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Username Post: Thoughts from a curmudgeon        (Topic#20133)
Stuart Suss 
Masters Student
Posts: 893

Loc: Chester County, Pennsylva...
Reg: 11-21-04
03-12-17 06:14 PM - Post#226604    

The Ivy League postseason tournament should not exist.

I did not attend any games of the tournament that should not exist.

I did not attend any games of the tournament that charged $100, $75 and $40 for tickets, not including the $50 food charge added to the $100 tickets and the $40 food option for others.

I am among the group of fans who do not believe that Penn should be flying a championship banner from 1981 or from 1996. Penn lost playoff games to Princeton those years. If you do not make it to the NCAA tournament, your team should not be commemorating the season. It does not matter how the Ivy League defines co-champions.

In 2008, a 13-18, 8-6 (third place) Penn team ended its season with a win at Princeton. At the press conference Coach Glen Miller was asked about the season. “I realize that at Penn there are two places in the standings, first place and last place.” Miller replied. For all of Glen Miller’s failings, he was 100% correct with that statement.

10 years of mediocrity do not change my standards. Nothing should be celebrated except NCAA tournament appearances.

The Hall of Fame football coach, Bill Parcells, famously, and accurately, stated “You are what your record says you are.”

This team’s record was 13-15, 6-8 (fourth place).

There is no accomplishment to finishing in fourth place.

We do not celebrate fourth place teams, even if the Ivy League allows a fourth place team to play an additional game.

That additional game was nothing more than the 28th game that was taken away from each team so that there could be a tournament that should not exist.

We do not celebrate a team that finished 6-8 because they started 0-6. Jerome Allen, in December of 2009, inherited a team which was 0-7. These coaches and these players did not inherit a team which was 0-6; they created a team which was 0-6.

On March 3, 1998, Mitch Henderson and his Princeton teammates arrived at the Palestra for the final game of the regular season. Princeton’s record was 25-1, 13-0. Steve Donahue sat with Fran Dunphy on the Penn bench. Princeton led 37-19 in the final minutes of the first half. Penn rallied to tie the game at 44-44, and took the lead twice in the final two minutes. The score was tied 66-66 with 12.1 seconds remaining as Penn set up its final play. Michael Jordan missed a three point shot at the buzzer. Princeton pulled away in overtime to win 78-72. Penn ended the season at 17-12, 10-4 (second place).

We do not celebrate the 1998 team even though they took an undefeated Princeton squad to overtime in their final game.

On March 2, 2013 a Penn team, which would finish the season at Pomeroy #249, upset #93, and ultimate Ivy League champion, Harvard, 75-72, in the Palestra. That was an even greater upset than this season’s win over Harvard. There was much enthusiasm about the future of the team and its freshmen stars, Darien Nelson Henry and Tony Hicks.

That 2013 Penn team’s final record was 9-22, 6-8 (fifth place).

We do not celebrate the 2013 team for finishing 6-8 even though they defeated Harvard at home. If we remember the 2013 team at all, it is for the unfulfilled potential of those who played on that team.

Next year’s team should be judged based on two standards.
1. At Penn there are two places in the standings, first place and last place.
2. You are what your record says you are.



 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 16620

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-12-17 06:20 PM - Post#226606    
    In response to Stuart Suss

Love you Stu, but you have to walk before you can run. Steve inherited an utter disaster, made possible by the fraud who used to be our AD. He inherited his first recruiting class as a result of that AD's refusal to fire himself and stay on for a "victory" lap. So this year was his first recruiting class, and what a class it was. His second appears to be even stronger. He tried to bring in transfers to bridge the gap, but it did not work---so he adjusted and we won 6 of 8 before the playoff game he coached brilliantly.

So while I agree that there should not be a tournament, as long as there is one, it showed us just how much we improved.

Even a curmudgeon should admit as much.

 
Penndemonium 
Masters Student
Posts: 594

Reg: 11-29-04
03-12-17 06:25 PM - Post#226608    
    In response to Stuart Suss

Wow.

I get what you are saying, but one of my favorite teams of all time was the 1992 team that finished second behind Princeton. The team was not very talented, but established the winning culture that set up the championship run of the 90's. That team taught a young Jerome Allen how to win. No team before or after worked harder than that team on defense. My favorite moment was when they had to come back from their dressing room to play and win an overtime against Penn State. That team consistently outworked and out rebounded the other team despite being under-resourced. I was very proud to have that team represent Penn.

While I see what you are saying, we owe the 1992 team some appreciation for setting the tone for one of the great Penn championship streaks.

This team showed some flashes of 1992, although we have a much longer journey still ahead to play as champions.




 
Big R&B Truth 
Senior
Posts: 351
Big R&B Truth
Loc: Back Waters of New Englan...
Reg: 11-23-04
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-12-17 06:26 PM - Post#226609    
    In response to Stuart Suss

Wow.

I totally disagree with you on the tournament, but I totally agree with you on your standards for Penn next year.
You should add a third standard: Beating Princeton.

Losing to Princeton three times in one year is hard to take especially when we were one free throw away from ruining their season. I am betting you are not that upset about this because you probably refuse to acknowledge the existence of the third game

 
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2098

Reg: 11-23-04
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-12-17 06:47 PM - Post#226616    
    In response to palestra38

FWIW, I agree with Mr. Suss about the tournament, although, with some changes, it could be a fine consolation prize event. But, he is pretty tough on a young team that started slowly, but didn't give up. And, I agree with P38 that you have to learn to walk.... As a fan, I found that one of the most satisfying periods of Princeton bball for me was the return to relevance after the lowly Scott era. It is fun to pull for a team on the rise. When you are accustomed to winning all the time, like the Ps in the last century (did I really say that ? :o), it is easy to slip into arrogance and entitlement while it becomes tougher to be satisfied. I enjoyed 2011 and the last second "playoff" victory immensely, just as I enjoyed this year's final climb back to the top.

So give a champ (the 14 game winner) it's due -- the NCAA bid. And then, we can have a tourney for salsa and chips and an NIT bid (or, possibly, a 2nd bid?) to inspire hopes for the next season.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3251

Reg: 02-04-06
03-12-17 06:53 PM - Post#226620    
    In response to Big R&B Truth

Let x = Penn's final league ranking. The Suss utility function is 0^(x-1).

Kind of hard to detect trends with that thing.

 
Jeff2sf 
Postdoc
Posts: 3560

Reg: 11-22-04
03-12-17 07:05 PM - Post#226622    
    In response to SRP

it's adorable that you think we'd put on a tournament to award an nit bid.


generally agree with P38, stu. I'm not particularly happy with 6-8, but for the first time in a long while I can see a path. it'll be tough - we're not senior dominated but no one particularly is (yeah sorta princeton but stephens and cannady are sophs for crissakes).

I will say, circling back to another point, that 40 dollars for lousy seats is just really tough for me. I can't particularly see reducing the cost given you "get" two tickets, but until my kids get more into it, i just can't justify spending 150 dollars to watch one KenPom 150 team play in a game.

 
penn nation 
Professor
Posts: 9919

Reg: 12-02-04
03-12-17 07:25 PM - Post#226625    
    In response to Jeff2sf

I do think that the '96 team is worth celebrating. Didn't we lose like the entire '95 starting lineup to graduation? We still beat Princeton twice, including on the last day of the regular season, and they needed a third game and an OT to finally beat us to advance to the NCAA.

 
Jeff2sf 
Postdoc
Posts: 3560

Reg: 11-22-04
03-12-17 07:26 PM - Post#226626    
    In response to penn nation

ha well i don't think we should hang a banner but I distinctly felt like we should have just been champs with the head to head going 2-0.

 
besnoah 
Masters Student
Posts: 595

Reg: 12-14-05
Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-12-17 07:48 PM - Post#226637    
    In response to Jeff2sf

100% on board with Stu, who is undeniably correct (even from the perspective of this fan who went to the game and wished to see Princeton's season ruined and the Ivy humiliated for adding this tournament). I also think there's a difference between appreciating effort, anticipating growth, and celebrating fourth place.

Edited by besnoah on 03-12-17 07:56 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
SomeGuy 
Postdoc
Posts: 4256

Reg: 11-22-04
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-12-17 08:03 PM - Post#226642    
    In response to besnoah

I really don't see the humiliation for the league in an upset. Part of the reason that you do the tournament is that people tend to like seeing that sort of scenario. Yes, objective people would feel bad for Princeton if it happened, but that's part of the theater of a tournament. To me, it's actually why you do it.

Anyway, as I said in the other thread, I thought the tournament was great, and I suspect it will be here to stay (in some form -- maybe the Palestra doesn't always host, though I think it should). I think Princeton is a stronger team and league rep as a result of the experience. I think Penn got some darn good experience for a young team, too.

 
11Quakers 
Sophomore
Posts: 110

Age: 57
Reg: 02-25-12
03-12-17 08:16 PM - Post#226648    
    In response to SomeGuy

Stu,

We love you but you really are a curmudgeon.

Why spend so much time in negative land?

Rather than trying to rewrite history (the tournament is now a reality) and live in the present.

It was quite a fun weekend of good hoops and the outcome was perhaps has it should have been with the league winners going to the tournament.

See you next year at the tournament.



 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1187

Reg: 02-15-15
Re: Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-12-17 09:23 PM - Post#226668    
    In response to SomeGuy

  • SomeGuy Said:
I really don't see the humiliation for the league in an upset. Part of the reason that you do the tournament is that people tend to like seeing that sort of scenario. Yes, objective people would feel bad for Princeton if it happened, but that's part of the theater of a tournament. To me, it's actually why you do it.

Anyway, as I said in the other thread, I thought the tournament was great, and I suspect it will be here to stay (in some form -- maybe the Palestra doesn't always host, though I think it should). I think Princeton is a stronger team and league rep as a result of the experience. I think Penn got some darn good experience for a young team, too.



The only people who don't like/want the tournament are people like Stu, and there are a lot of them.

It is good long term for the league. It will result in a stronger league with more high profile recruits and eventually 2 bids for the worthy teams.

A lot was accomplished this year to head that direction. I thought it was a huge success and will continue to get better.


 
besnoah 
Masters Student
Posts: 595

Reg: 12-14-05
03-12-17 09:35 PM - Post#226671    
    In response to PennFan10

I am flabbergasted that anyone could've watched tonight's selection show and come away believing this league will ever have two bids.

Meanwhile, I don't care about the league's profile and I don't care about the league's recruiting. I care about Penn's profile and Penn's recruiting.

 
PennFan10 
PhD Student
Posts: 1187

Reg: 02-15-15
03-12-17 09:41 PM - Post#226673    
    In response to besnoah

And I don't care what you care about. Neither does most of the league obviously. Almost every coach on ILDN on Friday talked about getting 2 bids for the league.

I am saving your post for future reference.

 
caughtinasnare 
Senior
Posts: 307

Age: 29
Reg: 02-21-09
03-12-17 09:52 PM - Post#226675    
    In response to PennFan10

Frankly, I can see hating the tournament, as I did at first blush as well, but the fact of the matter is that Penn would have probably finished dead last if they couldn't have rallied around the prospect of still being able to make it (sure, we'll never know, but from Coach Donahue's comments I believe this would have been a likely possibility). Therefore, as a result, the sheer existence of the tournament may have helped the returning Penn players, the freshmen in particular, improve far more so this season than they otherwise would have without the tournament. That places those players in better position to improve and make some noise next season, and for that, I am grateful. I got to go to three games this year (all in the last 8 games of the regular season), and they were a fun team to watch, which I have not seen in quite a while, and if the tournament was the reason that was the case, I won't celebrate a fourth place finish, but I will celebrate the improvement and growth they gathered for having had the opportunity.

 
besnoah 
Masters Student
Posts: 595

Reg: 12-14-05
Thoughts from a curmudgeon
03-12-17 09:53 PM - Post#226676    
    In response to PennFan10

Edit: No need for any of this from me.

Edited by besnoah on 03-12-17 10:02 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Chip Bayers 
Postdoc
Posts: 3866
Chip Bayers
Loc: New York
Reg: 11-21-04
03-12-17 10:39 PM - Post#226680    
    In response to PennFan10

  • PennFan10 Said:
And I don't care what you care about. Neither does most of the league obviously. Almost every coach on ILDN on Friday talked about getting 2 bids for the league.

I am saving your post for future reference.



If you can watch Wichita State get a 10 seed and still have the naive hope that an Ivy tournament will be the difference in making this a 2-bid league, I have a large stone and iron structure spanning the East River I would like to sell you.


 
caughtinasnare 
Senior
Posts: 307

Age: 29
Reg: 02-21-09
03-12-17 11:35 PM - Post#226682    
    In response to Chip Bayers

Considering that the lowest at-large bid seeding this year was 11, and Princeton got a 12 seed (although they are the lowest ranked 12 seed overall), I wouldn't call it COMPLETELY out of the question, given the rising quality of the conference. Wichita State was the only mid-major autobid to get a seed above 12 other than Gonzaga out of the WCC getting a 1 seed. Sure, it probably wasn't gonna happen this year, but with the trendline of the league I wouldn't think that in 5 years it won't be a possibility.

 
gopenngo 
Masters Student
Posts: 427

Reg: 01-30-06
03-13-17 12:05 AM - Post#226683    
    In response to caughtinasnare

The Ivy League will NEVER get an at-large bid. NEVER, EVER. Vandy got in this year with 15(!) losses. That averages to one loss a week every week from Thanksgiving to Selection Sunday! Their saving grace? Strength of Schedule, which is a really big deal for The Committee. A big enough deal to give them a 9 seed.

The MVC is now a one-bid league.

As Stu pointed out, by not allowing the extra exempt games, the Ivy League has her head up her tailpipe. We simply don't have as many opportunities to improve our SOS. And how many RPI-improving games, or top-50 wins does our quaint tourney afford anyone?

The "such-a-success" Ivy Tournament is a joke. Except to the bean counters. However, we can all feel better for having participated. There are trophies for that, right?

Even though we're below .500, it's good enough, considering. Really?

Stu is spot on.

Do not send these athletes into the off-season with any thought that this season was a success. Send them off with the bitter taste of failure. Challenge them to come back and not taste that again.

 
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