I completely agree with the idea that there are too many teams at our level that are just trying to somehow out-recruit and out-play bigger and better funded schools at the same game. Which generally ends the same way...Boy oh boy. I'm almost speechless. But not really.
I loved listening to Bill's enthusiasm for the game, and as an "elder statesmen" of a coach, I think he's done alright to adjust to the new game [transfers, bigs that shoot, etc.]. He worked hard, he loved to coach, and his teams never, ever lacked effort. Whether we got destroyed or not I knew we'd play hard. He recruited better talent than UNH than was probably reasonably to be expected. I wish him well and he seems like a terrific guy.
That said, I think his inability to understand the import of the three point shot [and shooting in general] and his inflexibility on rotations really wore out his welcome for me. So many guards, year after year, that cannot shoot. Every year we had at least one bricklayer that played 40 minutes a game, whether it be Jordan Reed, Chandler Rhoads, Matt Herasme, heck even Jordon Bronner. I don't think you can win that way in the modern game.
With that said, if we canned Herrion just to hire another guy like Herrion [former Big school coach who flamed out after he moved up and returned to a smaller school], I'd have rather just kept Herrion, who I knew would be good for a competitive season. UNH will never, ever win if they try to recruit like other schools, play like other schools, etc. Hiring a coach from one of those schools of thought [i.e., I'll out recruit my opponents] just isn't going to work.
This is the time to make an ambitious, innovative hire. I don't care if we struggle next season. It was time to try something different. I just want to try the same thing with a different coach.
Good luck to Bill in his future endeavors. He deserves it.
I think a team with a "gimmick" (and I mean that in a respectful way) could do well in the AE. Whether it's the Princeton offense, or the old Loyola Marymount run all night, or even a Grinnell raining three-point attempts or something else -- if you do something different and do it very well, it will give all the traditional teams fits.
But it takes a certain humility -- both from the school and the coach, to do that. To admit that they are never going to be successful without doing something unconventional / unorthodox. The odd thing is, once you have success with the unorthodox thing then you start to build a name and more conventional athletes want to play for you. For a long time, nobody did this better in college sports than Wisconsin -- they turned unconventional success in both basketball and football into long time powerhouses.