The Official Must Beat the Ticks in the RC Thread

BracketForecast

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May 9, 2011
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Then you may not want to use political hyperbole in a post on VCU RamNation.
It's not hyperbole, and the main point of the post was to discuss how some of us use VCU basketball as a distraction from major personal or societal issues. I'm happy to discuss this over DM, but otherwise let's move on.
 
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Let’s face it, the coaching decision was made in part because MR earned a lot of respect based on his time at VCU and his efforts to turn around Rice. It was also made because the admin, donors and vocal fanbase (ahem), had indicated being fatigued with the coaching churn and desiring stability.

Sure it would be great to have a quick fix, play the high risk/high reward transfer game and get a questionable recruit or two for a few seasons and then get a new coach....or go with a guy who has a vision and is willing to revisit fortifying the foundation and investing in the program.

The staff made a run at a bit of a quick fix with Evans—and that poor chap has been snake bit since he arrived on campus. We’d be a significantly better team with a healthy ME—even at 80% what he was at Rice, he is every bit the downhill PG that can create and convert with the best of them......just like Gilyard, Fatts, Crutcher and Lofton.

Unfortunately ME has been hurt/sick all year and URI pretty much showed the blue print to beat this team with a wounded ME—clog the lane, bully MSS, crash the boards and make us shoot 3s—there is very little mid-range in this team so defending isn’t that hard.

There are people that want to moan and groan about MR, players’ commitment, bad shots, etc..... Reality is that the most important player on the floor, a PG who was on the Wooden watch list, a 2000 point scorer and a tireless defensive pest—is hurt, has been hurt and just doesn’t have the same lift and quicks as last year.

It’s pretty basic, this team was considered a 20-25th ranked team with the expectation of a fully recovered ME, thought to be even better than last year’s version. If he had graduated, we would have been sniffing around a 60 ranking—maybe. There is no amount of coaching excellence that will just magically offset the case where your best offensive and defensive player and PG is just physically hampered and frankly getting worn down as the season progresses.

I can see the perspective that the staff fumbled on getting a stable backup PG situation—in hindsight, that probably should have been handled better in ‘17 and ‘18 recruiting. We are a little lucky to have gotten Bones and he is a helluva PG...but we should have had a sophmore/junior in place to back up ME—even if it was primarily as a ace defensive stopper.

Other than that, i don’t see any amount of scheming or screaming the staff could do to offset a wounded ME. The domino effect is just too significant.
I don’t see that an extra 3 points per game from Evans as the limiting factor. By almost any statistical measure the offense is better or as good this year as last. Defensively we are worse.

Lack of hustle, heart, leadership have all been discussed. The league being better as well.

This is the second year the same defense, a high risk high reward trapping scheme has been throw out. Other coaches have seen it, they have watched tape, played against it, and are now beating it.
 

PRock

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The point being we took a risk on a guy who didn’t have much of a track record. When Hiring a coach from a low major, wouldn’t some success over some period time be a starting point?

I see people brought up Greg Marshall. Winthrop was garbage for years, he turned it around instantly and dominated that league.

With VCUs Support, funding, facilities, and level of winning, were we really that desperate??? I didn’t think we were. Hiring someone from a poop program who hadn’t done poop was a small time move. MAYBE he does fine. Why take that chance? Why not someone who has proved it? Doesn’t make sense to me.

what does Jeff Jones have to do with anything? Ram nation was a crapped themselves if we had hired a guy like that, but his track record blows MR away. Just a illustration from a rival of what a small move it was.
I hear you and my little text group had a similar debate on the hire three years ago....in fairness though, MR was the lead assistant for arguably a top 30 program for four of the five years he was here. We took Capel, Grant and Shaka with less experience.

As a Rice grad alum, one cannot overstate how amazing a job MR did to get them to be a 23 win program.....i was there for Brent’s last season and a few after where they were competitive in the old SWC but also equally capable of getting worked by Incarnate Word. My HS in the 80s had better facilities and drew significantly more people—bear in mind pretty much all students at Rice live on it’s relatively small campus....the gym is a 10 minute walk from the farthest corner. Plus they don’t play when it comes to academics—they let guys in who are below standards, but they expect every SA to perform like regular students—which means a pretty heavy advanced math load their first two years regardless of major. To get Rice to competitive in basketball, even in a bad league, was every bit a challenge as getting VCU from a good mid-major to a top one.

I still agree with your point overall that the powers that be may have panicked a bit and most definitely looked “caught off guard”, which was inexcusable given history and who WW is....but wanted to point out, that MR’s track record was pretty strong and we weren’t the only reasonably high mid-majors to notice....we just had an in.
 
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PRock

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I don’t see that an extra 3 points per game from Evans as the limiting factor. By almost any statistical measure the offense is better or as good this year as last. Defensively we are worse.

Lack of hustle, heart, leadership have all been discussed. The league being better as well.

This is the second year the same defense, a high risk high reward trapping scheme has been throw out. Other coaches have seen it, they have watched tape, played against it, and are now beating it.
I know you know basketball better than boiling down the PG challenge to 3pts a game. A quick PG with a bum leg is not going to penetrate as much and be less effective when he does....so not stressing the defense, forcing rotations and opening up the game for others. Then defensively, we are not shutting off penetration by quick guards and thus playing scramble defense, opening opportunities and bigs are covering penetrators rather than boxing out. The domino effect is real.....

Admittedly, i have nothing on the effort perception and I share it....no question that has been disapponting, especially @URI and Mason.
 
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Mistachill

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Apr 20, 2009
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The point being we took a risk on a guy who didn’t have much of a track record. When Hiring a coach from a low major, wouldn’t some success over some period time be a starting point?

I see people brought up Greg Marshall. Winthrop was garbage for years, he turned it around instantly and dominated that league.

With VCUs Support, funding, facilities, and level of winning, were we really that desperate??? I didn’t think we were. Hiring someone from a poop program who hadn’t done poop was a small time move. MAYBE he does fine. Why take that chance? Why not someone who has proved it? Doesn’t make sense to me.

what does Jeff Jones have to do with anything? Ram nation was a crapped themselves if we had hired a guy like that, but his track record blows MR away. Just a illustration from a rival of what a small move it was.
One thing I hope you will concede is that people involved in college hoops may know a little bit more about coaches/assistant coaches than maybe you or I do? Anthony Grant and Shaka didn't have a "track record" as head coaches and they did OK. Rhoades spent around five years here, you don't think that's carries some weight? How many assistant coaches got promoted to the head coaching position with no "track record" when the top guy moved on and had success? You guys are killing me with the narrow path you think everyone has to follow to success. The program's goal isn't to win the press conference. How many people were excited about hiring Shaka?
 
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I know you know basketball better than boiling down the PG challenge to 3pts a game. A quick PG with a bum leg is not going to penetrate as much and be less effective when he does....so not stressing the defense, forcing rotations and opening up the game for others. Then defensively, we are not shutting off penetration by quick guards and thus playing scramble defense, opening opportunities and bigs are covering penetrators rather than boxing out. The domino effect is real.....

Admittedly, i have nothing on the effort perception and I share it....no question that has been disapponting, especially @URI and Mason.
Mainly referring to points, fg%, offensive efficiency all being up with Evans production down. Defense is way down, rebounding non existent of late.

I think the problems with this team run a lot deeper than what ME is or isn’t doing. FWIW, I didn’t see his penetration opening up anything other than his own shot last year.
 

PRock

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Mainly referring to points, fg%, offensive efficiency all being up with Evans production down. Defense is way down, rebounding non existent of late.

I think the problems with this team run a lot deeper than what ME is or isn’t doing. FWIW, I didn’t see his penetration opening up anything other than his own shot last year.
Fair point on the latter—he does love his own shot.

Our offense is actually down quite a bit in conference—almost 6 points per 100 possessions. Add to that, our defense while still solid overall, is giving up almost 3 more points per 100 possessions. In a 72 possession game that is roughly a 6 point swing—whatever our differences on causality, i suspect we can agree that is not a good thing.
 

mrgeode

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Mainly referring to points, fg%, offensive efficiency all being up with Evans production down. Defense is way down, rebounding non existent of late.

I think the problems with this team run a lot deeper than what ME is or isn’t doing. FWIW, I didn’t see his penetration opening up anything other than his own shot last year.
Care to elaborate? Disagree with the style of defense or something more? I ask as someone who didn't watch a single second of the last game - belated anniversary events - but the Mason game looked like missed quick shots compounded by bad rotations/not getting back on defense to me.
 

HBK

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Dayton is basically losing Toppin, Landers and Mikesell from the core of their rotation. Crutcher will be back, along with Chatman and Watson.
Rhode Island is basically losing Langevine & Dowtin form the core of their rotation. Fatts Russel, Harris, Martin and Toppin will be back.

Both teams will be at the top of the A-10 again next year.
As I said, both lose a lot. I would still expect both to be top 6 next season, but there are large shoes to be filled.
 

SpiderRAM

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I would love a Sweet 16. 2011 is the only time VCU has gone past the first weekend.

Regarding being spoiled, it is a byproduct of the success this program has had. Regarding the current coaching staff, I am in no way throwing Coach Rhoades and staff under the bus, but they are about to miss the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the three years they have been here. That has to concern fans to some degree. Especially with all of the pre-season hype this team received. And I don't throw the blame for that at ME's feet either.

Last year, the comment was made quite frequently that VCU would go as far as IV would take them. Well, this year this team has gone as far as IV has taken them.
Preseason hype followed by actual performance ... a rough time for reseating.
 

theyaintwantit

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Dec 22, 2009
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One thing I hope you will concede that people involved in college hoops may know a little bit more about coaches/assistant coaches than maybe you do? Anthony Grant and Shaka didn't have a "track record" as head coaches and they did OK. Rhoades spent around five years here, you don't think that's carries some weight? How many assistant coaches got promoted to the head coaching position when the top guy moved on and had success? You guys are killing me with the narrow path you think everyone has to follow to success. The program's goal isn't to win the press conference. How many people were excited about hiring Shaka?
Valley is like a lot of VCU fans. He only does not like MR because his first reason was a struggle. He won’t acknowledge that JC, AG, or SS did not have head coaching experience. Maybe he’s the reincarnation of morrisar.
 
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80sRamBaseballRugby

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You make an excellent point. If I'm performing poorly on my job am I really going to take critiques seriously from people outside of my professional who don't know a thing about my job? Yeah, a guy not meeting his sales quota wants a construction worker to give him advice on how to do his job better. Makes total sense.

And then he references MR not having a winning record at Rice. They won 5 and 7 games the two previous season before his arrival. MR improves to 12, 12 and then 23 wins, first time in 13 years they won over 20 games. But thelonious_chunk decides to quickly gloss over it to conveniently leave out that bit of context when referencing his Rice record.

The more I read his post the more things keep jumping out at me that requires a response. "I’ve seen enough people in high places with poor reasoning behind the choices they make to just put faith in someone who doesn’t have a prolonged track record of success."

This is how we built our program!!!!! Unproven coaches we've hired previously: Capel (no head coaching experience, only a couple of years of experience as an assistant), Grant (no head coaching experience except, I think, on the high school level), Shaka (no head coaching experience). Wade did have two years of solid success at UT-Chat. But lets look at the recent coaching hires with a extensive proven track record: Sonny Smith and Mack McCarthy. How'd that work out?
Right. I’m an airline captain. If the landing is a bit firm, I’ve got hacks letting me know all about it. What they may not realize is I’ve avoided thunderstorms, lightning strikes, turbulence and mid-air collisions for the past six hours, yet the whole critique centers on not obtaining a pillow soft landing.

While MR has made his share of mistakes, I’m not really fit but to address but maybe a few of the most obvious “firm landing” items. I thought our offense got to the rim, but did not convert. Our offense generated open looks from 3, but they seemed to rattle out. MR did not lose the fUR game.

One big thing on MR I saw is Vince W starting the game. He had been ineffective early in the season due to conditioning issues from his injury. Then he breaks a finger and misses more time. How does that land him in the starting lineup in his second game back? I love VW and his game. But there’s no way he’s ready for a starting role in my opinion. Again, this is my critique of MR, not Vince. VW has starter talent, but not the conditioning at this point.
Just one hacks opinion.
 
May 4, 2012
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Valley is like a lot of VCU fans. He only does not like MR because his first reason was a struggle. He won’t acknowledge that JC, AG, or SS did not have head coaching experience. Maybe he’s the reincarnation of morrisar.
JC AG SS came in a lot cheaper because they were a gamble.