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Thoughts on the program...

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:33 am
by ShortHairedDog
I do not want to be misunderstood, but just want to get others thoughts on our basketball program. I know we have some great recruits coming in next year, but I am just tired of losing in the first round of the tournament every year. What are your thoughts?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:36 am
by walliver
The Basketball program seems to be in a Groundhog Day type loop. Every year, they play well in most money-games, beating a big-time team about every other year, then an injury to an important player occurs, we struggle in conference, make a good run sometime during the season, and fizzle in the tournament. Hopefully '06 we will be injury-free. These early season season-ending injuries seem to take something out of the team.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:54 am
by BossTerrier
I agree. I am tired of losing in the first round as well. We haven't made it past the first round since 2000 when we beat VMI in Greenville. That year we also went on to beat Davidson in an incredible game, only to lose on Saturday to CofC.
Sure we've had our share of injuries, but that excuse only goes so far. This year we still had the best two big men to play at Wofford in the Division I era on the court at the same time. Also, one of the best 3pt shooters in the conference in Nichols averaging over 40% a game and we still lost. Poor blocking out on the shot which allowed them to get the rebound and put it back to win. Despite a remarkable comeback, we had a lapse of concentration for the first 10 minutes of the second half. App had defensive intensity, we did not. We got back in the game because of free throws.
The main concern I have with our teams is we have the talent, obviously because we beat Davidson and Georgia Southern, but we have no consistency. There is no explanation for losing to a team like the Citadel, possibly one of the worst D-I teams I have ever seen, but we found a way, at home, on Statewide TV, and on Senior day at that. Some recruiting help that is.
Lack of focus, concentration, shot selection, etc. come down to coaching. I'm not picking on Mike, I like him and I think he has done a fair job based on past Wofford standards. But Ayers has risen the bar for all sports as far as I'm concerned and I expect a consistently good team every year. But our kids look like deer in headlights when things start going against them in games. We lack the confidence to step on the court and win consistently.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:34 am
by ShortHairedDog
The injury to Eric this year should not have kept us from getting further in the tournament. We had a better team than 9th in the SoCon without him. There is something else there that is keeping us from being a great team other than an annual injury.

Hopefully next year, some of the big guys we are recruiting will be able to contribute. We should be very solid at guard. I think if next year is similar to this one, then there should be serious consideration for some type of change.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:17 pm
by Eyes of Old Main
ShortHairedDog wrote:There is something else there that is keeping us from being a great team other than an annual injury.

I think if next year is similar to this one, then there should be serious consideration for some type of change.

Two thoughts on the current situation.

First, What type of something else are you thinking about? The system? Coach Young? Fan support? Recruiting? Money?

I agree that something is missing, but I am not sure what. After 10 years of D-I basketball, Wofford should have something more to show than one .500 season and no winning seasons. But, then again, Wofford has been mostly non-competitive in all sports since moving up with the exception of football during the last five years. Do you think Wofford is happy with running clean programs and less concerned with on-field results? Or is it truly a resource and money driven problem?

Second, if a change were to be made to try to fix the problem, what would it be? Most places rush to bring in a new coach, but who could Wofford get that would be better enough to justify firing Coach Young who has obviously shown that he is loyal to Wofford having been here for many years? Would Wofford want to bring in a hot assistant from somewhere and see if they could build a program over 3-4 years, get is to the Big Dance, and then move on to a bigger school? I don't see a problem with our facilities and basketball only requires a few scholarships so I doubt those are the problems. Fan support seems to be getting better based on attendence numbers I've seen. I don't know enough about basketball to say our system is bad, but we are frequently able to play at least closely with teams that are more talented so it might be hard to say that is the problem either. Or, is Wofford just suffering from bad luck? That's a tough sell too since we've been in these doldrums for so long now.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:46 am
by ShortHairedDog
I think we do a very good job recruiting for one of the smallest D1 colleges in the country. I am not close enough to the program to know if there is a lack of funding. I agree that fan support has started growing and that our facilities are comparable to other SoCon schools.

I think we are getting talented basketball players, but we are not winning games. The inconsitency this year was hearbreaking. The kids just did not seem ready to play when the ball was tipped most games. I don't blame that totally on coach Young because having someone on the floor to lead the team is just as important as somebody on the sidelines. Something is just not clicking. Hopefully it will "click" in the next 2-3 years so this none of this matters and we can start talking about how many of us are traveling to watch us as a number 15 or 14 seed in the Big Dance.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:23 am
by Eyes of Old Main
I agree. I was in the student section for our D-II playoff game at home against Eckerd (the Fighting Pharmacists, LOL) in 1994. Wofford lost when basically the entire team fouled out before Eckerd even put us in the bonus, but that's another story.

But, the crowd and enthusiasm surrounding the experience was electric. Plus, over 10 yeras later, one of my fondest memories as a Wofford student was being part of giving each of our four seniors (Matt Allen, Matt Forness, Sidney Thomas, and John McGinnis) standing ovations as they left the floor.

After all the struggles our basketball program has gone through, I know we can get back to that, I just hope it's soon.