31,747 threads containing 151,358 posts in 19 years - (1) Make an argument; (2) Don't call someone an evil pant-load
Refreshed at 11:08 PM EST
Created: 3/28/2015 2:26:38 AMReplies: 107
3/28/2015 2:26:38 AM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

As a fairly new reader and poster of this esteemed board, its impossible to not detect an air of defeatism among some of the loyal and thoughtful writers.  1) "Any highly successful coach will just"  ....  2) "We can't ever land a legit top recruit"  3)  "We can't possibly be Gonzaga of the East"  #1 is just not consistent with college basketball history, most do, but some don't leave.  For every 5 Pitinos and Bill Selfs, there's a Mark Few.  #2, So far that track record is pretty low, (that only comes most likely after #1 and #3 or something akin to it, but even in the interim, no guarantee we can't.  I don't think a Derrick Rose is coming to GW but an initially overlooked Delon Wright type might.  We need to prove that first, and its not the only path to raise the program new heights.)  #3 To the we can't be a Gonzaga type team, NONSENSE.  Are you aware of the history of the Gonzaga program?   Gonzaga had never made an NCAA tourney for decades, not once, in 1994 when we had made a Sweet 16, defeated the #1 team in the country with the POTUS sitting in attendance, Gonzaga had yet to play a single game in the NCAA tourney.  5 years later they had played 1 game, a thrashing as a 14 seed, GW meanwhile by the end of the 90s had been to 5 tourneys in 7 years.  Gonzaga fans who saw the GW influx of international talent winning NCAA tourney games as a celebrated Cinderella would have said "please we'll never be a GW."  What a defeatist attitude to have, any success will be met be a lost coach and an immediate step back, we can't do this, we can't do that.  This program can and at some point likely will rise to new heights. We have some fairly unique advantages and some other obstacles, but seriously, Gonzaga doesn't? Is there a man alive today who thought in 1994 that Gonzaga would be sitting on top of its mountain today???  Its been 16 years since that end of the 90's and we have one tourney win. Dissapointing. Yet is it conceivable 16 years from now we could have a highly successful sustain run, absolutely it is.  Although, its a lot less likely if the fan base thinks that's impossible, if they hang onto that defeatism, if the AD and the Coaches buy into that defeatism as well.  If on the other hand you are part of the fan base that demands more, that pushes for more, that helps make your voice heard, you pave a tiny part of the path that may make it so.  Greg Marshall's first 4 to 5 years look a lot like Lonergan's at GW, 4 more years look where they are.    Has Lonergan already set us down that path? Maybe...just maybe he has. Maybe it will have to be the next guy, but that path is going to be paved one day....The Dude Abides.


3/28/2015 8:10:49 AM - Long Suffering Fan - 4,060 posts (#5)

The problem GW basketball has is NOT the administration or athletic department.  The problem is the lack of a fan base, the size of which may fluctuate during good or bad years, but never seems to grow.  We have been able to sustain success iin stretches for several years (i.e. The Jarvis 90s, the Hobbs 00s and now looking like the Longergan era, and crowds will increase, but it just doesn't seem to last.   Until there is fan support for a program that is very much worth supporting, I am not optimisitc on taking that next step...it is going to take more than a great coach to get us there.

3/28/2015 9:15:18 AM - notta hater - 2,482 posts (#12)

how many of you have GW Gnomes in your yard? Dammit, I have to see a Hoya Gnome in my freaking garden every night. Then I have Va Tech and UVA banners lining the street during football season. Heck, I even see Gonzaga and Landon window stickers on my way to work and home every day. I rarely see GW anything. With the total number of alum we pump-out there should be some pride and the ability to push some swag out the door and create a buzz about the school. Not seeing fans at the hoops games is merely a symptom of a bgger problem - and that does belong to the faculty, administration and AD.

3/28/2015 10:18:17 AM - Long Suffering Fan - 4,060 posts (#5)

I used to think it belonged on the faculty, administration and AD also, Notta, but I am not so sure anymore.  I think the AD does a great job of trying to market the team, both at home and away, however it seems that the only things that brings people in are the free food and booze. But then they don't come back until there is more free food and booze.  Yes, attendance has been up the past couple of seasons based upon the teams successes on the court, as good teams will cause the more casual fan to re-engage; but we have never been able to survive the leaner years.  It even trickles down to this board, where the most ardent supporters of the team come to gather...but far,more so when we are good    I don't expect everyone to go to every game and hang on every word that is written about the team, but for some reason, we cannot reach a point where selling out a 4700 seat arena in a metropolitan area of close to 6 million people and a huge alumni base should be such a challenge.

3/28/2015 11:28:39 AM - newtman - 1,354 posts (#25)

Notta, GW really has not developed an identity in basketball. we have over the years been called The GW Colonels more than a few times. I recognize there are some dumb sportswriters but I don't remember anyone calling them the Duke Blue Angels or Kansas Kayhawks. OK we're not in there league but people should know we are the Colonials. 

LSF, the GW students and alum have a choice as you know. The vast majority choose almost anything else but they chhose to do something else. It's that simple. Now when you offer food the basketball game is a top priority. You and I have been around forever it's always been that way. It's likely to be a challenge well into the future getting people to attend games unless GW starts recruiting fans. 

3/28/2015 12:47:11 PM - thinker - 2,734 posts (#11)

I'm with LSF. No matter how many ways you twist it around GW is limited by its limited fanbase. I think the students that come to GW have a relatively limited interest in sports and it's proven difficult to make basketball the cool thing to do on campus. And if you weren't interested in the team as a student you just aren't very likely to be interested as an alum.

In a lot of ways GW basketball is like the awesome neighborhood restaurant - it's convenient, the prices are very reasonable, the food ranges from good to very good, it's usually a pretty fun night - everything is right for a successful restaurant except people just don't go there.

3/28/2015 12:56:59 PM - Tennessee Colonial - 1,166 posts (#27)

Yep, went to pick up some printer goods here in Nashville wearin my hooded GW sweatshirt. The checkout guy said, yes, I heard of GW, isn't it in St. Louis.? He said he was a Vanderbilt Polly Si major. Huh?  Maybe its an identity crisis we have. Change name of school the The United States University. Then these fools could not  forget we're in DC.   Now to you guys thinking of cold, I just got in from mowing my friggin grass. March, not April.

3/28/2015 1:10:34 PM - NJ Colonial - 1,962 posts (#17)

Dude: thank you for your fresh and open-minded perspective and attitude. I believe, as I think you and many others do, that GW has unlimited potential. Now that leadership is in place in both Rice Hall and Smith Center that is committed to sustained success - the future is bright for Colonials Athletics. Don't let old time cynics like LSF get to you, they love and believe in GW but they are carrying around a lot of emotional baggage. Go GW - Raise High! 

3/28/2015 1:54:59 PM - newtman - 1,354 posts (#25)

NJ, I disagree that LFS is a cynic. He's telling you his experience over 45 years. I've been here 46 years and I agree with him. Thinker too. We've seen this movie again and again. You think GW has a bright future and we're hopeful too. The older guys are perhaps a little more impatient. 

3/28/2015 2:14:18 PM - Poog - 3,852 posts (#6)

Pocket Protector Patrons' Prescience

3/28/2015 3:14:24 PM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

Hope springs eternal but Newtman, LSF, Poog, Thinker, and I (and others) have been around too long. You can't make GW into something it is not no matter how badly you might want that. I'd like to dunk. I could practice and try harder everyday. I will never dunk. So I can keep thinking I am going to dunk or I can be realistic and play within my skills and get better at those things that I can. GW has an opportunity to be a perennial nice mid-major program (top 50) who if it catches lightning could push for a Sweet 16 or better very occasionally. To expect a Sweet 16 or better every year is pure folly. To expect to be like Gonzaga is also pure folly for the reasons set forth in another thread. You either enjoy what we have and hope for better realizing it may not happen or you don't. That's not being defeatist or cynical, that's being real - understanding where GW is as an institution etc. I believe it was Clint Eastwood who once said - "A man's got to know his limitations."

3/28/2015 3:28:11 PM - FredD - 590 posts (#44)

+1 LSF An established school which GW certainly is should not struggle to put 3k in the seats for most games IF GWhad real school spirit.  They just plain don't. Not when I went there 80-82 and not now. It's a fun diversion for most students and nothing more. With all the recruiting info out there how many students track recruiting? How many ponder Swann and Cimino's playing time? 50? 100? I'm sure it is not 200. I love GW Basketball but I know where it stands as a priority for most folks.

3/28/2015 3:56:12 PM - - 3 posts (#256)

Change in culture has to start sometime, why not now?

3/28/2015 4:01:13 PM - LA Fan - 1,520 posts (#22)

Beyond UCLA can anyone name a school in a big city that has a really strong local following of alumni a for their basketball team?  New York, Chicago, DC, LA, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Boston?  I think there is a reason a lot of the names remaining in the tourny are Kentucky, Arizona, Michigan State, Wisconsin etc.  The two strongest fan bases in the A10 are VCU and Dayton.  If GW were in Dayton we would have a strong fan base too.  

Big cities just don't lend themselves to that diehard sports mentality for college basketball.  Notice I didn't even include Georgetown.  Yes, they play in a 20,000 seat arena, but it is more than half empty for many of their games.  Maryland is a school for the suburbs and beyond.  I don't know how  a city school is supposed to get people invested when the culture of cities doesn't really support that kind of rabid following that you get in smaller towns?

3/28/2015 5:07:07 PM - Real reason - 1 posts (#258)

gw is around to piss off the alumni while they are at gw.  The alumni do not give a sh@t about the school.

This has been a 30 year problem.

3/28/2015 6:04:24 PM - Poog - 3,852 posts (#6)

I can attest to 45

3/28/2015 6:19:47 PM - Tuna Can - 1,655 posts (#19)

You know.... one small thing, I make well over 200K a year on duplicating keys at just one of my DC stores (I work in--I don't own) and it pisses me off that I don't se a GW vanity key anywhere and I cut Maryland and Gtown keys all day long. The push on the GW name and visibility is just not their from the school.

I actually found out what it would take to get a set of GW logo Keyblanks set up for order and it is just 15 grand for two standard keys. That's one quarter of the tuition for one student at GW for a year. And yet, three or four times a day, someone could be pulling out their GW keys OVER and OVER and looking at them and no one bothered.

3/28/2015 6:32:44 PM - ziik - 2,894 posts (#9)

I knew I made a mistake. I used to make keys. I think I made $1.72/hour.  I guess the business has changed.

3/28/2015 6:33:10 PM - Tuna Can - 1,655 posts (#19)

I am not that pissy about the school as some of you. Possibly like Poog, I have grown to accept some of this and relish the great successes.... LIKE BASEBALL. I haven't gone to a game, but I am following the results and reading the box scores. When you see the recruiting there.... the staff that has been assembled (many young pitchers who are really doing well), the field players, the contact hitting and getting on base and now finding a bit of power. Most importantly, the staff seems to have a solid infield to back up the pitching. The AD is doing something very right. Sports at GW is coming along. It is just the basketball team that only slightly passed 20 wins. (joking there). 

What the BBall team needed last year were two things and my gripes about Lonergan would have been meaningless.... we needed another Big capable of taking some of the attention away from Kevin and we needed not to have both Kethan and Joe coming off serious injuries that probably limited their preparation for the season.

Anyway, I see the athletic program at GW coming along. Every team is really aming at success or changes get made and improvements and support happens to make this happen. You know one other thing. It seems that in the far past, recent grads would stay in touch with sports at the school. Now, not so much. You used to see lots of kids finding their way over to "the adult side." Not now. Stop beating up on us guys with ear hair come overs. What the school needs to do is focus on the kids who grab the sheep's skin and go off making all sorts of disposable income (that's also a joke) BUT there are many who can afford to buy a ticket and show up for games.

3/28/2015 6:44:58 PM - Tuna Can - 1,655 posts (#19)

Ziik, it is way better than T Shirts, dude. I would say we do over 600K a year in DC. It is such a good business that we don't count the stock or keep inventory. Margin. Anyway, as amuzing as my situation is that I am "selling keys" at an old age, I absolutely love what I am doing and I can only wish that all folks find their "sweet spot" for a job. I came out of GW as a techie and now I have gravitated to huckster. What a life. Off to listen to some local live music. Wish you guys all the best.

3/28/2015 7:34:01 PM - notta hater - 2,482 posts (#12)

I used to sell keys too! Well, until I got busted and spent 16 years in jail.

3/28/2015 7:52:18 PM - - 1 posts (#258)

"Beyond UCLA can anyone name a school in a big city that has a really strong local following of alumni a for their basketball team?  New York, Chicago, DC, LA, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Boston?"

UCLA fits that bill. So does the Univ. of Washington (Seattle). When they were good, the Univ. of Houston and Georgia Tech also had strong lcoal followings.




3/28/2015 8:03:24 PM - ziik - 2,894 posts (#9)

I do not sell T-shirts, TC, though I used to give them away. Seriously? You make replacement keys? At what sort of place? A walk-in business?  (I used to make keys in a job at an apartment house. Replacing lost or broken keys, etc. I was still at GW, it was in the 60's, I am sure I made less than $2.00/hr, as noted.)  I am happy for you, TC. You need some help sweeping up the filings or something, let me know. For some reason, I thought you were in the food business.

I think GW ought to give away 2 free hotdogs and a Coke to everybody who shows up for a Smith Center game. Throw in some mustard. I am convinced, psychologically, a free bite builds biz.

3/28/2015 9:14:45 PM - BC - 1,624 posts (#20)

I'd like to see a discussion of GW the school versus GW the Basketball program, because I see it as a tradeoff rather than a tradeoff.   Not that I wouldn't want to see both at the same time, I just don't see it happening.

3/29/2015 6:12:27 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Some good reflections here, I will respond more when the time presents.  NJ Colonial, I'm with you brother, what in particular do you think has been the most important changes made?  For the hardest line skeptics, why can't it be down here, and before you answer, can't a program be mentioned in each traditional excuse why we can't sustain winning?  I personaly think most damaging is the notion that any very successful coach will immediately leap frog to a higher program.  For now, I'd lastly add that Georgetown was a rubbish baskteball program with 40 years of futility before the arrival of JT Jr, no NCAA in 40 years, nothing at all.  Big programs can be built, and not always in the most ideal situations.     (oh, last thing for the Lavin defenders the other day, dude was canned but allowed to say "mutual" Steve didn't seem to care to make it seem mutual.  For St Johns, this is the smart decision, tolerating mediocrity too long is how once great programs fall... or in our case, tolerating mediocrity too long after a program with a great season or 2!)

3/29/2015 6:33:58 PM - GW Alum in Houston - 63 posts (#196)

Regarding the fan base.

GW's issue is that it is not terribly relevant to the people of DC.  Its a private school.  Most people in DC/VA/MD cannot afford to send their kids there.  Our alumni base isn't concentrated in our home area as much as other schools.  There are other schools that we have to dethrone for the 'casual fan'.  And Georgetown and U Maryland aren't chumps.  Many private schools have this issue.  We just are going to have trouble with the 'casual fan'.    To be fair, we do better than other private schools (Rice, Tulane, etc.) that are similarly situated. 

Georgetown managed to end run the private school issue with John Thompson's embrace of certain DC cultural elements.  Not arguing that GW should do the same.  St Louis and Dayton have managed to be successful in that space.  But neither of them have major competition. 

I think that anything GW does to attract the 'casual fan' is going to be incremental, given our competitive environment.  Doesn't mean we shouldn't try, but understand that GW basketball is going to be a tough sell to the larger DC community.


Here's what some other private schools have done.

TCU - Became the 'school' for a part of their region.  Basically TCU is "we are Fort Worth".  GW is going to have difficulty doing so because our high profile competition is mere blocks from our campus.  Georgetown's decision to play home games OFF campus would normally be a bad one, but it unfortunately works very well for them.  If Georgetown played on campus, it would increase the 'going to the game' hassle for many of its fans due to G'town's bad transport links. 

Dayton - outshine the competition.  On the face of it, Wright State should be the primary team for Dayton.  But because of Dayton's dominance athletically, Dayton gets and retains the edge.  If Wright State managed to up their schedule and competitiveness, watch for 'casual fans' to slowly move to them.

St Louis - no competition.  Wanna see college basketball in St Louis - then you'll be watching the Billikins.

St Johns - no public school competition.  Easier transport links to games than the competition.  Better schedule.  That's why Fordham's bid into the A-10 was doubly stupid.  Fordham has the same problem as GW.  Actually there's is far worse - they have bad transport links.  So even if Fordham got good, they'd still not have much support. 


Instead of bitching about low attendance, lets focus on how we can differentiate our product to the casual fan and make our school more relevant.  And understand that GW's environment for fan support is about as difficult as any other team playing top level basketball. 

What we can do: 

1) Maximize what we own.  The GW community should be doubly encouraged and incentivised to attend games. 

2) Work on what we can change.  Try and find where we can favorably differentiate ourselves from Georgetown in the eyes of the casual fan.

3) Ensure that the game day experience is tailored towards fan retention.  Perhaps do the following:   Have a special.  Pay for a ticket to a game in December and get a free ticket to the Fordham or Duquesne game in February.  Give people a reason to return.  

4) Get creative.



3/29/2015 7:21:43 PM - Fan - 212 posts (#106)

remember 30 years of being pissed off.  The only good thing GW does is give food and booze.  No support with that.  Count the sell outs at smith center (real sell outs with all seat gone!!).  Have a great day.   See you when the food and booze is flowing.

3/29/2015 7:28:35 PM - ziik - 2,894 posts (#9)

To sell out the Smith, bring back VaTech, West Virginia, Michigan State. Their fans travel.

3/29/2015 7:43:54 PM - Thomas - 1,100 posts (#29)

Georgetown joined the Big East, the Big East then got a TV contract with ESPN in the early 80's which gave them nationwide exposure, and allowed each school to bring in the best high school players. That's how John Thompson Jr was able to turn them into a national power, and why they are still somewhat of a big-name national program today. I'm not sure that GW can duplicate what they did because the top 7 conferences have all their conference games on TV now. The only way GW can build up a rabid fan base and a VCU-like home court atmosphere is making a deep NCAA tourney run or a 5+ year run of NCAA tourney appearances.

3/29/2015 7:56:40 PM - Cutis - 240 posts (#99)

I like GW Alum in Houstons concept of being creative. I believe the administration tries to come up with ideas but a seasoned observer is not put in charge to oversee things  through. Examples. Each game the cheerleaders give out 6 pizzas to the fans. Why in the world would they deliver these to the "blues eats" where many fans just finished dinner at the Colonial Club. All the pizzas should be sent to the student section. Two or three games a year t-shirts are put on seats ,to be worn during the game to increase spirit. This year two-thirds of the shirts placed in the "blue seats " were the "small" size. Who  is in charge. Who is thinking these things out? Minor items perhaps but I see a trend of letting newbies decide. This year many of us in the Colonial Club experienced parking glitches in the assigned garages. Again, there was good intentions but not much thinking things out. I am in favor of providing the student section with, pizza, hot dogs, free soda and raffles for iTunes gift cards. Bribe them,entice them,make things fun. Spend money,but spend it on the students.Make the games a social happening and they will come.

3/29/2015 11:16:16 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Lots of good thoughts here.  Good ideas Cutis, like them all.  JT the 2nd arrived ta Gtown in  1972, and for about decade built the program, the 2nd half of which he had them ensconced in the postseason, his first Elite 8 team was in place before the Big East invite. Those first 8 years was done as an Independent, it was the success of the program under JT that led to The Big East invite, but that train was rolling with or without that invite.  Sleep Floyd was already there, Ewing was on the way.  Thompson did all of that with Gtown as a lowly program and an Independent, its hard to think he wouldn't have done the same for GW (or that someone else couldn't have conveivably)  The perpetual thinking that the program can't achieve higher heights doesn't help matters, I believe it plays some part in slowing that process.  For instance there was a chain on this site from Hobbs last year with many posters calling for an extension for Hobbs 4 years ago, 4 years deep into a giant step backwards from the 06-08 seasons and a huge step backward from the tracks that Jarvis laid throughout the 90's.  No GW coach should be given 3 or 4 terrible consecutive years in a row again.  One more example, I am still just mind blown how many people on this site believe this year was not a big dissapointment.  Last year we were playing in the 8 vs9 game in the NCAA tourney, with Core 4 all back and some promissing Freshman on board, jumped out early to a strong start and by February we were getting blown out by Duquense, the team being sucked into the death spiral of losing, the RPI plummeting 60 spots, the season resigned to a hail marry at the A10 tourney, no NCAA in sight.  From 2013 to 2014 to 2015, all signs were pointing up, but here you had no shortage of "I feel good about this year, we expected it hey we lost two guys etc etc"   Doesn't sound like what you'd like to hear from the dead center core of a potential future sustained winning program. 

3/30/2015 12:00:25 AM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

For every losing and mediocre program, you always hear all of the excuses.  You almost never hear its the ADs and the series of Coaches hired by the ADs.  In reality, it is in fact mostly the ADs and the coaches hired by those ADs.  Of course, yes some programs have major advantages and other major challenges and making the wrong choices makes those challenges harder, but in the end of the day its the Head coach hires.  Whenever a program hires the wrong coach/es you begin to hear all of the excuses, you even heard them at UCLA over the years, and at Kentucky, at Indiana and at St Johns.  Its always some explanation that speaks to one or more perceived challenge, until the right coach is hired and proves that was just an excuse and you stop hearing about how you can longer win big here or there.  For every program that never has, you only hear the excuses.  Look at the success of Steve Fisher at San Diego, dude took over a horrific program, 5-23, two years later NCAA tourney, 14 years later, NCAA tourney LOCK.  Steve Alford at Manchester, Southwest Missouri State, Iowa and New Mexico.  Alford at each of those schools has won more NCAA tourney games since 1999 than GW has, each and every stop including SW Missouri St.   The same is true of St Johns, Alford at each stop won more tourney games since 1999 than St Johns has during that entire stretch.  Its the Coaches, hire the right coach, the "barriers to success" look more and more like excuses.  Hire the wrong one/s, re-enter the cacophony of noise about the barriers.

3/30/2015 9:58:04 AM - The MV - 4,837 posts (#4)

What The Dude and several others should realize is that when a program hasn't been able to accomplish something, there is usually a good reason or reasons for this.  This isn't meant to sound overly defeatest and attempts should always be made to improve.  Let me address several of The Dude's points:

1) Any highly successful coach will just"....I believe the next word is bolt or something to this effect.  There are coaches who have managed to become synonomous with their "non-major" program while having success...McKillop, Few, Martelli.  However, these are the exceptions to the rule.  The only coaches to lead GW to the NCAA Tournament are William Reinhart (left coaching after 6 sub-500 seasons going 3-18 in his final season), Mike Jarvis (took the St. John's job), Tom Penders (took Jarvis's players, asked to leave), Karl Hobbs (asked to leave) and Mike Lonergan.  Being from the area and alluding to GW as his dream job, Lonergan looks like the most serious candidate to want to stay for the duration of his coaching career while leaving on his terms.  Nevertheless, the odds are against this.

2) We can't ever land a legit top recruit...Not sure how to interpret this.  Top 100?  We have.  Top 10?  Probably never will.  This is hardly an indictment of this program.  Personally, in many years, I believe we do better in the recruiting wars than I would expect given our program's history, facilities, conference, where we exist within the sport's landscape, etc.  If you'd like to counter by asking why can't we ever land a top 10 recruit, I'd simply say it's not realistic.  Dream all you'd like but reality needs to play a role at some point.

3) We can't be the Gonzaga of the East.  I agree and the fact that Gonzaga hadn't emerged as a basketball power up until say 20 years ago has nothing to do with this.  Gonzaga plays in a much smaller and less competitive conference which they are able to dominate.  Gonzaga can tell its recruits that it will play challenging OOC games and that it will go to the NCAA tournament annually.  To their credit, they have taken advantage of their circumstances.  Playing in a much tougher and deeper A10, GW is not in a position where they can tell a recruit that tgheir ticket is annually punched.  SLU went to the dance two straight years and finished in last place this year.  Martelli has coached several tournament teams but an annual trip is clearly not a given.  Only VCU resembles this role for the time being.

4) This year was a big disappointment.  Maybe I'm nitpicking but I'd remove the word big from this thought.  A season that resulted in something very close to a pre-season expectation shouldn't be regarded as a big disappointment despite the circumstances.  To be 16-4 and finish the way we did was certainly disappointing.  But a big disappointment would have been no post-season appearance.   

3/30/2015 11:58:40 AM - Alumnus - 2,040 posts (#16)

GW can always improve the program at the margins, and it should, but Thomas has it right.  Georgetown broke through at just the right time, and caught onto a number of upward trends that don't exist now.  There are many obstacles now that Georgetown didn't face on its way to becoming a D.C. area power, not the least of which is, there are two schools here that won the whole thing, so even three consecutive NCAA appearances mostly caused a big yawn outside of the faithful.   I think the only thing that would permanently raise the program's stature is a much higher level of enthusiasm from the student body, which would have to continue when they graduated.  The surrounding community is mostly interested in what it sees as "major league" programs, or what they can brag about in their own backyard, which is why high school sports gets so much coverage.   Unfortunately, I don't think you can recruit potential students based on whether they're likely to care a lot about the basketball program. 

3/30/2015 1:00:42 PM - Free Quebec - 6,289 posts (#2)

Cutis' post is really good and I agree with everyting in it.  Except one thing.

At the final home game this year, a cheerleader came over to the blue seats to give a pizza to a couple of kids in the second row.  But the pizza box slipped out of her hands, opened up, and fell face down on the head of a dude in the first row.   Apologies to the guy who got nailed with the pizza if he's reading this, but that was awewome. 


I think if the cheerleaders would dump a pizza on a blue seater's head every game, fans might pay big bucks to see that.


3/30/2015 1:29:50 PM - newtman - 1,354 posts (#25)

GW students want freebies. Try Cutis' plan giving students pizza and soda. This sounds a little crazy but give them food for the OOC games and the first few A10 games. Then don't give them anything for a couple games and see what attendance is. Then more pizza and soda. Just an experiment (not most scientific) but we may find out what the students really want basketball or pizza and soda. 

Do we have any marketing people to target alumni?

3/30/2015 2:37:46 PM - Willie - 28 posts (#231)

Now ask yourself this ... why do we have to "bribe" our students to show up? Do you think even Dayton, VCU or URI bribes their students to show up? To ask this question is to answer it and gives the very reason we are even having this discussion - GW students don't really care about the product.

Also, free pizza and soda sounds great until the food police come in and tell you we shouldn't be serving GMOs and sugar because we are contributing to health issues lol. But in all seriousness, unless you are proposing to do this indefinitely, once you take it away - they will leave. (historical note: this has been tried before at GW and was not all the successful).

3/30/2015 3:00:17 PM - BC - 1,624 posts (#20)

Make love of GW an absolute admissions requirement!  Do it now.    Or subliminal "suggestions" transmitted by the scoreboard suggesting GW basketball games were a substitute for sex, food and drugs.    Cheat our way to the top!   

Or support GW as much as we can, hope that this is the Admin, AD and Coach that can slowly entice a permanent attraction to GW basketball for students and Alumni.

3/30/2015 3:04:40 PM - Mentzinger - 3,619 posts (#7)

Butler. Private school. City school. No football. In a state where basketball is everything. Tons and tons of fans, history and tradition.

Xavier, same thing.

3/30/2015 3:12:50 PM - Mentzinger - 3,619 posts (#7)

I think marketing and promotions have improved 1,000% since JK and is probably now at the point of diminishing returns.  


3/30/2015 5:13:38 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

I find it just amazing that someone can look today at Gonzaga and pretend looking back that they had some sort of unique advantage.  A program with zero history, in an area of the country without much talent and sparsely populated, low funds, playing teams in little gyms, and the well they play in a weak conference what an advantage, The MV there are 197 schools all playing in non high major conferences, that's an advantage? They can tell recruits we're an NCCA tourney lock? They are a lock BECAUSE OF MARK FEW! Not because Gonzaga has some unique advantage. He can get a great parade of international players to Spokane, Washington but we can't get more to Washington DC??? Look at Winthrop before and after Greg Marshall.  Look at Wichita St before Greg Marshall. Its the Coaches, not the programs.  All of this talk about the students not attending games, the lack of school spirit, its all just a giant excuse.  It didn't prevent Jarvis from building a winning program from 1-27, it didn't prevent Hobbs from taking the team to #6 in the country from the Penders mess, and its not the reason their success was not better maintained (including Jarvis who after winning 3 tourney games early, missed the tourney in 2 of his last 4 years and never won another NCAA game, the program was at best plateuing rather than continuing to ascend) I was in college and law school during some of those peak years, as many of you surely recall the gym was packed at the peak of the winning. How about we win a few tourney games and see what the local fervor might be, we have one win in 20 years!  The Steve Aflord and Steve Fisher success stories at SW Missouri State New Mexico and SD St?   What about the failures of Matt Doherty at UNC and SMU? A college program is about a great salesman who can recruit players to the program, and then a great mind that knows how to best ultiize and coach that talent.  At the end of the day, that's what matters, the various challenges are just excuses.  Yes, we're not Kentucky, and we're also not SW Missouri St, and we're also not 1995 Gonzaga, there's not a guy in America who would have chosen Gonzaga in 1995 over GW to go coach.

3/30/2015 5:55:25 PM - herve - 9,107 posts (#1)

Funny thing about Gonzaga is with all the talk about how they are the exception and every non-major conference school wants to model themselves after their program they have the EXACT same amount of Final Four appearances as a lot of schools: zero. They have two Elite 8 appearances ever. I was surprised because all the talk about them sure makes it seem like they live in the Elite 8 and have made several Final 4s.

3/30/2015 5:57:56 PM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

Dude, your apparent lack of knowledge about Gonzaga is astounding. Ever hear of John Stockton? How about other coaches ... Dan Monson? Did you know Gonzaga won before Mark Few took over? How many NBA players has Gonzaga had over the years (I can tell you whatever number it is it is a lot more than GW has had since that would really be zero on a sustained basis)? You might be right about 1995 but you would have been wrong in 1990, 2000, 2005, 2010, or 2015. 1995 is 20 years ago. A lot has happened since. 

We all want GW to be the best it can be. But you also have to have a little dose of reality as to the nature of the GW institution, its traditions and history as well as its challenges. It's easy to say it can happen, a lot harder to make it happen.

3/30/2015 5:58:59 PM - The MV - 4,837 posts (#4)

The Dude, playing in a smaller conference when you can dominate it.  The downside is you can't make the Dance without winning your conference tournament.  Ask Murray State about that.

Mark Few has certainly sustained the success but the actual Gonzaga phenomenon began while he was an assistant coach.  Dan Fitzgerald took the team to an NIT folllowed by an NCAA and then Dan Monson took a 24 win team to the NIT (again, the downside) and then the NCAA's.  It was Monson's NCAA team that truly put Gonzaga on the map with a string of upsets over big-name schools before losing to UCONN in the Elite 8.  Few took over from there and adopted what I'd call the John Chaney philosophy of stacking the schedule against big name opponents.  Practically all such games would be played on the road or on neutral courts but this was the price they were willing to play.  Recruiting, particularly international recruiting, was upgraded because recruits could be told that they'd be playing top teams in November and December rather than January and February, and then again in March.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that Gonzaga had or has a unique advantage.  They looked at their situation and decided to capitalize on it.  Upsetting teams during Monson's last year changed everything for them.  Few has turned out to be a great coach but very few (pun intended) may have known this at the time of his hiring.  Your point about coaches is fairly obvious.  If Few wasn't a competent coach, or if he always had one eye on his next job, Gonzaga would not have been nearly as successful.  Most coaches would have moved on to a more prominent job but Few turned his job into a more prominent one.  Gonzaga is very fortunate that he decided that Gonzaga is the long-term place for him.

3/30/2015 6:01:15 PM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

Herve - I believe I saw a stat that Gonzaga has played in 40 NCAA tournament games since 1999. That is pretty impressive for a WCC school.

3/30/2015 7:00:06 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Bo Knows.  With all due respect, its you who knows VERY LITTLE about Gonzaga.  Dan Monson was the Coach at Gonzaga for two years, he inherited a Dan Fitzgerald's team coach Mark Few and Monson were the assistants and Few the chief recruiter.  Monson was Coach for 2 years before leaving for a decade of nothing at Minnesota while Few made Gonzaga into a nationally reknowned powerhouse, a team that spent 2 of the last 3 years nearly wall to wall ranked in the top 2 in the country, Monson inherited another Coach's team and earned a 10 seed that made a nice little run before leaving after 2 years for a decade of mostly crap at Minnestoa and another decade of mediocrity at Long Beach St.  Check your facts a little before you insult others.  As for 1990, of course you are wrong, in 1994 Gonzaga had never made a single NCAA tourney.  This was a program that had spent decades in the WCC and Big Sky and done absolutely nothing.  The 50's 60's 70's 80's and half of the 90's no tourneys, not even close.  NBA PLAYERS? David Stockton has now played 7 NBA minutes, that's more minutes than any non Stockton in the 50 year history of Few before Gonzaga.  Lets be frank you know John Stockton played there, but were unaware his teams stunk, and you knew that Dan Monson was the coach in 99 but didn't realize it was Fitzgerald who laid the decent tracks (with great assistance from Few)  Mark Few took over a program that in 55 years had 2 NCAA tournes as a 14th and 10th seed and made it into an absolute juggernaut.  If you want to make a counter argument, you should consider MV's fact based approach, as opposed to pretending you know something about Gonzaga basketball and I don't. "Won before Mark Few" the basis of your otherwise factually inaccurate assessment boils down to a pair of double digit seeds.   As for the MV's other point, its true playing in a truly small conference has some upside and downside, mostly downside I'd argue, but if you emerge as the big Hoss of a little, somewhat advantegeous.  Gonzaga BYU and St Marys have all been fairly constant presences out of the WCC.  Murray St and Gonzaga are not really a good comparison, I think people have the mistake view that Gonzaga plays in an atrocious conference and by that virtue they're guaranteed a bid.  As for Dan Monson, he left Minnesota as a terrible team, and he's now spent a decade making Long Beach St a terrible team.  Check your facts, or drop the word "Knows" from your name.

3/30/2015 7:15:18 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Worse yet, you don't seem to know too much about GW either, the school I take it you are a fan of Bo? The answer to your question about NBA players is about the same # today for both, 10 vs 12.  The answer when Few became head coach? SEVEN GW players in the NBA, one Gonzaga player.   Herve, its true that they have lacked Final 4 runs, but Few's made 16 straight NCAA tourneys and won 22 tourney games.  The seeds since 2004, #2, 3, 3, 10, 7, 4, 8, 11, 7, 1, 8, 2.   I'd say that's a pretty good model to build your program after.  Whereas before Few became Head Coach, GW surely in the 90's one of the mid majors people would mention you'd want to model your program after.  16 years later...22 NCAA wins vs 1. 

3/30/2015 7:30:44 PM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

Dude - you really don't get it. But let me help you out. Go to Spokane and go to a Gonzaga game and then come back and tell me all your theories of how we can create that here. And while your at it I am sure you have a 7-figure check ready to start the process. No credible Dude that I know talks out of his ass.

3/30/2015 8:55:43 PM - CPots - 469 posts (#54)

Have to agree with The Dude that it's all about the coach and anything is possible if the coach can build and sustain a winning program... Gonzaga, Xavier, and (hate to say it) GTown are great examples.  The coach is the face of the program and the most powerful marketing and recruiting tool (if your school lacks history - which ours does at the elite level).

3/30/2015 9:20:50 PM - thinker - 2,734 posts (#11)

A coach is important but it's not just that. It's also resources. In the case of Georgetown it's also the university's unflinching willingness to give the coaches lots of flexibility on recruiting. Georgetown has never had a tough time being very lenient on admissions standards nor being involved in shady situations.

Xavier has sustained a winning program by having an amazing string of coaches -

Pete Gillen

Skip Prosser

Thad Motta

Sean Miller

Chris Mack

And you have to credit the administration for excellent judgement over 30 years.

3/30/2015 10:47:28 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

CPOTS for the win, its largely all about the Coach(and in my view the AD who hires the Coach/es) and if he/they can build and sustain the winning program.  Yes there are some advantages and disadvantages at programs and people including Thinker have raised some of them (leniency with allowing academically dicey admits is one of them) but those neither guarantee success or prevent it.   How a serious student of the college game could come to any other conclusion puzzles me.  Bo, are you able to concded its actually you that had little understanding of Gonzaga? That prior to 1995 they had absolutely no track record of success at all? No NCAA tourneys, 40 years playing in low-mid majors and not a single auto-bid, when Fitgerald finally delivered they were a 14th seed in 95.  You were pretty quick to sugggest I knew nothing about Gonzaga (who I root for with a passion only 2nd to my passion for GW for two decades) are you eqully quick you had in fact a flawed understanding about Gonzaga?  No hard feelings, its just rather frustrating to have someone who knows very little suggest someone else doesn't!  Winning big against heavy odds is what made Gonzaga the Gonzaga of today, any other interpretation is just pure fiction (and it could all go away if Few does)  Thinker nails that Xavier has been the blueprint for sustaining success with a long series of successful coaches, the product of one great choice after another.  The evidence that its the coaches and not something specific to the program is both the tremendous success of those coaches when they have gone elsewhere, and the prior lack of success, in the 25 years before Pete Gillen, zero NCAA tourneys.  Excellent judgement for 30 years indeed.  If Few ever leaves, it will all come down to his replacement too, it took Few a very long time to get Gonzaga to the top, it would take about 1/16 of that time to end the ride. 

3/30/2015 11:15:05 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Now, how can we create that here you ask Bo? How did Gonzaga? Lets be very clear about this.  International recruiting.  "Gonzaga has developed something like a Moneyball approach to recruiting, offering itself as a home to tall, talented Europeans as well as Americans who were not ideal fits at their old programs." Does that sound familiar? Wasn't that largely how Jarvis kickstarted the GW program in the 90's? Yinka? Koul? Yegor? Now, Penders and then for many more years Hobbs by and large got away from that approach, despite an explosion in international talent, we saw a big decrease in the international pipeline (its worth noting that even Hobbs' best team had a decided international DNA) perhaps the biggest lasting detriment from those years.  Lonergan in contrast, 3/5 of the 5 best recruits to date have been international.  For Gonzaga, developing a star who went onto NBA success, Ronny Turiaf played a big role which helped build a pipeline. This all began with Few designating assistant Tommy Lloyd in charge of the international recruiting and the of them building relationships overseas.  Enter Turiaf, Robert Sacre, Kelly Olynyk, Elias Harris. Prez Karnowski, Domantas Sabonis, Pangos, JP Batista etc etc.  Or in Few's words:

Growing up and developing outside of the AAU world, they don't have pre-existing biases when it comes to colleges, Few said. International players don't feel pressure to play in certain leagues — "the Power 5 and all that crap," Few puts it — and instead focus on colleges' credentials. They see the NCAA tournament streak. They see Gonzaga's track record with players like them. They see a fit.‚Äč

Our GW 90's Pipeline was following along those lines and we've begun to lay the tracks again.  Or you can you know, endlessly lose recruiting wars for high level DMV talent and sweat out some NIT bids with an occassional Round 1 tourney loss.  Gonzaga didn't do it all of course internationally, and nor should we, but that's our ticket, and your advantage/disadvantage people, what better school to do that then the one in the shadow of the White House??? There was a time when that was the "Washington" the International recruits wanted to live in, not the one that houses that global mecca of urbane and cosompolitan civilization Spokane, Washington.



3/31/2015 4:25:18 AM - Tuna Can - 1,655 posts (#19)

Dude is mostly right about the bigs more recently coming from overseas. Before the turn to international talent, though, Gonzaga, in my mind, was pretty formulaic in nature. They lined up 6 foot guards with some offensive pop and great game sense along with a 6'4 or 6'5 scorer. They always seemed to have a pair of these guys throught the late 90's and early 2000's like this starting and then at least one pair in training. 

Listening to Few is sort of like listening to Lonergan. He might only be able to get one true big, but he would load up with 6'8 players and see who developed. He wouldn't get 5-stars, but he would try to find guys who were capable ball players who could be brought along. To be clear, Few still complains about the number of "No Thank You's" on the recreuiting trail. 

The point that I am trying to make is that Gonzaga started with a team approach and they went after players who fit that approach. 

It is also sort of interesting that Gonzaga actually started their rise before some of the folks here could actually read and write. Not every year was great. The key is to not be a one-time wonder. If you have the pieces, then success will circle back on a stronger program. OR, you are at GMU. I know that we all are expecting great things next season, but even after that, you can make an argument that GW will be strong after the Core 4 departs--without even knowing exactly who may be coming to Foggy Bottom as a 2016.

3/31/2015 1:16:12 PM - NJ Colonial - 1,962 posts (#17)

Dude has the right perspective, GW's time is now and the current leadership, President Knapp, trustee/alums Randy Levine and others and A.D. Patrick Nero - understand that success must be sustained over time to build a program and fan base.  Money is being raised, excellent coaches (Lonergan, Tsipis, other sports) have been hired and marketing is vastly improved. Coach Lonergan and Patrick Nero want to build something special in Foggy Bottom, I have heard them say it many times in public and I have discussed it with them privately as well.  GW is on the right course.

3/31/2015 3:27:49 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

NJ Colonial nails the proper perspective.  Frankly, I find it amazing that some people who are so invested in this program have such a dim view of the possibilty that GW could make a sustained success run.  Do those same people follow college basketball? How many dozen runs at more difficult placse need to happen to show it can be done?  The fact that each coach shortly after arrival at GW in the last two decades inherited a mess and then coached an NCAA tourney team within few years shows getting the ball rolling is very feasible at our program.   Keeping that ball rolling, now that's our challenge, yet its happened at dozens of other programs in more challenging scenarios, and if you think it can't I wonder why you'd invest so many years of interest in a program you have so little optimism in.  That's not a blind optimism, that's a measured realism derived from decades of seeing it done elsewhere.  As for Bo, I take it your silence concedes you were off base about Gonzaga.  With regard to Tuna, he mostly gets it right, but he's slightly underplaying the importance of the International recruits role making Gonzaga a national juggernaut level.  A look at the entire history of the program's seed history shows it, the 04 05 06 09 13 and 15 very high seed and wall to wall high ranked teams were dominated by international players.  Turiaf, Sacre, Olynyk, Elias Harris, Pangos, Karnowski, Sabonis etc. Prior to that huge pipeline those 99-01 Gonzaga teams made some great tourney runs but they were 12 seedish caliber teams.  No comparison to the heights that would come with the International talent.  GW can follow a similar path.  Tracks are being layed.

Years → '95 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15
Seeds → 14 10 10 12 6 9 2 3 3 10 7 4 8 11 7 1 8 2
3/31/2015 3:48:06 PM - ziik - 2,894 posts (#9)

Yes, Gonzaga is a nice model program. Just not the only one. ML has done a bit of winning on his own, too, and he surely has paid close attention to GW's efforts over the past 25 years or more. 

What's the deal with Pangos? I've been hearing for 5 years now what a great player he would be. I just have not seen it. What am I missing, Great One? 

3/31/2015 4:15:10 PM - - 3 posts (#256)

Its surely not the only one, its by far the best sustained one of the last decade and a half, but that's not even it.  Its the one that followed a path that happens to be and has long been our best path for GW, the International path.  Do you have a competing vision? What other path would work as well for GW? As for Pangos, he's an exceptional shooter (over 40% from 3 all 4 years, 85% from line) a great floor general, excellent Assist/TO ratio, showed up day 1 as a Frosh as a 14 point 4 assist 3 rebound 40% from 3 no turnover point guard.  23 Win Shares, exceptional handle, great at pushing tempo, outstanding decision maker, the point guard we all want at GW.  What's not to like?

3/31/2015 4:15:48 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Its surely not the only one, its by far the best sustained one of the last decade and a half, but that's not even it.  Its the one that followed a path that happens to be and has long been our best path for GW, the International path.  Do you have a competing vision? What other path would work as well for GW? As for Pangos, he's an exceptional shooter (over 40% from 3 all 4 years, 85% from line) a great floor general, excellent Assist/TO ratio, showed up day 1 as a Frosh as a 14 point 4 assist 3 rebound 40% from 3 no turnover point guard.  23 Win Shares, exceptional handle, great at pushing tempo, outstanding decision maker, the point guard we all want at GW.  What's not to like?

3/31/2015 4:33:01 PM - ziik - 2,894 posts (#9)

Not to be overly critical, but I have heard Pangos praised so lavishly, I expected more. And I was disappointed at the Gonzaga effort against Duke. Too bad the big guy had foul issues too bad Pangos could not get his shot off. Not a bad game, just less than I had hoped.  

3/31/2015 4:41:37 PM - The MV - 4,837 posts (#4)

The Dude, I'd be interested in learning your definition of a sustained success run.  Dozens of non-BCS programs have not done what Gonzaga has done which is to say make the NCAA tournament practically every year over a 20 year period, and do some legitimate winning (i.e. 2 elite 8's) over that time.  Dozens of non-BCS schools have made an occasional NCAA tournament but so has GW.  Before I'm accused of having a dim view (and yes, 1 NCAA tournament game victory in roughly 20 years will do that to a person), I'd like to know what your proposing GW should be able to achieve, specifically.

3/31/2015 5:57:44 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Picked a terrible night to have his least impactful game at Gonzaga in four years.  Looked oddly timid, when he began to push the ball late in the game and make plays, you saw a glimmer of the 130 games worth of Pangos.  He also missed an open 3, something I saw maybe 14x out of 130 in four years.  As for general Pangos praise, he's widely viewed as a great college player, but the praise is purely for his college play, no NBA future at all, not a high enough level of an athlete.  No vertical, lacks NBA foot speed.  Squeezes everything out of natural ability, great college player.  The can't miss NBA player on this team is Sabonis, who could become a lottery pick if he stays a year or 2.  He's a 1st round pick right now. 

3/31/2015 6:07:52 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

MV, excellent question.  Sustained success is a pretty broad term, so it would encapsulate several permutations.  The GW 93-99 run, 5 NCAAs in 7 years, 7 straight Post-seasons, 3 NCAA tourney wins would count on the low end.  Double that period, 10 in 14 years, 6 NCAA tourney wins, a pair of Sweet 16 and you have low end sustained success.  Gonzaga is high end sustained success.  Let me give you one coach, two sustained success. Both with two key criteria, sustained and upward arching.  Jarvis, has a better first 4 years than his last 4 years, including all of his NCAA tourney wins, no upward arc. The arc tilts bit down after 93.  Nevertheless low end sustained success.  Contrast with this one coach with a decade of sustained success at a pair of schools, huge emphasis on sustained and upward arc:


Winthrop Eagles (Big South Conference) (1998–2007)
1998–99 Winthrop 21–8 9–1 1st NCAA First Round
1999–00 Winthrop 21–9 11–3 2nd NCAA First Round
2000–01 Winthrop 18–13 11–3 2nd NCAA First Round
2001–02 Winthrop 19–12 10–4 1st NCAA First Round
2002–03 Winthrop 20–10 11–3 1st  
2003–04 Winthrop 16–12 10–6 T–3rd  
2004–05 Winthrop 27–6 15–1 1st NCAA First Round
2005–06 Winthrop 23–8 13–3 1st NCAA First Round
2006–07 Winthrop 29–5 14–0 1st NCAA Second Round
Winthrop: 194–83 (.700) 104–24 (.813)  
Wichita State Shockers (Missouri Valley Conference) (2007–present)
2007–08 Wichita State 11–20 4–14 9th  
2008–09 Wichita State 17–17 8–10 T–5th CBI Second Round
2009–10 Wichita State 25–10 12–6 2nd NIT First Round
2010–11 Wichita State 29–8 14–4 2nd NIT Champions
2011–12 Wichita State 27–6 16–2 1st NCAA Second Round
2012–13 Wichita State 30–9 12–6 2nd NCAA Final Four
2013–14 Wichita State 35–1 18–0 1st NCAA Third Round
2014–15 Wichita State 30–5 17–1 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
3/31/2015 6:29:40 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Another mid major example of clear sustained success, young coach who stayed in place for over a decade, no sign of leaving:

BYU (Mountain West Conference) (2005–2011)
2005–06 BYU 20–9 12–4 T–2nd NIT First Round
2006–07 BYU 25–9 13–3 1st NCAA Round of 64
2007–08 BYU 27–8 14–2 1st NCAA Round of 64
2008–09 BYU 25–8 12–4 T–1st NCAA Round of 64
2009–10 BYU 30–6 13–3 2nd NCAA Round of 32
2010–11 BYU 32–5 14–2 T–1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
BYU (West Coast Conference) (2011–present)
2011–12 BYU 26–9 12–4 3rd NCAA Round of 64
2012–13 BYU 24–12 10–6 3rd NIT Semifinals
2013–14 BYU 23–12 13–5 2nd NCAA Round of 64
2014–15 BYU 25–10 13–5 2nd NCAA First Four
3/31/2015 6:34:47 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

And another, again, sustained mid major success, Coach stayed, high level of constant success.  Closer to Gonzaga than the BYU/GW under Jarvis levels:

Bob Huggins (Metro Conference) (1989–1991)
1989–90 Cincinnati 20–14 9–5 2nd NIT Sweet Sixteen
1990–91 Cincinnati 18–12 8–6 3rd NIT Sweet Sixteen
Bob Huggins (Great Midwest Conference) (1991–1995)
1991–92 Cincinnati 29–5 8–2 T–1st NCAA Final Four
1992–93 Cincinnati 27–5 8–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1993–94 Cincinnati 22–10 7–5 4th NCAA Round of 64
1994–95 Cincinnati 23–11 7–5 3rd NCAA Round of 32
Bob Huggins (Conference USA) (1995–2005)
1995–96 Cincinnati 28–5 11–3 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1996–97 Cincinnati 26–8 14–2 1st NCAA Round of 32
1997–98 Cincinnati 27–6 12–4 1st NCAA Round of 32
1998–99 Cincinnati 27–6 12–4 1st (American) NCAA Round of 32
1999–00 Cincinnati 29–4 16–0 1st (American) NCAA Round of 32
2000–01 Cincinnati 25–10 11–5 1st (American) NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2001–02 Cincinnati 31–4 14–2 1st (American) NCAA Round of 32
2002–03 Cincinnati 17–12 9–7 T–4th NCAA Round of 64
2003–04 Cincinnati 25–7 12–4 T–1st NCAA Round of 32
2004–05 Cincinnati 25–8 12–4 T–2nd NCAA Round of 32
Bob Huggins: 398–128 (.757) 170–60 (.739)  


3/31/2015 6:42:23 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

The stays in place mid/high mid major coach is a lot less uncommon than some on this board would have you beleive. Here's another you A10 fans are surely familiar with, may he RIP:


Utah Utes (Western Athletic Conference) (1989–1999)
1990–91 Utah 30–4 15–1 1 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1991–92 Utah 24–11 9–7 4-T NIT Third Place
1992–93 Utah 24–7 15–3 1-T NCAA Second Round
1993–94 Utah 14–14 8–10 5-T  
1994–95 Utah 28–6 15–3 1 NCAA Second Round
1995–96 Utah 27–7 15–3 1 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1996–97 Utah 29–4 15–1 1 NCAA Elite Eight
1997–98 Utah 30–4 12–2 1 NCAA Runner Up
1998–99 Utah 28–5 14–0 1 NCAA Second Round
Utah: 238–64 (.788) 118–30 (.797)  
Utah Utes (Mountain West Conference) (1999–2004)
1999–2000 Utah 23–9 10–4 1-T NCAA Second Round
2000–01 Utah 1-0**      
2001–02 Utah 21–9 10–4 2 NCAA First Round
2002–03 Utah 25–8 11–3 1-T NCAA Second Round
3/31/2015 6:54:27 PM - GDL - 34 posts (#225)

What about Calipari, at UMass and Memphis, and Cheney at Temple?

3/31/2015 6:56:51 PM - ziik - 2,894 posts (#9)

Electrons are more precious than you think, Dude.

3/31/2015 7:00:54 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Good call GDL, Calipari its worth recalling had two decade long runs where he stayed put at high mid majors and sustained high level success at both:


UMass Minutemen (Atlantic 10 Conference) (1988–1996)
1988–89 UMass 10–18 5–13 8th  
1989–90 UMass 17–14 10–8 6th NIT First Round
1990–91 UMass 20–13 10–8 T–3rd NIT Semifinals
1991–92 UMass 30–5 13–3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1992–93 UMass 24–7 11–3 1st NCAA Second Round
1993–94 UMass 28–7 14–2 1st NCAA Second Round
1994–95 UMass 29–5 13–3 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1995–96 UMass 35–2* 15–1 1st NCAA Final Four*
Massachusetts: 189–70 (.730)* 91–41 (.689)  
Memphis Tigers (Conference USA) (2000–2009)
2000–01 Memphis 21–15 10–6 2nd (National) NIT Semifinals
2001–02 Memphis 27–9 12–4 1st (National) NIT Champions
2002–03 Memphis 23–7 13–3 1st (National) NCAA First Round
2003–04 Memphis 22–8 12–4 T–1st NCAA Second Round
2004–05 Memphis 22–16 9–7 T–6th NIT Semifinals
2005–06 Memphis 33–4 13–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2006–07 Memphis 33–4 16–0 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2007–08 Memphis 38–2** 16–0** 1st** NCAA Runner-up**
2008–09 Memphis 33–4 16–0 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
3/31/2015 7:03:13 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

GDL, Chaney is an excellent good too:

Temple (Atlantic 10 Conference[6]) (1982–2006)
1982–83 Temple 14–15 5–9 3rd (East)  
1983–84 Temple 26–5 18–0 1st NCAA Round of 32
1984–85 Temple 25–6 15–3 1st NCAA Round of 32
1985–86 Temple 25–6 15–3 T–2nd NCAA Round of 32
1986–87 Temple 32–4 17–1 1st NCAA Round of 32
1987–88 Temple 32–2 18–0 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1988–89 Temple 18–12 15–3 2nd NIT First Round
1989–90 Temple 20–11 15–3 1st NCAA Round of 64
1990–91 Temple 24–10 13–5 2nd NCAA Elite Eight
1991–92 Temple 17–13 11–5 2nd NCAA Round of 64
1992–93 Temple 20–13 8–6 T–2nd NCAA Elite Eight
1993–94 Temple 23–8 12–4 2nd NCAA Round of 32
1994–95 Temple 19–11 10–6 T–2nd NCAA Round of 64
1995–96 Temple 20–13 12–4 2nd (East) NCAA Round of 32
1996–97 Temple 20–11 10–6 4th (East) NCAA Round of 32
1997–98 Temple 21–9 13–3 1st (East) NCAA Round of 64
1998–99 Temple 24–11 13–3 1st (East) NCAA Elite Eight
1999–00 Temple 27–6 14–2 1st (East) NCAA Round of 32
2000–01 Temple 24–13 12–4 T–2nd NCAA Elite Eight


3/31/2015 7:20:00 PM - GDL - 34 posts (#225)

And my personal favorite, the late great Jerry Tarkanian at Long Beach State, UNLV, and Fresno State.  I believe UNLV was the last team from a "mid-major" conference to win a national championship, although several teams (Memphis, Butler) have come very close in recent years.

3/31/2015 7:20:54 PM - GDL - 34 posts (#225)

I loved that 1989-1991 UNLV team.

3/31/2015 7:29:44 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

GDL knows and loves his sustained success mid majors.  Tarkanian has 3, UNLV among the very peak of peak of sustained mid major success/coaching stability.   Is there lingering doubts on the board about the ability to keep mid major coaches who experience various levels of very high level sustained success?

3/31/2015 7:31:21 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Or you know, 30 years of Guy Lewis at Houston, here's the last 20:


1964–65 Houston 19–10     NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1965–66 Houston 23–6     NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1966–67 Houston 27–4     NCAA Third Place
1967–68 Houston 31–2     NCAA Fourth Place
1968–69 Houston 16–10      
1969–70 Houston 25–5     NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1970–71 Houston 22–7     NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1971–72 Houston 20–7     NCAA First Round
1972–73 Houston 23–4     NCAA First Round
1973–74 Houston 17–9      
1974–75 Houston 16–10      
Houston Cougars (Southwest Conference) (1975–1986)
1975–76 Houston 17–11 7–9 6th  
1976–77 Houston 29–8 13–3 2nd NIT Runner-up
1977–78 Houston 25–8 11–5 3rd NCAA First Round
1978–79 Houston 16–15 6–10 T–5th  
1979–80 Houston 14–14 8–8 T–4th  
1980–81 Houston 21–9 10–6 T–2nd NCAA First Round
1981–82 Houston 25–8 11–5 2nd NCAA Final Four
1982–83 Houston 31–3 16–0 1st NCAA Runner-up
1983–84 Houston 32–5 15–1 1st NCAA Runner-up
1984–85 Houston 16–14 8–8 T–5th NIT First Round
3/31/2015 7:49:21 PM - thinker - 2,734 posts (#11)

Dude your extensive data is impressive, but really all your data says is that a few mid-major type schools have managed to be nicely successful in the last 20 or so years. The data doesn't really say why except for their being a quality coach. Others in the thread have talked of community and booster support, having a sizable arena that fills up, etc.

I would say there are a couple of other requirements that I'm not sure the GW administration wants to implement:


3/31/2015 7:51:56 PM - thinker - 2,734 posts (#11)

1)  Putting bigtime money into the program

2)  Relaxing your admssions standards for athletes

3)  Allowing a little more creativity as it were in recruiting

I don't know that GW wants to do those things

3/31/2015 8:03:45 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Haven't we already at various times shown a willingness to do some of those things Thinker? Further, doesn't the data show more than you are suggesting? I'd suggest it shows MANY coaches have been WILDLY successful at mid majors AND stayed, two things that many on this board seemed quick to label as extremely rare and unlikely ("it hasn't happened yet at GW so ergo it can't!") Finally, one more reason that the international path is so enticing, less of a need to bend acadamic standards, less of a need to impress the AAU kids with fancy gyms and packed huge arenas.  Gonzaga took the rather large influx of cash and built a new gym that looks a lot like the Smith Center, right down its capacity (6k) Total cost was about half...half of the Smith Center 08 renovations.

3/31/2015 10:02:51 PM - thinker - 2,734 posts (#11)

I'm not sure exactly how I would define wildly successful or what many means. To me the data says a handful of coaches in a handful of schools have really done well and sustained that success over time. I'd go further and say that the way success happens at different schools is probably different in a lot of ways. Schools are mostly in somewhat unique circumstances where not everything translates between different schools. I haven't seen anything here on the nitty gritty things that were done at the schools you listed except hire a coach. So it's very hypothetical. We don't know how much schools boosted the basketball budget. We don't know what boosters did. We don't know what admissions standards were relaxed. We don't know which schools used what tricks to get players passing grades. We don't know how much leeway the coaches were given in terms of being able to offer incentives to recruits. And many of these successful mid-major schools have more ardent fans - I just don't know how you change the nature of the students that come to GW or change the nature of alumni.

As far as GW having a more relaxed admissions process in the past? Absolutely there have been times when that happened. I find it very hard to believe though that the current lineup of AD and coach would ask for that leeway or that the Knapp administration would grant it. Nor do I believe that GW is a place where you could provide recruits or their families or coaches incentives. 

3/31/2015 10:43:19 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

In most of these cases, if the Coach leaves, so to does the great sustained success.  That would suggest that its not all of these other factors, the passion of the fan base, relaxed academic standards, if so, the beneficial environment success theory suggests that should outlive the coach.  I frankly think many on this site puts way too much stock into these other factors as a reason for or a barrier to success.  A college program is two things, a great salesman to bring talent to the program and a guy who can coach that talent.  All of those other things just make the salemanship a little harder or easier, sometimes a good deal harder or easier (the scale of success also slides with that calculus, success at Winthrop does not equal success at Kentuck, so Marshall is wildly successful for getting them to the tourney for a decade and Tubby Smith ultimately not successful at Kentucky and Eddie Sutton and Billy Gillepsie much less so.  Kentucky is actually the perfect example, for all of their enormous advantages, the storied tradition, the immense passion of the fan base, the resources, they've had wild swings in success from Coach to Coach.  Same surroundings, immensely different results. That's what happens if you hire Pitino or you hire Billy Gillepsie and Tubby Smith.   I believe some of the "we just can't do it at GW" view is created to make people feel less depressed that despite the ability to do so, we have as of yet have not done so.  They used to think the same things at every school that has ...until that right Coach arrived.

3/31/2015 11:02:15 PM - thinker - 2,734 posts (#11)

Give everything to the wrong coach and it doesn't help.

Don't give a bunch of those things and a very good coach can't overcome the disadvantages very often.

Over time Hobbs developed a number of significant problems that made it necessary for him to go. When he was given a lot more wiggle room in recruiting he constructed one of the greatest ever teams in GW history. When that wiggle room was taken away we saw years of crap. THAT IS NOT THE ONLY REASON WAS FIRED.

The right coach is more than just about that person - it's also about the context that he walks into.

3/31/2015 11:43:31 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

I've been very eager to hear what you all think the reason Hobbs declined so much is.  I'm sure this was often litigated on the board, but I presume a few years later might be a good time to reassess some.  Which significant problems you are referring to?

I don't think NCAA history bears out the degree to which you seem to weigh situational advantages over the Coaching hire. It doesn't explain why Creighton was so bad for so long, so good under Dana Altman, and now that McDermott's son has left, really bad again already.  It doesn't explain why Oregon was mostly bad before Altman, and really good with him, and presumably intermittently good and bad again when he leaves ...or any of the dozen or two other examples I've mentioned.  I come from a family of Columbia fans who used to say these things about even the Ivy league.  That Penn had a unique advantage because they cared about basketball so much, had the support of the school, a bit of a fan base etc and Columbia never cared.  Well, Fran Dunphy had them as the power of the Ivy for 20 years, and they've been terrible in the decade since he left.  For our longest most suffered GW fans, much respect to you, but just imagine 50 years of rooting for Columbia sports.  The truth is, their administration never cared enough to hire the right Coaches, the rest was mostly window dressing. 

3/31/2015 11:48:33 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

(Speaking of sustained success, I present 20 years of Chaney, 20 years of Dunphy and 10 more years of Dunphy.)

4/1/2015 5:04:11 AM - Tuna Can - 1,655 posts (#19)

Dude, I know that you are new here, so I will let you know that I have been talking about the Gonzaga model for about 6 years now. No, I was just trying to help you out that the Gonzaga case was easier made by the fact that they specialized in a certian team design, which, btw, also fit the foreign player model which GW has had over the years. I think that it is more important to be able to continue success and stay the course (when there is a decent amount of success, just as long as the staff doesn't get stale or uninterested. If you have a positive history, each recruiting class becomes a bit easier.

BUT, to your point, yes, if you see a coach that doesn't like the AAU game, you will most likely see a couple of foreign players filtering in. 

With the age factor, it is more likely that you can find a player to fit in, depending on the role. 

4/1/2015 8:32:48 AM - Free Quebec - 6,289 posts (#2)


Dude, you may have opened a can of worms with your question, but I'll try to answer.  

The Hobbs loyalists, as you see the seeds of in Thinker's post, say Hobbs failed because in the wake of the Washington Post's hit job on Omar Williams, that he was prevented from going after kids with spottier education backgrounds.  They say he succeeded when he had more leeway, but couldn't succeed under those constraints.  

Others who are not loyal to Hobbs or get their info from those close to Hobbs, say his recruiting started to tank even before the restrictions. They point to a steady steam of failed guys who were recruited before the restrictions (Montrell McDonald, Cheyenne Moore, Noel Wilmore, etc).  They say he nailed it with that early recruiting flurry, but then started missing and wasn't enough of an x and o coach to overcome his recruiting misses.   They also argue that Hobbs never believed in GW - that he spent more time making excuses about what he didn't have or the disadvantages at GW, rather than selling or building on the things that make the school an attractive place to go.  


In many ways, Hobbs vs Lonergan is exactly what you are talking about.   In my opinion, Hobbs was of the attitude that no coach could succeed at GW, and that his only chance was to get kids who other schools wouldn't touch.   By contrast, Lonergan had the attitude that GW is a great school in  the nation's Capitol, and it ought to be a destination kids want to attend, so he looks for kids that fit his system and who he thinks might choose GW sometimes for reasons beyond basketball.  

Is Lonergan right?  If so, is he the right guy?  Or is he like Hobbbs in that he got lucky early and can't sustain it?  Time will tell, but in many ways it tests your theories  


4/1/2015 10:03:33 AM - Alumnus - 2,040 posts (#16)

Although the Dude's data production is impressive, I really question putting Houston, Memphis, and Cincinnati into the mix as "mid-majors," like GW should achieve that kind of success just because it wanted to.  The whole game was way different in the 60's when Houston came up with players like Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney, partly because a lot of Southern schools were slow to recruit and utilize black players, partly because NCAA regionals really were regionals.  The program (deservedly) reached national stature when they beat UCLA in the Astrodome, on national TV.  And, while the Southwest Conference wasn't the powerhouse in basketball that it was in football, I don't think anyone would've called it a mid-major.  Memphis and Cincinnati were also nationally-distinguished teams before the Calipari and Huggins eras, e.g Cincinnati won the NCAA twice, and is always known as the school Oscar Robertson played for, and the conferences they were in had other teams that had nationally-distinguished teams at the top;  weren't Louisville and some other powerhouses in the Metro Conference?  However you classify their conferences, these were schools that could draw 15-20,000 people. 

Also, I'd say the asterisks besides the later Mass and Memphis achievements might send out a "be careful what you wish for" signal.

Temple's a much better comparison in being one of multiple teams in an urban area and obviously they played in our conference, but it was so much about one man, John Chaney. 


4/1/2015 10:34:00 AM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

Dude, I haven't been ducking your question just was travelling. A lot has transpired since I left this thread but again yes I know that Gonzaga generally did not have good teams prior to 1995. So what?This is 2015 not 1995. GW generally didn't have good teams prior to 1991. So what? This is 2015. The schools are not comparable for many reasons. Because one has success doesn't mean you can take that same model to another school. Apples to oranges. Again, different traditions, alumni base, location, conference, athletic budgets, priorities etc. So when I say you don't know what you are talking about you are looking at the tip of the iceberg not the iceberg as a whole. There are a whole lot of things happeneing at Gonzaga that don't apply to GW and vice versa

Now to pick-up on the other points raised here:

1. You've cherry picked a few examples of sustained success at mid-majors (even conceding all of those are mid-majors). So if it were so easy why has there not been sustained success at the probably 100 or so mid-majors you didn't mention?

2. Coaching is important no doubt but even some very good coaches have been overwhelmed by the institution both here and elsewhere. Take Hobbs. He had probably the best sustained run of success over a four-year period where GW was at the top of the A-10. 2 A-10 titles - never before or since replicated. Why did he end up failing? The institution would not let him continue to bring in the type of players he was initially successful with. Why? Didn't fit the mold of what GW wanted ultimately. That was a value judgment made by the higher ups over the importance of basketball and winning. Remember GW can admit players with a 860 SAT score and 2.3 GPA under NCAA rules. However, try seeing if we can get those players into GW today. I can tell you that under the present standards many of the GW greats over the last 20 years would not have been admitted. So when the playing field is not level what is a coach supposed to do? ML is doing the best he can with what he has to work with. But he doesnt have the same tools that many of your examples of susutained success have to work with. Yet you are demanding the same results.

4/1/2015 2:29:13 PM - thinker - 2,734 posts (#11)


There were things that I liked about Hobbs. I had friends very close in the inside circle that gave me insight into how things were. But I don't know that I'm a loyalist at this point.

It was time for him to go for a number of reasons - the main reason being that the relationship between him and the administration had REALLY broken down. Hobbs felt betrayed by the SJT reaction to Omargate and he became more sullen and angry and he took on a tone that didn't reflect what the administration wanted. Both sides contributed to the decline in the relationship.

As to recruiting, you didn't even mention Miles Beatty - another disaster. But to be fair you also have to look at a couple of recruits that were coming who got dumped because of Omargate (a big man who went to Charlotte and a guard who went somewhere in Mississippi - just can't remember the names).

Another big factor in the decline in recruiting was the loss every year of anotther assistant - Piekel, Broadus, the coach at Bowie State, Ellerbe. That hurt recruiting a lot too.

And we know Hobbs himself lost a lot of his earlier energy and passion in recruiting - maybe because he was discouraged - but whatever it was he didn't hit the trail like he had earlier.

So the decline in recruiting was connected to increased admissions standards, the loss of the top recruiting assistants, and Hobbs' own loss of passion.

4/1/2015 4:19:51 PM - The MV - 4,837 posts (#4)

Good analysis here but I'll just add that the friction between Hobbs and the administration was very much a two way street.  KH did feel betrayed by SJT's completely unprofessional reaction to Omargate but Dr. Chernak followed suit by failing to offer KH any real backing or support once SJT made his feelings known.  And of course, that had to mean that JK wasn't going to get into KH's corner either.  As much as FQ has pointed out over the years that KH was an excuse-maker and often complained about what he didn't have while at GW, it's worth clarifying that this was not at all the case during the good times.  KH lashed out only after it was apparent to him that he wasn't going to be properly supported.  This doesn't make it right but it does offer some context as to why KH developed a defeatist side to him. 

Thinker, it was Phil Jones who went to Charlotte and Jeremy Wise who ended up at Southern Miss.  Jones didn't do a whole lot in retrospect but I know that Wise averaged over 17 a game in three seasons at So Miss. and has gone onto lead the D-league in assists a few seasons ago.  Neither attended GW due to the new, loftier academic standards.

4/1/2015 4:58:13 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Free Quebec, good insights.  The Hobbs tenure is a tough puzzle to tackle.  The heightened academic restriction theory rests on that bulwark of that 05-07 team being built on major academic dip downs, and thereafter recruiting only guys with much higher standards, but that's not actually the case correct?

My theory rather is what Thinker touches on as part of his, loss of drive, but my own view is a little different, that when the winning began in earnest he anticipated moving up and just when recruiting should have been getting easier, his recruiting got weaker (which I believe as noted above by others predates some of the crackdown) I thought the same was true of Jarvis at the very end too, while Penders inherited two great Seniors, Jarvis final classes were his weakest, with a foot and a half out the door.    In the case of Hobbs, the window closed on him quickly, and what he thought was the end became instead the middle.

Bo, Few was able to get the first set of good Gonzaga players (Santangelo and others) as the chief recruiter at a time when Gonzaga had zero history of wining (in contrast to GW which has a pattern of ups and downs) and then gradually built on that, designed the International pathway, more success led to even better players, better recruits.  Eventually better facilities.  When he began doing all of this, Gonzaga was a vastly more difficult sell than GW is today...not even close, that's the point.   Now what's the difference? Is there anyone on this board that thinks there's any comparison between Mark Few and Karl Hobbs?  Any chance Hobbs would be that successful at Gonzaga? Any chance Few would not be successful at GW or a similarly situated school? It was you who seemed to have a fundamental misunderstanding of Gonzaga history. One, Monson played virtually no role, he got the Few recruited players and left almost immediately.  Few built that program, from near scratch as I've laid out in this chain (even giving a very charitable view to Fitzgerald's minimal achievements, almost all of which were at the end of his tenure and driven by Few)

Now, the easiest pathway to success at a struggling program is to take talented players with dicey situations, academic or otherwise.  It takes a much more facile mind to find the diamonds in the rought, to build a nuanced system, to appeal to a bevy of international players of different cultures and locales. 

4/1/2015 5:19:27 PM - Free Quebec - 6,289 posts (#2)

Thinker, didn't mean you are a Hobbs-loyalist, but it does seem clear that you have sources who are.  But you have consistently conveyed the perception of those loyal to Hobbs, including in this thread (i.e.your 11:02 post yesterday that only mentioned the recruiting restrictions as the reason for the dip).  I do totally agree with you that the deteriorating relationship between Hobbs and the administration was a factor, though I think that may have been exacerbated by an AD who was phoning it in and the coach continually pointing out the negatives of competing at GW, rather than emphasizing the positives.


The Dude, didn't Gonzaga have a different coach who started this run before Few. Was it Dan Monson, or am I remembering it wrong? I was thinking that Few just picked up after another coach had established at least fleeting success, but I could be remembering that wrong.


As far as I'm concerned, I would be very happy if we find a coach - Lonergan or someone else if can't maintain it - who can keep us consistently in the hunt for the NCAA, with years where we stink being rare.  I think  a coach who could average 2 NCAAs and an NIT in every 4 years would be someone we should all be thrilled with.   That's obviously not getting us to be the next Gonzaga, but it would be better than all but 1 or 2 A-10 programs over the last 25 years, and it may be a realistically achievable goal. 

It does mean that every 3-4 years, we'll be too weak to make the NCAAs becuase we have a rebuilding year from time to time.  But if we're making the NCAAs about half the time, I think we would be nuts to think we don't have the right guy.

What I really don't want to be is Duquesne. Duqs is a much worse program than ours. They hired Ron Everhardt and he quickly got them to a level they hadn't seen in 20+ years (2 NITs, I think) - and yet they canned him anyway.   There may have been other things behidn the scenes (bad relationships with administration, like what happened with Hobbs), but their stated reason was that the NIT wans't good enough and they wanted a coach taking them to the NCAAs consistently. Now they have Jim Ferry who has dropped expectations so low that 6 wins in the league is considered surprisingly decent.



4/1/2015 5:22:06 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Alumnus, there's a full range here. Recall I used the term mid and high mid majors.  Really, we're a high mid major and so too are some of these schools.  Non power school sustained success is really what we're examining.   I'd include a school like Providence in that mix too as a non power high major.  Most of my examples were low and mid majors.  Basically places where winning has challenges.  Cincy was just an awful basketball program in the 15 years before Huggins arrived. Houston a non-entiry pre Lewis.   Your point about Memphis and UMASS is good one, although as much as I hate Calipari, I'd have to argue that the programs were overall better off for his being there.  Your point about Temple is a good one, that may well be the best match, I'd add Dunphy to Chaney (Chaney's end years also the show the right coach can become the wrong one when he's past his expiration date)  There's also this tendency to lump recuiting with X and O's as if they are equally important.  In reality, a lot of the winningest coaches are first and foremost great recruiters/off court strategists.  A small handful of those guys are also great on court strategists/innovators, like Pitino.   Assembling the talent, recruiting the right pieces to fit together, being able to persuade the talent to come to the school, that's by far most of the pie.  We tend to put too much stock into all of the on-court coaching decisions, the X and O's, just as there's a tendency to put too much stock into all of the Program disadvantages because frankly they make for more interesting discussions, then the reality - Its the Coach, Its the players.  Its not the passion of the fan base and its not the triangle. 

4/1/2015 5:40:27 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

FQ, your memory is largely accurate, in essence.  I'll refer back to my earlier post in regard to Bo's assessment:

Dan Monson was the Coach at Gonzaga for a total of two years, he inherited a Dan Fitzgerald's team coach Mark Few and Monson were the assistants and Few the chief recruiter.  Monson was Coach for 2 years before leaving for a decade of nothing at Minnesota while Few made Gonzaga into a nationally reknowned powerhouse, a team that spent 2 of the last 3 years nearly wall to wall ranked in the top 2 in the country, Monson inherited another Coach's team, with the players Few recruited, and earned a 10 seed that made a nice little run before leaving after 2 years for a decade of mostly crap at Minnestoa and another decade of mediocrity at Long Beach St.  Fitzgerald was the AD, had handed the job over to other guys a couple of times, it really wasn't until Few began landing the Satangelos that Gonzaga took flight.

Few in his early 30's was designed Associated Head Coach and the annointed successor, Monson was the bigger name as the son of an equally overrated famous head coach.  Monson had a foot out the door the moment he got the Gonzaga HC gig and Few was already the heir apparent.  Its important to note how lowly Gonzaga was viewed in 1997, most guys would have leapt at the Minnesota job.  Monson has spent the last 2 decades as an endlessly mediocre coach of zero impact.  Few, built the little cinderella into a national junngernaut.  In reality though, he's largely responsible for the cinderella run too.  Like all coaching success stories, it was the recruiting that launched the ship.  Monson after a failed run at Minnesota has spent a decade as the failed coached at Long Beach St.  Any doubt which assistant launched Gonzaga in mid to late 90's now? (Its also well documented that Few was the chief recruiter and the sole reason the best recruits chose Gonzaga, I've sent a few of those quotes already)

4/1/2015 5:50:14 PM - newtman - 1,354 posts (#25)

We've been talking about long-term success but we haven't what success what success is. I've been thinking only about on-court success, trying to define it. 1 NCAA every 5 years/ NCAA every year? I vote for FQ"s formula -- 2 NCAAs, 1 NIT every 4 years. Tournament fields are big 68 NCAA and 32 NIT. That's 100 teams getting to the post season. It will take some time to get there but it's achieveable.

4/1/2015 5:59:22 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Tuna, that's exactly correct.  Each class should in fact get easier after success, something I've spent much of the past 20 years wondering why this hasn't been the case more often at GW. For all of the talk of how hard being good at GW is, we don't have a hard time getting good, each of the last 4 coaches has had initial success (bit of an asterisk with Penders) building on that success has been the greater challenge.  Particularly true with international recruiting, if you look at Few's comments, initially very hard, much easier now.  To land Pangos he basically got Olynyk to tell his fellow Canuck to come. Much harder to get Turiaf and Sacre at first.  The very underrated New Mexico St coach has built a similar Canadian pipeline, and the St Mary Coach has his Aussie pipeline.  (Two more examples of mid major programs with nice sustained success, both using the Gonzaga model)

Thank god we picked we began this time with those hotbeds of hoops talent Japan and Denmark!! Kidding aside, Argentina as we all know is a pretty good basketball country, although I can't think of many of its players who have made their way to US colleges.

4/1/2015 6:02:35 PM - Thomas - 1,100 posts (#29)

Hasn't Minnesota had 3 or 4 coaches since they fired Dan Monson?? Minnesota is still stuck in mediocrity while Gonzaga is an elite program!! How much is Mark Few makiing at Gonzaga?? They have to be paying him at least 2 million a year for him to stay as long as he has. 

4/1/2015 6:15:18 PM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

Dude - you either don't know or seemed to have forgotten that it was GW not Gonzaga that opened its doors to foreign players first. Mike Jarvis was recruiting foreign players before Few ever thought to. In fact, many credit GW's success with opening many coach's eyes to the value of foreign players. So Mark Few did not invent this but give him credit for using it to his advantage.

Also you give way too little credit to Monson who has 1 of 2 Gonzaga Elite 8 appearances. First of all it was Monson not Fitzgerald who urged that Few be hired to Fitzgerald's staff.(Source: Seattle Times Article: http://old.seattletimes.com/html/sports/2002859771_few12.html). Second, Monson led both Minnesota and Long Beach State to the NCAAs. That means he has taken 3 different schools to NCAA tournaments a feat not claimed by many. Few has had more success but Monson was the guy who put Gonzaga on the map. Without that run in 1999, Gonzaga would not be what it is. Don't believe me? Ask Mark Few - he has said it multiple times.

So the launching board for Gonzaga was an Elite 8 run. GW has never accomplished that. I hope we can. But in order to do so we have to navigate a much tougher conference, tougher academic standards and less crowd support in a pro sports town that includes Big 10 and Big East NCAA participants who both boast national championships and tradition. Mark Few can point to the NBA players that have played at Gonzaga who can ML point to yet? I doubt there is a thread on the Gonzaga message board about the need to bribe students with free food to attend games.The fact that you can't see the differences between the 2 is startling. 

But here is something else you don't understand even assuming we were the only team in DC. Often foreign players don't want to play in large US cities contrary to popular belief. Some are scared of the cultural changes that are involved with the transition to a large US city. Some prefer a slower pace. It may be counterintuitive but that is a fact. So it is not an automatic that a kid chooses DC over Spokane. Some will some won't. As a result there is no automatic "if they can do it there we can do it here" with international players.

4/1/2015 6:20:03 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Every coach before and after Monson has had more success than Monson. Dutcher, Haskins and Tubby, all much more successful. Tubby was in the NCAA most years, the program was a legit power under Haskins (bit of a shady tenure)  Pitino the younger won 25 games in year 1 and  is considered a hot commodity.   Mark Few makes about 1M Thomas, or less than 36 other NCAA tourney coaches, 1/3 of that Crean makes to suck at Indiana.  Check who is 50th.  Basically if you want to sustain success, pay the coach who built it, that explains why Greg Marshall is still at Wichita St.  As for McKillop, I still contend he has big a trust fund behind that big dollup of Retired Golf Dad hair:




4/1/2015 6:30:24 PM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

That's funny Dude - Tom Crean sucks at Indiana. Well in 3 of the last 4 years they have made the NCAA tournament with two Sweet 16 appearances. Gonzaga over that period ... one and done 3 straight times in CAA tourney until this year. I don't know if there is that much of a difference.

4/1/2015 6:37:14 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Bo, with regard to Foreign players, that's true, while many might find DC very attractive, others may prefer a sleepy college town.  There's only 1 DC though, and there's 200 run of the mill college campuses. Advantage, GW. Not only am I aware that GW did it first, I've said so on this very chain and others many times!  Its the centerpiece of my argument! For all of the in my view wrong headed "we're not Gonzaga" focus, the actual point I made was that the International path has proven to be the GW pathway in the past under Jarvis, its 3/6 of the Lonergan path right now, and it was by and large solely lacking under Hobbs, something I've said many times, not sure how you could miss that.

Mark Few is going to be rather generous to his prdecessor, the reality is that Few recruited those players.  Ask Matt Santangelo why he came to Gonzaga (I pasted that quote earlier) Monson made 1 tourney in 8 years, he was 44-68 in the Big 10.  Terrible run, ask any Minnesota fan.  Its easy to forget now, that Minnesta was a better program than Wisconsin (another complete non-entity before 1990) that Minnesota was cranking out Final 4's and Elite 8s under Haskins and that Tubby's run of NCAA trips at Minnesota was seen as a failure.  Tubby won more NCAA tourney games the year he was fired at Minnesota than Monson in the 17 years since he left Gonzaga..... ZERO.  Long Beach ST is now a below .500 team under Monson playing in a terrible conference, he's 50-81 out of conference. 17 years, zero NCAA wins.  If he was largely the reason for the Elie 8 run, you'd think he'd have maybe more than zero wins in the ensuing 17 years??


4/1/2015 6:45:10 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Bo, again you are just plain wrong.  Gonzaga has won an NCAA tourney game for 7 straight seasons and has 10 wins since 2009.  Care to explain how that is "One and Done 3 straight years priot to this year"

Tom Crean is being run out of Indiana and widely seen as a failure.   He's 49-77 in the Big 10, they lost 15 games two years ago and they were handed a gift of a bid this year as widely noted on this board.  There is not a more vulnerable coach in the country or one whose fan base views as a massive failure.  Indiana collapsed and was gift wrapped a bid this year, Gonzaga was nearly a wall to wall top 2 team in the country and an Elite 8 team.  Care to reconsider? Care to at least get your facts right?

4/1/2015 8:29:14 PM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

Well Crean inherited a mess at IU something Few did not. Monson left him with a recent Elite 8 appearance. This year Gonzaga was clearly better but over the past 4 not so sure. He sucks according to you but Tom Izzo recently said this: "Do I think he's a hell of a coach? Yes I do. Do I think he's got to make adjustments, just like I do and everybody else? Probably," Izzo told reporters Saturday afternoon. "But I'm telling you, the guy can coach, and the guy can recruit. And he built my program. My program wouldn't be as good as it is if it wasn't for Tom Crean." But he sucks according to the "Dude". I think I am taking Izzo's word for it (just a hunch that he has a little more credibility than you on the subject).

Now to your international argument - if it's 3/6 of the Lonergan puzzle what is your beef again? Gonzaga had 4 foreign players this season that I am aware of and 2 of those were from Canada.

You are just delusional if you think Gonzaga's sustained success can be recreated here under the current environment.  I have many, many years of GW basketball history that supports my argument. You have a message board post saying so. Unless GW is prepared to admit the student-athletes Gonzaga admits and finds a way to attract 5,000 fans each and every night (something that has never ever happened), you are just engaging in mental masturbation here: It is because I say it is! Be careful your eyesight is failing and that shit might eventually make you blind. 

That said, I hope by some chance I am wrong and you are right. 


4/1/2015 8:36:38 PM - CPots - 469 posts (#54)

Board rules: Once a thread surpasses 100 and two posters account for 90 of the posts... Time for email

4/1/2015 9:07:20 PM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

CPots - speak to the Dude. I only posted 8 times.

4/1/2015 9:14:34 PM - THE DUDE - 221 posts (#105)

Bo, you were wrong about Gonzaga yes? That they have in fact won NCAA tourney games for 7 straight seasons? You are pretty quick to dismiss someone else when you clearly know very little yourself. Has Gonzaga not won NCAA tourney games for 7 straight seasons? As you are so quick to belittle others, I'd think you'd man up when you're patently wrong about something.

You seem to put a lot of stock into quotes from The Brethren of Coaches, in the case a best friend commenting on his buddy: "Crean returned to Michigan State as assistant coach under the leadership of Tom Izzo. Izzo and Crean became such good friends that Crean lived in Izzo's house and Izzo was an usher in Crean's wedding. According to Crean at the time, "It was a great opportunity for me to go back home. We've been good friends a long time."  That's rather small minded to use the quote of a close friend leaping to the defense of his colleauge/best friend. Pretty disingenous, I take it you are much brighter than that.  Although that seems to be a pattern, you say incorrect things, I correct you, you go mum and turn to a new falsehood.  His best friend says so, it must be true!

As for beef, I'm delighted we're recruiting internationally again.  I'd like to see a lot more of it, more KevLars and fewer Ciminos. 

I'm clearly not alone in thinking that GW can attain a much higher level of success, there are others who have stated so on this very chain (you seem to have a very selective recollection to put it generously) I seriously can not understand how any serious student of college basketball would think otherwise (and by serious students, I mean everyone else, you surely are not one)  I'm sure just about everyone on here in the 80's thought sweet 16 just a few years later would never happen, those who suffered through the early 2000's didn't think we'd be #6 in the nation just a year or two later, and conversely, no one thought that the program after winning 3 NCAA games in 2 years in the early 90's would win just win in the next 22 years.  Another Gonzaga could become Gonzaga (its possible Wichita St does if Marshall stays) there's no doubt that a GW could, we've already seen it happen a dozen times.  Exceptionally small minded to hang onto "many years that say otherwise" as some sort of proof that it can't.



4/1/2015 10:24:36 PM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

Dude, I haven't been ducking your question just was travelling. A lot has transpired since I left this thread but again yes I know that Gonzaga generally did not have good teams prior to 1995. So what?This is 2015 not 1995. GW generally didn't have good teams prior to 1991. So what? This is 2015. The schools are not comparable for many reasons. Because one has success doesn't mean you can take that same model to another school. Apples to oranges. Again, different traditions, alumni base, location, conference, athletic budgets, priorities etc. So when I say you don't know what you are talking about you are looking at the tip of the iceberg not the iceberg as a whole. There are a whole lot of things happeneing at Gonzaga that don't apply to GW and vice versa

Now to pick-up on the other points raised here:

1. You've cherry picked a few examples of sustained success at mid-majors (even conceding all of those are mid-majors). So if it were so easy why has there not been sustained success at the probably 100 or so mid-majors you didn't mention?

2. Coaching is important no doubt but even some very good coaches have been overwhelmed by the institution both here and elsewhere. Take Hobbs. He had probably the best sustained run of success over a four-year period where GW was at the top of the A-10. 2 A-10 titles - never before or since replicated. Why did he end up failing? The institution would not let him continue to bring in the type of players he was initially successful with. Why? Didn't fit the mold of what GW wanted ultimately. That was a value judgment made by the higher ups over the importance of basketball and winning. Remember GW can admit players with a 860 SAT score and 2.3 GPA under NCAA rules. However, try seeing if we can get those players into GW today. I can tell you that under the present standards many of the GW greats over the last 20 years would not have been admitted. So when the playing field is not level what is a coach supposed to do? ML is doing the best he can with what he has to work with. But he doesnt have the same tools that many of your examples of susutained success have to work with. Yet you are demanding the same results.

4/1/2015 10:44:54 PM - Bo Knows - 598 posts (#42)

I said 4 years not 7 important that you read carefully - it makes all the difference.

Dude, having shown your posts to several people in Indy in the business and they say you are terribly deluded. But no worries though you are providing entertainment for many.


4/1/2015 10:55:29 PM - Willie - 28 posts (#231)

Don't feed the Dude Bo. He wants to be an internet hero the guy who solved all of GW's problems as if no one has thought of these things before or discussed them here. He thinks he is smarter than everyone here. The barriers to entry for the internet are low Bo. Take the Dude for what he is - Johnny ideas. My workplace is full of them but when the rubber hits the road they are nowhere to be found.

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