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If You Like Good Coaching, This Should Be Your Year
Created: 8/18/2014 11:39:19 AMReplies: 10
8/18/2014 11:39:19 AM - The MV - 4,380 posts (#4)

Basketball coaches are often referenced by the style in which their teams play.  Penders teams always ran up and down the court at a fast pace.  Gimelstob teams almost always played man-to-man defense because as a Bob Knight disciple, this is what he had learned and subsequently knew how to teach.  Then, you have coaches who have the ability to adapt styles to fit their personnel.  Hobbs was a great example.  In 2005-06 with superior personnel in most games, Hobbs was happy to apply a variety of half and full court presses designed to create turnovers which would often lead to easy transitional baskets.  The following year, much of the personnel had changed and the team became far more of a grind it out, slow it down team with little fast break opportunities in comparison.  What none of these coaches hardly ever displayed was a tendency to change strategies from game to game, let alone within the same game.  In 2005-06, the team's athleticism alone could dominate most teams on the schedule.  However, when it became clear that GW would have no clear advantage playing its style against an NC State or Duke, there was no Plan B to attempt.

For reasons beyond his control, it has largely been challenging for Mike Lonergan to coach in an ideal manner.  Year 1 was essentially nothing more than coaching someone else's recruits, recruits who came to GW to play a different style of basketball than what was now being offered.  Year 2 brought the four freshmen who clearly represented the team's future from Day 1.  But there was still the matter of finding minutes for players named Kromah, Smith and Bynes.  Year 3 looked promising but the Nigel Johnson decommit led to the recruitment of Cartenega which coupled with Kethan's injury, was indicative of the team's depth problems. 

What these past three years have had in common is an unsettled insecure feeling when it comes to playing ten or more players.  The player 8-12 talent level wasn't where it needed to be in order for Lonergan to truly play the way he wanted. Plus, most players were limited in terms of how they could be utilized.  Would you like 6'*'8" Nemanja Mikic to guard the other team's power forward?  Good luck with that. 

In year 4, everything changes.  Ten or more players who one would feel comfortable seeing on the floor?  Check.  Players playing multiple positions?  Check.  This is the year that ML not only gets to decide when to get in and out of a 1-3-1 but he also gets to think strategically like he hasn't been able to in the past?  Go tall, go small, go fast, go athletic, go defense, go lights-out shooting?  Each is now doable.  Impose your lineup of choice and make the opponent adjust?  Or, see what the opponent is doing and you adjust accordingly?  Both will come into play. 

If you're into chess matches, this should be a great season to watch.


8/18/2014 1:52:41 PM - Long Suffering Fan - 3,523 posts (#6)

Disagree with the basic premis that we have 10 or more playes who would be comfortable seeing the floor.   We may be a season away from that.   Assuming a healthy team, we have the "core 4", plus Kopriva as the only game tested veterans, and kopriva we are anticipaing having to make the leap from role player to starter.   Otherwise, we are looking a 5 freshman, an unproven sophmore and a non scholarship transfer.     Although all 5 frosh have the potential to be solid college players, if nnt stars in the future, not sure how much we can expect from them this season, especially the first 15 games or so.  As for Griffin, lets see if he can get his shot off (is there anything less valuble than a 3 point specialist who cannot get off a shot) and play defense.    Given our front court weankesses, I would suspect that the common theme we will see from game to game is everyone is a rebounder.  Otherwise, it is look for the core 4 to score and for the frosh and others to continue to play a role.  In other words, I don't see "too much depbth" as an issue, especially early in the season.  If anything, it is not enough veteran (upper class) depth.  Now, next year...

8/18/2014 2:20:14 PM - ziik - 2,517 posts (#11)

Got to lean to the LSF on this one. Zeke was just so damned dynamic, and paired so well with Kev. That is going to be an enormous hole to fill, and I just don't see it happening. In fact, I can see Kopriva staying on the bench as a 6 or 7 man, to primarily back up Kev, in favor of more non-traditional starting lineups. And I think it is silly to assume that MacSavage will be 100% healthy all season. Finally, who is going to make the quantum leaps in performance this year that Savage and Kev made last year?  Savage still has plenty of potential, maybe Kev, too. But, it would be a minor miracle if Griffin makes a Savage-like leap in one year. More likely, I think, someone new becomes the next JJ Brade/Yegor/Shawnta. And, I gather there is that chance. But, all 3? I doubt it.

Anybody have a scouting report on the Manhattan transfer?  Is he a sleeping giant?  I am surprised there have been no reports about his improvement in the ML system to date.





8/18/2014 4:13:41 PM - Long Suffering Fan - 3,523 posts (#6)

Saw McCoy twice in the Kenner League.  As I said previously, if you liked Skyler White, you will like Ryan McCoy; however from what I saw, Ryan is better...and maybe will warrant more than walk on minutes if he shows he can do more than just stand in the corner during garbage time and drain 3 point shots.   If he can rebound some, he should be on the court.

8/18/2014 4:42:12 PM - BM - 4,846 posts (#3)


* A full year of uninjured Joe, Kethan and Pato >= last year's Joe, Kethan, Pato and Creek.

* A full year of Good KevLar > Half season of inconsistant KevLar + Half season and KevLar post La Salle game

* Freshmen Paul, Yuta, Darian, Matt, Swan >> Nemanja, Miguel, Paris

* Zeek + Kopriva (Jr) >> Kopriva (Sr)

I don't expect a big dropoff in ability even with the Zeek & Creek departure, but as I've mentioned before, some of the close wins early last season which helped us gain confidence and publicity could've gone either way.  I'm with MV on this.  A few of the bench players last year didn't have ML's confidence for one reason or another and I think he's a lot more likely to use a Cimino or Swan than he did with Paris or Miguel.

8/18/2014 4:44:58 PM - kb - 46 posts (#203)

I too saw McCoy twice in Kenner and at that point in the summer, I was giving him minutes over Cimino.  Things can and will likely change once practices start but I think both will see the floor this year.

8/18/2014 5:20:26 PM - The MV - 4,380 posts (#4)

To be fair, this post was never about whether this year's team will be better or worse than last year's team.  I'm very willing to acknowledge that our starting five will not be as strong without Zeke and Creek.  The thread is really about having tremendous depth for the first time under Lonergan, and the multitude of coaching decisions that ML will need to make given the vast number of player combinations at his disposal.  Being comfortable with someone on the floor needn't mean that this player needs to be a capable scorer or that you're as confident with him on the floor as you would any starter.   In my mind, it means that there isn't a noticeable dropoff (as was the case last year when the two players who have since transferred entered the game).  If I were to agree with LSF's definition, then I would never be comfortable with any freshman taking the floor because by definition, they haven't yet experienced the college game.  And, it is entirely conceivable that a freshman who I was pleased with at Kenner may not translate on the big stage.  However, I am not anticipating this to be the case.  I am expecting each of these five freshmen to not only play but to effectively contribute as well.  And if I'm correct, the core 4 + 5 freshmen + John/Nick and perhaps McCoy will equal tremendous depth.


8/18/2014 5:39:24 PM - pops - 311 posts (#71)

yeah, the 15-3 start wasn't just about having kethan on the floor.  the shooting early on of creek and mikic had a lot to do with the difference between the 1st half and 2nd half. when creek was on he had the ability to carry the team but he was extremely inconsistent in the 2nd half.  not sure we'll have a scorer who can carry us the way he did in the first half but we'll have a lot more scoring options and more shooters than we've ever had.  I think we probably will be 10 deep.  but the thing is we don't actually need to be.  if we aren't 10 deep or more, we'll certainly be 8 deep.

I saw ryan at kenner as well and my take is not so much that he's better than white, its that he's worlds better than maragkos.  i too think both he and cimino will see minutes.  i think we will see ryan as a sub when we are getting beaten up inside.  Also, i think we saw enough improvement from griffin last year to expect him to get much more floor time.

Based on what i saw this summer, jorgensen is ready to play now.  and although i didn't see him, i have to believe watanabe is also.  bryant is better than anyone we had coming off the bench last year.  speaking of improvements over maragkos, give me cimino's potential any day of the week.  i never saw swan so i'm not even counting him.

but all the subs aside, our starters are the real key with the depth meaning the starters can be more aggressive and they won't have to pace themselves as much.  so far we haven't mentioned garino but look for this to become his team.  for my money the real improvement will come from him and joemac.

To bring this back to MV's post, I agree, the coach will have more options than he has had to date and it will be fun to watch this team develop.

8/18/2014 11:40:39 PM - Bigfan - 2,535 posts (#10)

McCoy's ticket to playing time is being inside and getting rebounds, playing at least as big as his height.look forward to him giving his best to do so.

8/20/2014 2:07:06 PM - bobo - 2,942 posts (#8)

McCoy's ticket to playing time: injury

8/20/2014 7:07:39 PM - pops - 311 posts (#71)

McCoy's ticket to playing time:

  • injury
  • foul trouble
  • opponents with powerfull front lines
Kromah to transfer
only foreseeable chances at win
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