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3/01/2021 6:32 pm  #21

Re: I just don’t see the plan

St. Bonaventure took more than a decade to recover from WelderGate. I expect it to take at least that long if not longer at GW, which seems to create self-inflicted crises quite frequently and has never fully appreciated the role of men's basketball as a marketing tool for prospective undergraduates (yes, even GW's "non-sports" student body). 
"The plan" over the last 5 years has been "damage control," not "win games."
The on-court product reflects that. Player morale and body language looks really really bad from what I've seen. Whether that's from JC's inability to motivate, GW's sophomoric Athletic Department, a revolving door out, or the effects of a global pandemic, it's probably some mix of all these.
But a plan? "Don't screw up." That's the plan.


3/01/2021 6:38 pm  #22

Re: I just don’t see the plan

I remain cautiously optimistic, partly because we are bringing in the #2 class in the A10 as of now (behind Dayton).

We have certainly made strides offensively from last season, and perhaps with more pieces we can avoid periods of stagnant play like we've seen in the past three halves of basketball. Playing Brayon at the point and Bishop off the ball for stretches will definitely help. Bishop has improved on his turnover issues somewhat from earlier in the year which is a positive.

The biggest thing going into the offseason is that we have roster continuity next season. We have had very little roster stability the past several years, and it is not a coincidence that the best teams have players who have been in a team's system for multiple years.

I agree with the belief that our frontcourt needs to probably be stronger if we are to compete in the A10. Noel definitely seems like a promising piece for the future, but we need a true shot-blocking/altering presence down low.

If I'm being honest though, I am not seeing the plan defensively. JC's two teams here have been the two worst on that side of the ball at GW in the KenPom era. We are conceding more points per game (73.8) than any previous GW teams in nearly 20 years. The team is very poor at switching defensively and closing out on defenders. We rank nearly in the 300s in defensive efficiency which is unacceptable. This season has an asterisk next to it which I fully understand, but we have taken a step back on this side of the ball from last season. Perhaps the lack of practices played a role as well. Ricky has helped tremendously, but we need three more of him on this team. It certainly feels like the turkey board was largely empty in many games this season.

We moved to zone this season, which I can I guess somewhat understand given our personnel and the fact that the A10 isn't one of the better perimeter shooting leagues in the country. However, our defense has been shredded consistently this season, minus the first half against Mason. I would honestly prefer if we returned to playing exclusively man like last year. I mentioned this in the Bona thread, but the fact that we generate very few jump balls, rarely dive for loose balls, and hardly ever draw charges says a lot about our activity defensively. To me, defense is all about effort and I just haven't seen that from the players through two seasons under JC. I am willing to throw all results out this season due to COVID, but the lack of effort on D is a red flag.

As a GW fan, if someone were to come up to me and ask me what JC's 'mayhem' style is, I am not sure I would be able to articulate what exactly it is in a coherent manner. That is a problem. Right now, it doesn't feel like anything more than a branding thing for the program.

The final thing is the disconnect. We went from playing no zone to almost all zone this year. In the offseason, JC said he wanted to make 400 threes this season. While we have had players leave the program during the season and not played a full season of games, we currently rank top 40 in shots taken close to the rim. We aren't even top half in the league in threes attempted per game (for the record, I am glad we went away from bombing consistently from deep - that didn't strike me as a feasible strategy over the course of a season). He has said we would be pressing full court more, but outside of the second half of the UMBC game, I haven't seen that either (and that was before the departures midseason). It is one thing to make tweaks based on personnel, but this seems like widespread philosophical changes out of nowhere.


3/02/2021 6:47 am  #23

Re: I just don’t see the plan

GWRising wrote:

Like a lot of things posted here at this point there is absolutely nothing but gossip supporting the fact that Battle wants to leave. 

That said, there is a plan and it will be interesting to review it with those who don't see it about this time next year. Screen shots are always fantastic!


You obviously are close to the program, and that’s awesome and helpful for information to the board.  And it’s great you know of a plan.  Can you provide any insight, other than to say there is a plan?  Is it “hope next year’s recruits work out?”

     Thread Starter

3/02/2021 10:14 am  #24

Re: I just don’t see the plan

This is my first post in close to a month.  (More on that later.)  Thought I would pitch in on the subjects of whether there is a plan as well as this past weekend's news provided by Skittles.

Like many issues, the answer to whether there is a plan lies somewhere in between "we are lost in the desert" and "this plan is positively fool-proof."  You would have to be kidding yourself if you believe that a higher level of talent isn't flocking to JC in comparison to MoJo.  Not to rehash but MoJo had some great obstacles to contend with, making it difficult to bring in a higher overall level of talent.  In terms of real talent, high school recruits and transfers, you would be comparing Terry Nolan Jr (who had been committed to play at Chattanooga), Justin M., Maceo, DJ Williams, Battle and Paar to JNJ, Amir, Bishop, Ricky, Moyer, and the potential of Brown, Brelsford, Brayon, Gapare, and Nixon.  No need to bring in the others who had difficulties succeeding at this level.  Despite the noticeable upgrade in talent, there are several issues associated with the plan:

1) The team is not consistently playing in a cohesive manner.  Compare the last 3 halves of GW basketball with the 3 which preceded those and you'll see clearly see this point.  It has been this way all season, from game to game and sometimes within the same game.  The changes to major personnel throughout the season has not helped, but should not be used as an excuse either.  JC and staff are charged with maximizing the effectiveness of the players at their disposal.  This has not happened more often than it has.

2) I once asked JC about concerns he may have regarding the A10 being a higher level of basketball than where he had coached in the past.  Specifically, would players previously recruited to play at Siena and Southern Miss be able to succeed at this high a level.  He convincingly responded that basketball is basketball, five guys per side, roll out the ball, see what happens.  Well, I think we've seen some things.  Seymour is too slow and unathletic to be anything but a one-trick pony at this level.  He needs to play enough to establish a rhythm, yet playing him a lot means giving up a lot on the other end of the court.  The Hunter Dean hype train has now come and gone.  Like Chase, he represents another big who can supposedly shoot from the outside but is either being denied or refusing on his own the chance to take wide open shots from deep.  

3) Since Chase and Hunter have been mentioned, let's throw in Noel and ask ourselves whether we have the big man we truly need.  This person needn't be a huge scorer and for that matter, they don't have to be a great shot blocker.  But, they do have to fill the type of presence in the lane that causes opponents to alter shots or think twice about driving into the lane.  Chase and Hunter can each block shots but typically do so from behind (a man gets past them before the block).  The one block they may get worth pales in comparison to the 8-10 times an opponent drives past them and scores.  Noel has the body type to be this type of enforcer but appears to be quite a bit away from evolving into this player.  Which leads me to....

4) Coaching structure.  If you remember the Hobbs era, you hopefully remember the great job that Roland Houston did coaching our big men.  Pops came in as a raw specimen and turned into a defensive specialist.  Alex Kireev, a player I was not at all initially sold on, improved his footwork immensely.  The problem I see with our coaching structure is that our coaches are divided not by position group but by offense, defense, and special teams (transition).  This may be less of an issue among guards and wings but I think it really hurts the development of our big men.  Even if you don't change the structure entirely, finding a coach who can help develop our big men, where the college game is radically different than in high school, is of paramount importance.

5) The one part of the plan that I am happy about is the change I see in James Bishop's game.  Many on this board are way too hard on him, as if anytime he misses a bad shot or turns the ball over represents the firs time a point guard ever did these things.  After the URI win, James in the postgame commented that he thought he did a better job of knowing when to pass and when to shoot.  This says to me that this has been a point of emphasis by the coaching staff and that the message is sinking in.  Earlier in the year, I had no idea that the coaches were even pointing this out (decision-making), or if they were, if James was properly receiving the message.  Like many here, I am hopeful that Brayon is as good as advertised, can take over the point next year allowing James to play off-the-ball.  James can still get ample numbers of touches and shots, even when playing the 2.

(Redacted by Barry for unsupported heresay)

So, is this any of our business?  If JC were a private figure, and we as fans did not have any vested interest in the program that he runs and we support, the answer would clearly be no.  However, this is not the case.  News like this causes many questions to surface to the forefront, such as:

1) Are the players and/or other coaches bothered by this?
2) Has a level of trust been broken within the team?
3) Will the parents of recruits now have doubts about sending their sons to play for JC that they otherwise would not have had?
4) Will recruiters at opposing schools use this information against JC and GW?

JC and GW.  There within lies the problem.  JC is now THE face of this program.  You had best believe that news like this effects us all.  Or at least has the capacity to effect us all.

Yes, these are real human beings with real lives.  As a public figure, maybe this should have been carefully considered beforehand, again, assuming the story is true.  Rick Pitino once coached my beloved NY Knicks, so I always wanted him to do well up until it was revealed that he committed adultery in the restroom of a local restaurant.  From then on, I could not stand him. 

To be clear, unsubstantiated rumors should not be served up here in general.  However, I have to consider the source and in this case, Skittles has a strong track record.  I believe he has earned the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

Lastly, a few words about where I've been these past few weeks.  You may or may not recall that about a month ago, The Dude crossed about the most serious line possible when he commented that I have a Nazi agenda, akin to referring to me as a Nazi.  The Dude knows I am Jewish or I can't imagine he would ever use this reference.  What The Dude does not know is that I have two relatives, one still alive, who are Holocaust Survivors.  I have listened to their stories.  I have visited the Holocaust Museum several times.  There is nothing in this world I abhor more than anti-semitism, and make no mistake about this.  This was a blatant example of anti-semitism at its cruel core. 

The Dude has a long enough laundry list of reasons why I feel he should be permanently banned from this board.  He is a troll.  He purposefully posts the same points again and again for no other reason than to get a rise or reaction out of someone.  He gleefully writes about how bad a season Duke is having.  Then, they win 4 in a row and he does not mention them.  Then they lose in OT to Louisville and we're once again back to reading about how they are struggling.  

The Dude is quick to point out posters who are posting under multiple names when in reality, the only person I know of (for a fact) that's been doing this is The Dude himself.  "He doth protest too much", as they say. The Dude regularly posts under at least two other personas, maybe more but two which I know for certain.  This has gotten so old, is so transparent, yet it continues to exist.

Barry once wrote that the next person who brings up Lonergan in a manner that rehashes the past will be banned.  Well, The Dude did it yet again.  It's right there towards the end of the Alumni Update thread.  No prompting, no baiting, only The Dude saying yet again how Lonergan abused his players, etc., etc.

Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that while The Dude should be banned, permanently, for the cumulative sum of all of the above, there is no stronger argument for doing so than calling a Jew a Nazi on this site.  The more thought I gave to this, the more angered I became over it.  So, I stopped posting until this post.  And frankly, I will not feel as inclined to post as frequently as long as The Dude or any of his creations remain on this site.  I like to think that I've added some pretty good content to this board, and the one before it, over the course of many years.  And if we're doing nothing but comparing my contributions here to that of The Dude, I know that my contributions have been more insightful, nuanced, and yes, even entertaining at times.  Which when compared to his own contributions, is actually saying very little.

The first rule in parenting 101 is to never make a threat that you're not prepared to follow through on.  Barry, I am very sorry that you need to be the parent here but enough is enough.  This asshole referred to me as a Nazi.  Time to do the right thing.


Last edited by BGF (3/02/2021 11:27 am)


3/02/2021 11:23 am  #25

Re: I just don’t see the plan

Mayhem, and you just called him an asshole.  So now I would have to ban you, too.  Is that what you want?  Or will you edit your last post to remove the attack?  

You know how I handled the situation at the time. My decision was instantaneous, once I was aware of the post.  I was completely offended by the comments as well, and I acted.  Then you and I spoke privately by messaging and we agreed to disagree. Or really I made a decision and you told me you doubted me but wished me well.

So, now, no matter how grossly offensive the previous comment was that caused your anger, you have become the attacker.  Two wrongs don't make a right.

You are now the problem.  You are the one who has turned this personal battle into a full board hijacking.  This discussion, which was a good one, is now completely overtaken by rehashing another issue.

I told you how I would handle it, and I did.  You now have chosen to challenge that decision publicly.  

Congratulations, Mayhem.  I'm now closing this thread and moving it to the Rewind folder, where it will hopefully be ignored.


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