What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball team

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What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball team

Postby Mainemanhoop » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:34 pm

Let's get back to everyone's favorite topic: Let's discuss potential answers for creating a winning Maine men's program.

I think we can recognize that none of us truly can solve this, but it's fun to toss it around.

Here's my view, starting with the issues we face.
- Location. Not exactly a desirable destination for 18-year old athletes. Tough winters, desolate location, relative lack of social activities for young adults.

- Mediocre, at best, level of D-1 basketball.

- Lack of in-state/potential stay-at-home players. Can we admit that our state doesn't produce the impact players who, of themselves, could turn the program around? And, that the few our state does produce want to play at the highest level possible?

- Finances. The program operates on a relative shoe-string budget, compared not only to other D-1 programs nationally, but also compared to schools within America East. The lack of a stronger financial commitment almost ensures we don't get a pool of quality candidates when the coaching job is open, either for a head coach or for assistants. It also limits the amount of recruiting that can be done.

Are there answers?
The only answer is to bring in better players, and that's not easy due to all the reasons, above.
So, how is that accomplished?
My contention is the "shot gun" method. That is, aim to find players by any and all methods.

- Yes, recruit in-state players who are good enough to be better than the last guys on the bench, and hope one of them has the "civic pride" to want to play for our state's team.
We currently have one, Andrew Fleming. The jury is still out on Moss. Maybe ... but, I haven't seen it yet.

- Recruit transfers. There are always players at the high-major level who want to transfer down to get more playing time. Hopefully, our coaching staff has the connections to be involved in that. Maybe Prijovic, who is a red-shirt this year, fits that criteria. The downside, though, is that transfer-downs usually transfer to their respective "home area" mid-major programs. We very rarely have any of those.

- Recruit the heck out of neighboring states ... Massachusetts, New Hampshire ... and hope to find decent mid-major level players who want go get away from their home areas. Unfortunately, most of the other programs in our league recruit those areas, too, and offer more-attractive locations/scenarios for players from our neighboring states.

- Recruit the junior colleges. Our leading scorer, Isaiah White, is a JC transfer. Our third-leading scorer, El Darwich, is also from a JC.

- Recruit internationally. There are very often players overseas who get overlooked and who want to come to the U.S. to play/attend college. Of the 13 players who have seen action for us this year, nine are from foreign countries originally. So, we're already going that route. Now, we just have to keep finding quality players from other countries, maybe better ones than what we have. Coach Barron did well doing so on the women's side of things. Let's hope his foreign contacts are still strong and he can duplicate that success for our men's team.

Just maybe our lack of financial resources, that all but required us to give the coaching position to Barron, works out if he can recruit as well internationally for our men's team as he did for the women's program.

Anyone else want to offer suggestions?
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Re: What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball

Postby Blind Zebra » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:17 pm

I would focus recruiting efforts on Europe and Canada and fill in any potential gaps with JuCo or high/mid major transfers. If you have an in state kid you think is a potential starter or Better yet, All Conference type, make a hard push. NYC/NJ, So. NE I wouldn’t even bother. Most likely getting left overs no one else wants.

Maine had success bringing in players from Canada and Europe in the past, just didn’t do a good enough job coaching them. Barron is on the right path. He needs time and also some luck. They need to strike gold in the next two recruiting classes. Find 2 or 3 diamonds.
I’m not super enthused about the current roster. Yagodin can be a solid AE player and Larsson shows some promise. Moss can be a good back up point guard maybe more by his junior year. Other than that...? Ingo is an athletic project. Prijovic is a capable role player next year. Another 1.5 years of El Darwich, Fleming and White who would be role players on a top flight AE team in my opinion.
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Re: What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball

Postby sewey76 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:10 pm

I think the transfer down to get more playing time only works if there is a Maine connection. Last time I recall was when Andy Bedard from Rumford who was playing at BC transferred to Maine and brought his team mate Nate Fox with him. That ended up being Maine's best all time team I think and would have gone to the big dance if Bedard didn't break his wrist in the Quarter finals of the AE tourney. They also had a dynamic coach in Dr G.

The last winning Maine was 2009-2010 I believe (19-10) and had two starters from Maine (McNally and Barnies)
So I think there are a few talented Maine HS players available each year. It would help to have a coach with Maine roots or who buys into the Maine lifestyle who will stay put and can recruit. And pay them something. It was my understanding that Dr. John G actually like being in Maine and I wonder if he would have stayed but for the salary.
I believe he started at $350 K at Lasalle.
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Re: What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball

Postby sewey76 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:56 pm

And I would add recruit a big who is a project and a coach who can coach him up. A project is the best you can do at Maine. The last, and only quality big that I know of was Jeff Cross in the early to mid 80's. And he barely played his first two years. But in his Junior and Senior years he was transformed and became a dominant player. I believe he was AE player of the year. So somebody coached him up.
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Re: What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball

Postby bcbc55 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:00 pm

sewey76 wrote:I think the transfer down to get more playing time only works if there is a Maine connection. Last time I recall was when Andy Bedard from Rumford who was playing at BC transferred to Maine and brought his team mate Nate Fox with him. That ended up being Maine's best all time team I think and would have gone to the big dance if Bedard didn't break his wrist in the Quarter finals of the AE tourney. They also had a dynamic coach in Dr G.

The last winning Maine was 2009-2010 I believe (19-10) and had two starters from Maine (McNally and Barnies)
So I think there are a few talented Maine HS players available each year. It would help to have a coach with Maine roots or who buys into the Maine lifestyle who will stay put and can recruit. And pay them something. It was my understanding that Dr. John G actually like being in Maine and I wonder if he would have stayed but for the salary.
I believe he started at $350 K at Lasalle.


"sewey76": Finally someone who thinks besides me that there are maybe 2 talented Maine HS players who could be recruited and help Maine men's program. Agrees also some one who has Maine roots to coach who will STAY and not use job as a stepping stone.A Mainer will stay, work harder, work for less and recruit 2 Mainers a year if available.
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Re: What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball

Postby Mainemanhoop » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:37 am

Every coach will use Maine as a "stepping stone."
The job is one of the lowest-paying in the country. Barron's salary is $150K annually. That might be the lowest salary in the league, and among the lowest at any D1 school nationally.
The next step at least doubles, if not triples that salary.
Other coaches at the better AE jobs make in the mid-to-high $300K's.
Who is going to pass that up?
We should be hoping that our coaches become candidates elsewhere. That would mean that our team is winning.
Sewey76 accurately pointed out that Giannini got big money to leave for the next level. He was making over $750K (financial reports are available on line) in his final years at La Salle.
Who among us would stay at Maine when money like that is available elsewhere?

As for there being "maybe" 2 talented Maine h.s. players who would stay home to help our state's team ...
First, it's well documented that, maybe, there are 2 every FOUR-YEAR cycle.
And, kids almost universally want to play at the highest level possible. Real good ones aren't going to stay home to play at a very low-level D1 program.
The others? Bring out that list again of players at the D2/D3 level.

Transfers? There have been more than a few that have come to Maine and were contributors. It's one avenue we should keep open. And, agree with Sewey76 on this, too: Recruit in Europe and Canada. Let's hope Barron still has his overseas connections that translate to men's basketball.
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Re: What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball

Postby basketball_guy » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:03 pm

How about all the talent at all these New England Prep Schools.
Surely, Barron could do a better job recruiting with them.

https://newenglandrecruitingreport.com/recruits
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Re: What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball

Postby basketball_guy » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:50 pm

Anyone seen this kid play from Scarborough high school.

https://youtu.be/V8DWMrkw0vs

Seems a bit slow in the pivot. Not sure where he is rated.
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Re: What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball

Postby basketball_guy » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:35 pm

Top prospects in Maine 2019 including prep school talent

https://newenglandrecruitingreport.com/ ... ss-of-2019
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Re: What will solve the woes for the Maine men's basketball

Postby basketball_guy » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:43 am

This is the Number One Prospect in Maine high school and prep schools.
Committed to South Carolina. But this kid looks every bit a Division 1 player.
I would give him a four star ranking.

https://youtu.be/cagD0-YMySw
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