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Old 03-06-2017, 10:14 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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Hi, my name is ccd494 and I like to discuss Maine basketball. I think there are numerous topics that are interesting and worthy of discussion, including the pace and space style of play Walsh has adopted and whether that was an indication of his intent to continue to play that way moving forward or a response to the personnel on the roster; the large number of guards on the roster and whether that is an intentional decision or just a product of taking the best player available; whether the team's continued inability to defend is something to be concerned about in the future, and many other topics.

However, I have a problem, and that problem is that any discussion of University of Maine basketball occurs on the Maine high school basketball website. I CANNOT visit that site. I think that most of the posters here would agree I am fairly reasonable. I can get grouchy at times, but I can generally converse at an adult level. Visiting the MBR forum makes me want to destroy my computer/tablet/iphone/whatever device I am using at the time.

My issues are numerous. First, it delves into high school sports at an incredibly creepy level. I don't need to know what is going on behind the scenes at a certain high school. I don't need a parent rant about why his kid's coach is a moron. I don't need to, in any way, hear about the inner politics of Maine AAU basketball.

Second, the amount of old white dudes convinced (CONVINCED) that if they were in their primes right now they would walk on the court and beat the University of Maine in a game of five on five is ridiculous. Nevermind that they never shot a jumper and instead were putting up two hand set shots. Never mind that there was no three point line when they played (an innovation they despise). Never mind that the most athletic player on the court could barely elevate and touch the peach basket they were playing with. But because Stearns High in 1952 was able to go down and compete with Boston Latin, that means that Stearns High of 2016 could run top New England prep schools off the court if they just had some fundamentals.

Third, and god, the fundamentals vs. athleticism discussion. These old guys who rant and rave about basketball today will not stop telling you how bad "athletes" are at basketball. Now, mind you, by athlete they mean black people. Their ideal point guard for UMaine is a 5'5" kid named Dustin Cole, who (rightfully) did not get a scholarship offer. But, he's a Mainer, he's white, he can't dunk, he's the platonic ideal of a basketball player.

Which leads me to point four, perhaps the biggest reason I feel ostracized from the UMaine basketball fan community. I WAKE UP EVERY DAY HOPING TO READ BOB CIMBOLLEK'S OBITUARY. This post is already longer than is reasonable to expect anyone to read, so I won't go into the 75 points that lead to my hatred of Maine's most overrated basketball coach, player and official. But his command and control of the UMaine message board to post his official reasons why things would be better if he were in charge is the world's largest exercise in delusion this side of Marco Rubio's presidential campaign. And even worse, he somehow has a blog on the Bangor Daily News website. His ubiquity is matched only by his idiocy.

So, please, reasonable Maine basketball fans, I beg you. Start posting here. Get off that high school board. I need recruiting updates! I need to know if Garret Beal is alive! I need someone to argue about the merits of playing an 85 possession basketball game with! My blood pressure needs to not skyrocket whenever I give in and check MBR, and the only way to avoid that is not to need to check MBR!
Quite possibly one of the funniest things I've read on this forum...well done young buck, well done! Still funny...
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:21 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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Originally Posted by ccd494 View Post
Hi, my name is ccd494 and I like to discuss Maine basketball. I think there are numerous topics that are interesting and worthy of discussion, including the pace and space style of play Walsh has adopted and whether that was an indication of his intent to continue to play that way moving forward or a response to the personnel on the roster; the large number of guards on the roster and whether that is an intentional decision or just a product of taking the best player available; whether the team's continued inability to defend is something to be concerned about in the future, and many other topics.

However, I have a problem, and that problem is that any discussion of University of Maine basketball occurs on the Maine high school basketball website. I CANNOT visit that site. I think that most of the posters here would agree I am fairly reasonable. I can get grouchy at times, but I can generally converse at an adult level. Visiting the MBR forum makes me want to destroy my computer/tablet/iphone/whatever device I am using at the time.

My issues are numerous. First, it delves into high school sports at an incredibly creepy level. I don't need to know what is going on behind the scenes at a certain high school. I don't need a parent rant about why his kid's coach is a moron. I don't need to, in any way, hear about the inner politics of Maine AAU basketball.

Second, the amount of old white dudes convinced (CONVINCED) that if they were in their primes right now they would walk on the court and beat the University of Maine in a game of five on five is ridiculous. Nevermind that they never shot a jumper and instead were putting up two hand set shots. Never mind that there was no three point line when they played (an innovation they despise). Never mind that the most athletic player on the court could barely elevate and touch the peach basket they were playing with. But because Stearns High in 1952 was able to go down and compete with Boston Latin, that means that Stearns High of 2016 could run top New England prep schools off the court if they just had some fundamentals.

Third, and god, the fundamentals vs. athleticism discussion. These old guys who rant and rave about basketball today will not stop telling you how bad "athletes" are at basketball. Now, mind you, by athlete they mean black people. Their ideal point guard for UMaine is a 5'5" kid named Dustin Cole, who (rightfully) did not get a scholarship offer. But, he's a Mainer, he's white, he can't dunk, he's the platonic ideal of a basketball player.

Which leads me to point four, perhaps the biggest reason I feel ostracized from the UMaine basketball fan community. I WAKE UP EVERY DAY HOPING TO READ BOB CIMBOLLEK'S OBITUARY. This post is already longer than is reasonable to expect anyone to read, so I won't go into the 75 points that lead to my hatred of Maine's most overrated basketball coach, player and official. But his command and control of the UMaine message board to post his official reasons why things would be better if he were in charge is the world's largest exercise in delusion this side of Marco Rubio's presidential campaign. And even worse, he somehow has a blog on the Bangor Daily News website. His ubiquity is matched only by his idiocy.

So, please, reasonable Maine basketball fans, I beg you. Start posting here. Get off that high school board. I need recruiting updates! I need to know if Garret Beal is alive! I need someone to argue about the merits of playing an 85 possession basketball game with! My blood pressure needs to not skyrocket whenever I give in and check MBR, and the only way to avoid that is not to need to check MBR!
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Old 03-06-2017, 07:16 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

Reminds me of a co-worker years ago when the UVM women had that long multi season unbeaten streak. He insisted that the women would beat the UVM men's team. Now the men were mediocre then, but they had a several players over 6'8", and were around .500 in league. I tried to convince this guy that not only would the men absolutely crush the women, the women would have trouble beating most Vermont boys high school teams. Sheer physicality. But this guy would not be swayed. He would fit right in on that MBR board.
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:07 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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We could use some more Maine BB talk right here. Transfers, injuries and misbehaviour have made Maine this season one of the most challenging situations in all of D1 basketball. Hats off to the team for exhibiting the sportsmanship and playing effort they did this season.
Here is some talk....Walsh is coming back for the final year of his contract: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/03/0...gles-continue/
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:33 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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Here is some talk....Walsh is coming back for the final year of his contract: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/03/0...gles-continue/
I agree with the decision. Next year's team should be improved, and I'm yet to have anyone able to point out a coach that Maine could hire who could have 1.) gotten players of the caliber of Vann and Little and Eke to Orono, 2.) kept them in Orono, and 3.) won more games with such a depleted roster this winter due to the injuries and late transfers.

There's a huge learning curve to recruiting players to UMaine, and bringing in a new coach resets that. If next year is another shitshow with injuries and defections and single digit losses, maybe hitting the reset button is the answer. But I don't think you hit that button unless you absolutely need to, because I steadfastly believe that it will take any coach hired at Maine 2-3 years to figure out what kids you can get to Orono and what kids you can keep in Orono.
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:41 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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I agree with the decision. Next year's team should be improved, and I'm yet to have anyone able to point out a coach that Maine could hire who could have 1.) gotten players of the caliber of Vann and Little and Eke to Orono, 2.) kept them in Orono, and 3.) won more games with such a depleted roster this winter due to the injuries and late transfers.

There's a huge learning curve to recruiting players to UMaine, and bringing in a new coach resets that. If next year is another shitshow with injuries and defections and single digit losses, maybe hitting the reset button is the answer. But I don't think you hit that button unless you absolutely need to, because I steadfastly believe that it will take any coach hired at Maine 2-3 years to figure out what kids you can get to Orono and what kids you can keep in Orono.
The key to keeping kids in Burlington, Vermont seems to be.....winning.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:19 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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I agree with the decision. Next year's team should be improved, and I'm yet to have anyone able to point out a coach that Maine could hire who could have 1.) gotten players of the caliber of Vann and Little and Eke to Orono, 2.) kept them in Orono, and 3.) won more games with such a depleted roster this winter due to the injuries and late transfers.

There's a huge learning curve to recruiting players to UMaine, and bringing in a new coach resets that. If next year is another shitshow with injuries and defections and single digit losses, maybe hitting the reset button is the answer. But I don't think you hit that button unless you absolutely need to, because I steadfastly believe that it will take any coach hired at Maine 2-3 years to figure out what kids you can get to Orono and what kids you can keep in Orono.
Of course I'm just some dumb UVM fan you hate because all of Vermont's success but, I don't see how there is this whole "learning curve" on how to bring players to Maine. In fact, there has been precedent. Giannini brought in junior college players and transfers and had some good squads. And, not all JUCOs are criminals. I'm sure the fine basketball people of Maine you hate all like to think that, however.

And, Woodward and that assistant of his brought in talented international players. If it hadn't been for Woodward's ineptitude and that assistant angling for the head coaching job by trying to get Woodward fired, leaving Markwood as the only one trying to keep the damn thing together and doing the work while Ted and that guy fought, there could have been more success. They had back-to-back 3rd place finishes with that.

So, to me, it seems Walsh didn't do enough homework to see what worked and put his own spin on it. Every coach wants to enact their vision their own way, but at the end of the day, you have to take what's worked, and utilize it. So, transfers, junior college, and international players - guys who just want to play, likely don't care where because it's their only shot/last shot at D1/want an American education.

But hey, I'm just some loser Vermont fan who thinks he has all the answers because the program got lucky 15 years ago and somehow has continued to be good, right?
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:22 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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The key to keeping kids in Burlington, Vermont seems to be.....winning.
It's not just winning that's relevant in the attractiveness of UVM vs Maine.


I think the biggest questions for Maine next season:

1) Is Myers re-joining the team?
2) What talent is Maine bringing in?

Those two things will decide whether this is a greater than 10 win team next season potentially, or another sub-10 win team.

Generally I think Walsh says and (maybe?-after Myers situation who really knows) does the right things, but none of that matters as this is a results-driven business- so based on that, Maine is going to be faced with a tough choice next season. That being said, the fact that Ted Woodward absolutely did a better job then maybe the decision really won't be that tough.

He also seems to have fallen in love with the undersized, hard-working, scrappy walk-on types are fine for practice but you simply will not win D1 games with. If a lot of those kids are playing meaningful minutes next season then can forget finishing Top 5.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:26 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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He also seems to have fallen in love with the undersized, hard-working, scrappy walk-on types are fine for practice but you simply will not win D1 games with. If a lot of those kids are playing meaningful minutes next season then can forget finishing Top 5.
Only wants guys who are eye level with him.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:37 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

There were so many injuries to key players on that team, I don't know how you could possibly judge whether Walsh is the answer. That combined with the fact that Maine isn't going to pay him to go away made it an easy decision. If Walsh manages to keep a mostly intact roster next year but still struggles to win 10 games than all bet's are off.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:47 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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There were so many injuries to key players on that team, I don't know how you could possibly judge whether Walsh is the answer. That combined with the fact that Maine isn't going to pay him to go away made it an easy decision. If Walsh manages to keep a mostly intact roster next year but still struggles to win 10 games than all bet's are off.
Maine has definitely had some unfortunate stuff happen- transfers of key talent, incredible number of injuries that's somewhat bizarre given the volume and frequency, the lock room fiasco this year- but at some point, someone has to be held accountable for that and it's the head coach.

The reality is that Maine isn't any better today then they were when Walsh took over- so I'm really not sure what the AD is going to base his decision off next season.
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Old 03-07-2017, 08:05 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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Of course I'm just some dumb UVM fan you hate because all of Vermont's success but, I don't see how there is this whole "learning curve" on how to bring players to Maine. In fact, there has been precedent. Giannini brought in junior college players and transfers and had some good squads. And, not all JUCOs are criminals. I'm sure the fine basketball people of Maine you hate all like to think that, however.

And, Woodward and that assistant of his brought in talented international players. If it hadn't been for Woodward's ineptitude and that assistant angling for the head coaching job by trying to get Woodward fired, leaving Markwood as the only one trying to keep the damn thing together and doing the work while Ted and that guy fought, there could have been more success. They had back-to-back 3rd place finishes with that.

So, to me, it seems Walsh didn't do enough homework to see what worked and put his own spin on it. Every coach wants to enact their vision their own way, but at the end of the day, you have to take what's worked, and utilize it. So, transfers, junior college, and international players - guys who just want to play, likely don't care where because it's their only shot/last shot at D1/want an American education.

But hey, I'm just some loser Vermont fan who thinks he has all the answers because the program got lucky 15 years ago and somehow has continued to be good, right?
There was undoubtedly university pressure at some point to stop bringing in so many JuCos. I agree, it was painting with a broad brush, but the basketball team, football team and hockey team were all simultaneously in the news for general criminal behavior, and I think word went out about 10 years ago to start vetting incoming players a bit more aggressively.

That, though, was about eight ADs ago and there are JuCos both on the roster and coming in next year. And I think that's the smart play- guys who have spent a couple years in college are generally more realistic and mature about their college options, and not choosing based on uniform numbers or locker room facilities.

Maine did have some success with international guys, and the women's team is like 90% international. You need good connections to get international players and Maine's connections left with Leichner. And, lets keep in mind that those players didn't necessarily stick it out four years either. Murphy Burnatowski and Justin Edwards from Canada, for example.

Being down to walk-ons playing point guard isn't ideal, but Maine brought in about 76 guards the last three years. The point guards this year were supposed to be Little and Calixte. Between transfer and injury, that didn't work out. So it was Bernstein and McKinnon.

There are a million excuses for why this season wasn't the jump we all expected. At the end of the day, whether Walsh stays or goes will come down to whether next year is another shitshow or not. If there's improvement, great, keep him around. If there isn't, okay, back to the drawing board. But back to the drawing board is another 3-4 year rebuild, let's not kid ourselves.
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:38 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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There are a million excuses for why this season wasn't the jump we all expected. At the end of the day, whether Walsh stays or goes will come down to whether next year is another shitshow or not. If there's improvement, great, keep him around. If there isn't, okay, back to the drawing board. But back to the drawing board is another 3-4 year rebuild, let's not kid ourselves.
I don't agree with that last statement completely. You need about 3 good players to be competitive in this league. You need an average coach to win games in this league....Maine has had more of the former than the latter during the WW2 (Woodward/Walsh) Era. Maine can't seem to hire a coach that can relate tom players and make them feel at ease and confident rather than on pins & needles and generally unhappy. And up until the last half of this season...Walsh has been woefully inept at utilizing the talent he has had.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:12 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

People don't like my argument of how it takes 6 years best case scenario to turn a program around and compete for a championship. I think UNH has proven my point quite well. A good recruiting class did not have them competing for a championship but brought them to a respectable program. They now need to continue the success but I'm not sure I've seen Herrion building on this turn around yet.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:00 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Re: Maine fans: a plea for sanity

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People don't like my argument of how it takes 6 years best case scenario to turn a program around and compete for a championship. I think UNH has proven my point quite well. A good recruiting class did not have them competing for a championship but brought them to a respectable program. They now need to continue the success but I'm not sure I've seen Herrion building on this turn around yet.
Sure, but even when UNH had those really bad years, they at least defended. Maine's defensive specialty is to not defend apparently. I respected how bad UNH teams played more than I can possibly respect how Maine plays on the defensive end of the court.

Also, a big reason, and I eluded to it earlier, but Herrion and company found the angle that fits and works for UNH to get successful. Maybe it took too long for them but they found it. They started recruiting Texas. They weren't going to win battles in the NE prep scene because kids around here knew it wasn't a successful program, so it was hard to even get in the front door. So, they convinced enough kids from there who wanted an opportunity to play to trek all the way up to New England, and probably didn't care so much for UNH's rep as much as they wanted to play. They got an all-conference player out of that, and have won 20 games in back-to-back seasons, and now, they can get in the door perhaps in New England, and show that you can in fact compete there.

Walsh probably had some grand vision that he'd find this talent and be on his way in year 3, but he didn't account for that talent leaving/not liking Orono/knowing they have the option to get out, and seemingly didn't take a larger picture approach, which is to say see what worked for Maine before (JUCOs/transfers/international), and find a way to make it work for you.

Nothing wrong with Maine giving the guy a longer leash because of the lack of success, but, Ted Woodward put together a double digit win seasons. It's completely reasonable to feel that next year if Walsh doesn't do that, he's not the man for the job.
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