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Thread: Off-Season: Comfort Vs. Shake-Up

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by 3Cats4CAL View Post
    Thanks you're right. Ok- here is one simple question- do you think our current team would have done better if Tara, Graves or Rueck had been their coach?
    They all have very different systems when you dig into it so that is tough to answer. Although the common thread between these three is an aggressive point guard, it is what makes a team go.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by stu View Post
    I certainly agree the Pac-12 has gotten tougher in recent years and I'm sure a lot of that improvement is attributable to better coaches. However I also see increasing emphasis on women's basketball in the Pac-12 and more good players staying home.

    I don't remember many complaints about our coaches when we made the Final Four, which represented national success not just conference success. So what happened? Have our coaches suddenly sunk to mediocrity? Clay once said something to the effect of getting a few good players will make the coach a genius. For example look at Todd Bozeman "coaching" Jason Kidd. IMHO we have suffered a reverse Bozeman where we have had to play two seasons with only two guards, both times one freshie and one soph. That situation is partly attributable to bad luck but also partly the fault of our coaches' recruiting strategy. We're now seeing a shift in that strategy toward more scholarship players and we're filling the guard spots. This is being done with deliberate speed rather than in a mad rush, so I'm expecting the improvement to be steady and sustainable though not necessarily immediate and dramatic.

    Our men's team has had some success filling roster holes with Ivy League grad transfers, though I don't know if there's enough talent in the women's game to make that feasible. Either way I think we're on the right track for next season - we'll have a more experienced and balanced roster along with coaches who have proven they can take us far into the NCAA Tournament.
    +1 Exactly!!

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by 3Cats4CAL View Post
    Thanks you're right. Ok- here is one simple question- do you think our current team would have done better if Tara, Graves or Rueck had been their coach?
    My post was actually rhetorical (though any sarcasm in my tone was not directed at your post, as I agree with your initial instinct that there are many factors and nuances that should be considered -- but, as demonstrated by the lack of any response to your post, the discussion on this board has tended toward oversimplified observation and speculation)....

    But to answer your question: Not really, maybe marginally under Tara or Rueck but that's just speculation (and I can imagine the same improvement in results from a couple calls or bounces going differently over the course of the season).

    Rueck is interesting because it seems to me what he's done best is get players that fit his system well, and Cal's current roster probably wouldn't fit. Tara benefits (deservedly) from having an established elite program that provides more roster depth and allows a see-what's-working tonight approach where at least two or three players usually contribute enough offensively. I never saw Graves before Oregon, so don't really have much to go on. This year's team has been up and down a bit with the varying performance and health of their players (understandably, especially because they're so young), so that seems like more of a factor than the coaching systems -- it doesn't take a genius to figure out you should put Sabrina in a position to make plays, and feature the posts (especially Hebard) on one of the tallest rosters in the country.

    The easier answer would be that our current team would likely have done much better (and their respective teams worse) if Ionescu or Wiese had been on Cal's roster... Stanford is a bit different, but even a Samuelson probably would've boosted Cal's win total by a few games this year.

    The real answer is that there is no easy answer, especially having only the limited information that being a spectator provides; I'm pretty sure, however, that the premises and choices suggested by the OP are oversimplified to fit his/her narrative and serve more to vent than anything else.

  4. #34
    The real answer is that a good coach will find a way to maximize the talents of the players. Good players recognize "system" opportunities and exploit them without a time out or instruction from the bench. A good coach teaches the players to be good players, not just limited dimension cogs in the machine. Case in point, the post is double and triple teamed so the teammates act and move to exploit that unbalance. Cal didn't this year, and won't next year absent some change in the coaching (note I didn't say a change of coaches, just in the coaching).

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
    My post was actually rhetorical (though any sarcasm in my tone was not directed at your post, as I agree with your initial instinct that there are many factors and nuances that should be considered -- but, as demonstrated by the lack of any response to your post, the discussion on this board has tended toward oversimplified observation and speculation)....
    And how exactly is your answer any different from "oversimplified observation and speculation?" Your whole response is speculation--and indeed the question itself calls for a lot of speculation to answer. Exactly what about this board doesn't involve a small measure of either, unless relating data, which Stu does all of the time; or providing links to news/info.

    Perhaps some of us are tired of this question. Personally, I prefer to talk about the players and coaches we actually HAVE and what we see need improvement or what is working, rather than asking the somewhat pointless and vapid question of "could ____ coach have done better?" Who knows? Who cares?

    (I don't mean that I want to stifle someone from asking it, just that perhaps the reason for nobody replying may have something to do with a desire NOT to speculate or dream. Oops, there I go, oversimplifying and speculating again.)

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by bearchamp View Post
    The real answer is that a good coach will find a way to maximize the talents of the players. Good players recognize "system" opportunities and exploit them without a time out or instruction from the bench. A good coach teaches the players to be good players, not just limited dimension cogs in the machine. Case in point, the post is double and triple teamed so the teammates act and move to exploit that unbalance. Cal didn't this year, and won't next year absent some change in the coaching (note I didn't say a change of coaches, just in the coaching).
    So you're saying you never saw Anigwe pass out of a double team to AT at the three point line? Never find Nina or Range cutting to the other block? That strains credibility. Quite sure it happened, and occurred more than last year (though still not enough).

    Seems like your second and third sentences equate to: good coaches are able to teach players to recognize and exploit (unlimited?) opportunities in a given offensive/defensive system, without any reminders from the bench.... Then why do all coaches call time outs and shout instructions to their players during possessions throughout the game??

    Of course it stands to reason that the best players will be able to exploit more opportunities -- i.e., make more plays -- with less need for reminding, like the concept of having "another coach on the floor." For your analysis to have much meaning beyond the vague generality of "find a way to maximize the talents of the players" though, it seems you'd need to accurately identify the talents of the players coming in, assess each of their realistic talent ceilings, and somehow quantify their teachability -- the amount of time it takes for them to learn and apply concepts consistently in games.

    As an example: if Sabrina had come to Cal and the coaches spend ten minutes showing her where to expect the double teams to come from and where to look for her teammates out of them, and then in the next game she's already a better passer out of double teams than anyone else, how much of that do you attribute to good coaching (not good recruiting)?... And how do you account for the ripple effect that the time saved might have in coaching time that can then be devoted to teaching other things/players?

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by BleacherBear View Post
    And how exactly is your answer any different from "oversimplified observation and speculation?" Your whole response is speculation--and indeed the question itself calls for a lot of speculation to answer. Exactly what about this board doesn't involve a small measure of either, unless relating data, which Stu does all of the time; or providing links to news/info.

    Perhaps some of us are tired of this question. Personally, I prefer to talk about the players and coaches we actually HAVE and what we see need improvement or what is working, rather than asking the somewhat pointless and vapid question of "could ____ coach have done better?" Who knows? Who cares?

    (I don't mean that I want to stifle someone from asking it, just that perhaps the reason for nobody replying may have something to do with a desire NOT to speculate or dream. Oops, there I go, oversimplifying and speculating again.)
    I expressly acknowledged that my answer was "just speculation." And I only answered 3cat's question at all because they seemed genuine in their attempt to reframe their question.

    The point of my initial rhetorical post was that the OP oversimplified the issue to such an extent that they were passing off more than a small measure of speculation (and venting) as sound analysis of a black-and-white factual question.

    I don't mean to tell you or anyone what question to respond to; however, it makes more sense to me when posts use more of that data and factual info as a basis for sound reasoning, as opposed to mere general speculation and venting -- or at least acknowledge those things for what they are, which is fine.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
    I expressly acknowledged that my answer was "just speculation." And I only answered 3cat's question at all because they seemed genuine in their attempt to reframe their question.

    The point of my initial rhetorical post was that the OP oversimplified the issue to such an extent that they were passing off more than a small measure of speculation (and venting) as sound analysis of a black-and-white factual question.

    I don't mean to tell you or anyone what question to respond to; however, it makes more sense to me when posts use more of that data and factual info as a basis for sound reasoning, as opposed to mere general speculation and venting -- or at least acknowledge those things for what they are, which is fine.
    You sound very knowledgeable. Would love to hear your own assessment of these past two seasons and what, if anything, needs to be done differently next year.

  9. #39
    To Clay's point of a few players can make a coach look good. Do any of you think that LG has proven herself as an elite recruiter? Her best teams (even at UCSB) were inherited in her first few years. I have been slightly out of touch from the program in the last few years, partly because I don't care for the coaching, so my opinion in biased.

  10. #40
    I know that folks who criticize LG use the decline after the first couple years as evidence -- and it may be accurate.

    But I think the issue facing LG now is one that all of us face at one point or another: Do we stay the course we have set in a situation where things aren't working out as well as we hoped, or do make a radical change of direction (or at least a major shift)?

    The arguments for the first, in LG's case, is bad luck with backcourt recruits, the injury to Courtney Range that rendered her a non-scorer and some close losses (which stat folks say are more luck than anything else). The arguments for the second is that the recruiting process has not generated the kinds of players needed to a) win or b) attract other elite players, and that some shifts in that may be apparent as soon as next year -- and of course, a little more luck.

    It's a tough call. Lindsey has been very successful in her career by doing what she does -- it's risky, as one of our more famous presidents said, to change horses in midstream.
    Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā

  11. #41
    John Wooden said he didn't instruct during games, only at practice. I think his point was that if one teaches properly at practice the players know how to play the games. Yes, many coaches call time outs, etc., but that doesn't negate the premise that good coaches teach the players to be able to play. As to the baloney about passing out of the post, the issue isn't whether a pass was made, but whether the players made the advantageous pass consistently. The turnover numbers demonstrate the lack of proper passing.

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by ClayK View Post
    I know that folks who criticize LG use the decline after the first couple years as evidence -- and it may be accurate.

    But I think the issue facing LG now is one that all of us face at one point or another: Do we stay the course we have set in a situation where things aren't working out as well as we hoped, or do make a radical change of direction (or at least a major shift)?

    The arguments for the first, in LG's case, is bad luck with backcourt recruits, the injury to Courtney Range that rendered her a non-scorer and some close losses (which stat folks say are more luck than anything else). The arguments for the second is that the recruiting process has not generated the kinds of players needed to a) win or b) attract other elite players, and that some shifts in that may be apparent as soon as next year -- and of course, a little more luck.

    It's a tough call. Lindsey has been very successful in her career by doing what she does -- it's risky, as one of our more famous presidents said, to change horses in midstream.
    I think my own biggest problem with Lindsay is the denial and cognitive dissonance that now seems ongoing. Three examples: 1) Coaching Gabby to keep putting up three pointers when she was shooting only 22% and somehow thinking that she would eventually start hitting them; 2) Letting Natalie Romeo put up 23 shots and 32 points against us with no in-game adjustments and when a number of other PAC12 coaches were easily
    able to hold her below double digits, and often to zero points; 3) Going over 40 games before seeing any signs of Kristine passing back out of the double team (it did finally happen in the final few games this year). It is one thing to believe in your own system. It is another not to be able to see and admit what is going on right in front of you. And if 10-26 won't convince a coach they need to make changes, what will?

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by annarborbear View Post
    I think my own biggest problem with Lindsay is the denial and cognitive dissonance that now seems ongoing. Three examples: 1) Coaching Gabby to keep putting up three pointers when she was shooting only 22% and somehow thinking that she would eventually start hitting them; 2) Letting Natalie Romeo put up 23 shots and 32 points against us with no in-game adjustments and when a number of other PAC12 coaches were easily
    able to hold her below double digits, and often to zero points; 3) Going over 40 games before seeing any signs of Kristine passing back out of the double team (it did finally happen in the final few games this year). It is one thing to believe in your own system. It is another not to be able to see and admit what is going on right in front of you. And if 10-26 won't convince a coach they need to make changes, what will?
    I'll be honest, as I stated in my previous post, I haven't liked the coaching going on causing me lose interest and watch other teams. This started the year they went to the FINAL FOUR! I remember yelling at the TV for her to make a dang adjustment, call a timeout, ect. I thought the girls won in spite of LG and not because of her that year. Obviously something has to change, but I don't have confidence that it will

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by ricehntr5 View Post
    I'll be honest, as I stated in my previous post, I haven't liked the coaching going on causing me lose interest and watch other teams. This started the year they went to the FINAL FOUR! I remember yelling at the TV for her to make a dang adjustment, call a timeout, ect. I thought the girls won in spite of LG and not because of her that year. Obviously something has to change, but I don't have confidence that it will
    One more problem with LG's system is that it tends to freeze some players out rather than finding ways to develop those players for some productive use. Case in point: KC Waters. KC certainly did not fit the slender, athletic description our coaches seem to like. But on a team that too often could not box out and gave up large numbers of offensive rebounds in some games, we could not figure out a way to use KC's big body to help address some of those issues. At OSU, Rueck has done a great job of developing and finding roles for both Brianna Brown and Kolbie Orum. On our team, KC has gotten better only at towel-waving. And now, Chen Yue seems likely to suffer a similar fate.

  15. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by annarborbear View Post
    One more problem with LG's system is that it tends to freeze some players out rather than finding ways to develop those players for some productive use. Case in point: KC Waters. KC certainly did not fit the slender, athletic description our coaches seem to like. But on a team that too often could not box out and gave up large numbers of offensive rebounds in some games, we could not figure out a way to use KC's big body to help address some of those issues. At OSU, Rueck has done a great job of developing and finding roles for both Brianna Brown and Kolbie Orum. On our team, KC has gotten better only at towel-waving. And now, Chen Yue seems likely to suffer a similar fate.
    I will say, I saw KC Waters play more than a few times when she was at BOD. Her and Chidom (Duke) were a great 1-2 punch and I am surprised at the difference in trajectories their college careers took after having what I thought as similarly large upsides.




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