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Username Post: My Final Thoughts        (Topic#27301)
nychoops 
Junior
Posts: 244

Reg: 11-23-04
06-03-23 08:29 PM - Post#356616    

First off id like to apologize for saying I was going to give my thoughts and then disappearing. I am not arrogant or naive enough to think anybody cares however I don't like to say I am going to do something and then not, so sorry about that, between the draft deadline and helping some kids with the portal it's just been a crazy time.
I'd also like to say sorry ahead of time for the length and in all likelihood unorganized nature of the post. I will try to answer all the questions I have gotten via DM, share my thoughts, and then I think it's best I leave you folks be.
First, to answer some of the most asked questions in general I have gotten:
1)My background...I have as the old saying goes been fortunate enough to never cash a check that wasn't related to basketball. Between coaching, AAU scouting then, what you would most likely call a street agent this is all I know. By street agent in my case, I never took a penny nor did I encourage or arrange for any kid, coach or parent to get paid. I simply used my connections to help kids land at a school I thought would be the right fit.
2)What brought me to this board...I have obviously known about Penn basketball forever. Hassan was the first player I was associated with to go to Penn but my real involvement was with Kyle Neptune who I desperately tried to steer toward Penn. Once I found the site I found its users knowledgeable, respectful, passionate, and loyal. I love anything basketball related and you folks appreciate the game in a different way and I always enjoyed all of your perspectives.
3) Do I have a vendetta against Penn or Steve..
No. I admire everything about Penn, academically and its basketball history. As for Coach SD on a personal level think he is a fine honest man.
Now the hardest part....making 100% certain that I am ONLY speaking on behalf of myself and NOT Jordan or any other player. All answers are based on MY interactions with other coaches of all levels and kids who were recruited by the current staff
1) What feedback did Jordan get that he would need to transfer to a higher level when CJ and Oni didn't?
First, the transfer rules were different when those two played, so they might have switched schools under the current rules. However, the feedback was in fact he would be better off leaving...why? Simple....style of play and predictability of offense. The NBA people I spoke with...I never asked JD directly about this but the ones I spoke with do not have a high opinion of Steve's coaching ability. Not his preparation, not his in-game management, not his ability to adjust to different unforeseen situations nor his general game acumen. And do be honest neither do I. With NO VENDETTA I can simply say I do not believe the man is a quality basketball coach.
2) Scouting and recruiting issues... I'll start by saying that I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT fully understand the AI, or financial situations involved. What I do know is this staff has failed to both identify and consistently maintain contact with players that have either ended up quality players in the league or were interested in Penn, would have been different makers at Penn but the staff didn't pursue them properly. The staff has a reputation around CBB as looking for a specific skill and hoping they can turn the kid into a piece of the puzzle. Shooting, length, etc.... instead of recruiting basketball players. They are not consistent in their contact, don't understand the way kids today want to be contacted, and honestly are outdated and outworked.
I am sure many of you will disagree and as always I know they will come from smarter people than myself and from a good place so I absolutely respect and appreciate the contrarian points of view.
I wish you all well. Penn is a fantastic basketball brand and I hope it gets restored to where it belongs. The Palestra is my fav arena and I know how much it means to the game when Penn is relevant.
On a personal note, I want to thank each and every one of you for welcoming me these past several years. You have ALWAYS been welcoming, and respectful and in times of loneliness quite comforting. Be safe, be healthy, and take care




Edited by nychoops on 06-03-23 08:35 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 33015

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: My Final Thoughts
06-03-23 08:50 PM - Post#356617    
    In response to nychoops

Thank you. And I agree in large part with your opinions, as much as it hurts me to say so.

 
Penndemonium 
PhD Student
Posts: 1914

Reg: 11-29-04
06-03-23 11:20 PM - Post#356621    
    In response to palestra38

I completely trust your integrity and intentions on this.

I'm a bit surprised that other coaches are so negative on Steve's coaching acumen, but I can accept that too. Bringing Cornell to the Sweet 16 seemed quite an impossible achievement, so I may have given him a bit more credit. He also seemed very effective in his first few years at Penn. That said, I'd agree that perhaps the approach is dated and predictable now. The Ivy League certainly is not surprised by it. I think that is why we sometimes overachieve against strong out-of-conference teams, but don't against weaker in-conference teams.

Thanks for the feedback!

 
pennsive 
Junior
Posts: 200

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: My Final Thoughts
06-04-23 11:47 AM - Post#356630    
    In response to nychoops

My take is somewhat different than your analysis, although generally we are in agreement.. Where we differ is that Steve does a good job of game preparation, witness getting early leads on so many teams that come back to beat us.. The problem is that our recruiting has been substandard-especially failing to recruit big men who both are athletic and have an offensive game- which leaves the staff's recruiting one dimensional players who fit the offensive system as our lifeblood, but leave us exposed to the other teams' adjustments. Jay Wright and Fran Fraschilla both have said on ESPN that Steve is an outstanding offensive coach. That is comforting, but it also is a way of implying that he and the staff are not doing the job defensively. When opposing teams make their runs, Penn's interior defense resorts to fouling instead of blocking out and keeping their big men off the boards, and making the other defensive adjustments necessary to make comebacks difficult. Additionally, on defense, our players are not quick or strong enough to get out on their three point shooters and then get back to help out, so we make their better shooters look like All Americans when they start hitting their shots and then driving to the hoop. When our opponents tighten their defenses and crash the boards (which we have been unable to adjust well to and are not athletic enough to fight off), they grab the momentum, and the game is over. Usually, that happens in the second half when we are tired and have no answers,. Against Pitino's Iona team, it happened seven minutes into the game, and the result was embarrassing when we were completely outclassed in every aspect of the game. Hopefully, the freshmen coming in will yield one or two starters and give us the depth we need to compensate for our existing lack of quickness and overall size with fresh bodies, more size, and quality depth. The loss of JD is huge, but it does open up the opportunity to create offensive and defensive schemes that employ two fairly equal units, and that, by itself, with different personnel moving in and out of the lineup in both halves of each game, may be sufficient to fight off most of these comebacks by keeping everyone fresh and out of foul trouble. and with sufficient game experience that they look comfortable out on the court in crunch time.

 
Mike Porter 
Postdoc
Posts: 3620
Mike Porter
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Reg: 11-21-04
Re: My Final Thoughts
06-06-23 11:55 AM - Post#356686    
    In response to nychoops

Thank you nychoops for your candid thoughts and insights as always. You've been an excellent poster here for a long time and hope you continue to be! Regardless of the different opinions you'll find here about the current state of Penn basketball (think I've made mine pretty clear), I have no doubt everyone would agree that you're a very respected poster and we will all be St. Johns fans next season.


 
PennFan10 
Postdoc
Posts: 3593

Reg: 02-15-15
06-07-23 11:42 AM - Post#356697    
    In response to Mike Porter

While I certainly respect NYChoops comments and his experience, my experience is different. I likely have a different set of contacts whom I am in touch with and I most often hear positive feedback with regards to SD and his coaching acumen (from college, HS and prep coaches), particularly on the offensive end. He has gotten a lot better coaching defense but our defense hasn't been elite since Ira Bowman left. Recruiting is another story. I think they are not nearly aggressive enough on the recruiting trail and he doesn't have anyone on staff who is a defensive expert.

In terms of predictability on offense the last few years with JD, the offense has had to run through Jordan and that means an iso/ball screen approach, which is different than Steve has run. And virtually every NBA team runs a predictable, high ball screen offense through their best scorers. That's not unique to Penn. It is unique to SD as he hasn't run that system in the recent past so some of the nuances and adjustments might not be in his wheelhouse, so I understand the feedback. I mean it was pretty predictable that Jordan Dingle was going to touch the ball and take a lot of shots. That said we were top 100 offensively and it was our (lack of) defense that crippled our chances. I think this year you will see Penn go back to the type of offense that has been most successful in the past. The question for me is whether we can get enough defensive talent on the floor to matter.

 
Penndemonium 
PhD Student
Posts: 1914

Reg: 11-29-04
06-07-23 01:59 PM - Post#356699    
    In response to PennFan10

This take also seems reasonable.

  • PennFan10 Said:
While I certainly respect NYChoops comments and his experience, my experience is different. I likely have a different set of contacts whom I am in touch with and I most often hear positive feedback with regards to SD and his coaching acumen (from college, HS and prep coaches), particularly on the offensive end. He has gotten a lot better coaching defense but our defense hasn't been elite since Ira Bowman left. Recruiting is another story. I think they are not nearly aggressive enough on the recruiting trail and he doesn't have anyone on staff who is a defensive expert.

In terms of predictability on offense the last few years with JD, the offense has had to run through Jordan and that means an iso/ball screen approach, which is different than Steve has run. And virtually every NBA team runs a predictable, high ball screen offense through their best scorers. That's not unique to Penn. It is unique to SD as he hasn't run that system in the recent past so some of the nuances and adjustments might not be in his wheelhouse, so I understand the feedback. I mean it was pretty predictable that Jordan Dingle was going to touch the ball and take a lot of shots. That said we were top 100 offensively and it was our (lack of) defense that crippled our chances. I think this year you will see Penn go back to the type of offense that has been most successful in the past. The question for me is whether we can get enough defensive talent on the floor to matter.




 
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