2019-2020 WBB Record

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2019-2020 WBB Record

Postby football58 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:28 pm

The UMaine women’s basketball team will finish somewhere around .500 this season. Losing Gary Fifield as an assistant coach will have a much greater negative impact than most people realize. The present coaching staff lacks the experience and basketball savvy that Fifield provided. He was the leader of the staff and his presence will be sorely missed. Fifield’s absence will contribute greatly to a disappointing season.
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Re: 2019-2020 WBB Record

Postby fafan » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:01 pm

football58 wrote:The UMaine women’s basketball team will finish somewhere around .500 this season. Losing Gary Fifield as an assistant coach will have a much greater negative impact than most people realize. The present coaching staff lacks the experience and basketball savvy that Fifield provided. He was the leader of the staff and his presence will be sorely missed. Fifield’s absence will contribute greatly to a disappointing season.


Ok so this is so similiar to SMAA and his BS, why is there always a southern maine flavor to everything anti UMaine :x
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Re: 2019-2020 WBB Record

Postby football58 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:15 pm

1 Win
2 Losses
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Re: 2019-2020 WBB Record

Postby ExpoEddie » Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:23 pm

This is a dumbass post. There is now a trend of posting info or ?'s with the intent to bring down Maine basketball. Amy Vachon is and has been the leader of the coaching staff since talking over. Her success and vision to change up their temp has revamped this program. Courtney and Parise bring a wealth of experience, history and understanding to their practices, recruitment and game management. They are young and will make mistakes. They are young and will make many more great decisions in keeping this program moving forward against very tough challenges.

I played in the original Big 8, but never lost sight that Maine is our only D1 university and continually rises to the challenges after being knocked down.
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Re: 2019-2020 WBB Record

Postby turkeyman » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:17 am

Agreed, Eddie. I see a tendency to put down UMaine. Maybe some folks below Bowdoinham are still sore that the Legislature in 1865 created a land-grant school, rather than designate Bowdoin or some other private school as Maine's land-grant institution. (I believe Cornell and MIT are the only private land-grant schools.) I have been told by folks at Bowdoin that Bowdoin is still chartered in Massachusetts because Maine denied it land-grant status.

Or maybe southern Mainers are still steamed that the committee that set up the university chose Orono over Topsham (by one vote). Or that a move failed in 1880 to limit the college at Orono to technical courses by dropping French, German, etc., from the curriculum. Sorry for the history lesson, but I don't know any other plausible explanation for resentment toward Orono, and especially toward its most successful athletic programs: football, women's basketball, men's hockey.

More to the point of Eddie's post, this young coaching staff is good. After the awful game Sunday against BU, Coach Vachon took the microphone to address the precise concern of most of us in the Cross Center. "We're gonna be OK," she said three times. "We're gonna be OK." Sunday's game, she said in essence, was an aberration. Without Blanca and Fanny, Maine wouldn't be competitive, even in America East. Sunday showed just how short the bench is. Hard to beat even a team so mediocre as BU with your three top players out. Blanca missed almost three quarters with the forehead cut, Dor missed nearly three minutes of the first quarter with blood on her jersey. Fanny is still out with a concussion, though she was in sweats at the BU game. Hoping she's back soon.

One great strength of Coach Vachon, in my view, is that she works with the skills of her players rather than trying to force them into styles or game plans that don't fit. Of course, this puts huge pressure on recruiting, but this year's class and next year's class, if it's as good as it looks, bode well. We fans tend to expect every recruit to be a Cindy Blodgett or a Jamie Cassidy, Division I ready on Day One. Almost none are. We knew Blanca was good in her freshman year, but who really knew how much she would develop? Others will develop, too. Coach Vachon's game plans are strong, and she pays attention. Go back and look at third-quarter scoring over the past three years. In more than half the games, Maine outscores the opponent in the third, which tells me that the coaching staff is fully engaged and is responding to what is happening on the floor. (An aside. I went from the BU game to Brownfield to see Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives. Stuart, too, is fully engaged and paying attention. They even performed "Tombstone Every Mile," which showed they knew their audience. That engagement is what I look for in athletes and coaches.)

In this year's class, only Anne Simon is clearly D-I ready. But she had a poor second half at Brown and had rough spots against BU. Anna Kahelin is starting to show some comfort with the sets and the defense. She has come a long way since the exhibition games, when she looked lost. Abbe Laurence may get an opportunity to upgrade during this season. Brown and BU games raised serious doubts in my mind as to how much Kira will be able to contribute. As Abbe improves her mobility, she may get the call more often. As it is, she has at least twice come off the bench for Kira when Maine needed more agility in the post, especially on defense. I find Abbe's positioning is good. Like so many bigs who didn't have to be mobile or to elevate in high school, she needs to improve her foot work, and if she does that she will have a good career at Maine.

Maine has bounced back before. At the mid-major level, ups and downs are the norm. Coaches sell a key recruit on building a program, as Richard Barron did with Liz Wood, that key recruit lives up to the challenge, as Liz did, and the program is strong again for a few years. Finding the next Liz Wood, Tanesha Sutton, Blanca Millan will always be the challenge. Few mid-majors have gone to the top and stayed. DePaul, Gonzaga and Green Bay come to mind. But how much do you hear these days about New Mexico or UC Santa Barbara or Temple or Chattanooga or Colorado State? All have had good runs in the past decade or two but are no longer near the top. It may always be thus with the mid-majors. The key is probably hanging on to a strong coaching staff. Keven Borseth has been at Green Bay for most of the past 20 years, Cheryl Burnett stayed a long time at SMS (now Missouri State) and went to two final fours. Robin Selvig stayed at Montana for 30 years or so, and the Griz have slipped since he retired two years ago.

If Maine can hang on to Coach Vachon for a decade or more as HC, the program could elevate like Green Bay and SMS. But it's going to have to be supported by a broad spectrum. Fans, administrators, the Legislature with funding, donors, etc.

Back to Eddie's post. I grew up in the Big 8, where he played. (Hell, I grew up in the Big 6, then the Big 7 when Colorado came in, then the Big 8 when OSU came in.) In some of those states, there are two large schools (KU-KState, OU-OSU) but none of the resentment that I find among some in southern Maine toward UMaine. In fact the big rivalries are out-of-state. KU with Mizzou, OU with Texas.

In my experience, we have a far better university than we are paying for. UMaine even draws athletes because of its academic programs (Kim Corbitt for engineering, e.g.). I would love for everyone to take pride in our State U and look to make it even better, rather than sitting down cellar trolling mbr.org and other sites to snipe.

Bob Neal
New Sharon
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Re: 2019-2020 WBB Record

Postby mainejeff » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:35 am

Great post Bob. However let's not pretend that the MBR posse represents the general population's view of UMaine. The general pop in Maine is way less engaged in UMaine (both positively and negatively) than the views represented on here from both ends of the spectrum.

My big problem with UM athletics right now is that they are completely dropping the ball on the fan experience....both at live events and their putrid streaming of live events originating from Orono and Bangor.
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Re: 2019-2020 WBB Record

Postby football58 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:23 pm

1 Win
3 Losses
.250 Pct
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Re: 2019-2020 WBB Record

Postby ExpoEddie » Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:42 pm

Indicating my Big 8 experience was to associate me with those in southern Maine who support Maine athletics. My Big 8 was Portland, Deering, SP, Cheverus, Westbrook, Bideford, Sanford & TA. In no way was I the Big 8 of D1. Appreciate Bob's history and the support for Coach Vachon and her staff.

With a NCAA appearance, recruitment should be stronger as UNH & VT both hitting the downturns as described by Bob. With Parise linked to Bangor North & Amy/Courtney covering Central Maine, hopefully they will get a little push from Firecrackers, Blue Wave, Dudley Davis Yes and Goodman, Murphy, Hasson, Giordano and the Bulldogs for the South region.
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Re: 2019-2020 WBB Record

Postby mainah57 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:43 pm

I think someone needs to teach football58 how non-conference schedules work... :?

Yes, Maine could easily have scheduled mediocre opponents all Fall and had a winning record right now. They didn't. Maine played one of the top teams in the nation today. I didn't expect to win (especially minus Wadling), but I'd rather play top-talent teams and have some extra losses than pad our record by playing crappy teams.
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Re: 2019-2020 WBB Record

Postby football58 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:37 pm

mainah57 wrote:I think someone needs to teach football58 how non-conference schedules work... :?

Yes, Maine could easily have scheduled mediocre opponents all Fall and had a winning record right now. They didn't. Maine played one of the top teams in the nation today. I didn't expect to win (especially minus Wadling), but I'd rather play top-talent teams and have some extra losses than pad our record by playing crappy teams.


So, Brown and BU are also among the top teams in the nation?
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