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

  1. #46
    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.
    It seems like if LG is capable of making a change by herself, she would have done it after her 2nd year as HC at UCSB. Since she didn't it is highly unlikely that she will do it on her own. Normally an AD will have to threaten to fire if major changes (normally key staff changes) aren't made. In football, Williams was forcing Dykes to bring in a new DC. Some believe that Dykes was not seriously doing this and spending more time looking for another job so Williams fired him. Some would not be surprised if Williams forces LG to bring in a new "OC" and new "DC" and keep Farrow for recruiting. Williams did not have to give LG her extension BEFORE this season started and I would not be surprised if he is very disappointed.

  2. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by GATC View Post
    It seems like if LG is capable of making a change by herself, she would have done it after her 2nd year as HC at UCSB. Since she didn't it is highly unlikely that she will do it on her own. Normally an AD will have to threaten to fire if major changes (normally key staff changes) aren't made. In football, Williams was forcing Dykes to bring in a new DC. Some believe that Dykes was not seriously doing this and spending more time looking for another job so Williams fired him. Some would not be surprised if Williams forces LG to bring in a new "OC" and new "DC" and keep Farrow for recruiting. Williams did not have to give LG her extension BEFORE this season started and I would not be surprised if he is very disappointed.
    At this point, I would settle simply for Lindsay to seek an outside objective confidential review of the program. I am not sure you can pick the right people until you know what your own strengths and weaknesses really are. That review and assessment would be a good start,

  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by annarborbear View Post
    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.
    I don't claim to be very knowledgeable -- what I do know is the limitations on what we don't know as spectators. Without being able to see what each player came to Cal with (or started a season with) and how quickly/well they learn and apply new skills and concepts, we don't really know how much good coaching has or hasn't taken place.

    I do know that Charmin had the chance to learn Tara's strategies and methods up close for years as both a player and coach. That Gottlieb was exposed to other coaches besides Boyle, and Kai and Wendale further diversify the influences available to draw on. To assume that they've only considered one system without alternatives or ongoing assessment seems much more like a leap of logic to fit a narrative based only on the end results you get to see, rather than likely reality.

    Just because you see "denial" from what little you view and hear, doesn't mean the coaching staff doesn't act differently behind the scenes.... Most coaches will try to put a positive spin on things in their public statements, and LG appears to do this very conscientiously. Your posts start with so many assumptions though, they risk becoming 'alternative facts.'

    I also know from coaching 9 & 10 year-olds -- some kids get it better and faster than others. Some I explain it to in multiple ways, twenty times, and they still can't apply it in game situations. Others make it look easy and can adjust on the fly, even when I do a poorer job of explaining something. Not knowing what each coach and player started with or how much time was spent on coaching a system or making adjustments makes it extremely hard to compare coaches objectively, no?

    I do know that there has been definite, significant improvement from last year to this, despite the frustrating results (and I would agree that significant improvement is still needed). But the coaches did pick Cal to finish 6th in the preseason, and were closer than some of the inflated expectations it seems a lot of fans on here had, based on Cal's potential talent ceiling.

    But I don't agree that Cal started with such a talent or athletic advantage over other teams, as the tv announcers are fond of repeating. They have length. When the starting lineup includes Range, Davidson and Thomas (as it did for much of the year), it's not especially quick or athletic. The freshman are moreso, but of course they're freshman and have other challenges.

    As Stu has said many times (and others seem to discount), Cal was at a decided disadvantage at guard, and this is probably the biggest factor in the poor performance the last 2 years. Even with Green there was a disadvantage, and then she was basically replaced this year by a freshman, Cayton (and some by an out of position Cowling). There hasn't been a guard who can make plays consistently, when needed; and as talented as Kristine is (though still quite raw), she needs someone to get the ball to her.

    So the fact that there was improvement from year to year despite a loss at the weakest, most important position (Green didn't help the shooting %s but she led the team in assist/gm while turning it over at the same rate as AT (though if my eye test recalls correctly, many of those were of the airmail passes into the stands variety rather than forcing lobs to the post)) makes it seem like there must have been positive coaching and player developments.

    Last year, the team shot 43.8% from the field (40.1% excluding Kristine) and held opponents to 39.9%. This year it was 46% (42.3% excluding Kristine) with opponents at 37.7%. Last year the team averaged 16.0 assists and 17.8 TOs per game, this year 16.3 and 16.7. Unlike last year, Cal didn't really get blown out except by UW (who had the capability to do that to a lot of teams) and had no bad losses. Some of these may not seem like enough (and obviously more improvement is needed), but in a conference generally considered more competitive than last year, I think there's evidence of moving in the right direction -- and if the problem was just a matter of "other coaches catching on to LG's system" wouldn't they be increasingly shutting it down, rather than Cal upping its scoring from 58.3 to 68.3ppg in conference?

    I tend to agree with Clay's first argument about bad luck with backcourt recruits, because the issues with Hind, Jefflo, Green, Plum and Ionescu all seemed distinct, with no apparent pattern. (I would add that along with close losses, the stats people would probably say that close losses in recruiting are even more of a crapshoot).

    Also Range getting hurt didn't help, as the team finally seemed to have made progress with legit 3pt shooting options (as this board has long clamored for); and the way her numbers fell off a cliff indicates that it wasn't a coaching issue.

    For next year, I don't know (it's tough to deal with but just a fact sometimes) what may be needed to be done differently, and won't have even some sense until we see what next year's players bring. In general, I know a team needs playmakers to make plays in and out of the system; the good teams usually have 2 or 3 that can do it reliably, and Cal has only had 1, who as a post is reliant on others to get her the ball.

    As this is starting to also tend to agree with Clay's second argument about recruiting, it occurs to me that what ends up happening may be a blend of continuing gradual improvements in certain areas and significant shifts in others, as personnel allows. I imagine the solutions (fingers crossed), like the problems, will be more varied and complex than you assume.

  4. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by bearchamp View Post
    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.
    To the extent Wooden's coaching days were as simple and positive as the public perception (and plenty of evidence indicates they were not), those days are long gone. Cori Close got to learn from Wooden directly, so I imagine she knows his sayings even better than you -- but we've all heard her yelling on the sidelines

    This doesn't have to negate the vague premise that good coaches teach players to play: it shows that most players, even the good players need constant reminding of instructions sometimes. And different players will learn at different rates and require different levels of reminding - even good ones. I notice that you conveniently avoided addressing the last 2 paragraphs and the crux of my post....

    Kristine's assists went up this year, and her turnover numbers went down despite handling the ball more. If she was as unable to pass out of the post as it appeared when she arrived at Cal, then it's not baloney, it's gradual improvement if she is now starting (and it was well before the last few games of the season) to make those passes.

    Of course consistency is what you want from good players, but you can't just coach it in one step -- some players may take longer to get there than others.

  5. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by GATC View Post
    It seems like if LG is capable of making a change by herself, she would have done it after her 2nd year as HC at UCSB. Since she didn't it is highly unlikely that she will do it on her own. Normally an AD will have to threaten to fire if major changes (normally key staff changes) aren't made. In football, Williams was forcing Dykes to bring in a new DC. Some believe that Dykes was not seriously doing this and spending more time looking for another job so Williams fired him. Some would not be surprised if Williams forces LG to bring in a new "OC" and new "DC" and keep Farrow for recruiting. Williams did not have to give LG her extension BEFORE this season started and I would not be surprised if he is very disappointed.
    Just looking back at the conference standings, after going 12-16 overall and 9-7 in conf in LG's 2nd year, UCSB went 19-10 and 12-4 to tie for the conf championship in her 3rd year....

    So what changes are you referring to?

  6. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
    if the problem was just a matter of "other coaches catching on to LG's system" wouldn't they be increasingly shutting it down, rather than Cal upping its scoring from 58.3 to 68.3ppg in conference?
    In conference our opponents averaged 67.2 and we averaged 63.3.

    You are correct in that the Pac12 coaches did pick us to come in 6th and they were close (tied for 7th). It would be interesting to see what they predict for next year.

  7. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by GATC View Post
    In conference our opponents averaged 67.2 and we averaged 63.3.

    You are correct in that the Pac12 coaches did pick us to come in 6th and they were close (tied for 7th). It would be interesting to see what they predict for next year.
    Yeah, thanks -- I meant to type "63.3"

  8. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
    Yeah, thanks -- I meant to type "63.3"
    Deleted
    Last edited by annarborbear; 03-10-2017 at 11:33 AM.

  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
    Just looking back at the conference standings, after going 12-16 overall and 9-7 in conf in LG's 2nd year, UCSB went 19-10 and 12-4 to tie for the conf championship in her 3rd year....

    So what changes are you referring to?
    Actually the USCB site says they went 15-17 (not 12-16) and 19-12 (not 19-10) for the years you cite. The non conference record for LG's 3 years is 7-9, 6-10 and 7-8 so the conference is extremely weak. It should also be noted that the team had a better record the year before LG took over.

  10. #55
    So here is my own expectation for next year, presuming that we are over learning curve issues, bad bounces, lack of guards, full moons,Transylvanian curses and other excuses:

    Should beat every time: Washington (No Plum), Oregon State (No Wiese and Hansen), WSU, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, USC, Arizona State.

    Should beat at least once: Stanford, UCLA, Oregon

    Total Expected Conference Record: 15-3
    Allowing for One Upset by Someone: 14-4

    If our coaching staff can't do that, then at least the word "elite" should stop being used by LG or anyone else.

  11. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by annarborbear View Post
    Total Expected Conference Record: 15-3
    Allowing for One Upset by Someone: 14-4
    In my opinion the Pac-12 will be tougher than you think, but my opinion is no more valid than yours.

    I'd like to see a conference record of 9-9 or better, I think that would both represent progress and get us an NCAA Tournament invitation. I can imagine 12-6. But this is idle speculation based on way too many unknowns.

    If our coaching staff can't do that, then at least the word "elite" should stop being used by LG or anyone else.
    I agree the word "elite" is used too often around here. To me, "elite" in WBB is consistent top-10.
    Last edited by stu; 03-08-2017 at 07:44 PM.

  12. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by stu View Post
    In my opinion the Pac-12 will be tougher than you think, but my opinion is no more valid than yours.

    I'd like to see a conference record of 9-9 or better, I think that would both represent progress and get us an NCAA Tournament invitation. I can imagine 12-6. But this is idle speculation based on way too many unknowns.


    I agree the word "elite" is used too often around here. To me, "elite" in WBB is consistent top-10.
    Actually, I'd be happy to settle for 11-7 without the excuses and the endless passes into the post.

  13. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by GATC View Post
    Actually the USCB site says they went 15-17 (not 12-16) and 19-12 (not 19-10) for the years you cite. The non conference record for LG's 3 years is 7-9, 6-10 and 7-8 so the conference is extremely weak. It should also be noted that the team had a better record the year before LG took over.
    Those additional games are tournament games (conf and NCAA) and do not count towards determining conference champions, which I was referencing, so I omitted them.

    Of course the conference is weak, it's the Big West and has traditionally been so -- and the talent you get there is relative. Mid-majors often book games with bigger schools in non-conference and are not expected to win... UCSB also had a losing non-conf record the 3 years prior to LG.

    I don't know why it should be noted that the team's overall record was slightly better the year before; but out of conference schedules and competition vary widely year to year, so a better basis of comparison is the conference record, where UCSB was 15-1 both the year before and after LG arrived (and they also won the conf tourney and lost in the 1st rd of the NCAAs both years).

    But your point was that LG needed to make changes after a down 2nd year (15-17 overall, 9-7 conf), and I responded that they did bounce back to 19-12 (overall, including tournament losses) and 12-4 in conf, which won a championship (tied) (and this would have been with more of the players she recruited, being her 3rd year)....

    So what other type of changes besides resuming winning ways were you referring to?

  14. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
    Those additional games are tournament games (conf and NCAA) and do not count towards determining conference champions, which I was referencing, so I omitted them.

    Of course the conference is weak, it's the Big West and has traditionally been so -- and the talent you get there is relative. Mid-majors often book games with bigger schools in non-conference and are not expected to win... UCSB also had a losing non-conf record the 3 years prior to LG.

    I don't know why it should be noted that the team's overall record was slightly better the year before; but out of conference schedules and competition vary widely year to year, so a better basis of comparison is the conference record, where UCSB was 15-1 both the year before and after LG arrived (and they also won the conf tourney and lost in the 1st rd of the NCAAs both years).

    But your point was that LG needed to make changes after a down 2nd year (15-17 overall, 9-7 conf), and I responded that they did bounce back to 19-12 (overall, including tournament losses) and 12-4 in conf, which won a championship (tied) (and this would have been with more of the players she recruited, being her 3rd year)....

    So what other type of changes besides resuming winning ways were you referring to?
    Let me give you a partial respond and also tie it into annarborbear's comment on the number of wins.

    IF our players were not gassed we could have won the ASU (the double OT) game, the Oregon game where we blew a 10 lead in a little over a minute where we made at least 5 sloppy plays, the Utah game at Utah where Anigwe was walking back on defense and Cowling missed 4 shots in the third quarter due to tired legs and Range threw a lazy pass on our go ahead opportunity and Cayton lost the ball when we got a second chance. We let their backup center continually drive past Anigwe for easy layups. Then the other Utah game, the WSU game and the Last Colorado game where we left shooters open, didn't switch on picks, and let the 12th best post beat Anigwe over and over and out score and out rebound her. We also gave up two consecutive lay ups when our guards didn't even try to get back on defense. We gave up open 8' shot on in a key in bound play. We let Crozier drive uncontested for a key layup. This does not include anything we could have improved on offense or any improvement on turnovers. It doesn't include better effort (and technique) on rebounding and better free throw shooting. With just being in better shape (or substituting more) and not having defensive breakdowns, we would be 12-6 (25-7) overall.

  15. #60
    Deleted
    Last edited by annarborbear; 03-10-2017 at 11:47 AM.

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