02-24-17 11:56 AM - Post#223189 In response to Bruno
Nice post, Bruno. Lot of meat on the bone here, but I'll take a stab at it as I wait for my plane.
I believe we can attribute a lot of the current "roster" pain to two things. (1) Leland King's departure. The guy was an absolute stud. An inside-out threat capable of scoring 20-25 on any given night is something that is very hard to get. I realize he rides the pine at Nevada, but you could see it two years ago that his skill set translated at the low D1 level. Blackmon and Hobbie are nice pieces but they aren't All-League guys. (2) The junior class is a goose egg. It is very hard to win when you have an empty class - and that is what it is - especially when they become upperclassmen. This forces us to play guys, who I think are going to be good, like Anderson/Fuller/Howard before they are ready. I don't put too much weight into the "recruiting rankings" but point definitely taken. I've seen Cambridge and Choh on youtube and those are the type of athletes we need.
As far as the state of the program goes off the court I am not sure we could be in a much better spot. The alumni engagement by Martin and the staff has been unlike anything the program has ever had. I think this can be attributed to Martin not viewing this job as a stepping stone and the personal connection he has to the place. I didn't really know Happy Dobbs, but Glenn Miller and Craig Robinson clearly had wandering eyes, and Jesse Agel - I'm not going to waste my time talking about what a disaster that experiment was from the second he was hired. In addition on the alumni front, Martin was able to go out and do three things that I think are very impressive (1) HC position endowed (2) Assistant Coaching position endowed (3) funds for new locker room.
Not sure if some of the fire breathers on this board have been back to campus lately, so I will fill everyone in here - the infrastructure SUCKS. Did anyone see the locker room before it was redone? I am mean holy sh*t, how do you bring a Division 1 recruit in there and expect positive results? The OMAC - say what?!?!? And the Pitz - while it is terrific when it is rocking, there is not too much that is unique about it. You find me the competitive advantage in that place and you win salesman of the year. Now with all this being said improvements can be made to all of these situations to bring us up to par, but lets not act like we're playing a hand with pocket rockets here.
Which brings me to a final point. I think we all long for sustained success. Not a two year flash in the pan Earl Hunt supernova, but real - make the ivy tournament every other year- success. I think the best way to achieve that is find a high quality coach who will STAY. I know we are 9-26 the last 35 Ivy games, but I think we got the guy right now. Martin is organized, detail oriented, and represents the program in a first class way. He has checked every box thus far except (probably the most important) winning games. However you don't invest in a 29 year old guy (at the time of the hire) and cut bait because he stubs his toe a couple of times early on (see King departure and non existent Jr class). Now you can't go on forever not having checked that box, but I think we are a ways off. I mean what are guys clamoring for the good ole days of .... never? A hire like Al Skinner? Get a grip, boys. Be pragmatic.