Expectations and Direction

SoCon Champs - 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015

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Postby NCTerrier on Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:46 pm

Isn't it so predictable that someone will bring out that old scholarship horse and beat it in front of the crowd whenever the subject of winning (or losing as the case may be) comes up? Newsflash people, we do not have the same budget as other programs within our conference. Also, several of those schools do not fund scholarship football, giving them added resources. We get it, now let's move on, drop the oh-we-are-so-small-and-underfunded mantra and deal with our situation as it stands today. In a perfect world, we would have all the scholarships we could dream of and be able to send coaches on recruiting visits all over the world. Facts are, right now we can't and that is not going to change quickly. I wish that wasn't the case. As has been stated many times here, no one expects us to suddenly become Davidson basketball, but I think at least one record above .500 in six years is a reasonable request. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.

Postby dude on Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:27 pm

I think everyone is frustrated and disappointed. I'm not wading into the particular argument over coaching or resources here (and which is more relevant to the situation, etc.). But I do think it's worth noting the part the injuries have arguably played in Wofford's recent basketball history.

Like resources or anything else, this isn't a blanket excuse, either. But I've never heard of a team losing its leading scorer for the season 4 out of 5 years. And in the case of Justin Stephens, he was a GREAT scorer as a freshman who never returned anywhere close to full-strength after getting hurt early in his sophomore year. Guys like Stephens and Eric Marshall aren't run-of-the-mill players for a program like Wofford (or even in the SoCon, in general, I think), and such losses have an impact. Even this season, Shane Nichols played hurt a lot.

Again, I'm not pointing this out to dismiss any other viewpoints. And there's no way of knowing whether we'd have been more successful with particular guys in the line-up. But I do think it's important to consider the impact injuries may have had when assessing recent trends with Wofford basketball.
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Postby mjtorg on Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:57 pm

Wofford is a very small D1 school and the likelihood of recruiting AAA high school players not to mention high school All American players is pretty remote. The need then is molding and inspiriing the players we have and can recruit. Must emphasize the need for togetherness and not individualism. The coach and all players have to provide this.

Many times, teams that are overlooked because of the lack of stars have a way of sneaking up on everyone. Case in point is Purdue in the Big Ten, (we beat them early) after their shaky start they were able to pull a YOUNG team together for a run at the B-10 title. Very good coach but mostly a bunch of kids that liked playing together.

Playing together and having fun. Surprising what that can do to overcome deficiencies. We need to find a team leader and the coach must motivate them and make the game fun.

Again, Wofford is a very small school with basically low espectations. Let's use that to our advantage.

Postby johnb on Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:48 pm

I wouldn't put FU (7-23) or Elon (14-19) as examples of success.

And they suffer from the same problem as Wofford.

Davidson,COC,UNCG (Butler,Drake,Xavier,Gonzaga,GeorgeMason,S.Alabama etc etc) can put all their resources into 13 basketball scholarships,facilities,promotion,coaches salaries etc.

Uneven playing field-year after year after year .

Postby TP T-Dog on Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:43 am

Then maybe we should just drop the basketball program altogether if you believe there is no opportunity for success unless the playing field is even. Then agian, we could play the cards we are dealt and find a way to be successful with the resources we have or have access to. Is that possible-ask Mike Ayers what he thinks. This whining and excuse making is sickening me.
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Postby Ruckus on Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:05 am

I agree TP. Why even play if we are resigning ourselves to failure?
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Postby ShortHairedDog on Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:17 am

I have been paying close attention to this thread and I have also grown tired of the excuses. I am not asking to play in the SoCon Championship every year. I am asking to compete. How many times have we made it past the second round in the SoCon tournament in the past ten years? More importantly, ask yourself how many times you expected us to make it past the second round. The team plays bad basketball…against anybody it is bad basketball. I think and have thought for a long time it is the coach. Others don’t. I think I have seen somewhere that we have 11 scholarship players. That gives us 5 on the floor and a 6 man rotation. Those 11 play bad basketball. What is the problem?
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Postby terriers on Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:45 am

While I am not much of a basketball fan, I am a long-time fan of
Wofford athletics and it seems to me that our basketball program
is following the same path as our baseball program under Steve
Traylor. His baseball record was 143-283 and 70-168 within the
conference. MY's basketball record is 74-103 and 39-64 conf.

Prolonged losing tends to suck the energy out of our fan base
and I think that is what is happening here. The late losing
streak and the final blowout loss did not help matters. Coach I
seems to be pumping new energy into our baseball program
and I think something similar needs to happen in basketball.

Postby FollyDog on Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:54 am

Does Wofford have a nornal performance review cycle for each sport where the Athletic Director meets with the Head Coach and reviews their progress against the set goals and makes the decision on whether they stay or not? Is the decision communicated to anyone? Board of Trustees?
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Postby Ruckus on Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:56 am

Does the fact that we are extremely successful in football despite the same seemingly insurmountable obstacles as other sports not bother anyone? To me, the only excuse that has any validity is the injury bug which is bad luck for sure, but common in all sports (remember 2006 when we lost 2 or 3 DLs in football to injuries yet somehow rallied to win 5 straight?).
I am tired of excuses. This is our best year and we barely broke even and finally got past the first round of the playoffs. This team played great competitive games at times and had a lot of potential but sadly we failed to even show up for about a third of our conference games. Is next year going to be better? The next? Any reason why we should expect more success in the future? I am convinced we have the talent; what we don't have is the intangibles and culture of winning and doing the things necessary to win. We just don't know how to get it done. Settling for excuses and hoping for a better tomorrow does not win games. Make no mistake, there are a lot of good things about our program and our coaches (clean program, good kids, good men coaching, high grad rates, good students, etc.). Winning games unfortunately is not one of them.
I know it's easier said than done and the MAs of the world don't come often but accepting mediocrity (or failure) only breeds future performances that are the same. I am tired of settling for something near the bottom. Can't we do better? Do we even want to or care enough to do better?
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Postby Rowdy on Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:07 pm

terriers wrote:Prolonged losing tends to suck the energy out of our fan base and I think that is what is happening here. The late losing
streak and the final blowout loss did not help matters. Coach I
seems to be pumping new energy into our baseball program
and I think something similar needs to happen in basketball.

Great post terriers. I defended MY for a long time, but I'm now seeing the fans leave in droves. It's not easy to get them back. The Rick Gilstrap era in football is a perfect case in point. How long did it take to get the fans back in the bleachers after his contract was not renewed? I'm not sure we even got them all back.

Postby terriers on Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:41 pm

I saw one of Gilstrap's last games in 1987 when Davidson, with a
non-scholarship program, beat us 10-0 at our place and our guys
didn't seem to care. I came home and removed all the Terrier
stickers from my car. When they quit, I quit. We finished 1-10
that year and hit rock bottom. Ayers took over the next year and
we went 5-5. From then on it was uphill. I remember he said the
first step is to convince them they can win.

Postby BossTerrier on Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:55 pm

Ave. Home Game Attendance at Ben Johnson since 2001(from SoConSports.com):

03: No Data
04: No Data
05: 1,819
06: 1,189
07: 1,190
08: 1,252

01-05: 1,877
06-08: 1,210

That's a 35% drop in Home Game attendance over the last 3 years.

While we don't rely on the Basketball gate receipts to fund anything, it at least is one measure of interest in the program. Any business that loses 35% of its customer volume in a similar timeframe would have had to make tough leadership changes. Perhaps we should consider this as one piece of the puzzle.

Postby dude on Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:56 pm

I do not think our basketball program right now is in NEARLY the shape of the football team by Rick Gilstrap's last season. I would not agree with that comparison.

We certainly seem to need an infusion of confidence and positive chemistry, and a key recruit here or there would help immensely. Those are not small issues, and people can disagree on where positive change may likely come from. But I don't think the Gilstrap comparison here is quite on target.
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Postby Rowdy on Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:07 pm

Dude, You're 100% correct. The B-ball program hasn't sunk to the depths of the Rick Gilstrap led football team ........ yet. In my first post here, I said Wofford did not renew Gilstrap's contract. He wasn't technically fired. If he had actually been fired a couple of years earlier, perhaps we would not have suffered through years of rebuilding the fan base. And how much money does that cost? Lost revenue for years, added advertising expense, diminished Terrier Club contributions?


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