GW Hoops

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2/08/2023 10:12 am  #61

Re: GW vs Dayton Game Thread

The Dude wrote:

Instructive, that the sport is mostly about talent and not some magic wand the Coach waves, or doesn't wave, not to chalk everything (when at most its a factor only at the very margins) to Coaching.    

GW had a great 3 game stretch, followed by the exact opposite.   Caliber of the Coach stayed the same, results could not be more disparate.

Players get hot and cold, shots fall one night that don't another, the ball bounces your way, the calls go your way, then they dont- the beauty of sports. 


Just when I indicate that the board has gotten better and that others should hopefully return, this was apparently enough to wake up The Dude.  Let's dissect this latest post which was presumably written for my benefit as a response to what I wrote in this, the Dayton game thread, several weeks ago.

First, The Dude writes that the sport is mostly about talent.  The straw man is at it again as I do not know anyone who believes that any coach can win consistently with inferior talent.  Nevertheless, this continues to be The Dude's mind-shattering assertion, one which he literally has no opposition towards.

Second, coaching.  What is his point here?  Coaching doesn't matter at all?  Coaching hardly matters?  My sense is that The Dude believes that those who "overvalue" coaching can simply be shot down by reasoning that players can play poorly and thus, great coaches can lose as a result.  Again, the straw man at work.  If whoever you deem to be the greatest coach in the history of the sport, John Wooden, Coach K, or Mark Few (tough loss to St. Mary's but I digress), understand that if they've coached long enough, they've all lost over 100 games.  Sure, the great ones can be outcoached on occasion but I suspect that in the majority of these cases, it was more about execution than game planning.

Third, claiming that GW has played three horrible games in a row (I'll infer that horrible is the exact opposite of great) is such a lazy thought that it's just about objectively flat out wrong.  To characterize these losses the same way fails to account for:

Having the halftime lead on the road against Fordham, a hot team that just had its 5 game winning streak halted by Richmond this week.

Producing a 20 point swing on the road at La Salle, turning a 14 point first half deficit into a 6 point second half lead.  A common denominator in both of these games is that our short (and largely ineffective) bench caught up with the team as GW did not have enough firepower down the stretch.

The Duquesne loss did not resemble either of those games in any way.  GW began overly sloppy while the Dukes decided to bring their A+++ game to DC.  (I guess that 3 OT loss last year made them a determined group, despite practicallly the entire team turning over.)  GW was never in this game for a second.

Because of the things The Dude says, that players do get hot and cold, or that bounces and calls do or do not go your way, does not at all mean that coaching doesn't play a role, or even a small role, in helping to determine outcomes.  Look at the pro-style offense that CC runs.  Look at the effective double teams applied to Oduro and Holmes.  Compare how Brendan has been utilized this year compared to last year.  Look at how our defensive pressure nearly allowed GW to steal a win from STL (without Collins, but still).  This is what good coaching looks like, and how it can impact games.

Nobody ever said that coaching wins games.  What good coaching does is it put players in the best position to succeed.  Wins and losses will always boil down to how the players execute.  And yes, better talent tends to execute at a higher and more consistent level than lesser talent.  I can only hope that The Dude somehow didn't feel that he needed to teach this to us all.  Am pretty confident that we all knew this.

What makes this discussion crystal clear is that our new coaching staff is coaching essentially the same team as JC and his staff coached last year.  Substitute Maximus for Joe and Brayon, and give this year's team less depth.  If anything, one might have expected a more disappointing season this year compared to last year.  That has not been the case, and we all have what looks like a solid coaching staff to thank for that, at least in part.


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