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Thread: St Mary's v Arizona

  1. #1

    St Mary's v Arizona

    So this is the first time I've really watched st Mary's this year with a critical eye, and I have to admit, I'm impressed. Their offense is very very pretty.

    I still have the same concerns i had before though. I don't think we're going to be bringing in 4-5 star kids consistently. And I don't even know that Bennett would necessarily want those types of kids.

    His offense relies on 5 players who can all shoot, pass and dribble. theres not too many super athletic guys who can do all three of those things. And those that do exist are going to Kansas or duke etc. So we will probably be looking at a lot of 2-3 star guys who aren't super athletic, but are fundamentally sound.

    My other concern is that this current team is almost all juniors and seniors. And st Mary's hasn't been to the tourney since 2013. So will Bennett be able to contend for the tourney every year, or do we have to wait until all of our good players are all juniors and seniors? Can this offense be run with freshman and Sophs?

    Bennett can clearly coach. And I think he'd be a nice safe pick. I think you know what you're going to get. I just don't know how much upside there is with him. The assumption is once he gets to cal he will have access to better talent and can thus run the same offense but with upgraded athleticism. Again, I'm not sure that will be the case, even if he can upgrade the athleticism

    If we are good with a consistent product every year with an occasional sweet 16 mixed in every 5 years or so, I think Bennett could be that guy. But if you have dream of more, you're going to have to go with a more high risk high reward type guy.
    Last edited by ducky23; 03-18-2017 at 05:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Seems to me that Bennett could recruit even better players here at Cal than at St. Mary's. He's a proven winner, already lives in the Bay Area, no baggage to deal with.

    The real question may be: Can we convince him to come to Cal?

  3. #3
    I watched a good portion of the game before the Warriors' game started.

    Bennett is an impressive coach.

  4. #4
    Bennett is pretty connected to the aau circuit. He has his own team.

  5. #5
    True Blue Golden Bear 59bear's Avatar
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    AAU as in Australian Athletic Union? Almost half his roster is from Down Under! In the past, every time his name has been floated for the Cal job I've been against it; now, not so much. I'm beginning to wonder why he'd be interested in us as much as why we'd be interested in him.
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  6. #6
    Thanks for posting this bearebackerin LA. Very impressive story about Bennett and his Aussie connection pipeline. St. Mary's is going to be the next Gonzaga and they beat them this last year . He has done a tremendous job there with the school and he seems to get his kids ready to play very well and expand their skill set. Not sure if his Aussie pipeline will follow him to Cal since it is so strong with the St. Mary's name. But this guy can coach and I think he is a sure winner. Hope he gets good consideration for the opening at Cal. All I know PastorNick is that he can recruit not necessarily coach. Give me the coaching skills first then he can hire a good staff of recruiters if he needs to.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Basketball Bear View Post
    Thanks for posting this bearebackerin LA. Very impressive story about Bennett and his Aussie connection pipeline. St. Mary's is going to be the next Gonzaga and they beat them this last year . He has done a tremendous job there with the school and he seems to get his kids ready to play very well and expand their skill set. Not sure if his Aussie pipeline will follow him to Cal since it is so strong with the St. Mary's name. But this guy can coach and I think he is a sure winner. Hope he gets good consideration for the opening at Cal. All I know PastorNick is that he can recruit not necessarily coach. Give me the coaching skills first then he can hire a good staff of recruiters if he needs to.
    I didn't get that at all. None of them talk about being in Moraga and enjoying the woods. All their quotes are about Bennett (and alums). Assuming he brings some (all?) of his staff with it would seem the pipeline translates.

    Now - lets be fair - I think Bennett would do EVEN BETTER at that pipeline in SoCal since in many ways Southern California is closer to (populated) Australia. You can't pass a ruby ball down here without kicking 2 Aussies and a New Zealander.

  8. #8
    Actually, it's over half.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Basketball Bear View Post
    Thanks for posting this bearebackerin LA. Very impressive story about Bennett and his Aussie connection pipeline. St. Mary's is going to be the next Gonzaga and they beat them this last year . He has done a tremendous job there with the school and he seems to get his kids ready to play very well and expand their skill set. Not sure if his Aussie pipeline will follow him to Cal since it is so strong with the St. Mary's name. But this guy can coach and I think he is a sure winner. Hope he gets good consideration for the opening at Cal. All I know PastorNick is that he can recruit not necessarily coach. Give me the coaching skills first then he can hire a good staff of recruiters if he needs to.
    I also would prefer Bennett to Pasternak (sp), especially if he can bring his Aussie pipeline and supplement with good California recruiting from assistants. But when you say St. Mary's beat Gonzaga "this last" year do you mean the current season? St. Mary's was 0-3 against Gonzaga in 2016-2017 with by far the closest contest still being a double-digit loss in Moraga.
    Last edited by OneKeg; 03-20-2017 at 04:12 PM.

  10. #10
    As far as I'm concerned, Saturday's game beautifully illustrated the conundrum with Bennett. Tactically, he coached a great game. Down the stretch, he obviously told his players they needed to get and make 3s to stay in the game, and the grit with which they ran their offense to get their last made three was a thing of beauty. They did almost as well for the last three, except that the defender managed to close out and get a hand in the shooter's face, so the shot missed short, which basically ended the game. And that's the problem. As beautiful as SMC is tactically, Arizona basically wore them down. Miller was equally as determined to deny 3s down the stretch and Bennett was determined to get them. Because Miller has better athletes, he prevailed. So the question is, if the gap in athleticism between St. Mary's and Arizona is X, can Bennett come to Cal, reduce it to 0.5X, and then beat them at least some of the time based on his tactical abilities. I'm not sure he can make the reduction, because I'm just not sure of his abilities as a recruiter. He lost three times to Gonzaga this year, and once to Arizona. He had one bad loss at home, to UT Arlington, and one decent non-conference road win, at Dayton. Just not sure what he does mid-major can translate to Power 5. He's a leap of blind faith, just like all the other candidates.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff82 View Post
    As far as I'm concerned, Saturday's game beautifully illustrated the conundrum with Bennett. Tactically, he coached a great game. Down the stretch, he obviously told his players they needed to get and make 3s to stay in the game, and the grit with which they ran their offense to get their last made three was a thing of beauty. They did almost as well for the last three, except that the defender managed to close out and get a hand in the shooter's face, so the shot missed short, which basically ended the game. And that's the problem. As beautiful as SMC is tactically, Arizona basically wore them down. Miller was equally as determined to deny 3s down the stretch and Bennett was determined to get them. Because Miller has better athletes, he prevailed. So the question is, if the gap in athleticism between St. Mary's and Arizona is X, can Bennett come to Cal, reduce it to 0.5X, and then beat them at least some of the time based on his tactical abilities. I'm not sure he can make the reduction, because I'm just not sure of his abilities as a recruiter. He lost three times to Gonzaga this year, and once to Arizona. He had one bad loss at home, to UT Arlington, and one decent non-conference road win, at Dayton. Just not sure what he does mid-major can translate to Power 5. He's a leap of blind faith, just like all the other candidates.
    "He's a leap of blind faith?"

    Out of all the candidates, he's the surest bet. People have this perception that he wouldn't be able to recruit, but recruiting to SMC and recruiting to Cal are two different things. Sean Miller recruited differently at Xavier than he does at Arizona and same with Dana Altman recruiting differently at Creighton than he does at Oregon. To have great success at the mid-major level, you need to have a keen eye for evaluating talent. Bennett has repeatedly proven that he can do that. He's run different styles throughout his tenure based on the personnel of his teams. Bennett has the most data points we can point to as evidence that he could succeed. Does that mean he's a sure thing? Of course not. But a "leap of blind faith"? No way.
    Last edited by tsubamoto2001; 03-20-2017 at 11:28 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff82 View Post
    As far as I'm concerned, Saturday's game beautifully illustrated the conundrum with Bennett. Tactically, he coached a great game. Down the stretch, he obviously told his players they needed to get and make 3s to stay in the game, and the grit with which they ran their offense to get their last made three was a thing of beauty. They did almost as well for the last three, except that the defender managed to close out and get a hand in the shooter's face, so the shot missed short, which basically ended the game. And that's the problem. As beautiful as SMC is tactically, Arizona basically wore them down. Miller was equally as determined to deny 3s down the stretch and Bennett was determined to get them. Because Miller has better athletes, he prevailed. So the question is, if the gap in athleticism between St. Mary's and Arizona is X, can Bennett come to Cal, reduce it to 0.5X, and then beat them at least some of the time based on his tactical abilities. I'm not sure he can make the reduction, because I'm just not sure of his abilities as a recruiter. He lost three times to Gonzaga this year, and once to Arizona. He had one bad loss at home, to UT Arlington, and one decent non-conference road win, at Dayton. Just not sure what he does mid-major can translate to Power 5. He's a leap of blind faith, just like all the other candidates.
    Nicely put.

    Believing in Cuonzo, based on what he showed at Cal, was also "a leap of blind faith." Including his recruiting.

    Not easy being a Bears fan...

  13. #13
    Yes, Bennett is the candidate most analogous to Miller and Altman. But the situations are not analogous. I don't know exactly, but I would surmise that moving from Xavier to Arizona and from Creighton to Oregon is probably not moving to a situation that is more difficult from a recruiting standpoint. Arizona has the Lute legacy, including a championship, and undoubtedly has equal or better facilities than Xavier, as does Oregon versus Creighton. Arguably, moving from St. Mary's to Cal is moving to a more difficult recruiting environment, because of the academic requirements. I'm assuming the difference in facilities may not be great, although I don't know if SMC has a practice gym. On the other hand, it's a move from a basketball-only school to one where basketball is only equal, and maybe second banana, to football. We can agree to disagree, but the idea that he might not be able to recruit well enough at Cal to win, even with his coaching abilities, is a legitimate concern, IMHO. I agree he's certainly the safest choice, in terms of perception in the fan base and the media.

  14. #14
    my opinion gates or wyking jones better choice then bennett. iwill take recruiting before x's and o's. we have zona, oregon, and ucla in the pac 12.

  15. #15
    Is his pipeline as good if he goes to Cal? Do those guys get admitted? St. Mary's is an easy admit.

    Quote Originally Posted by socaltownie View Post
    I didn't get that at all. None of them talk about being in Moraga and enjoying the woods. All their quotes are about Bennett (and alums). Assuming he brings some (all?) of his staff with it would seem the pipeline translates.

    Now - lets be fair - I think Bennett would do EVEN BETTER at that pipeline in SoCal since in many ways Southern California is closer to (populated) Australia. You can't pass a ruby ball down here without kicking 2 Aussies and a New Zealander.




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