for THREE YEARS. This is a POOR KID FROM AFRICA. This kid only 4 years ago had NO IDEA what UMASS basketball is. Give one good reason why a kid like that is going to stick around. He's not thinking about rebuilding UMASS, he's thinking about becoming a top player and making money to support himself and his family.

The other players transferred because they weren't that good, this one transferred because he wasn't going to get the minutes.

Anyone that blames Lappas for this transfer just blatantly wants Lappas out and isn't going to change their stance.

Lasme even said it was a business decision, and unless you are totally dense and lrefuse to look at where this kid is coming from, how can you not understand where he's coming from?

The kid wasn't going to start at pg, if UMASS is going to get better he wasn't going to start at sg either, and he didn't want to start there anyway.

Losing Lasme hurts, but guess what, if he went to St John's and knew he'd have to play behind an Ingram for 2 or 3 more years, he'd have left Jarvis and St John's too.

The kid said he only came the first time around because of his relationship with Lappas and now when he leaves you say Lappas stinks.
If any other coach had been here, he never would have been here and it would never have been a problem.

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Post by ItsWhatsBest » Sun Apr 13, 2003 12:43 pm

Lappas will be removed if he doesn't contend for a post-season berth and that would require a super-human coaching feat given the lack of progress every single player in this program has made under him and the lack of experience the players that are expected to make the difference between a 10-18 team that lost the leading scorer and rebounder and best Freshman. If he wins games and the fans come back, he'll get another year. If he produces yet another terrible season for the $200K+ he's getting while playing in front of 25% capacity then he will be gone.

And since we already know he will produce yet another terrible season while playing in front of 25% capcity right now, we can avoid wasting another season with a quitter of a coach instilling giveupedness in our players and start the post-Lappas era as soon as possible.

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Post by ItsWhatsBest » Sun Apr 13, 2003 1:23 pm

Mr. Miagi, oops, I mean MinuteGuy wrote:he was brought in here to start over and rebuild.
Your entire post is based on a faulty premise. Giving Lappas three awful seasons was absolutely not part of the plan. And even if it was, that was someone else's plan. UMass desperately needs its basketball program to generate revenue. Or are you suggesting UMass cut 7 sports so that UMass could afford to pay Lappas $400K to "rebuild" a program that went to the post-season 3 times with a very-near miss in a 4th in the previous 5 years while winning 2/3 of its conference games?

Lappas didn't have to advance in the NCAA in his first two seasons, but he wasn't supposed to deliver the two worst seasons in over a decade in each of his first two campaigns. He didn't have to have a top 10 recruiting class, but the guys he did bring were supposed to be able to play at A-10 level AND be willing to stay. He didn't have to inspire sellouts but the average attendence in his second season wasn't supposed to be lower than the previous single game low in Mullins Center history. He wasn't expected to start 26-0, but he wasn't supposed to lose to Fordham, Central Connecticut State and Lafayette. He didn't have to put up a dazzling RPI to counter a disappointing record, but UMass wasn't supposed to wind up ranked #209 after playing the weakest schedule in years.

He was brought in to win and draw customers because that is what UMass needed and he has done neither and if he continues to do neither he has to be removed. He has done nothing at UMass that deserves loyalty or even support from the fans other than jump at this job when it came available instead of trying to prove his many critics wrong and earn an extension at Villanova. Just because he found a way to ensure he had a well-paid head coaching job in 2002 doesn't mean he's one of us. He's never contributed to UMass success so why is he owed anything else?

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Post by Orange Julius » Sun Apr 13, 2003 1:51 pm

Both Minute Guy and ItsWhatsBest brinng up good points. For MG the glass and is half full and if Its the glass is clearly half empty. Lappas should be given at least one more year but even the most optimistic fan would be foolish to disagree that Lappas as underachieved since he's been here. Regardless of what he was left with I don't think anyone would have predicted as bad a two seasons as he's had. The truth lies somewhere between the opinions of Minute Guy and ItsWhatsBest.


Post by MrMiagi » Sun Apr 13, 2003 2:47 pm

He didn't quit Nova, they quit on him. When Jay Wright became available Lappas was forced out.

Wow, Bruiser had them within a game of the NIT his final year, that's tremendous.

A bad year for Lappas was winning 19 games and missing the NCAA's by a game.

Your problem right now is that UMASS IS POOR. They can't afford to buy him right now. You act liking firing the coach is going to bring in all this extra revenue. Not only will they have to pay for Lappas, but they will have to pay for some unknown who's going to bring in just as many people to the games as Lappas. If the current players don't like the next coach they too will leave and UMASS will become a complete and total joke.

You are absolutely a complete idiot. You are totally incapable of the seeing the big picture, and most of that problem is because you are a huge Bruiser Flynt fan and are absolutely anitLappas. To refer to your school's coach at RATFACE shows a complete lack of class.

Do you realize that if Bruiser was still here the attendance would have plummeted to the levels that Lappas has seen. Do you know that if most of the coaches that UMASS was looking had come attendance would have continued to plummet. An extra win or two by another coach wouldn't have made the difference, and that's all that could have been obtained by another coach. Lappas is a victim of the program he was left with. You are using Lappas as a scapegoat because your prior coach left the program with nothing to build with.

You are a Lappas basher.

I have conceded that if he can't get the job done by the time AA leaves he should be fired. I have said that a million times.

You on the other hand bring absolutely zero to the table. You bring up bad losses and the RPI all the time as if we aren't aware of it. We all know there have been some of the worse losses in college basketball history and that their RPI is at the most embarrassing level in UMASS history.

This has nothing to do with Lappas deserving another year or two. UMASS would be stupid to let him go. Are you going to buy up 5000 season tickets if Lappas is fired.

I'll tell you what. If Lappas is ever fired. I'll bet you 500 dollars that UMASS doesn't see an extra 600 season ticket sales. If anything, they'll lose season ticket holders.

BTW: The A10 is way better now than it was when Bruiser was here so you can take his conference record and throw it out the window.

From top to bottom, the league is WAY BETTER.

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Post by Old Cage » Sun Apr 13, 2003 2:56 pm

Welcome, all, to AARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!

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Post by ItsWhatsBest » Sun Apr 13, 2003 3:45 pm

Forgive me if I don't defer to your interpretation of what UMass wanted or needed while you were following Villanova basketball. Your interest is in what's best for Lappas and mine is in what I think is best for UMass. I'm not going to spend much time trying to convince you that your position is wrong because I don't particularly care if you agree with me and given your history with this coach, I think that you will defend him even if you don't believe what you are saying and that is so very boring.

I will correct a factual errors though. You are wrong about the level of play of the A-10 now vs. before Lappas was hired. In Lappas' first year, the A-10 only sent one team to the tournament. This year it was back up to the 3 that was the minimum in any Flint season. UMass' strength of schedule this year was #127. The season before Lappas arrived it was #17 and the average SOS for UMass between 1997 and 2001 was 38. The conference was ranked #9 in the RPI in each of Lappas' first two seasons. It averaged 8.4 in the 5 years prior to Lappas' arrival never sending fewer than three teams to the NCAA's, once sending four and twice more sending five. And during this period of time, the Eastern Division was much stronger than the west and UMass had to play those teams twice.

You are absolutely incorrect that the A-10 is tougher now than it was before Lappas got here. It is in fact weaker than it was before Lappas got here. And UMass had to play the better teams more frequently then than it does now.

You have every right to your opinion, but don't make factual errors of that magnitude if you're going to take up residence as chief Lappas apologist in this forum. Especially since your interest in this program is fleeting at best.

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Post by Kosty » Sun Apr 13, 2003 4:33 pm

ItsWhatsBest wrote:I will correct a factual errors though. You are wrong about the level of play of the A-10 now vs. before Lappas was hired. In Lappas' first year, the A-10 only sent one team to the tournament. This year it was back up to the 3 that was the minimum in any Flint season.

You are absolutely incorrect that the A-10 is tougher now than it was before Lappas got here. It is in fact weaker than it was before Lappas got here. And UMass had to play the better teams more frequently then than it does now.
So wait......the level of play in the A-10 is stronger than before Lappas got here and yet the A-10 is not tougher??? I'm confused by your logic......oh wait, your thoughts have no logic. Classic "I think it, so it must be true".
:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

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Face the facts

Post by whiterhino42 » Sun Apr 13, 2003 5:16 pm

:x :x :x :!: Let's be realistic here. Let's face the facts. Lappas leaving right now would slide the program even farther into oblivion. They CANNOT afford to hire some great coach, Lap is the best we are going to get and I believe with his recruits he will show that is a lot better than the last 2 years have been. As for Lasme, let's be honest, he was going to be pushed out to the bench anyway, the writing was on the wall. He IS NOT better than AA and I highly doubt he would have been better than Artie. He had a couple good games this season and he had many, many, less than stellar games. Maxwell will replace him off the bench and from what I've read and seen will be as good if not better than Lasme. As for him being the best recruit Lappas has brought in, he's not even close. Artie, Freeman, and Briggs were all ranked higher.
Freeman is a sleeper. I have talked to some people who saw him play in high school and I've been told Lap got a "steal" of a recruit in him. They say he will dominate and he will lead, some schools passed on him because of his eligibility factor. Given the way this kid handles himself I think he'll be out to make them all regret it. And he makes no question of the fact he will be PROUD to represent UMASS this season. Those are the kind of kids I want playing for us.
Let's support the program, Lap is our best shot right now, these kids are our brightest future in a very long time. Let's give them some positive moral for ONCE! :x :x :x :x :!:

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Post by Minutemanfan » Sun Apr 13, 2003 6:21 pm

ItsWhatsBest wrote:
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.

I'll tell you why I'm not broken up about Lasme leaving. First though, let me say that I wish him the best. I believe him to be a good guy. I'm not saying that he's "expendable". I know that he's a gifted athlete, though he never really displayed that athleticism in Amherst. But life is all about timing and he's not the right guy in the right place at the right time. I think he's too high maintenance. From his recruitment and his change of heart about UMass to his indecision about wrist surgery and now instead of competing for the point guard position he transfers. He said that he'd been thinking about it all year. Did he display displeasure about minutes at the 1 when we weren't looking? We know there were chemistry problems last season. Is it possible that he was responsible for some of that? Did he think he was too good to be here? I don't know, I'm just asking....

As for Bowers and Maxwell and the rest of next year's team, we'll see. But, if Lappas is gone and Everhart is in, who knows, there might be more transfers.


Re: Face the facts

Post by MrMiagi » Sun Apr 13, 2003 7:14 pm


Well said. Killing the coach after two season makes no sense especially when it has to be obvious that recruiting has improved and his best recruits have yet to hit the floor.

The guy does have a track record. He's not a complete moron.

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Post by Floyd » Sun Apr 13, 2003 8:22 pm

I agree with the rhino, too late to do anything now, & next year will be the perfect opportunity for Lap to do his thing with his guys. If it doesn't work out next year, the writing is on the wall and we should make a change early and with a real search. If Lap comes through, he deserves another year, but at this point I think it is year to year until we see some consistency, no more extensions. No excuses after next year. Until then, I'm behind them & support them. Go Minutemen!!

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Post by deke » Sun Apr 13, 2003 9:02 pm

What was McCaw's rationale behind extending Lappas' contract, anyway? He was here one year, and it was a losing season. Was it simply a show of support from the new AD?

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Post by obg » Sun Apr 13, 2003 9:16 pm

All kinds of bullshit over a rumor that someone made up. There are no such plans. I went to the Banquet today (Small turnout.) I talked to several people who will remain nameless and they had never heard the rumor and they said that it was absurd. Lappas went on, in his speech, about how much better the team would be next year because there would be more players who are familiar with his teachings. This year there were only four players who played for him before (AA, Martin, Micah and Pacho.) He didn't promise greatness for next year but he did promise improvement.

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assistant coaches

Post by philosopher » Sun Apr 13, 2003 10:46 pm

deke wrote:When you look at assistant coaches as potential head coaches, you never know what you're getting. :)
:) Hey deke, what was Cal's position when he came? Sorry, couldn't resist the chance to say "hey" and have a chuckle at the same time. Still, your point is well made and Cal's success merely underscores the positive possibilities. Any of us can go to our own imaginations to conjure up the negative possibilites. Whatever Ian does, it will be a roll of the dice. One of these days, according to the laws of averages, UMass will come up with something other than snake-eyes (and that may not be taken to say that Lappas is a loser).