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If you're asking me today I think one of the players that will make a jump is Fiorillo- he was impressive at times last season and quietly getting better each season. I like his trajectory.

Presumably, the red shirt is also going to be lifted on Alamutu and we're going to have him available, as well. Appeared to be one of the more athletic players on the roster last year and should be able to defend 3s in the AE.
 

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I was as hard on Giddens early in the season as anyone, for the reasons that you mentioned. I thought by the end of the season, although his minutes were limited, we was a solid role player. He was on a team with Lamb, Davis and Steph Smith - he didn't need to score. He needed to guard bigs, protect the rim, and get rebounds. I think that he did that reasonably well.

If UVM had made the tourney that year, he would have been a viable defender against a team that likely would have had big, athletic guys in the front court. Something that UVM doesn't usually have.

The case that you correctly made against Giddens IS the reason that a guy like him may be available to UVM in the portal. Does UVM NEED a guy like him for conference play? Probably not, but if the goal is to win an NCAA game at some point, UVM is not likely to do so with a bunch of 6'3" to 6'7" guys.
I completely agree. I always thought Giddens shined best in games like Virginia and St John's and really gave UVM a credible presence in the frontcourt. Against the AE.. meh. He had the highlight-reel volleyball blocks and slams but didn't necessarily help win games against teams with midmajor level size and athleticism.

Giddens could've easily averaged 7-8 ppg if given more opportunities. His hands (as in ability to catch/alley oop) weren't as bad as people are claiming. It was his handle in the post that was atrocious, but that's OK because he wasn't supposed to post up. What I loved most about Giddens was his maturity and lack of ego. He knew exactly what his role was; and that was to support Lamb, and also Stef, Shungu and even Ev Duncan and he was obviously incredibly content and happy to only take 0-2 field goal attempts/game.
 

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I was as hard on Giddens early in the season as anyone, for the reasons that you mentioned. I thought by the end of the season, although his minutes were limited, we was a solid role player. He was on a team with Lamb, Davis and Steph Smith - he didn't need to score. He needed to guard bigs, protect the rim, and get rebounds. I think that he did that reasonably well.

If UVM had made the tourney that year, he would have been a viable defender against a team that likely would have had big, athletic guys in the front court. Something that UVM doesn't usually have.

The case that you correctly made against Giddens IS the reason that a guy like him may be available to UVM in the portal. Does UVM NEED a guy like him for conference play? Probably not, but if the goal is to win an NCAA game at some point, UVM is not likely to do so with a bunch of 6'3" to 6'7" guys.
Was just posting this. Giddens was a stressful player to watch because he always wanted to be a highlight reel even if he was a good team player (heard a hilarious story that he posted one of his dunks caught by the UVM film guys every day twice a day for a week on his social media stories)....but, he was playing his best basketball down the stretch because he was in a defined role, and for as much as he could frustrate, he did have a pretty good understanding of where to be on the floor and spacing to allow the others to do their work. It all helped that as you said, he was like the 5th option on that team.

He was brought in to give them NCAA tournament size. Covid made that not happen. UVM has made it happen with guys in similar roles who are smaller. Just the year before Giddens, the guy in his role was 6-6. But, when they got matched up against a Florida State or a Purdue team that had 7-3 guys who really weren't great players, that and some bad breaks changed the game.

All I know is there were a few guys who might have matched the Giddens profile in the portal that UVM had looked to target. Large guys with no numbers at a P5 who would benefit from dropping down. Maybe UVM still in the mix, maybe not...but given they're still chasing newbies hitting the portal, I can't say for sure. As I said elsewhere, waiting around for the greatest thing to hit in the portal when all you really need is to get a couple pieces to fill some roles, because even though it's not going to be anywhere close to last year's performance, this team still is good enough to win the league. I don't know if they got baited into an arms race with Bryant or what, but it's early so we'll see.

Also, get guys with multiple years left...it's dire after next season.
 

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The selling point on a portal player like Giddens was you can transfer to an established team and play alongside and compliment Lamb.

The sales pitch is much different this time; now it's you can play at a winning program, likely earn a starting job & play a bunch of minutes, and potentially be focal point of offense in the front court- but the prospects of the team you're joining is much less clear.

Hopefully there's a big in portal like that out there (a Payton Henson-type(?), but I'm..skeptical it exists, right now. Will see.
 

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If you're asking me today I think one of the players that will make a jump is Fiorillo- he was impressive at times last season and quietly getting better each season. I like his trajectory.

Presumably, the red shirt is also going to be lifted on Alamutu and we're going to have him available, as well. Appeared to be one of the more athletic players on the roster last year and should be able to defend 3s in the AE.
Fiorillo made big strides last year, and I’d agree there is still plenty of room to run there. The most interesting thing for me will be to see if he supplements his range with more of an inside game offensively. I think he’s got the requisite tools, namely good hands and footwork. And he’s got room to add muscle and some weight without inhibiting the rest of his game. His defense and rebounding need work, but they’re noticeably better than a year ago.

It may not be this year, but if he keeps working, it wouldn’t really stun me to see him at least in the conversation for some type of all conference spot before he‘s done.
 

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Fiorillo made big strides last year, and I’d agree there is still plenty of room to run there. The most interesting thing for me will be to see if he supplements his range with more of an inside game offensively. I think he’s got the requisite tools, namely good hands and footwork. And he’s got room to add muscle and some weight without inhibiting the rest of his game. His defense and rebounding need work, but they’re noticeably better than a year ago.

It may not be this year, but if he keeps working, it wouldn’t really stun me to see him at least in the conversation for some type of all conference spot before he‘s done.
Fiorillo is said by Becker (last year) to have put on 15 pounds from the year earlier. That kind of focus on increasing bulk/strength should pay big dividends. And as Nick’s dad pointed out to me this past season, “he has been able practice vs the best player of the year for multiple years”.
 

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He earned the trust of the coaching staff toward the end for spot minutes over the likes of Guillory once he was healthy again, and Guillory left sooo...I'd say it's fair he'll be a significant rotational piece next year. And yeah, his defense isn't great but UVM plays enough team defense they've effectively masked some sub-par defenders over the years that he just has to be passible enough. Maybe he grows into that in the offseason who knows.
I'd like to think he will be even better defensively next year. He has the tools. I think a full summer, with no covid restrictions, with this staff can do wonders. Lot of people thought Davis was a defensive liability - maybe earlier in his career was true - but last year, that was far from the case.

Also, full summer, with no covid restrictions, will do wonders for someone like Fiorillo - who seems hungry and keeps getting better.
 

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I'd like to think he will be even better defensively next year. He has the tools. I think a full summer, with no covid restrictions, with this staff can do wonders. Lot of people thought Davis was a defensive liability - maybe earlier in his career was true - but last year, that was far from the case.

Also, full summer, with no covid restrictions, will do wonders for someone like Fiorillo - who seems hungry and keeps getting better.
Very disappointed in the Vermont coaching staff. No word on potentail candidates. Tey seem to be resting on their laurels.
Becker must know he is not in line for any position above AE to CAA by now.
You caan't just mail in the AE championship. You still have to recruit and earn it. We are losing ground .
 

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Very disappointed in the Vermont coaching staff. No word on potentail candidates. Tey seem to be resting on their laurels.
Becker must know he is not in line for any position above AE to CAA by now.
You caan't just mail in the AE championship. You still have to recruit and earn it. We are losing ground .
Give me a break about losing ground. Are you in the office everyday? How do you know what is happening behind the scenes. Resting on their laurels??? Why would you even type this. Just because nothing has been announced, doesn't mean they are not working on things. I'm sure the coaching staff is working hard to put things together for next year. We are losing ground.....gimmme a break.
 

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Very disappointed in the Vermont coaching staff. No word on potentail candidates. Tey seem to be resting on their laurels.
Becker must know he is not in line for any position above AE to CAA by now.
You caan't just mail in the AE championship. You still have to recruit and earn it. We are losing ground .
If I were a college coach, I'd certainly want to make sure that the whole world knew about all the candidates that I was going after... :rolleyes:

Becker applied for and didn't get jobs last season too...he seemed to have plenty of motivation to win games this past season. I think that maybe wait and see until the end of the recruiting season to say the staff didn't get anything done. And then, maybe see how the team competes next season before you try to burn it down.

It's unreasonable to expect that UVM will win the conference every season. Think about how spoiled and entitled that expectation is.
 

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It's unreasonable to expect that UVM will win the conference every season. Think about how spoiled and entitled that expectation is.
This is not at all an unreasonable take given the state of the league. I expect UVM to win the conference every season. When they don't I don't lose my mind, but I think the last 20 years has proven that until Becker and company tank it (and they always could any given year), it's an entirely fair standard to hold them to, given they play in a league where multiple schools do not even care to put any effort into the sport, and UVM spending wise is toward the top.

As for people panicking about roster spots being filled. It's May 10th. Calm down. Get back to me on July 10th if it's still the same.
 

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This is not at all an unreasonable take given the state of the league. I expect UVM to win the conference every season. When they don't I don't lose my mind, but I think the last 20 years has proven that until Becker and company tank it (and they always could any given year), it's an entirely fair standard to hold them to, given they play in a league where multiple schools do not even care to put any effort into the sport, and UVM spending wise is toward the top.

As for people panicking about roster spots being filled. It's May 10th. Calm down. Get back to me on July 10th if it's still the same.
I expect to be able to compete for the championship (ie. be one of the best teams each season). Was I disappointed when UVM has lost in the playoffs? Sure! Perhaps the league's composition has changed where the margin of error for winning in the playoffs is wider, but I'm just not that spoiled where I think that UVM should win it every year. It's a hard thing to do. One or two injuries at an inopportune time, or a hot team in March can certainly make for a sad outcome for UVM fans.

Anyway, my point was more about having a little faith until the end of the recruiting season and then actually seeing what happens before you lob unfounded allegations at the coaching staff.
 

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I expect to be able to compete for the championship (ie. be one of the best teams each season). Was I disappointed when UVM has lost in the playoffs? Sure! Perhaps the league's composition has changed where the margin of error for winning in the playoffs is wider, but I'm just not that spoiled where I think that UVM should win it every year. It's a hard thing to do. One or two injuries at an inopportune time, or a hot team in March can certainly make for a sad outcome for UVM fans.

Anyway, my point was more about having a little faith until the end of the recruiting season and then actually seeing what happens before you lob unfounded allegations at the coaching staff.
That's fair. But, Becker has long said the standard is winning the championship every year. Even though he's never been able to do that in consecutive years. It's hard yes, but those are high standards they have placed upon themselves, so you live with it and people who watch them like me come to match or expect the same.

As for the staff on recruiting: lots of available options out there. It's early, no need for real panic. Yes, they have swung and missed on multiple people. Players they probably shouldn't have been trying with but whatever. Portal gives and takes. If they manage to forge inroads and get the deal done with a few of the guys who I've heard they could be in on (who are also far more reasonable additions), I think they'll address concerns and be in a good position next year to keep up their standard given the condition of the league (it's bad). I'm not naming them because they just as well might not come here, plus there are some real weirdos out there who might read here who bother these kids online and stuff which doesn't sit well with me.
 

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That's fair. But, Becker has long said the standard is winning the championship every year. Even though he's never been able to do that in consecutive years. It's hard yes, but those are high standards they have placed upon themselves, so you live with it and people who watch them like me come to match or expect the same.

As for the staff on recruiting: lots of available options out there. It's early, no need for real panic. Yes, they have swung and missed on multiple people. Players they probably shouldn't have been trying with but whatever. Portal gives and takes. If they manage to forge inroads and get the deal done with a few of the guys who I've heard they could be in on (who are also far more reasonable additions), I think they'll address concerns and be in a good position next year to keep up their standard given the condition of the league (it's bad). I'm not naming them because they just as well might not come here, plus there are some real weirdos out there who might read here who bother these kids online and stuff which doesn't sit well with me.
This may belong in another thread, but how much more bad? Isn't the league always bad at the bottom? I kind of expect that UVM will be weaker next season, losing SBU and even Hartford hurts the league for sure. I know that Bryant was an NEC team which is weaker conference than the AE, but it seems that they may be likely to be one of the better teams in the league next year. Having two tournament teams in the league will definitely be cool. It also seems to me that there's been a bit of an influx in fairly new young coaches so maybe someone catches lightning in a bottle and makes something magical happen. Who knows?

Isn't it still possible for another team to join the league? It seems like the dust may be settling a bit on re-alignment but if by some fluke, Q were to join for next season, I think that we could make a case that the top few in the league are pretty close to what we were before SBU and Hartford left, couldn't we? I'll just keep my fingers crossed for one more good new team to join the AE. (and that Albany stays)
 

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Becker has a proven track record and a system that works. I sleep easy with him at the helm. Maybe Bryant or an upstart topples us next year, but I am confident we are a top tier team in the league. Even if our 'top' is only 6'7".
 

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The staff is definitely still actively recruiting for next season, even if it feels like you're not hearing about it. I know, silence is anxiety-inducing and seeing commits to other AE schools gives people Recruiting FOMO. But let's learn from experience here. Publicly, the Dylan Penn transfer came together pretty quickly. Ochoa's commitment in April came together quickly, publicly. Hell, we had to learn about Finn Sullivan last year from some random preview and scouring the student directory. More people knew about Bono going to Ukraine.

If you are into digging around social media you can definitely find inferences (stress inferences, not necessarily confirmations) as to who they have some level of interest in. Again, I wouldn't jump to too many conclusions because you can't really gauge what exactly that level of interest is, on either side. But you can at least start building a picture in your mind of a) what's available and b) what the coaches are looking for positionally, experience-wise, etc.

It's gonna be ok. Or it won't. Either one.
 

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This may belong in another thread, but how much more bad? Isn't the league always bad at the bottom? I kind of expect that UVM will be weaker next season, losing SBU and even Hartford hurts the league for sure. I know that Bryant was an NEC team which is weaker conference than the AE, but it seems that they may be likely to be one of the better teams in the league next year. Having two tournament teams in the league will definitely be cool. It also seems to me that there's been a bit of an influx in fairly new young coaches so maybe someone catches lightning in a bottle and makes something magical happen. Who knows?

Isn't it still possible for another team to join the league? It seems like the dust may be settling a bit on re-alignment but if by some fluke, Q were to join for next season, I think that we could make a case that the top few in the league are pretty close to what we were before SBU and Hartford left, couldn't we? I'll just keep my fingers crossed for one more good new team to join the AE. (and that Albany stays)
UVM won the league by 6 games with a team that would be decidedly 4th best among their recent NCAA and near-NCAA teams counting 2019-20 being canceled teams. And did so with games to spare, so last year was pretty bad. It might not get worse but I don't see it getting marketably better either. Bryant helps, and every AE team including UVM has a lot of unknowns, but I don't see any real big surprises coming next year. Still early, who knows.

Also Quinnipiac finished tied for last in the MAAC. More competitive from the middle and bottom than the AE, but still. They've not been very good for a while. Maybe they're closer to .500 in the AE, and maybe in the AE they end up being better, but they wouldn't do much to change anything really if they came through next year. Classic example of a school that found valuing a sport where you can legitimately win a national title (men's hockey), and one that caters well to alumni and current students is the way to go over a run of the mill one bid basketball team in a one bid league.
 

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The AE has always been "bad", just a different type of bad over the years with different sets of teams. I remember when the original CAA-4 split and the new to D1- SUNYS replaced them, then NU & BU followed suit. It felt at the time the conference was crumbling and being replaced with community colleges. No offense, just...that's what it felt like at that moment in time.

SBU leaving, Albany potentially leaving on the horizon is really no different, 20 yrs later or whatever it's been. Conference will replace them and new schools will rise/others will fall and time will continue to move forward and march on.

But, as for UVM last year, Conference RPI is around about what it's been the last few seasons. I'm seeing 23/24 from most sites, which is as good or better then the prior few seasons.

UVM was just particularly dominant/very good with a lot of separation from the rest of the league last year.

Also, to be clear UVM benefitted from some one-off situations that made last year unique: we won the extra year COVID returnee game w/ Shungu & Mazzulla both coming back, Hartford announced it was moving D3 which rendered it a shipwreck, and then Stony Brook was declared ineligible for the conference tournament in-season. Albany had a year 1 D1 head coach.

These factors definitely contributed to the separation, without much doubt, IMO.
 
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