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Thread: Getting ready to Jump OFF the bandwagon

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by CalBeast View Post
    16 teams in the Sweet Sixteen every year. Usually a couple of mid-major schools every year. Are all of them every year paying players? Are Stanford and Cal the only two clean programs in the entire country? Are Stanford and Cal even clean? Baylor is not a traditional power - are they paying players now?

    Until someone makes a case for me why we can't be competitive with the Saint Louis/Xavier/Ohio type schools in the country, I'm going to assume that we have a right as fans to expect to make the Sweet Sixteen a couple of times a decade at minimum and that there is nothing inherently built-in to the system that would prevent us from getting to that level. Regularly in the Elite 8? Now you pretty much have to be playing dirty with the big boys.

    But Butler went to the Championship game two years in a row.
    I would agree with this. It MAY be that college basketball gets to a place where it is extremely hard to crack into the top except on an occasional basis, but I certainly don't think you can't make the Sweet Sixteen once in a while without selling your soul.

    Cal's biggest problem is that we haven't gotten there. If I were Arizona trying to raid NorCal talent and going head to head against Cal for a recruit, I'd just say "2 sweet sixteens and no Elite 8's in 50 years, last Sweet Sixteen 16 years ago (or whatever it is now)." and leave it at that.

  2. #47

    Butler was lucky.

    Quote Originally Posted by CalBeast View Post
    16 teams in the Sweet Sixteen every year. Usually a couple of mid-major schools every year. Are all of them every year paying players? Are Stanford and Cal the only two clean programs in the entire country? Are Stanford and Cal even clean? Baylor is not a traditional power - are they paying players now?

    Until someone makes a case for me why we can't be competitive with the Saint Louis/Xavier/Ohio type schools in the country, I'm going to assume that we have a right as fans to expect to make the Sweet Sixteen a couple of times a decade at minimum and that there is nothing inherently built-in to the system that would prevent us from getting to that level. Regularly in the Elite 8? Now you pretty much have to be playing dirty with the big boys.

    But Butler went to the Championship game two years in a row.
    They were lucky in that they got a couple of elite athletes that wanted to stay at home, and they were lucky in the draws they got to the tournament. Butler didn't even make the 68-team field this year.

    The two sad facts for Cal is that of the chances we had to make a deep tourney run, Kidd's two years and the 96-97 team, the first was derailed by weak coaching, and the second was derailed by Ed Gray's broken ankle. Those could have been Butler-like runs.

    I would also suggest that the Saint Louis/Xavier/Ohio schools benefit by playing in mid-major conferences that are as weak, if not weaker, than the Pac-12. We might have a better chance for a tournament run if we were in the WCC-no trip to the Palouse, no Salt Lake/Boulder trip, and generally weak competition outside of SMC and Gonzaga.

  3. #48

    Probably That Is What They Say

    Quote Originally Posted by OaktownBear View Post
    If I were Arizona trying to raid NorCal talent and going head to head against Cal for a recruit, I'd just say "2 sweet sixteens and no Elite 8's in 50 years, last Sweet Sixteen 16 years ago (or whatever it is now)." and leave it at that.
    Since some variation of your quote undoubtedly is used by U of A and all the other more elite programs and since the power of it is pretty obvious, hopefully what you write will be digested by all those apoplectic about Monty's recruiting.

    Whatever one thinks of it, there certainly is no disputing that he has done better at Cal than any coach since Newell, relative to the conference in which he is competing. I throw in the last clause to ward off those who think (erroneously in my opinion) that Campanelli's team in some year or Braun's in another would take apart Monty's Cal teams...

  4. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by south bender View Post
    Given that Cal is Cal, and given the trend toward oligopolies in the college basketball market that easily corral almost all the elite talent, instead of the lashing out at Mike, we should be counting our blessings that we have a coach who as coach/teacher/motivator/talent evaluator needs to take a back seat to no one in college basketball.
    The hope is not for elite talent. The hope is for middle of the conference talent that can grow. Given all the advantages of Cal that should be possible, but it is not happening.

    I would not put talent evaluation as one of Monty's strengths.

    Sluggo

  5. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by sluggo_Cal View Post
    The hope is not for elite talent. The hope is for middle of the conference talent that can grow. Given all the advantages of Cal that should be possible, but it is not happening....

    Sluggo
    This. I actually have GREAT faith in Monty's ability to develop ALL three types of players (points, wings, front line) in the college game. I also think he is a fantastic scheme guy and a wonderful game coach.

    Thus the quandary - because I think we ARE a S16 and maybe a f'ing great 8 team if we could trade 1 to 3 players with EITHER Oregon or CU.

    It boggles the mind how much better this team would have been, for example, with Carlon Brown as the third guard in the rotation or Alu Ashaolu coming in as the third or fourth guy at the rotation on the front.

    Think about what the team could have done if Spencer Dinwiddie (BTW - an LA kid who a visit to Harvard so he probably had the grades) had been coming off our bench rather than Smith. Those are just three California kids that we ALL have seen.

    You want to tell me the Bears are not BLOWING UP if Angelo Chol had been a Bear this year - either playing in front of or along side David? (Though arguably we had no chance as the guy just became so coveted by his senior year)

    You all don't follow SDSU but Xavier Thames, a guard out of Sacto would have been a fantastic guy to bring to the rotation. He was offered by a the lower tier Pac-12 and Santa Clara/St. Mary's. How do we miss on Jamal Franklin, SDSU's leading rebounder out of Hawthorne?

    _THIS_ is the issue. I KNOW we are not getting Kentucky's front court. I am worried about the future of NCAA basketball in a existential way. But I am MAD that we are failing to add the kind of recruits that would allow us to see really the special coach we DO have - one that showed constantly at the Furd that he gets so much more from talent than nearly any (or any) coach in the NCAA?

    I will return to the unknown - why is this occurring? I think to argue that we suck cause we don't have Shabbaz is kinda stupid. But you can't look at the kids cited above and not say

    "Wow they would have helped"
    "Wow they are not going to the NBA even in their wildest dreams"
    "Wow, they were offered by some schools that are not THAT academically inferior"
    'Wow, we don't seem to even have been on their radar screen (or vis-a-versa)

    (And for the pumpers note I only focused on kids from California and didn't make what would truly be depressing - thinking about if we had found and offered Andre Roberson)

  6. #51
    CalBeast
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by sluggo_Cal View Post
    The hope is not for elite talent. The hope is for middle of the conference talent that can grow. Given all the advantages of Cal that should be possible, but it is not happening.

    I would not put talent evaluation as one of Monty's strengths.

    Sluggo
    I don't think talent evaluation is necessarily the problem. I think salesmanship is the problem and quite possibly motivation.

  7. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by CalBeast View Post
    I don't think talent evaluation is necessarily the problem. I think salesmanship is the problem and quite possibly motivation.
    +1

  8. #53
    It is not just about paying guys. It is about having a culture of non accountability. Like class attendance, drug testing, etc. Look at Syracuse. This season alone they had the Bernie Fine fiasco, Fab Melo suspensions, drug testing scams, and general questions about academic performance. U Conn has several similar issues. Kansas has had some concerns as well. They have had several incidents with the football program regarding physical altercations and alcohol.

    The money is simply to big to ignore, so they ignore things like academics and character. Cal will never do this. At least to the extent that the true big boys of college hoops (and football) will and do. Yes there are and have been some guys that have some issues, but they either get it together or they go away.

    IMO Cal will never be a serious annual championship program in either football or basketball. They simply will not attract enough of the elite players to be at that level. Can the Bears be good? Yes. Great? Maybe, but not every year. The stars may align every so often and the Bears have a great team that can play with and even beat the big boys.

    You need players to win big. In hoops the top tier players are well known and strongly recruited at a very early age. There are exceptions, but damn few really. These players come with a sense of entitlement and early NBA aspirations. They may not buy in to the team concept or handle tough love coaching moments. I give Calipari credit for being able to get his players to play hard and play togther. It is not easy. He may be a sleazeball in regards to recruiting, but his teams play hard almost every time.

    Cal is not going to be a player for the really top kids most years. Jabari Bird is a player that Cal can get. His father was a Bear and he is a tweener size wise that does not translate to high NBA draft pick at least not one and done. He has the look of at least a 3 year college player (Klay Thompson) IMO.

    My biggest concern with Cal's recruiting is not that they fail to land the super elite players, but that they do not seem to have a lot of offers to the next tier below. The players rated 50-150. This is the pond Cal needs to fish from. They get some (Crabbe, Soloman, Wallace) but really have too many players well below this level. This is a definite limitation to winning against the better teams. Cal's overall record is pretty good, but like football they too often lose against the better programs. This is due to talent primarily. Don't get me started on football which loses games they have no business losing because of an average football staff.

    If Cal could regularly land 2-3 players from the 50-150 pool each year they would be better suited to a make a run in the NCAA tourney. Monty has 3 trips in 4 years. Not bad, but they are 1-3 and a couple of real clunkers in the losses. Given his record and reputation there really is very little pressure on Monty to do more in regards to recruiting. He wins and there is little negative publicity from his program. Until there is greater outcry from the hoops donors little will change IMO. Even then it may not change. Monty has a legacy already and lots of money. His age means he is nearing the end. Great coach no doubt about it. But without some better players he can do only so much. IMO this level of winning is good enough to keep the administration and most of the supporters content. I do not expect much of change in recruiting strategy or results.

  9. #54
    I find these threads very interesting.

    I was very much criticized on the boards over at CGB's for pointing out 2 or 3 years ago that Monty really needed to recruit better. But now there appears to be a larger group of people that realize the importance of getting truly high level players on board.

    The reason I thought it was so important for Monty to recruit well right out of the gate is because of his age. Unlike a young guy, who can maybe build his craft over a period of time, MM's window is much shorter, unless he's going to be coaching into his 70's. I don't know how many guys do that.

    If you think the Cal cupboard of player talent is bare, as I pretty much do, then you have to look at building from scratch, starting over. And if you don't think that Cal is going to be in the running for the 1 and done types (I think we can all agree, that's not happening) then we are going to have to find success on a group of juniors and seniors. So, let's say that Wallace is going to be great, in 3 years with Kravich as a senior. Well, we gotta back that up with more Wallace level recruits for the immediate years behind him. And I'm not talking 1 player per year. We gotta have 3 quality players each year.

    Anyways, the point is, Monty will be 68 by the time Wallace is a junior. Even if the Wallace class is followed up with 3 quality recruits annually, and Cal makes the jump upward, how many year run will MM be able to have at Cal before his coaching tenure comes to a close? And then where are we? I know a lot of people are just salivating for ONE Final Four run, and that could certainly happen under MM's timeframe, but I've always been thinking about program building that gets us multiple chances. It's a 10-20 year thing.

    The way I see it, the top programs that exist right now have been raised to the top by a particularly incredible program builder. UCLA: Wooden. Kentucky: Rupp. Kansas: Phog. Arizona: Olson. Syracuse: Boeheim. Mich St: Izzo. UNC: Dean Smith. Duke: Coach K.

    I believe that Mike Montgomery had a chance to put himself in that group, either at Stanford or Cal. But, at this juncture, I don't see it happening. Also, people talk about the HOF with MM, and while his # of wins are impressive, I'm not sure he's going to make it. Younger folks like Izzo and Self are going to eclipse him, if not in Total Wins then in NCAA tourney success, and push his name to the back burner.

    I'd like to recognize the posters within this thread who say that recruits read these things and thus advise not to post "negative" words. I have two responses:
    1) That's such B.S. to think that we all have to lie and ignore the obvious truth in order for Cal to be a success. Like, if you want that, why not just call it a Lying Recruiting board, rather than a fan board - which is what I think this is. Fans can see and speak the truth, at least in a free country.
    2) My advice to any recruit reading this is, COME TO CAL. MM is a great coach and his mentorship can help you with a pro career, not to mention life.

  10. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by concordtom View Post
    I'd like to recognize the posters within this thread who say that recruits read these things and thus advise not to post "negative" words. I have two responses:
    1) That's such B.S. to think that we all have to lie and ignore the obvious truth in order for Cal to be a success. Like, if you want that, why not just call it a Lying Recruiting board, rather than a fan board - which is what I think this is. Fans can see and speak the truth, at least in a free country.
    2) My advice to any recruit reading this is, COME TO CAL. MM is a great coach and his mentorship can help you with a pro career, not to mention life.
    Agree--It is actually those who are arguing for Cal's limitations who would scare off recruits.

  11. #56
    CalBeast
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by concordtom View Post
    I find these threads very interesting.

    I was very much criticized on the boards over at CGB's for pointing out 2 or 3 years ago that Monty really needed to recruit better.
    The truth is rarely popular there or any Cal board for that matter.

  12. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by calumnus View Post
    +1
    + 2

    Not sure if the right word is motivation or energy. But if Monty lacks motivation or energy for recruiting - why is he still coaching? Sometimes I think coaching with his son is the prime motivator for him- but who the heck knows.

    The original post here is honest. It's obvious at this point that Monty is failing in recruiting (big, strong athletic players??). This board could use a little more honesty and a little less sugarcoating of our head coaches' shortcomings and that goes for football too...

    The Pac-12 was a national embarrassment this year and we scheduled a bunch of OOC patsies so spare us the "did well in the Pac 12" and 20-win barometers. We were horribly bad in the USF game after barely getting in the tourney.

  13. #58
    True Blue Golden Bear sycasey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmellinRoses View Post
    The Pac-12 was a national embarrassment this year and we scheduled a bunch of OOC patsies
    Not true. Our non-conference schedule was perfectly respectable.

  14. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by sycasey View Post
    Not true. Our non-conference schedule was perfectly respectable.
    Thought I saw a stat that at the end of our 20-plus win regular season we had not beaten a single team in the RPI Top 50...

  15. #60
    True Blue Golden Bear sycasey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmellinRoses View Post
    Thought I saw a stat that at the end of our 20-plus win regular season we had not beaten a single team in the RPI Top 50...
    Beaten, no. But we scheduled 3 of them in non-conference play.

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