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Figured I would start a thread for this upcoming season as it is likely to be one of the most anticipated in a long, long time. The hiring of Markwood has got a lot of people excited about the possibilities. It was pretty eye-opening to see his emotional media session with him displaying just how excited and happy he was to take on the job of building his alma mater up from the ashes. Hopefully everyone will keep their expectations in check as this will take some time. But, I really feel like if it is ever going to happen, this is the person that was needed to get them there.

I do wonder what was mentioned or promised to him in regards to the new on-campus facility. I have to believe that was a big and important talking point for him and that this project will be getting off the ground sooner rather than later.

It has been a very long time since the buzz around the University of Maine athletic department has been this positive. You have the infusion of Alfond money for major upgrades/new construction coupled with an athletic director that seems to really know how to work the room and make tough decisions. So far he appears to have hit home runs with his hires in football, hockey and now men's basketball. I think he may have already locked Vachon in with an extension but I can't remember that for sure.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the future for the whole department. Chris & Ashley will be huge in pushing the department forward I am sure.

As an aside, it will be interesting to see what he does in the recruitment of the (Bowman) Flagg kids. There is obviously a major relationship there as Ashley and Kelly both played at Maine 4 years apart. They know all about the Blodgett impact. I'm sure Markwood will be able to compare what can happen at Maine to what has happened at other small schools like Vermont with a homegrown talent (Coppenrath) or a Murray State when a talented kid (Morant) forsakes bigger schools.

So, let the UMaine hoops discussion begin...

PS - Jeff, I don't know if you want to bring that press conference in here or not. Your call.
 

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1) It'll be interesting to see who stays and departs, and how many spots will be needed to fill.

2) The staff will be interesting. My sense is most won't be retained. The budget for the staff should be interesting too, but Markwood should bring in people who match his philosophy.

3) The Flagg brothers would be cool...don't know if he pulls it off with both, and local guys staying home doing good/turning a program around is a cool pitch but it's a hard one at the moment. He's got time to lay down a foundation though, so by the time those two are making a decision, hopefully, Maine is in a way better place and they see it as an option to go in and win/compete for a league title even.

4) Relatedly, you bring up Coppenrath...I think when talking locals Markwood could draw on another UVM player and Vermonter that he coached up close: Clancy Rugg. Walk on to all-conference. You make any scholarship level guy a priority from the state, but just by numbers Maine is going to have more options to find guys who could fit the billing of the Rugg, or even Shungu profile...if the right combination of potential, and willingness to work and be patient pays off, that's a big boost, and its the benefit of the homegrown kid too.
 

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Regarding the staff, Ralph thanked the guys who saw the end of the season out in a way at the press conference that made it sound like they would not be coming back. Kind of a "we put you in a tough spot, we appreciate you stepping up and helping out the university and wish you well" kind of way.
 

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I'm sure that he will keep the open offers to the players from Maine (Flagg Bros. & Estrella) but I don't see him pursuing the others unless he has established relationships with them through BC (I believe that possibly a couple of them were a higher level than Maine normally recruits).
 

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Markwood is by far Maines best hire. There is no denying that he has an uphill battle but I would expect him to turn the program around slowly, similar to what Binghamton did this year. It can be done, Markwood should at the very least bring some positivity and excitement back to the program. He will definitely have to develop a recruiting niche as hes geographically in a tough spot.
 

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Markwood has a lot of inroads/connections into Canada. I suspect that will transition well for his job at Maine. Believe he was responsible for Urquhart/TBH at UVM, a number of Northeastern's Canadian commitments (Boursiquot, Stucke, etc) and then he got incoming Canadian frosh Armani Mighty at BC
 

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Per Verbal Commits, this guy just transferred to Maine:



7ppg in two seasons at Georgia Southern.

Here's his tweet:

 

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Maine's first new commitment is from a Gedi? I knew The Force was strong with Markwood.
 
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Considering who Maine has retained thus far, and how many other teams lost significant chunks of their roster, and who Markwood can bring in....

I am cautiously optimistic that Maine will not finish last in the league next season.
 

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I've lost a bit of track of who is leaving and who isn't, but presently Verbal Commits has returning:

DuHart
Turgut
Adetogun
Ireland
Masic
Ihekwoaba
Perovic
Filipovity
Feierbergs
Nenadic
Prock (walkon)

Juozapaitis and Dibwa have committed/signed. I haven't seen a John Shea update, whether he is still coming, getting a scholarship, or what.
 
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