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Cal Basketball

The Decision to Hire Mark Fox

March 29, 2019
19,005

In the course of fewer than six days, Cal terminated the least successful head coach in its basketball program’s history and hired a coach with more than 250 career wins to replace him.   

The obvious initial take when discussing Mark Fox is that he is in every respect an upgrade over his predecessor.   An experienced hand who’s well-respected by his peers, Fox will bring a depth of experience and presence that Cal has not had since Mike Montgomery retired in 2012.

That said, it is not a hire that wins the hearts and minds of Cal fans when they first hear the news.  His tenure at Georgia may be impressive in some respects. yet it ended after nine years in his being terminated.  And while his successes at Georgia were relatively unprecedented for the Bulldog program, in absolute terms he failed to make the school a consistent top-tier SEC power, much less relevant on the national stage.

Juxtapose this with the unsoiled promise of a mid-major coach who has yet to prove himself one way or the other at a Power 6 school.  That type of hire brings with it a sense of unlimited upside with the vacuum of those candidates experience creating an almost irrational sense of hope and little consideration of downside.   Thus, it is not surprising that upon first take most Cal fans are left mildly disappointed with the appointment of Fox.

The staff here at Bear Insider understands and sympathizes with that sentiment, as it’s not far off our initial reactions.   One of the criteria we laid out for the hire was generating excitement and energy around the program and that’s not something that Fox provides simply by signing his name on a contract.    As we’ve had the chance to dig deeper and talk to some of the most prominent and well-respected voices in college basketball, we find ourselves reconsidering the gut reaction with an ever-increasing feeling of optimism.

The obvious wins with the hire of Fox are firstly the instant improvement in the leadership from where we were less than a week ago.  Secondly, we’ve hired someone with tremendous character and integrity which are essential at Cal and even more so in the current climate in college basketball, where the FBI has uncovered what can best be reflected as the tip of the iceberg when it comes to under the table payments to recruits and their families.   Lastly, Fox represents a very high floor.  The chances of his not having a measure of success in Berkeley is exceptionally low given his fourteen-year resume as a head man.    

Context is important here in two regards.  First, the decision to terminate Wyking Jones after only two seasons came with a cost to Cal.   Jim Knowlton and Carol Christ have an ambitious vision for Cal athletics including a transformation of the development approach and team to fully unlock the value of Cal’s alumni base as donors.  They are less than 12 months into that process with the new Chief of Development, Brian Mann, having only been in Berkeley for less than 6 weeks.   The ability to break the bank and reach for the stars in a basketball head coach is clearly an aspiration for the department, but one that will take time and hard work to fully realize.  Secondly, Cal has work to do with regard to overall student athletic facilities and specifically a dedicated basketball practice facility to even be on marginally even footing with the rest of the Pac-12.   The net is that Cal was not in a position to hire the “perfect” coach.   What it could do was make the decision to terminate a struggling head coach after only two seasons (which is exceptionally rare) and clearly upgrade the position.

The alternatives to Cal’s choice of Fox all had their set of risks and warts.   Principally among them was betting on a successful low or mid-major coach.   A step up in competition, the premium on recruiting (even to the level that Fox achieved) and the data that shows that most of these coaches clearly fail at Power 6 schools were an obvious factor in the choice of Fox.  While there were some compelling candidates, especially when filtered through a criterion of selling hope, objectively they represented a far lower floor and more risk.   This at a time when Cal is coming off a head coach that represented huge risk given his lack of a resume.

While looking at Fox’s tenure at Georgia, context also plays a role.  Georgia has been a deserted wasteland for college basketball for decades.   Since 1950, no Georgia head coach who lasted longer than one season posted a winning career record in Athens other than Hugh Durham and Mark Fox.  In the five seasons preceding Fox taking over Georgia, the team had won a total of 22 SEC games.  Georgia is a program without tradition or any sustained period of success.   Against that backdrop, Fox’s record at Georgia may not be viewed as exceptional but certainly is impressive. 

Mark Fox’s resume as it relates to scheme, teaching and player development are strong.  His teams consistently played top-tier defense, and defense wins in college basketball.  He’s a coach with a chip on his shoulder, hungry to wipe the exit at Georgia from his resume.   His X’s and O’s and teaching pedigree are endorsed in fulsome fashion with his recent tenure with Team USA and the praise he received from coaching luminaries in today's press release.   Bear Insider has had a chance to source further references from a half dozen industry experts and the praise has been universal and unstinting.  Folks who know Pac-12 basketball exceptionally well and have no affiliation with Cal or with Coach Fox have been effusive in their praise of Fox and the fit at Cal.   

His inability to keep Georgia at the top of the SEC and part of the national discussion can be traced squarely to his inability to recruit enough talent, especially talent that can score.   That capped his upside in Athens and will be his biggest challenge in Berkeley, especially after spending the last decade on the East Coast.   His choice of former Stanford head coach Trent Johnson as his top assistant is a self-aware action from Fox as Johnson cannot only provide sage advice as a long time head coach but unlike Fox, Johnson's reputation as a recruiter is well established.   If Fox can fill in the remaining two assistant positions with at least one strong recruiter with a West Coast network, there’s a real possibility that Cal could hit a home run with their choice of Mark Fox.  

The news of Wyking Jones departure and Mark Fox’s hire are not the beginning and end of this story.  Expect to hear some very good news with regard to donations and facilities upgrades in the near future.   Cal’s basketball brand has been diminished in the past two seasons and needs to be rebuilt.  That starts with experienced. competent leadership and continues with substantial donations that benefit not only basketball but the athletic department as a whole. 

In short, we are cautiously optimistic.

Discussion from...

The Decision to Hire Mark Fox

calumnus
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OaktownBear said:

BeachedBear said:

OaktownBear said:

Limited counter points, removing the wordy discourse for appearance sake.


Quote:

Beached:

Thanks for a thoughtful response. That's all I ask. I don't agree with everything, but you don't have to agree with everything I say. Some responses

Ditto. I enjoy rational discourse with intelligent people I respect. Personal attacks are only fun in person

Quote:

. . . While he didn't need to tell us his decision in February, the decision should have been made before season end. There is no excuse in the decision not being made, the decision then being that he was going to keep him, not knowing the blowback that was going to cause, and the fact that he let that info out before intended. He handled this badly. All of which I would excuse if he got the hire right.
Personally, I would say how he handled it is my biggest criticism of Knowlton so far.



Quote:

I assume that Decuire has other interests. Understand, I'm not mad it is not Decuire. Decuire is the embodiment of what we should be looking for. It didn't have to be Decuire, but it should have been somebody like him. It should not have been someone with Fox's profile.

See, the thing is that most of you say that or some variation. Why doesn't it matter to you? Seems like even the people arguing to wait and see don't like this hire.
I can't speak for 'most of you', only me. It matters, but I probably don't feel FOX is as bad a hire as you do. I generally prefer Thai to Indian cuisine, but I'm Ok with Indian. But I really like good Sushi. I really don't like Pizza Hut. Fox=Indian, DeCuire=Thai, Craig Smith-Sushi, Jones=Pizza Hut, Dykes = Domino's, Kyle Smith = Round Table.

The thing is, I'm not at the donor level where I get to choose where I eat. I never will be and don't recommend anyone contribute as much to do so. It's more like a family member invited me to dinner and served mediocre Indian. Didn't like it. I mentioned to the host in a very tactful way that next time he plans to service mediocre Indian, invite me over for dessert and drinks afterward (actually worded it clearer than that - more like: If you continue to serve Pizza, we're no longer family)



Quote:

Confirmation bias. You guys knew the answer when it happened, but you don't like the answer. So you hear all the reasons from the administration about why this is actually good and since you aren't getting the other side, it starts to sound good. And let's be honest, you want it to be good. I sympathize.
Perhaps that is the case with most. But I'm leaving the option open that not all information is perceived through blue colored glasses.

Quote:

We will only know a lot in year 1 if it is a disaster or a colossal success. Jones was not ready. Fox isn't great, but he is experienced. We should see marked improvement, which will not be evidence that this is the right hire, long term. Doubtful we do something like go 14-4. Unlikely we don't improve. I went through Dykes' first year. I guarantee that if we don't improve, the story will be that it is because Jones left the program in tatters. I also have to say that almost every year I hear that "we'll know this year". And we never do.

- - - No need to wait 9 years - - -

I suspect that is exactly how long we will wait. I give it a 5% chance that Fox blows out expectations. I give it a 20% chance he pulls a Braun at Rice or Walt Harris at Stanford. I give it a 75% chance that we see something like 6-12, 8-10, 8-10, 10-8, 12-6, 9-9, 8-10, 6-12, 4-14. And if that is what we get, at what point do you suppose Cal will do anything. Yup. year 9.
I fear you may be right. I lobbied to can Dykes after his first year and was not heard. Comes with the territory. If I was AD, I would be looking for FOX in year one for colossal success and consider year two accordingly if not. I think your percentages are about right.

Quote:

My suspicion is they don't think that we can succeed in revenue sports. I think they are putting more effort in football because that is where the money is. Honestly, I think they are trying to run in place just enough so that their motion looks like they are trying so they won't kill off the donations, but I don't see actions that actually lead to success.

Unfortunately, I agree with this assessment. I would support Cal if we were out of the arms race and competing in a different conference. I accept that this won't happen soon, if ever. For the last 5 years or so, I have considered my renewals on a yearly basis and have come close to shutting down. Wasn't that way at all for the prior few decades. I feel like Cal (as an institution) is competing in 1999 revenue sports, not realizing how much has changed in 20 years.

See I feel like Cal is always 20 years behind. I feel like the history goes like this:

What do you mean a football coach makes $200K. That is more than the professors. No way!
No.
No.
No.
No.
Okay, okay, I guess we have to pay $200K. Here.
Wait. They make $500K now? No way!
No.
No.
No.
No.
Okay, Okay. Fine! Sheesh. Wait. It's a million now? No way in hell is that ever going to happen.
No!
No!
No!
Okay. Okay. You are really trying my patience. IT'S $2m NOW!!!!!!??????? I JUST GAVE YOU THE MILLION!!!!!! ***!!!! But I'm not paying for anything else and you are taking buses to Los Angeles.

And on and on.

I think they have spent virtually the maximum amount they could and still not support enough to win. At this point, I'd be fine with going whole hog on being cheap. (I'm an A's fan for goodness sake!) Accept it. Own it. Or don't. But don't go middle ground where you just pay too much for bottom of the barrel.

This is part of what I mean about a plan. I think Cal fans are smart. They get it. They get that we will always be outbid. Decide what WE CAN PAY. Then think outside the box to maximize those dollars.

I would love to see some investment in analytics to determine where money returns the best value. In football, what kind of offense and defense schemes maximize success with the types of players we can recruit.

I have a by the seat of my pants hypothesis that I would love to analyze if it were my job on football coaching salaries. That is this. Cal can't afford big name head coaches. So I wonder. Would it be best for Cal to do something different with coaching salaries. Rather than maximize head coaching salaries and still not being competitive, pay a head coach at the low end of the scale, pay coordinators at the middle range, and go out and get the best position coaches money can buy to develop the players. Not saying it would work. But I'd like to see Cal look at alternative ways of doing things. Instead, we just do things the same way everyone else does, but we invest a lot less in everything.

As I said, I'm an A's fan. Cal has got to find it's Moneyball approach. We have brilliant young alums, some of whom turn out to be leaders in sports management. We have to do more than we are doing.





Agree we need to be the Moneyball, outside of the box thinking school. Take chances on promising assistants or lower level head coaches but with highly incentivized contracts with the incentive tied to financial targets (ie ticket sales) and very little cost to Cal if dismissed.
concordtom
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Has there been any discussion yet about Mark's son, Parker Fox?
He was a freshman at Clemson this year. Barely played. 6'6". Good grades.
Born in Reno, high school in Georgia.
As a senior, 10 ppl, 6 rebs, 3 assists.

Does he transfer to Cal immediately?

https://clemsontigers.com/sports/mens-basketball/roster/parker-fox/


Cal8285
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On the search firm topic, I thought it was interesting to look at Jeff Goodman's list of the 10 best hires and 10 worst hires in the last decade. Both lists, however, involved 11 hires, because the worst list had a tie for second, and the best list had two different hires of the same coach listed as one.

Of the 11 worst hires, 5 involved search firms (3 of them the firm Cal used for this hire). Of the non-search firm hires, two had been assistants on the staff the previous year, one was an alum of the school, and one was a buddy of the AD, with two "outsiders" hired without a search firm.

Of the 11 best hires, 4 involved search firms (two from the firm Cal used for this hire), and of the other 7, two involved alums, two involved assistants on staff the prior year, and 3 "outsiders" hired without a search firm.

With this limited poll (admittedly not statistically significant), it doesn't look like using or not using a search firm makes a huge difference in outcomes one way or the other. You can get good or bad hires through a search firm, good or bad hires with assistants or alums, and good or bad hires with the AD working on his own.

GMP
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Cal8285 said:

On the search firm topic, I thought it was interesting to look at Jeff Goodman's list of the 10 best hires and 10 worst hires in the last decade. Both lists, however, involved 11 hires, because the worst list had a tie for second, and the best list had two different hires of the same coach listed as one.

Of the 11 worst hires, 5 involved search firms (3 of them the firm Cal used for this hire). Of the non-search firm hires, two had been assistants on the staff the previous year, one was an alum of the school, and one was a buddy of the AD, with two "outsiders" hired without a search firm.

Of the 11 best hires, 4 involved search firms (two from the firm Cal used for this hire), and of the other 7, two involved alums, two involved assistants on staff the prior year, and 3 "outsiders" hired without a search firm.

With this limited poll (admittedly not statistically significant), it doesn't look like using or not using a search firm makes a huge difference in outcomes one way or the other. You can get good or bad hires through a search firm, good or bad hires with assistants or alums, and good or bad hires with the AD working on his own.


I don't know why everyone gets so hung up on the search firm thing. It's still up to the AD to interview and make a hire. Seems like low-hanging fruit when people want to complain about a hire, which is fine. But it's not surprising to me that the data you found (though a small sample size) shows no correlation between search firms and good or bad hires.
south bender
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OaktownBear said:

socaltownie said:

Civil Bear said:

OaktownBear said:


Can you tell me what the process is that we are supposed to trust?

If it's to hope to be near .500 in 9 years, then no thanks.
Sure. That would suck.

I think though that (Jenkins?) there was a good article over last 4 weeks that characterized Cal's current "structural" position in Pac-12 pecking order. Understanding that this can vary and that circumstances can change but it argued that we were positioned to be in the upper 1/2. Not really a top quartile program (UoA, UCLA, Oregon) but the next 1/4 below that. Some years we might slip into the top 3. Some years we might slip out but essentially our natural place was a band between 13-5 and 9-9. That made a ton of sense to me. We will NOT compete with the shoe marketing division. We will have a hard time being even with the southern branch based upon support (our school spends for Fox; their school can afford Bennett). UoA is willing to cheat to win so there.

But right below that is the place Cal structurally should be.

That means we are a bubble team. Some years we get in as an 7 to 10. Some years we don't.

Now you can aspire to higher things. But then on you is what do you want to compromise. Do you want to Cheat (UofA). Do you have 50 million to give to the university (UCLA) or do you want to turn Cal over to Converse and ask them to dictate policy (UoO)? Absent your suggestions of paths forward it is kind just senseless *****ing.

Trust me. Not really happy with a 7 to 10 seed but I have decided that Zen is the best way to make it through the day

#teamhope
So-Cal - Thank you for the thoughtful response. My issue, though, is what is the process. Those are goals. Even if Jenkins is accurate, how are we getting there? If that is in fact the goal, how does that inform what was done here? How does what you described lead to Mark Fox over other candidates? Everything you describe still leaves us with the goal of this decision is to be to hire the best candidate available for the resources we can provide, right? Like if Coach K had said, I'm tired of Duke. I've dreamed of living in Berkeley. I'll do that job for a nominal salary, Cal's response isn't "Sorry, you might beat that 7-10 seed we are aiming for. We are going with Mark Fox". Nothing you said changes anyone's analysis on this board about whether this is the right hire. I'm asking those who want us to have faith in the process to tell me what they think that process is?

The reason I ask is every time we have a major decision, good or bad, any criticism is met with "They know what they are doing. They have a plan. Have faith in the process." or it's corollary "you just assume they don't have a plan". Well, that argument is assuming that they DO have a plan.

I DON'T THINK THEY DO. The reason why I believe this is because all of my life there has been no indication that they do. Occasionally they go as far as having a general goal (like you describe above). I have never seen anything approaching a goal + a vision to get there. I see them making decisions on an ad hoc basis as they come up. Especially coaching decisions. We need to hire a coach. Call the search firm. Mark Fox? Sound good!

I submit to you that there is no process to trust. Every time a decision has appeared foolish, the decision has turned out to be foolish. I submit that those that say "trust the process" are just throwing words out there. They don't know if there even is a process. They certainly don't know what it is. Trusting the process, like for instance with the 76ers who made the term recently famous, means we have developed a strategy. This is what it is. It may work or it may not, but we are going to "trust the process" and see this strategy through to the end, because no strategy can work if you keep changing midstream. We agree on a strategy, we see it through. If it works, great. If it doesn't, we come up with a new strategy. In the case of the 76ers, the point was "Okay, guys. Part of this process is we are going to suck for a little bit. But there will be a pay off." There is no indication at Cal that there will be a pay off.

I would love for Cal to have a strategy, communicate that strategy, and see it through. They certainly haven't communicated one. They certainly have never followed through with one.

It feels like being told to have faith in the process is just a demand to not question decisions of the athletic department, but consciously or subconsciously they know that doesn't fly so they throw "process" in there to make it more palatable to themselves as much others. So when pushed, they never come up with a serious answer. And I'm sorry, Cal's athletic department lost this benefit of the doubt decades ago. And those that want to "hope for the best" and be "cautiously optimistic" just perpetuate a cycle of no repercussions for the athletic department.

See, I can compartmentalize. I hope for the best too. I can be cautiously optimistic too. We aren't doomed. I'm not saying we are. I'm saying this is a poor hire and should be treated as such. I completely support Mark Fox and hope he does well. (in fact, I'm at the point where if Cal is going to make stupid decisions and fans will blindly support them, I am 100% against paying any more buyouts because the university should not be paying $1 for the lack of accountability of one of its departments. We just paid $2.5M per year after the buyout for a crappy, no experience coach who wasn't going to be offered a job anywhere that paid him more than $300K because we made a moronic hire and there was no accountability. As far as I'm concerned, you guys want Fox, he gets through the end of his contract term). You don't need 5 years to judge a hire.

No. I do not have faith in a process that has never been communicated where there is no evidence one exists. I don't have faith that there is one when the last 50 years have indicated otherwise. If you want to tell me "have faith in the process", tell me what the process is and how we are following it. Otherwise you are asking for blind faith, and I'm not giving that.
Cal is an excellent and tough academic school, generally regarded as the best public university in the US and maybe the world. The undergraduate graduation rate is not impressive, justifying the notion that Cal is a meatgrinder and an undergraduate degree from it is an impressive achievement.

So why do some imagine that it can consistently compete against the most powerful top basketball programs in the country?

That does not mean that Cal fans cannot hope for a few wins now and then in the NCAA tournament and occasional high finishes in the conference.

It does mean--at least as I read some of the contributors to this forum--that their hopes of Cal's becoming a national power in basketball, consistently up there with the top 30 or so schools, are highly unlikely to be realized..

At the same time, all this is not an excuse for what we have recently been witnessing under Jones.

And I am all for giving Fox a chance. None of us can see the future.
south bender
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SFCityBear said:

Civil Bear said:

SFCityBear said:

Civil Bear said:

SFCityBear said:

oski003 said:

The worst part about this is the United States was letting a losing coach be involved in its international basketball program. This sort of thing is usually assigned to elite coaches. If the USA has such low standards, why do we expect Cal, an academically oriented institution, to have higher standards?
This is good. You manage to insult a country, its international basketball program, a coach, and maybe a university, all in one short post.

Are you talking about Fox? If so, what is your definition of a losing coach? In 14 seasons, Fox had 11 winning seasons, only 3 losing seasons and .619 winning percentage. His first losing season was set up by inheriting a 12-20 team that lost some starters. Fox may or may not be a lot of things, but he is not a losing coach. He just hasn't won enough for some Cal fans to be considered for the head job at Cal.

A winning coach is one that can break . 500 in his conference.
OK, so he is a .500 coach in his last conference. A losing coach by your definition is a coach who loses more games than he wins, so Fox is not a losing coach, in conference. He was not a losing coach overall at Georgia, as he has a .551 record. Considering his time at Nevada, he was 64-16 in conference in five years, a .800 winning percentage. He is an overall winning coach in his two conferences, a .600 winning percentage.

It is one thing I don't see mentioned much about Fox, if at all. His time at Reno. As if it never happened. The WAC is not a chopped liver conference. Those in favor of Decuire (whose good record in the Big Sky is not as good as Fox's in the WAC - Fox with 4 Conference titles in 5 years vs 2 titles for DeCuire in 5 years) should consider Fox's early record. And the WAC is a stronger conference by almost any measure, SOS, BPI, etc.

Fox began his career at Georgia hoping to straighten out the mess left by previous coach Dennis Felton, who had 6 losing seasons in 6 years in conference, and a conference win percentage of .302. Fox's .500 probably looked good compared to that. It took Fox 2 years to have a winning season in conference, and 3 more years to become competitive, with his 3 best seasons in conference in a row, 12, 11, and 10 wins. Maybe one reason he was hired was that he had turned a program around before at Georgia. Hopefully, he will do it faster this time, but Cal fans will not give him a long leash.

Being under . 500 in conference is not breaking .500 in conference.

Yes, I am well aware Fox was a winning coach in a minor conference over a decade ago. Lots of people have already brought it up.

The difference between Fox and Decure is that Decure hasn't yet proven he can't win at the next level.
Tsubamoto pointed out my error. It was an error in addition. Sorry. .500 or two games below .500, Fox was still an average coach in conference, over all. Overall records don't mean nearly as much as recent records, and the second half of Fox's career at Georgia was better than the first half, as someone else just pointed out. He arrived and found a very weak roster from a losing team with I think a 6 year streak of losing seasons. Over the next few seasons he made Georgia a little better. Previous Georgia coach Felton had a .302 record in conference. Fox's was way better than that.

Fox was not just a winning coach in a minor conference. He dominated the conference with 4 titles in 5 years. Better record than DeCuire's (which is good) and in a much higher ranked conference than DeCuire's Big Sky. There are a number of differences between Fox and Decuire. Not only has DeCuire not yet proven he can win at the next level, but he has not yet proven he can get hired at the next level. Fox has 9 more years of head coach experience than DeCuire. He proved he can win at the next level. Georgia, I read here, has had a tougher non-conference schedule, plus always having to play Kentucky and other good teams a few times. And by the way, if the PAC12 keeps trending down, it will soon become one of your minor conferences and not be "the next level".

Look, Fox is not coach K or Bill Self or whoever you wanted. He is a coach with a record who had some success turning a team around to get it out of the cellar, and an outstanding record at in a minor conference. You and others have some questions, good ones, about what he might bring to Cal. The fear I'd have is he'd be Ben Braun all over again, but Ben had his good points, recruited some fine players, had a few good teams. I don't have any fear that Fox will continue the Wyking Jones string of poor play and losing most games. Can't we just accept the fact that Fox is the new coach. There is nothing we can do about it for a while, and let's see how it plays out?
Amen, Thank you, SFCB.
stu
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south bender said:

Cal is an excellent and tough academic school, generally regarded as the best public university in the US and maybe the world. The undergraduate graduation rate is not impressive, justifying the notion that Cal is a meatgrinder and an undergraduate degree from it is an impressive achievement.
Cal's graduation rate is good if you look at 5 or 6 years. Not so much in the 4 years most basketball players get.
UrsaMajor
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south bender said:

OaktownBear said:

socaltownie said:

Civil Bear said:

OaktownBear said:


Can you tell me what the process is that we are supposed to trust?

If it's to hope to be near .500 in 9 years, then no thanks.
Sure. That would suck.

I think though that (Jenkins?) there was a good article over last 4 weeks that characterized Cal's current "structural" position in Pac-12 pecking order. Understanding that this can vary and that circumstances can change but it argued that we were positioned to be in the upper 1/2. Not really a top quartile program (UoA, UCLA, Oregon) but the next 1/4 below that. Some years we might slip into the top 3. Some years we might slip out but essentially our natural place was a band between 13-5 and 9-9. That made a ton of sense to me. We will NOT compete with the shoe marketing division. We will have a hard time being even with the southern branch based upon support (our school spends for Fox; their school can afford Bennett). UoA is willing to cheat to win so there.

But right below that is the place Cal structurally should be.

That means we are a bubble team. Some years we get in as an 7 to 10. Some years we don't.

Now you can aspire to higher things. But then on you is what do you want to compromise. Do you want to Cheat (UofA). Do you have 50 million to give to the university (UCLA) or do you want to turn Cal over to Converse and ask them to dictate policy (UoO)? Absent your suggestions of paths forward it is kind just senseless *****ing.

Trust me. Not really happy with a 7 to 10 seed but I have decided that Zen is the best way to make it through the day

#teamhope
So-Cal - Thank you for the thoughtful response. My issue, though, is what is the process. Those are goals. Even if Jenkins is accurate, how are we getting there? If that is in fact the goal, how does that inform what was done here? How does what you described lead to Mark Fox over other candidates? Everything you describe still leaves us with the goal of this decision is to be to hire the best candidate available for the resources we can provide, right? Like if Coach K had said, I'm tired of Duke. I've dreamed of living in Berkeley. I'll do that job for a nominal salary, Cal's response isn't "Sorry, you might beat that 7-10 seed we are aiming for. We are going with Mark Fox". Nothing you said changes anyone's analysis on this board about whether this is the right hire. I'm asking those who want us to have faith in the process to tell me what they think that process is?

The reason I ask is every time we have a major decision, good or bad, any criticism is met with "They know what they are doing. They have a plan. Have faith in the process." or it's corollary "you just assume they don't have a plan". Well, that argument is assuming that they DO have a plan.

I DON'T THINK THEY DO. The reason why I believe this is because all of my life there has been no indication that they do. Occasionally they go as far as having a general goal (like you describe above). I have never seen anything approaching a goal + a vision to get there. I see them making decisions on an ad hoc basis as they come up. Especially coaching decisions. We need to hire a coach. Call the search firm. Mark Fox? Sound good!

I submit to you that there is no process to trust. Every time a decision has appeared foolish, the decision has turned out to be foolish. I submit that those that say "trust the process" are just throwing words out there. They don't know if there even is a process. They certainly don't know what it is. Trusting the process, like for instance with the 76ers who made the term recently famous, means we have developed a strategy. This is what it is. It may work or it may not, but we are going to "trust the process" and see this strategy through to the end, because no strategy can work if you keep changing midstream. We agree on a strategy, we see it through. If it works, great. If it doesn't, we come up with a new strategy. In the case of the 76ers, the point was "Okay, guys. Part of this process is we are going to suck for a little bit. But there will be a pay off." There is no indication at Cal that there will be a pay off.

I would love for Cal to have a strategy, communicate that strategy, and see it through. They certainly haven't communicated one. They certainly have never followed through with one.

It feels like being told to have faith in the process is just a demand to not question decisions of the athletic department, but consciously or subconsciously they know that doesn't fly so they throw "process" in there to make it more palatable to themselves as much others. So when pushed, they never come up with a serious answer. And I'm sorry, Cal's athletic department lost this benefit of the doubt decades ago. And those that want to "hope for the best" and be "cautiously optimistic" just perpetuate a cycle of no repercussions for the athletic department.

See, I can compartmentalize. I hope for the best too. I can be cautiously optimistic too. We aren't doomed. I'm not saying we are. I'm saying this is a poor hire and should be treated as such. I completely support Mark Fox and hope he does well. (in fact, I'm at the point where if Cal is going to make stupid decisions and fans will blindly support them, I am 100% against paying any more buyouts because the university should not be paying $1 for the lack of accountability of one of its departments. We just paid $2.5M per year after the buyout for a crappy, no experience coach who wasn't going to be offered a job anywhere that paid him more than $300K because we made a moronic hire and there was no accountability. As far as I'm concerned, you guys want Fox, he gets through the end of his contract term). You don't need 5 years to judge a hire.

No. I do not have faith in a process that has never been communicated where there is no evidence one exists. I don't have faith that there is one when the last 50 years have indicated otherwise. If you want to tell me "have faith in the process", tell me what the process is and how we are following it. Otherwise you are asking for blind faith, and I'm not giving that.
Cal is an excellent and tough academic school, generally regarded as the best public university in the US and maybe the world. The undergraduate graduation rate is not impressive, justifying the notion that Cal is a meatgrinder and an undergraduate degree from it is an impressive achievement.

So why do some imagine that it can consistently compete against the most powerful top basketball programs in the country?

That does not mean that Cal fans cannot hope for a few wins now and then in the NCAA tournament and occasional high finishes in the conference.

It does mean--at least as I read some of the contributors to this forum--that their hopes of Cal's becoming a national power in basketball, consistently up there with the top 30 or so schools, are highly unlikely to be realized..

At the same time, all this is not an excuse for what we have recently been witnessing under Jones.

And I am all for giving Fox a chance. None of us can see the future.
Not sure where you get the idea that the undergraduate graduation rate is not impressive. 90% of undergrads graduate in 6 years (80-something in 5 years). Not saying that a degree isn't an accomplishment, but in fact the overwhelming majority do graduate.
OaktownBear
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south bender said:

OaktownBear said:

socaltownie said:

Civil Bear said:

OaktownBear said:


Can you tell me what the process is that we are supposed to trust?

If it's to hope to be near .500 in 9 years, then no thanks.
Sure. That would suck.

I think though that (Jenkins?) there was a good article over last 4 weeks that characterized Cal's current "structural" position in Pac-12 pecking order. Understanding that this can vary and that circumstances can change but it argued that we were positioned to be in the upper 1/2. Not really a top quartile program (UoA, UCLA, Oregon) but the next 1/4 below that. Some years we might slip into the top 3. Some years we might slip out but essentially our natural place was a band between 13-5 and 9-9. That made a ton of sense to me. We will NOT compete with the shoe marketing division. We will have a hard time being even with the southern branch based upon support (our school spends for Fox; their school can afford Bennett). UoA is willing to cheat to win so there.

But right below that is the place Cal structurally should be.

That means we are a bubble team. Some years we get in as an 7 to 10. Some years we don't.

Now you can aspire to higher things. But then on you is what do you want to compromise. Do you want to Cheat (UofA). Do you have 50 million to give to the university (UCLA) or do you want to turn Cal over to Converse and ask them to dictate policy (UoO)? Absent your suggestions of paths forward it is kind just senseless *****ing.

Trust me. Not really happy with a 7 to 10 seed but I have decided that Zen is the best way to make it through the day

#teamhope
So-Cal - Thank you for the thoughtful response. My issue, though, is what is the process. Those are goals. Even if Jenkins is accurate, how are we getting there? If that is in fact the goal, how does that inform what was done here? How does what you described lead to Mark Fox over other candidates? Everything you describe still leaves us with the goal of this decision is to be to hire the best candidate available for the resources we can provide, right? Like if Coach K had said, I'm tired of Duke. I've dreamed of living in Berkeley. I'll do that job for a nominal salary, Cal's response isn't "Sorry, you might beat that 7-10 seed we are aiming for. We are going with Mark Fox". Nothing you said changes anyone's analysis on this board about whether this is the right hire. I'm asking those who want us to have faith in the process to tell me what they think that process is?

The reason I ask is every time we have a major decision, good or bad, any criticism is met with "They know what they are doing. They have a plan. Have faith in the process." or it's corollary "you just assume they don't have a plan". Well, that argument is assuming that they DO have a plan.

I DON'T THINK THEY DO. The reason why I believe this is because all of my life there has been no indication that they do. Occasionally they go as far as having a general goal (like you describe above). I have never seen anything approaching a goal + a vision to get there. I see them making decisions on an ad hoc basis as they come up. Especially coaching decisions. We need to hire a coach. Call the search firm. Mark Fox? Sound good!

I submit to you that there is no process to trust. Every time a decision has appeared foolish, the decision has turned out to be foolish. I submit that those that say "trust the process" are just throwing words out there. They don't know if there even is a process. They certainly don't know what it is. Trusting the process, like for instance with the 76ers who made the term recently famous, means we have developed a strategy. This is what it is. It may work or it may not, but we are going to "trust the process" and see this strategy through to the end, because no strategy can work if you keep changing midstream. We agree on a strategy, we see it through. If it works, great. If it doesn't, we come up with a new strategy. In the case of the 76ers, the point was "Okay, guys. Part of this process is we are going to suck for a little bit. But there will be a pay off." There is no indication at Cal that there will be a pay off.

I would love for Cal to have a strategy, communicate that strategy, and see it through. They certainly haven't communicated one. They certainly have never followed through with one.

It feels like being told to have faith in the process is just a demand to not question decisions of the athletic department, but consciously or subconsciously they know that doesn't fly so they throw "process" in there to make it more palatable to themselves as much others. So when pushed, they never come up with a serious answer. And I'm sorry, Cal's athletic department lost this benefit of the doubt decades ago. And those that want to "hope for the best" and be "cautiously optimistic" just perpetuate a cycle of no repercussions for the athletic department.

See, I can compartmentalize. I hope for the best too. I can be cautiously optimistic too. We aren't doomed. I'm not saying we are. I'm saying this is a poor hire and should be treated as such. I completely support Mark Fox and hope he does well. (in fact, I'm at the point where if Cal is going to make stupid decisions and fans will blindly support them, I am 100% against paying any more buyouts because the university should not be paying $1 for the lack of accountability of one of its departments. We just paid $2.5M per year after the buyout for a crappy, no experience coach who wasn't going to be offered a job anywhere that paid him more than $300K because we made a moronic hire and there was no accountability. As far as I'm concerned, you guys want Fox, he gets through the end of his contract term). You don't need 5 years to judge a hire.

No. I do not have faith in a process that has never been communicated where there is no evidence one exists. I don't have faith that there is one when the last 50 years have indicated otherwise. If you want to tell me "have faith in the process", tell me what the process is and how we are following it. Otherwise you are asking for blind faith, and I'm not giving that.
Cal is an excellent and tough academic school, generally regarded as the best public university in the US and maybe the world. The undergraduate graduation rate is not impressive, justifying the notion that Cal is a meatgrinder and an undergraduate degree from it is an impressive achievement.

So why do some imagine that it can consistently compete against the most powerful top basketball programs in the country?

That does not mean that Cal fans cannot hope for a few wins now and then in the NCAA tournament and occasional high finishes in the conference.

It does mean--at least as I read some of the contributors to this forum--that their hopes of Cal's becoming a national power in basketball, consistently up there with the top 30 or so schools, are highly unlikely to be realized..

At the same time, all this is not an excuse for what we have recently been witnessing under Jones.

And I am all for giving Fox a chance. None of us can see the future.


1. For better or worse, your ideas about Cal's graduation rates are horribly out of date. They are nothing like when I was in school. Cal has adopted grading policies much closer to the private schools. It is hard work and competitive, but it is not a meat grinder. People rarely flunk out. The ones that don't graduate primarily choose to leave. Athletes can get through. Whoever the coach is, this is a horrible excuse.

2. Please find where I set any expectations of competing with top ranked programs. Actually, I don't think anyone did. There is a large middle ground between that and a losing record in conference.
SFCityBear
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sluggo said:

BeachedBear said:


Anyway, at this point in time, I still feel TD would have been a better hire than MF, but as more and more info is coming to light, I must admit that the decision may not be as bad as you portray and the process may not be as random as you suggest. The results will speak for themselves and we will know a lot in year 1. No need to wait 9 years. No need for Blind Faith, but also probably don't need to abandon the program. I'm confident there is a happy medium somewhere. I'm also confident that collectively, the stakeholders haven't found it - and I'm not sure we are much closer.



It was such a weird hire in that Fox checks no boxes that I can think of:
1. Cal connections to get locals excited;
2. California/West coast connections for recruiting purposes;
3. Racial minority to help fight against those against athletics;
4. Unexpected success at last job;
5. Interesting offensive playing style to make team fun to watch;
6. Up-and-coming coach to give hope.

He is a generic, middle aged white coach who has excuses for not succeeding at his previous job and is a defense first, offensively challenged coach (read another site). How does Cal choose to hire a coach who checks NO boxes? That he has not been caught cheating does not count as a box to me. What am I missing?

As there is no competition for him and never will be any, as with Jones, I am sure he will be overpaid with no reasonable buyout because Cal.

Sluggo
You have weird boxes.

1. OK with this one
2. You think someone who spent 5 years recruiting for Nevada has NO California or West coast connections? Where do you think Nevada gets many of their players from?
3. The head basketball coach at Cal should not be an affirmative action position. We've broken the barriers long ago. We've had and have black players, and we've hired 3 black head coaches. It should be the best coach available for the job, regardless of race.
4. When did Cal ever hire a coach a coach who had unexpected success in his last job? Why is that a criteria? Cal has had two good coaches in its history, Newell and Montgomery, and both were failures in their previous jobs, Pete at Michigan State, and MIke with the Golden State Warriors.
5. OK, but I don't care about fun to watch, as much as I care about winning games. I'd rather win looking awful doing it, than watch a team that is fun lose. By the way, be honest here, if you watch a modern game, can you actually see much difference in the style of offense? It is all drive, dish or take it to the rim, or kick out for a three. It is laced with individual play, so only the players are different. Since everyone is playing help defense which most offenses struggle with, every team that has even a little speed tries to push the ball fast to get up the floor before the defense can get set. It is all very predictable.
6. I guess "up and coming" is a code word for young coach. That is discriminatory, isn't it?

I don't much appreciate discrimination in any form. We have to have criteria, but we don't have to be discriminatory. Hiring someone because they are black or because they are young discriminates against those who are white or who are older than young. The coaches with the best records in this country year after year are those at Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and a few others, including Pitino, wherever he may be, and the really old white guy who may still be at Wisconsin. They got there by working their way up the ladder.

Here are my boxes in no special order:

1. Can he judge talent, because Cal is never going to attract the top 20 players year after year, or be able to admit them. Martin did it one year, they did not achieve much that year, and then it was rebuild again. The new coach has to be good at finding and landing the best of the low 4 and 3 start recruits.

2. He has to be a good defensive coach first, and he has to recruit players who want to play defense. He needs to play a defense that takes advantages of his players' strengths, rather than force players to play his favorite defense.

3. His offense must be one that incorporates teamwork as the main principle. An unselfish attitude to share the scoring, to set screens for each other, to move to get open, and to look for the open man. They must try to pass up a good shot for a great one. He needs to play an offense that is suited to his personnel, and not try and make players play his favorite system.

4. He has to be a coach who focuses on execution, can prepare for each opponent well. He has to be able to see what is happening in a game and make adjustments on the fly.

I probably have more boxes, but that will do for now. In any case, I don't care if the coach is a young black or white man, or if he is a middle-aged black or white man. When picking a coach, we better not see color or age as a factor.

One last point: What excuses did Fox make for not having great success at Georgia? I haven't heard any. If he did make excuses, I wouldn't want him either.

stu
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SFCityBear said:

Here are my boxes in no special order:

1. Can he judge talent, because Cal is never going to attract the top 20 players year after year, or be able to admit them...

2. He has to be a good defensive coach first, and he has to recruit players who want to play defense...

3. His offense must be one that incorporates teamwork as the main principle.

4. He has to be a coach who focuses on execution, can prepare for each opponent well...
I vote for SFCB's boxes.
OaktownBear
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stu said:

SFCityBear said:

Here are my boxes in no special order:

1. Can he judge talent, because Cal is never going to attract the top 20 players year after year, or be able to admit them...

2. He has to be a good defensive coach first, and he has to recruit players who want to play defense...

3. His offense must be one that incorporates teamwork as the main principle.

4. He has to be a coach who focuses on execution, can prepare for each opponent well...
I vote for SFCB's boxes.


My boxes:

1. S/He develops her/his players
2. S/He wins
3. S/He doesn't embarrass the university.

The rest is all preferences meaning little.
SFCityBear
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Civil Bear said:

So we are in agreement that Fox is a mediocre P6 coach. I could care less if he was better than Felton. I'm sure he'll be better than Jones too.


I wrote that he was an average coach in conference, meaning in that one conference (which is a stronger conference at the moment than the one Cal plays in). "mediocre" in my dictionary means average to low quality. That is a little derogatory-sounding to me, so no, we don't agree. I'll stick with "average" coach in one P6 conference. My point is that he inherited a very weak roster, and it took several years to turn it around. Without looking at his record those first few years, I'd guess he started doing better once he shed himself of all Felton's players and recruited all his own players. I'd like throw out his first few losing seasons, and put a lot more weight on his years after that, which would give him a winning record for the last 5 years, I think. Even though I did not like the way the Bears often looked on the court under Jones, I was still willing to give Jones another year. You just can't start having winning seasons until the cupboard is full of the players you want. Unlike you, I am not sure Fox will be better than Jones. "Never bet on anything that eats" - Amarillo Slim

Quote:

It appears you've missed my point altogether. I would have been perfectly happy to take a chance on Fox back then had Monty not taken the job. Lucky for us, it was some other school that took the chance only to find he was no better than mediocre at the next level. But wait, apparently that's what we've been looking for all along.


You're right. I had no idea we were discussing the possible next coach after Braun's firing. When Braun was fired, I had no idea who Mark Fox was, or that he was being considered for the job. I guess I missed your point. Please restate it. Thanks. BTW, I put little faith in levels or coaches in levels. There are upsets galore in the NCAA and all season long with a lower lever defeating an upper level team. It has been happening forever. in 1959 when Cal played West Virginia for the NCAA title, Cal was #11 and WVA #10, with the giants, Kentucky, Cincinnati, and MIss St, all falling by the wayside. And two years ago, Cal looked like they might belong with the big boys when they had Wichita on the ropes, and 2 days later they lose to Chaminade of D3, I think. Isn't it a little mean-spirited to accuse "we" (whoever that includes) of looking to be mediocre? Do you have any facts on this, or is it just because we did not hire a top level coach with a grand record?

Quote:

Nice strawman. I challenge you to show me where I lead you to believe that is who I wanted.


If it was a strawman, it was unintentional. I have no idea who you wanted or if you wanted anyone. I suspect you had no one in mind, but were ready to jump all over the AD and the new coach, if the new coach did not have outstanding credentials in your mind, as you are doing now.

Quote:

Agreed. I just won't be watching how it plays out live any longer (25yr season ticket holder). How about you. Will you be investing season tickets next year?


I'm sorry you feel this way. You are a good Cal fan, I'm sure. I gave up my season tickets a few years back, because the Cal friend I went to games with for 25 years moved to Reno to avoid State taxes in retirement. I figured to keep on going to some games, because lots of friends had invited me to games when their wives attended less and less. Now they too have stopped going. I haven't been to a game in 2 or 3 years now. I was watching on TV, but this last season, I could barely watch more than 10-15 minutes. I shouldn't even have the right to post here anymore.

Truth be told, I am a fair weather sports fan. I didn't go to Cal games much after the Padgett era, but started again when Campanelli was hired. I liked the Louie, Louie introduction song. Fired the whole crowd up. I guess I'm a fan of good play more than I am a Cal fan. When the 49ers were having down years, I became a Packers fan, and when the Warriors were down, I became a Celtics fan.

I can't afford a season ticket now, but if I could, and had the spare time, I would go to some games, to see the new players and new coach. The last two seasons, I don't think I could have stayed past halftime. I don't mind losing when you have little material. It was the way we lost that drove me away.
OaktownBear
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SFCityBear said:

Civil Bear said:

So we are in agreement that Fox is a mediocre P6 coach. I could care less if he was better than Felton. I'm sure he'll be better than Jones too.


I wrote that he was an average coach in conference, meaning in that one conference (which is a stronger conference at the moment than the one Cal plays in). "mediocre" in my dictionary means average to low quality. That is a little derogatory-sounding to me, so no, we don't agree. I'll stick with "average" coach in one P6 conference. My point is that he inherited a very weak roster, and it took several years to turn it around. Without looking at his record those first few years, I'd guess he started doing better once he shed himself of all Felton's players and recruited all his own players. I'd like throw out his first few losing seasons, and put a lot more weight on his years after that, which would give him a winning record for the last 5 years, I think. Even though I did not like the way the Bears often looked on the court under Jones, I was still willing to give Jones another year. You just can't start having winning seasons until the cupboard is full of the players you want. Unlike you, I am not sure Fox will be better than Jones. "Never bet on anything that eats" - Amarillo Slim

Quote:

It appears you've missed my point altogether. I would have been perfectly happy to take a chance on Fox back then had Monty not taken the job. Lucky for us, it was some other school that took the chance only to find he was no better than mediocre at the next level. But wait, apparently that's what we've been looking for all along.


You're right. I had no idea we were discussing the possible next coach after Braun's firing. When Braun was fired, I had no idea who Mark Fox was, or that he was being considered for the job. I guess I missed your point. Please restate it. Thanks. BTW, I put little faith in levels or coaches in levels. There are upsets galore in the NCAA and all season long with a lower lever defeating an upper level team. It has been happening forever. in 1959 when Cal played West Virginia for the NCAA title, Cal was #11 and WVA #10, with the giants, Kentucky, Cincinnati, and MIss St, all falling by the wayside. And two years ago, Cal looked like they might belong with the big boys when they had Wichita on the ropes, and 2 days later they lose to Chaminade of D3, I think. Isn't it a little mean-spirited to accuse "we" (whoever that includes) of looking to be mediocre? Do you have any facts on this, or is it just because we did not hire a top level coach with a grand record?

Quote:

Nice strawman. I challenge you to show me where I lead you to believe that is who I wanted.


If it was a strawman, it was unintentional. I have no idea who you wanted or if you wanted anyone. I suspect you had no one in mind, but were ready to jump all over the AD and the new coach, if the new coach did not have outstanding credentials in your mind, as you are doing now.

Quote:

Agreed. I just won't be watching how it plays out live any longer (25yr season ticket holder). How about you. Will you be investing season tickets next year?


I'm sorry you feel this way. You are a good Cal fan, I'm sure. I gave up my season tickets a few years back, because the Cal friend I went to games with for 25 years moved to Reno to avoid State taxes in retirement. I figured to keep on going to some games, because lots of friends had invited me to games when their wives attended less and less. Now they too have stopped going. I haven't been to a game in 2 or 3 years now. I was watching on TV, but this last season, I could barely watch more than 10-15 minutes. I shouldn't even have the right to post here anymore.

Truth be told, I am a fair weather sports fan. I didn't go to Cal games much after the Padgett era, but started again when Campanelli was hired. I liked the Louie, Louie introduction song. Fired the whole crowd up. I guess I'm a fan of good play more than I am a Cal fan. When the 49ers were having down years, I became a Packers fan, and when the Warriors were down, I became a Celtics fan.

I can't afford a season ticket now, but if I could, and had the spare time, I would go to some games, to see the new players and new coach. The last two seasons, I don't think I could have stayed past halftime. I don't mind losing when you have little material. It was the way we lost that drove me away.


I can go for looking at later years to account for rebuilding process. But the later the year, the more important. He had a losing record in conference over his last 3 years. His conference record got worse every year for the last 4 years. The program was in a downward spiral.
socaltownie
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You guys need to look at his game by game record. The results make things a bit more muddied.....

A) For whatever reason (AD, Fox, the SEC, all of the above?) didn't schedule cup cake non conference schedules. They are not murderers row but.....

1) A number of seaons he is participating in the Big East/Big 10 SEC challenge so he has a OOC game against another P5.
2) It looks like most years (I don't have the patience to go through each) he faces off against Georgia Tech in an interstate rivalry game.
3) Most years (Atlanta media market? ESPN pressure?) he is playing in a pre conference tournament where he also gets more P5 teams.

B) Staring with 2010-11 (Cause I can't pull up a game by game Wiki on his first year) he has SOS of #72, 42, 78, 82, 33, 54, 44, and then 34. Cal:63 (+9); 49 (-7); 37 (+41); 44; 76; 43; 63; 103. So ABOUT the same.

C) Where he doesn't lose via blow outs but he doesn't get it done against Kentucky or Florida (really lacks a signature win against a "good team".

It just is a hard record to evaluate. It isn't Great. It isn't bad. It is "meh". But I am not sure that isn't what Cal can afford.
OaktownBear
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socaltownie said:

You guys need to look at his game by game record. The results make things a bit more muddied.....

A) For whatever reason (AD, Fox, the SEC, all of the above?) didn't schedule cup cake non conference schedules. They are not murderers row but.....

1) A number of seaons he is participating in the Big East/Big 10 SEC challenge so he has a OOC game against another P5.
2) It looks like most years (I don't have the patience to go through each) he faces off against Georgia Tech in an interstate rivalry game.
3) Most years (Atlanta media market? ESPN pressure?) he is playing in a pre conference tournament where he also gets more P5 teams.

B) Staring with 2010-11 (Cause I can't pull up a game by game Wiki on his first year) he has SOS of #72, 42, 78, 82, 33, 54, 44, and then 34. Cal:63 (+9); 49 (-7); 37 (+41); 44; 76; 43; 63; 103. So ABOUT the same.

C) Where he doesn't lose via blow outs but he doesn't get it done against Kentucky or Florida (really lacks a signature win against a "good team".

It just is a hard record to evaluate. It isn't Great. It isn't bad. It is "meh". But I am not sure that isn't what Cal can afford.


How is this relevant when we are talking a losing CONFERENCE record?
socaltownie
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OaktownBear said:

socaltownie said:

You guys need to look at his game by game record. The results make things a bit more muddied.....

A) For whatever reason (AD, Fox, the SEC, all of the above?) didn't schedule cup cake non conference schedules. They are not murderers row but.....

1) A number of seaons he is participating in the Big East/Big 10 SEC challenge so he has a OOC game against another P5.
2) It looks like most years (I don't have the patience to go through each) he faces off against Georgia Tech in an interstate rivalry game.
3) Most years (Atlanta media market? ESPN pressure?) he is playing in a pre conference tournament where he also gets more P5 teams.

B) Staring with 2010-11 (Cause I can't pull up a game by game Wiki on his first year) he has SOS of #72, 42, 78, 82, 33, 54, 44, and then 34. Cal:63 (+9); 49 (-7); 37 (+41); 44; 76; 43; 63; 103. So ABOUT the same.

C) Where he doesn't lose via blow outs but he doesn't get it done against Kentucky or Florida (really lacks a signature win against a "good team".

It just is a hard record to evaluate. It isn't Great. It isn't bad. It is "meh". But I am not sure that isn't what Cal can afford.


How is this relevant when we are talking a losing CONFERENCE record?
Because neither of us really knows what to do with years 1 through 3. I figure that the 5 and 11 first year gets a pass. He definitely improves in year 2 and then backslides. But the last 6 he is 8 games over 500. And as I pointed out, it is important to note that most of those 9 years get gets Kentucky twice and Florida once or twice.

Because I am lazy lets look at 15-16. His worst conference loss that year is the L to Auburn on the road. He is competitive in very game except the A&M one. Most of the losses are on the road. Does well at Home. Can't beat Florida or Kentucky.

So many of his seasons are like that.....competitive but not quite over the hump. I totally get why it takes them 9 years to can him and why they got restless. What I don't know is how that translates to cal - whether we are hiring, in a lot of ways, the Cal version of Wayne Tinkle - a coach who is "OK", who will play competitive BB but not really get over the hump. Or maybe the better comparison is Kent at Oregon. The question is whether we will be happy?

#teamhope.

stu
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OaktownBear said:

My boxes:

1. S/He develops her/his players
2. S/He wins
3. S/He doesn't embarrass the university.

The rest is all preferences meaning little.
Also good, and more succinct.
SFCityBear
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stu said:

OaktownBear said:

My boxes:

1. S/He develops her/his players
2. S/He wins
3. S/He doesn't embarrass the university.

The rest is all preferences meaning little.
Also good, and more succinct.

I would say simplistic. He seems to want a robot, and robot players who will do as told. I don't know if he would be happy with any coach. Even Newell, our best ever, had flaws, and lost many games he could have won.
MilleniaBear
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OMG no. I'm having flashbacks of Campanelli's low point - when he played his transfer son over other scholarship players. The unrecruited son who transferred from Santa Rosa Junior College. That was embarrasing. I liked a lot of things about Campanelli and wished him well but the son on the team thing was awful.
OaktownBear
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SFCityBear said:

stu said:

OaktownBear said:

My boxes:

1. S/He develops her/his players
2. S/He wins
3. S/He doesn't embarrass the university.

The rest is all preferences meaning little.
Also good, and more succinct.

I would say simplistic. He seems to want a robot, and robot players who will do as told. I don't know if he would be happy with any coach. Even Newell, our best ever, had flaws, and lost many games he could have won.
Refrain from putting words in my mouth.

A professor's job is to teach students to excel in their field, to produce top notch research and to do so without embarrassing the university in any way. Everyone has different teaching methods, different research methodology, different focuses. How they achieve their goals is up to them.

In the same way, a coach's job is to develop their players to be the best players they can be, to succeed on the floor, and to not embarrass the university. I don't care if they play Newell's defense or the old Loyola Marymount run and gun. How they achieve their goals is up to them.

So I have a strong urge to take a shot at you right now. If I did, it would be your fault. You'd deserve it. I choose not to. This time. You like to complain about personal attacks and you are the worst offender. Don't post like the above and expect nicey-nice in return.

I supported Monty. I supported Tedford until close to the end. I supported Braun longer than most. I supported Campanelli longer than most. I argued with you that you were way too fast in coming down on Cuonzo. Your characterization of me is false and unappreciated.
Civil Bear
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SFCityBear said:

stu said:

OaktownBear said:

My boxes:

1. S/He develops her/his players
2. S/He wins
3. S/He doesn't embarrass the university.

The rest is all preferences meaning little.
Also good, and more succinct.

I would say simplistic. He seems to want a robot, and robot players who will do as told. I don't know if he would be happy with any coach. Even Newell, our best ever, had flaws, and lost many games he could have won.

Interesting take. How you got there, I haven't a clue.
calumnus
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SFCityBear said:

stu said:

OaktownBear said:

My boxes:

1. S/He develops her/his players
2. S/He wins
3. S/He doesn't embarrass the university.

The rest is all preferences meaning little.
Also good, and more succinct.

I would say simplistic. He seems to want a robot, and robot players who will do as told. I don't know if he would be happy with any coach. Even Newell, our best ever, had flaws, and lost many games he could have won.


Huh? How did you get that? Are you inferring that from other posts?
SFCityBear
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calumnus said:

SFCityBear said:

stu said:

OaktownBear said:

My boxes:

1. S/He develops her/his players
2. S/He wins
3. S/He doesn't embarrass the university.

The rest is all preferences meaning little.
Also good, and more succinct.

I would say simplistic. He seems to want a robot, and robot players who will do as told. I don't know if he would be happy with any coach. Even Newell, our best ever, had flaws, and lost many games he could have won.


Huh? How did you get that? Are you inferring that from other posts?
I think he said all that his boxes were developing players, winning, and not embarrassing Cal The rest means little. That is a shade above Cal Bear 80, who would have left out developing and not embarrassing. I think it is too simple also.
OaktownBear
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SFCityBear said:

calumnus said:

SFCityBear said:

stu said:

OaktownBear said:

My boxes:

1. S/He develops her/his players
2. S/He wins
3. S/He doesn't embarrass the university.

The rest is all preferences meaning little.
Also good, and more succinct.

I would say simplistic. He seems to want a robot, and robot players who will do as told. I don't know if he would be happy with any coach. Even Newell, our best ever, had flaws, and lost many games he could have won.


Huh? How did you get that? Are you inferring that from other posts?
I think he said all that his boxes were developing players, winning, and not embarrassing Cal The rest means little. That is a shade above Cal Bear 80, who would have left out developing and not embarrassing. I think it is too simple also.


Let me clarify for you. All your "boxes" basically are subsets of winning or developing players. As in they are the means to the end. I have no preference about the means. The coach has full freedom to accomplish those goals anyway s/he wants. For instance, coach does not have to be defense first. I don't care. I want him to first do right by the players and develop their skills. Then I want him to succeed on the court.

Your attack was baseless and nonsensical. The words you are looking for are "I'm sorry".
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