And the Winner is??

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And the Winner is??

Postby LennyH » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:55 pm

So I like most anyone who checks into MBR on a regular basis have been enjoying the bantering back and forth between Cim and the unidentified Maine19Fan. Having had the privilege of having my own go arounds with the formidable bcbc55, curious to see what others think on who is currently winning the debate game, so let's see if I can summarize the cases being made:

Discussion Point - Maine should recruit the two best "Mainah's" each year and fill in their roster with "outsiders"

bcbc15 - Strong supporter of this theory, his strongest point (imho - don't you hate it when people write this :) ) is that if "we are going to lose anyways, why not lose with locals" - although he does reference the one winning season Maine had in the last years had Barnies, McNally etc...

Maine19Fan - Scoffs at thinking any group of Maine kids could ever really "compete" at the DI level - he looks at the list of recent Mainah's and only see 2 kids who have the ability to play DI...this theory would be Basketball "suicide" according to M19F...

Winner - You tell me?? Tough call if you ask me - I 100% agree the State would completely support a roster of Maine Kids, but the reality is it's a rarity when Maine can put together a roster that would make this work on a regular basis with men's basketball. The biggest issue is even if their were 2 kids each year, there simply is NO guarantee the two kids would commit. (Maine is "weak" at selling UMaine to Southern Kids) Having been around the "AAU" circuit for 20 plus years, there is only one time I can recall when Maine had a large group of DI Players (Barr, Strong, Socoby, Costigan, Cook, McNally, - damn, one other I can't remember 6'10" played at Cheverus) - If I am being diplomatic I would say every year is different and any coach would be stupid to select one option over the other without considering all options. Winner is????

Discussion Point - Maine Basketball Teams shoot too many 3 point shots.

bcbc55 - Adamant you cannot "live and die by the 3" - inside-out basketball is the way to succeed, too much reliance on the 3 ball is simply not going to get it done.

Maine19Fan - Wants more data (I respect the request, question the laziness of not finding the data himself) - He questions what are the realities of the 3 points shooting in relation to scoring efficiency and other successful teams.

Winner??? - Well I actually have argued this one before with bcbc55 - this year both the Men's and Women's team are having a scoring efficiency (points per attempt) which are just about statistically equivalent (1% difference for both teams in favor of 2 point field goals) - I would declare bcbc55 the winner here, only because Maine19Fan was lazy, he asked questions without actually taking a couple of minutes to find the answers, we can't award laziness, even if I would agree with his points.

Discussion Point - Old School vs New School

bcbc55 - Old School - "Inside-Out Basketball" - "Basketball Players over Athletes Playing Basketball" - "Be patient" - "What's your experience?" - "Get off my lawn" :lol: :lol:

Maine19Fan - New School - "Analytics" - "The Game has Changed" - "Athletes over Basketball Players" - "Data, data, data..." - "Twitter says..." :lol: :lol:

So who is the winner???? Doesn't really matter to me - I simply enjoy two people passionate about the game of basketball!!

PS - I am "all in" on Merry Christmas!!!
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Re: And the Winner is??

Postby bcbc55 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:09 pm

LennyH wrote:So I like most anyone who checks into MBR on a regular basis have been enjoying the bantering back and forth between Cim and the unidentified Maine19Fan. Having had the privilege of having my own go arounds with the formidable bcbc55, curious to see what others think on who is currently winning the debate game, so let's see if I can summarize the cases being made:

Discussion Point - Maine should recruit the two best "Mainah's" each year and fill in their roster with "outsiders"

bcbc15 - Strong supporter of this theory, his strongest point (imho - don't you hate it when people write this :) ) is that if "we are going to lose anyways, why not lose with locals" - although he does reference the one winning season Maine had in the last years had Barnies, McNally etc...

Maine19Fan - Scoffs at thinking any group of Maine kids could ever really "compete" at the DI level - he looks at the list of recent Mainah's and only see 2 kids who have the ability to play DI...this theory would be Basketball "suicide" according to M19F...

Winner - You tell me?? Tough call if you ask me - I 100% agree the State would completely support a roster of Maine Kids, but the reality is it's a rarity when Maine can put together a roster that would make this work on a regular basis with men's basketball. The biggest issue is even if their were 2 kids each year, there simply is NO guarantee the two kids would commit. (Maine is "weak" at selling UMaine to Southern Kids) Having been around the "AAU" circuit for 20 plus years, there is only one time I can recall when Maine had a large group of DI Players (Barr, Strong, Socoby, Costigan, Cook, McNally, - damn, one other I can't remember 6'10" played at Cheverus) - If I am being diplomatic I would say every year is different and any coach would be stupid to select one option over the other without considering all options. Winner is????

Discussion Point - Maine Basketball Teams shoot too many 3 point shots.

bcbc55 - Adamant you cannot "live and die by the 3" - inside-out basketball is the way to succeed, too much reliance on the 3 ball is simply not going to get it done.

Maine19Fan - Wants more data (I respect the request, question the laziness of not finding the data himself) - He questions what are the realities of the 3 points shooting in relation to scoring efficiency and other successful teams.

Winner??? - Well I actually have argued this one before with bcbc55 - this year both the Men's and Women's team are having a scoring efficiency (points per attempt) which are just about statistically equivalent (1% difference for both teams in favor of 2 point field goals) - I would declare bcbc55 the winner here, only because Maine19Fan was lazy, he asked questions without actually taking a couple of minutes to find the answers, we can't award laziness, even if I would agree with his points.

Discussion Point - Old School vs New School

bcbc55 - Old School - "Inside-Out Basketball" - "Basketball Players over Athletes Playing Basketball" - "Be patient" - "What's your experience?" - "Get off my lawn" :lol: :lol:

Maine19Fan - New School - "Analytics" - "The Game has Changed" - "Athletes over Basketball Players" - "Data, data, data..." - "Twitter says..." :lol: :lol:

So who is the winner???? Doesn't really matter to me - I simply enjoy two people passionate about the game of basketball!!

PS - I am "all in" on Merry Christmas!!!


LennyH: Great post. Nice to have a ref, even if the calls don't always go my way. Outstanding insightful, thoughtful, resourceful, interesting, timely and and informative post. Really enjoyed it.

My objection to the overuse and abuse of the three that it is hard to win a tournament high school or college in the one and done tournament season because when you have that bad night you have to have something else to fall back on. That is where to me the saying, "If you Live by the three you may die by the three" comes from or another way to say it is "if you live by the three during the regular season, don't be surprised if you lose by the three in the one and done season."

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year Lenny.

CIM
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Re: And the Winner is??

Postby Maine19Fan » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:16 pm

LennyH, good post.

To clarify though:
- On the issue of Maine players at Maine.
Please remember that I challenged 55 to name 8 current college players (in a couple of posts, he actually advocated for as many as 12) capable of playing for UMaine. He came up with two, one too good to ever had considered Maine, the other a role player.
I certainly would support keeping good players from our state at home. Why not? It would create more interest to be able to follow players we watched through their h.s. careers. But, there just aren't any. There haven't been for the last six or seven years, and there aren't any coming through the h.s. pipeline right now.
I, too, am a believer in keeping all options over. That involves recruiting Maine players if there are any worthy of recruiting, but also recruiting players from elsewhere, accepting transfers, considering players from overseas and accept grad students with a remaining season of eligibility.
There is no single formula for stocking Maine's roster with quality players.
And, limiting Maine's recruiting to almost exclusively players from our state clearly would not work.

- The 3-point issue. If you read some of my posts, and I know there's a lot of them, you'd see that I actually did the research that shows Maine's 3-point figures are not only the norm for AE programs, but that Maine''s 3-pointing efficiency (points per attempt) is actually better than its point-per-attempt production on 2-pointers.
Since that original post, Maine had an abysmal shooting game vs. UMass (5-of-21). The actual total is now 0.88 points for 3-pointer taken compared to 0.87 per two-point attempt. Before the UMass game Maine was getting 0.92 points per 3 taken and 0.87 per two-point attempt.
Last season Maine got 0.95 points per 3 taken and only 0.89 per two.

Additionally, I pointed out that statistics (facts) prove the offensive team gets more rebounds off its own missed 3's than it does off its missed 2's, something that 55 perceived was not the case.

Again, considering the offensive rebounding advantage on missed threes, that positive difference on 3's taken is even greater. Very obviously, getting an offensive rebound extends a possession and results in more shots.

It's 55 that did no research on this topic. All he did was present how many 3's Maine took, and its shooting percentage. He did that without perspective, without comparing Maine's 3's to other programs and without the "efficiency" factor.

- As for old school/new school: I'm for whatever works.
But, today's athletes are bigger, stronger faster. They're better defensively. Coaches devise better defensive schemes, and emphasize them. It has become considerably more difficult to get post production ... defenses quickly collapse on post players, double-teaming and often triple-teaming the ball when it goes inside. It not only makes it extremely difficult to pass the ball into the post but also makes it difficult for all but the most-exemplary post players to score. Maine, for sure, does not attract real quality post players.

55's theories on the way to play might have worked against slower, mostly non-athletic high school athletes he coached against 30 or 40 years ago. The wouldn't work on college basketball's D1 level.

And, yes, analytics strongly support the contention that the wide-open 3-point shot, which is often available due to defenses that emphasize guarding the post, is the second-best shot in basketball.
Only the dunk shot or a wide-open layup are more efficient shots.

Please note that I don't quote Twitter. Anyone can have a Twitter account (even 55) to post unsupportive and inane theories.

Doesn't matter to me, either, who is perceived as the actual "winner." I'm just trying to bring 55 into the modern era of basketball. Unfortunately, he clings to archaic beliefs and theories that no longer work, or ones that worked at a mediocre level of h.s. basketball 40 years ago.

I do agree that it's nice to be passionate about basketball, and I appreciate the give-and-take. But, it's something else to support that passion with modern knowledge, expertise and perspective.

That said, I am "all in" on Merry Christmas, as well!!
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Re: And the Winner is??

Postby bulldog » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:29 pm

Entertaining thought Lenny! I have enjoyed the banter. It gives me something to do in between buying and wrapping presents. I must say that both make valid points, but from two different perspectives. The high school and collegiate games are totally different and cannot be compared. College coaches have the ability to recruit players that fit into the scheme that the coach feels most comfortable coaching. At the high school level, you play with whom tries out.

As for filling the Maine roster with Maine student-athletes, I do not believe that there is the population density to give you enough quality skilled and athletic kids to do so. The Gary Towles, Nic Caner-Medley's and Nick Mayo's are far and few between and a coach is not going to be able to keep the really good ones. It may be easy to say that Towle, or Caner-Medley or Mayo should have come to Maine, but to actually convince them to do so is another thing. It is difficult to turn down a Providenc, Maryland, or Eastern Kentucky. At the same time, I would rather watch Maine kids make a go of it, rather than watch the current Maine team play.

I think there are, every once in a while, a Maine player that should be given a shot. I think the Moss boy, although small, is the type of kid that could make it. He is skilled, poised, plays the game with minimal effort, is competitive and most importantly...he knows how to WIN! You need kids who know how to handle and finish games.

As for now...banter is a draw.
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Re: And the Winner is??

Postby Maine19Fan » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:04 pm

Hey, bulldog: Nice to see others contribute.

I never said I was against bringing in players from our state to play at Maine. What I'm against is taking a bunch of inferior players just because they're from Maine.

Moss? From what I've seen: Woefully small, not enough quickness to overcome his size/strength advantage. A jump shot from his chest that wouldn't work at the D1 level. An indifference to defense. In short, a D2 player, at best. And, that's the highest level that's looking.
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Re: And the Winner is??

Postby bulldog » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:23 pm

Maine19Fan wrote:I never said I was against bringing in players from our state to play at Maine. What I'm against is taking a bunch of inferior players just because they're from Maine.

Moss? From what I've seen: Woefully small, not enough quickness to overcome his size/strength advantage. A jump shot from his chest that wouldn't work at the D1 level. An indifference to defense. In short, a D2 player, at best. And, that's the highest level that's looking.


Maine19...I am in agreement with you about bringing in the best players possible. I don't care where they are from, Maine should be after the best possible, whether from Maine or Not. I also agree with you that there are not enough Maine athletic skilled basketball players to make a run at successful competitive play at the DI level. It is even more difficult when there are top skilled athletes, that someone else comes in and gobbles them up.

As for Moss, I see him as a distributor and a get to the basket type of player, not as a shooter. I agree, he is small, but the kid knows how to win and that is the type of attitude that Maine needs from its players.

I lean more towards your perspective as the college coaches are in control of recruiting their players which is far different than that of the high school game.
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Re: And the Winner is??

Postby LennyH » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:48 am

M19F - Some things to consider...

If Maine wants a chance at getting the Maine kid who can be an impact at the DI level, they need to beat everyone else to the punch, my experience is Maine coaches wait to see if anyone else is going to recruit, THEN try to jump on board - uhhh sorry to late - why not get out in front, soft recruit early, so you don't look like your chasing once the other DI programs starting calling...

As a side note - in regards to Cim's list - Hyland despite his issues with different schools was undisputedly a DI talent - if he had gone to Maine from the start - legit AE player, I also believe McFarland would have had success - the truth is the line between a Top DII kid and a DI Contributor is very fine - lots of times its about "Right Place - Right Time"

You commented "defenses quickly collapse on the post players, double-teaming and often triple-teaming the ball when it goes inside" makes me wonder what games you are watching??? The reality is a true back to the basket post player is rarity in todays game - Villanova won a National Championship by ignoring who was in the post, switching every screen and realizing even in a mismatch few players could effectively dominate on the inside.

You have accurately pointed out todays game is predicated on 3 point shot, therefore, most successful coaches understand defending the 3 point line is far more important then designing a defense for the dinosaur that is known as a post player.

In the end I think we agree on most items...Maine kids being recruited has to be based on ability, not location; the 3 point shot in entrenched in todays game, if you your not able to do it, your not going to succeed...;paying attention to what the numbers tell you is more important then what your "gut" tells you.

I also agree with Cim there are parts of coaching that still matter - "thinking the game" will always give you an advantage to just "playing" the game, the bench is still the coaches best friend in getting players to follow directions and unselfish teams most always out perform selfish teams. (at least I think that's what he is saying :-)

Finally, I will weigh in on Moss - first he is a far different player than D. Cole - more physical and better decision maker - at the HS Level you could not get the ball out of Cole's hands but he didn't always make players around him better - I have watched Moss since he was a young player and the one skill that has impressed me from the start was he "always" made the right pass - an innate ability to figure out when to shoot and when to pass and frequently at the last second - simply a GREAT decision maker. I agree often seems indifferent UNTIL it matters - Can he palye DI - I normally feel comfortable one way or the other, however, with Moss I just don't know - deep down despite the limitations physically the intangibles make me wonder...
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Re: And the Winner is??

Postby bulldog » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:30 am

LennyH wrote:If Maine wants a chance at getting the Maine kid who can be an impact at the DI level, they need to beat everyone else to the punch, my experience is Maine coaches wait to see if anyone else is going to recruit, THEN try to jump on board - uhhh sorry to late - why not get out in front, soft recruit early, so you don't look like your chasing once the other DI programs starting calling...


Excellent point Lenny...I think that is why the baseball program has had success getting some of the better Maine talent to stay in state, they evaluate and jump on the Maine kids early. Although baseball is a different beast in that their scholarships are based on equivalency where basketball is a head count. I know in talking to some of the baseball parents that the early committment to baseball kept those players at home. Some of those Maine baseball kids were recruited by the likes of Stanford, Virginia, Villanova, BC, UConn, Northeastern, Rhode Island, the Ivy league schools.

The proliferation of AAU and the showcases has changed the landscape of recruiting for all sports. If you go back 30 years, it was relatively uncommon for southern or big time schools to come into the Northeast. That isn't the case today, and the competition for New England kids has become more competitive.
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Re: And the Winner is??

Postby Maine19Fan » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:57 am

LennyH, some things to consider. We'll start here: ... you'll have to identify the Maine kids over the past five or six year who could actually have played and helped at Maine.

55 tried, and failed badly.

There's Fleming and there's Mayo. Mayo was never coming to Maine. Fleming is a role player.
Hyland? Maybe, but Maine was far better off not having him in the program due to his variety of issues, mostly injury related. A lot of D1 programs stayed away from him because of his injury situation.
Hyland played a grand total of three games over a four-year span ... all three as a h.s. senior and, then, ZERO games in his first three years at various colleges. How would that have helped Maine?

McFarland? Since he graduated in 2016, two years ago, he doesn't fit into the narrative of current players that could help Maine. And, not to disparage him, but ... he was our state's player of the year as a senior and had no D1 offers. He then went to prep school for a year and, then, still had no D1 offers. He's a realistic 6-5 without a lot of quickness. He would have gotten eaten up at the D1 level, even by AE teams, all of which (at least the decent ones) have legit bigger players. Imagine him going against Jameel Warney? We'll agree to disagree on McFarland.

A strong guess here: Unless Maine's coaching staff is asleep at the wheel, it already is "soft recruiting" Maine players, i.e., keeping in contact, watching, sending letters, etc. In fact, I know that to be the case. You can't imagine how many letters get sent out, how many phone calls (one a week is allowed) are made. But, we don't hear about any of that because it's illegal, according to the NCAA, to release any recruiting information ... to even talk about h.s. player ... until a player signs a national letter of intent. So, just because we don't hear about it doesn't mean it's not happening.

Moss? A decent decision-maker. That's pretty much the only part of his game, right now, that even translates to the D2 level. He's tiny, gets knocked off balance on contact, doesn't play much defense, doesn't have superior quickness, his shot won't work on college level. He looks good on drives to the basket against non-athletic opponents on high school teams that don't offer "help defense."

And, I'll have to wonder what you were watching if you actually saw the 1985 NCAA championship game between Georgetown and Villanova.
Villanova ignored who was in the post? NOTHING could be farther from the truth.
Georgetown had the best post player in college basketball at the time, someone named Patrick Ewing. Villanova had Ed Pinckney as the initial defender and, then, sent a second defender every time the ball was headed in Ewing's direction. Villanova did NOT believe that Pinckney could guard Ewing straight up.
... And you contend "even in a mismatch few players could effectively dominate on the inside?"
Ewing couldn't have dominated?
Imagine Gary McClain switching off and trying to guard the post ... Geez, Ewing would have scored 100 points!

How do I know? One of my best friends was on the Villanova staff, did the scout and put together the game plan that beat Georgetown in that game. I actually have a copy of the game plan, it's part of a commemorative book that had a very limited publication to celebrate the game's 30th anniversary a few years ago. There are only a couple hundred copies. I was fortunate enough to have been given one. There is nothing in that game plan that resembles what you claimed happened.
If you want, I could pass along the main points of that scouting report in a future post.

OK, after I wrote this I did realize that you were probably referring to Villanova's most-recent national championship. What I saw in that game was Villanova concentrating on stopping NC's superior inside game. It did a great job, for instance, on Meeks who was a very good college post player, mostly by sending a second defender when the ball went to him.
Quite honestly, though, I did not watch the game closely enough otherwise to chart it and to understand the scouting report and game strategy. You might be right on this one.

The bottom line, though, is the discussion on 3-point shots. It is immeasurably easier to get open looks from beyon the stripe than it is to try to create something in the post. I would hope that even 55 could see that!
And, I will note that NC made 11-of-17 three-pointers in that game. Maybe it should have taken a few more!!!

I see, probably 40-to-50 college games in person annually, and many more on TV ... men's and women's games ... It is a rarity, almost a shock, to see a defense that doesn't collapse when the offensive team gets the ball to a player on the block.

Back to Moss ... yeah, we don't know. I know what I see, and I don't think he's close to a D1 player. But, the best judges are college coaches/recruiters. And, here we are, already more than a month into his senior season and one offer ... from a mediocre D2 program. That's what we know.

That said, I hope we're wrong. Nothing wrong with rooting for kids from our state to have success. But, it is what it is so far. Nothing wrong with D2 basketball. They get the same level of scholarship money. A D2 program's money is just as good as a D1's.
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Re: And the Winner is??

Postby LennyH » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:59 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: I was wondering where the heck you were going with the 1985 Villanova vs Georgetown - other than revealing your age :D I am glad you caught yourself - if you were to watch the most recent game closely you will see how few entry passes to the post were even made - the switching defense and great ball pressure is what made that difficult.

As for Maine kids who could help Maine - again as I said, I do not subscribe to the take 'em no matter what theory, as I have said it simply has to be on a player by player basis and Maine just doesn't produce the number of kids as bcbc55 thinks. I will say this though, I think many "small thinking" college coaches are afraid to take risks - if the players doesn't fit the "mold" they are too worried about what it will look like to the boosters and fans (on message boards) - ie... How the hell did you offer a scholarship to a 5'11 point guard, 6'3" shooting guard, etc.... sometimes production matters.. Better safe than sorry..

Won't bother going back and forth on debating individual players, all I know is I have seen many of them in Summer League against former D1 players and I have seen them kick ass... - Doesn't really matter now and we are in agreement just taking Maine kids to take them does not work.

I can also tell you from personal experience with former Maine's coaches (For many years I coached many of the states top players in AAU) and my own experience now, I will tell you I know FULLY WELL how many letters get sent, phone calls are asked to be made and all the rules involved and I will say both basketball programs are not great at early soft selling the DI Program even within the rules. Find ways to get the kids on the campus early - the best way is the marketing of summer hoop clinics - see very little of that in the Southern Maine area, build relationships from a young age and you might have a shot at that legit Maine kid who could help.

Finally, AMEN, AMEN - playing scholarship basketball at ANY LEVEL is a GREAT accomplishment.
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