The SoCon championship

Re: The SoCon championship

Postby AP » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:02 pm

BigDog99 wrote:What has SP done that suggests he tried to run a kid off. I would guess with the APR issues we had when he got the job if anything he did everything he could to keep guys here. I think that is a little reckless on your part to make that accusation against SP without somekind of proof.
I personally know that he made things so unpleasant for one multi-year starter that the student-athlete transferred to a program that is one that we'd love to be. I am not going to put more out in public because I've got confidences to keep, but I've got receipts.
BigDog99 wrote:If they didn’t go to the CIT & he won 19 games is that a bad season?
No, it's not a bad season. But it was also earned against the #260 OOC strength of schedule, so my mileage varies. Five of those 19 came against Miles (non-D1), Bethune Cookman (KenPom #340), Nicholls St. (#315), Fort Valley St. (non-D1), and FAMU (#345). I think we went 3-7 against the top 4 in the SoCon last year. That's what I mean by juking the stats.
BigDog99 wrote:I was not trying to say SP is Mike Young. What I was trying to say was that administration gave him time & he proved his medal & got things righted. I was saying for us to give SP a chance to do the same.
You'll get the chance. Our AD hand-picked Coach Padgett and, in July, gave him an extension through 2021-22. The AD got a contract extension through June 2022. I don't see either of them leaving any time soon, especially with the AD's son as a member of the basketball staff for the past six seasons. I want them both to be successful, because I want Samford to be successful.

But let's have clear eyes about what's coming: We lost our best player off this team (3D). We will lose our best returning player on the roster (Wyatt). We will lose every big that contributed a meaningful minute of playing time (Peters, Adams). We're losing a multi-year starter who is our best 3FG shooter (Chambers). We are losing a wing that started 55 games in two seasons and averaged 25mpg (Thompson).

We'll *hopefully* bring back two short PGs (Coleman, Sharkey) that can play, but shouldn't play at the same time. Another combo guard who is a good player, but not a good defender (CC). None of those three are perimeter scoring threats. Nolan, our best returning guard from 3FG, hit less than a third of his threes. Lakic hit 38%, so that's good, but there's no one else to space him with and he might be playing the 4 spot. Then we'll add Guererro and Austin, neither of which have any evidence that they'll be game-changers for us. And then we'll add the freshmen and whatever grad transfer one-year rentals the staff can find to fill out the remaining roster spots.

Does any of that sound like a way to get 9 more wins next year than we did this year? Does it sound like we're going to be a ton better in 2019-20 (when we'll no longer have veterans like CC, Coleman, Lakic, and maybe Guerrero) than we will be in 2018-19? The vets on that team would be Sharkey and Nolan + probably some rentals. Probably the best chance we have is to build a core that compliments Stephen Fitzgerald and some of the other incoming players, develop them, and then hope to make a run when they're juniors. So, unless we catch lightning in a bottle, it's reasonable to expect us to play .500 or better basketball in the SoCon in the 2020-21 season.

BigDog99 wrote:When I say kids these days, I mean there were 800 transfers last year. That means there are 2.3 transfers per team every year. For the record, even Mike Young who I believe has built a great culture & winning environment had 2 transfers last year, & he’s as good as it gets in our league. I’m just saying that kids these days leave if they’re not playing as freshmen. If they are really good they leave & transfer to HM. Just look across the country. This is a new generation & it starts with kids hopping from 1 AAU team to the next & it continues on to college.
Fine. But I'm not ignorant to those numbers, and I'm much more concerned with Samford than I am other schools. We don't want to be them. We want to be different. And we've now had more transfers in 6 years than we did in the 20 before these 6, including *multiple* multi-year starters who should have loved Samford and everything it had to offer (Windler, Walker, Chambers, Will Cook, Connor Miller, Raijon Kelly). That doesn't count the kids this staff itself recruited and was responsible for every single aspect of their experience.
BigDog99 wrote:You must have info I don’t have if we doubled the budget I haven’t seen those numbers.
Cool. Glad you realize that's possible.
BigDog99 wrote:I would be willing to bet ETSU, Mercer, Chattanooga, UNCG, & Wofford all have bigger budgets than us. No facts on this just a guess.
Thought this was a facts-only zone?
BigDog99 wrote: What is the unprecedented freedom this staff has? Again I think your just not happy with how things are going & just throwing this statement out with no proof.
Who they can recruit and bring to the admissions office. How they can fly across the country at the drop of a hat for recruiting trips. The level of academic performance and risk that's tolerated relative to previous staffs. The ability to oversign or run players off if they're not developing basketball-wise. You want me to go on? I'm not happy with how things are going, but if you haven't figured it out this isn't just speculating.
Last edited by AP on Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The SoCon championship

Postby DC_INT'L » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:04 pm

BigDog99 wrote:You must have info I don’t have if we doubled the budget I haven’t seen those numbers. I do know that we played 6 pay games this year because SP spoke about that in the preseason at the Tip-Off preseason event. Maybe that is where the budget increases are coming from. I would be willing to bet ETSU, Mercer, Chattanooga, UNCG, & Wofford all have bigger budgets than us. No facts on this just a guess. What is the unprecedented freedom this staff has? Again I think your just not happy with how things are going & just throwing this statement out with no proof.

I will corroborate AP's statement about increased funding and freedom for the men's basketball program staff.
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Re: The SoCon championship

Postby DC_INT'L » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:43 pm

And I would add, I'm not against HCSP. I would love for him to have great and sustained success. Calling for adjustments to be made is not the same thing as calling for someone's job. Nor should it be construed as a lack of support.
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Re: The SoCon championship

Postby Cujo » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:18 pm

Can someone disprove my theory that 99 is really SU Dog and this his lame attempt to stimulate discussion on the board? I wouldn't put it past him.
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Re: The SoCon championship

Postby SU 97 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:24 pm

I'm fairly confident they aren't the same person. ;)
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Re: The SoCon championship

Postby Cujo » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:34 pm

LOL You could have gone with me for a while and at least forced SU Dog to respond!!!!!
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Re: The SoCon championship

Postby SU DOG » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:30 am

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Re: The SoCon championship

Postby smalltownbulldog » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:42 pm

Preface
Long long long time lurker, first time poster. Samford alum. Limited basketball-related interaction with the previous three staffs and some of their players. Some college basketball experience, several years local basketball experience, more generalized experience with smaller, religiously-affiliated liberal arts colleges. Not that any of this is important, just a quick “where my perspective is coming from” Here’s my 2 cents analysis of the program (or at least many poster’s complaints).
I Recruiting
Better in all respects than CBS. I worked an SU summer camp during the CBS years and the difference between the CJT players and CBS players was evident immediately. Not really in skill level but certainly in attitude and the effort they put into “little things” like getting up early, refereeing games, dealing with the kids, cleaning up spilled gatorade, etc. Does any of that equate to winning games? No but the skills required in those situations (essentially the Butler Way- humility, passion, unity, servanthood, thankfulness) does, even more so at a place like Samford. SU (and I would argue a large majority of teams) has to have players that possess some of those traits to be successful, along with basketball skills. I don’t have any relationship with any current players to comment if these traits are present or not on this team, just needed to say they are important.
Level of player is probably overall higher than last years of CJT but still needs to improve. Example came in the post positions this year. After Walker went down our minutes went to a guy who initially got cut from Hoover JV as a junior and another one whose final college basketball choices were between Samford and two DIII schools. Not that those guys are bad players or shouldn’t be on your team, I think they both added positive things to this roster and this university, but reality is they are limited and when you have to significantly rely on them even after injuries it means you need to be recruiting better.
As for transfers, I don’t have enough knowledge to speak specifically to Samford’s situation. In general though, the formula for winning the SoCon is to have a veteran team and one borderline pro. Can’t have a veteran team if you don’t have any seniors. As many have stated here, transfers are a problem all across college basketball. Lots of factors at play but in my mind one of the issues is expectations set up by staff in the recruiting process. Nobody wants to miss out on a player because you tell them they may sit for two years and another school tells them they will be a focus right away. In the recruiting seminars I went to, here was my takeaway: be honest about your situation and the kid’s situation, and genuinely care about what is best for them. They also had research that showed players and parents were very receptive to programs that showed a clear plan for the future and how their son fit in and how we would be developed to have a specific and valued role, even if that role was not as immediate or as large as what other programs promised. Again, not saying we are or aren’t doing this but it’s what I would be doing. Working example is Lennie Acuff- dude redshirts everybody. He relies on transfers much less than other successful DII programs and always has veteran leadership because he keeps kids around.
IIa Student Involvement
Toughest nut to crack for me. Best basketball fan environment I was around at SU was in Seibert. Travis Peterson, Fear the Window, those awful wooden bleachers- it was great. Hard to replicate that in the Pete I know, but we also can’t bulldoze it either. There are people on staff that have good ideas about how to help I’m sure (and everybody loves a winner), so I won’t spend a lot of time here- only two things that you may not see elsewhere. One, proximity matters. Get students out of the chairbacks and let them rub elbows with one another. Make it easier to take selfies with one another (half-joking here). Common thread between best student experiences I have seen across high school and college, all of them are close to the court. That’s why fan experience in basketball is better than any other sport- you can see the player’s faces, hear the coaches, etc etc. In short you can get closer than in baseball or football or tennis or soccer or anything else. Don’t cede that natural advantage. Two, embrace the quirk. People and places that are great aren’t perfect, but they are unique. Nothing about our current facility is unique to me- it’s all sanitized, multipurpose, blandness. You could take that facility and it would work on any campus anywhere. I understand why it has to be that way because the building has to work for so many different things besides basketball, but it’s not good for basketball. So we need to find something else. Something that only works at Samford, maybe even something that other people think is weird or stupid or whatever, and make that precious, because it builds community.
IIb Fan/Alumni/Media Involvement
This is an area every low-major team struggles, especially when news organizations everywhere are cutting back, and if they are spending resources it’s deeper coverage of the big fish, not broader coverage of the whole pond. It’s got to fall on the institution to make their own news, and unless you’re a Kentucky basketball or Alabama football type, your twitter page isn’t going to move the needle no matter how good it is. Don’t count on ESPN or AL.com or the big boys to do it for you. I’m convinced SU could lead the Socon wire to wire and wouldn’t get more than 30s of coverage from the 10:00 news or a front page AL.com article until the conference tournament finals A coaching staff really shouldn’t have to spend too much time here, maybe in the actual execution of the plan (media appearances, radio show, etc) but the development and scheduling of the plan needs to come from the administrative side of the athletic department. This needs to be handled better in all sports, not just MBB. Make it easy for people to be fans. For goodness sakes have a local radio affiliate for your games, don’t make people go hunt down your ESPN3 channel. Make your players and coaches more visible. It didn’t even take a season to see Wyatt Walker was a fantastic player- spend last year and this preseason making him a local star and maybe he feels more invested and doesn’t want out after this year. The major schools have the coach as their star, but we know one or two good seasons and that coach is gone. What does Samford have an abundance of? Great kids. It’s not what the high majors are doing because their studs are one-and-done, but SU can actually have four year players. You can still market your program like the big boys did “in the old days” and let the fans build a relationship and memories with players year after year. Again, then both sides get invested which can cut down on your retention/recruiting issues. Also, because it has to be said- everybody loves a winner.
III Budget/Fundraising
From the outside looking in, this area seems to be a successful part of the athletic department as a whole. I know there was a lot of worry about ADMN sacrificing other sports for the sake of basketball, but I don’t see any evidence where that has happened. Football has become an annual playoff contender (or pretender, depending how pessimistic you are on this board). The non-revenue sports have been strong and continue to do so. I don’t think anyone is being asked to do more with less. It seems that the issue people have with the basketball budget is very low return on investment (ie the common argument that CJT or CXYZ could win 10 games a year spending a lot less). Probably true, but it’s a logical fallacy to pursue that end. We don’t want to spend 50% less and win the same number of games- we want to spend the same and win twice the games. I know people like to compare budgets here and other places but I’m not sure there is a reliable/accurate way to do that, especially at a private school like Samford or its competitors (if such a database exists please point me to it- it’s a fascinating intersection of for-profits, non-profits, education, entertainment, and government). Basically in the long haul if we spent more we probably would win more- but why argue that. I honestly believe the university is spending the most it feels it can afford on athletics and generally follows the principal of good Christian stewardship with the resources it has- Samford’s tuition is increasing at a much slower pace than that of Alabama’s public universities- but others certainly may disagree.
IV Basketball X/O’s
Did not watch Samford play much at all this season- spent most of the season watching another college program I’ve grown closer with. I’ve seen this argument here before, and not necessarily an endorsement for CJT but is a fact: Teams that play at the extremes of the pace scale (ie very fast or very slow) tend to be more successful than their talent would indicate. Just to prove you can be successful at both ends, Lipscomb is #5 & UNCG is #319 in tempo by KenPom. Right now it looks like SU is trying to play on the faster end (KenPom tempo #46) but honestly I’m not sure if it is so much playing fast or the defense is so bad the possessions are short because the other team gets an open shot so quickly. Gameplan is innately tied to recruiting- if you want to play fast you have to play more guys than a slower pace team. Right now Samford doesn’t have the number of quality players to play fast, but may not have enough skill to play slow. Or may not have a good enough gameplan for either, I don’t know. Question for the board, does someone regularly go to practice? If so they would be the ones to judge how much time is spent on each phase of offensive fundamentals, defensive fundamentals, team offense, team defense, opponent scouting, special situations. I think you can be good at anything if you emphasize it in practice, but you can’t emphasize everything in practice. I’d rather not get into my personal thoughts on the “right way to play” or what I think Samford “should be doing” on offense or defense, so I’ll leave that for later. However it is concerning that a cohesive, complementary, consistent year to year offensive and defensive philosophy is not showing up on the floor during games (at least not an effective one). That should be evident whether you are in year two of a rebuild or year five.
Conclusion
I love Samford University and Samford athletics. I believe the basketball program can be successful. All these thoughts are shared by everyone on this board (and maybe not many others) even if they only post the negative, only the positive, or somewhere in between. Also, AP ( or anyone else), please tell me where all I've gotten it totally wrong.
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Re: The SoCon championship

Postby sudog03 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:52 pm

I think you will struggle mightily trying to wholesale RS kids at the D1 level. Not to say it can't be used in periodically, I just don't think you can attract the talent required to win at this level doing that.
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Re: The SoCon championship

Postby SU DOG » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:09 pm

WELCOME to the Board STBulldog. That is a lot to digest, but is articulate and thought provoking. I'm not posting in reply to your message, but I am wanting to welcome you and hope you post often.
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