ML's Recruiting Strategy
 2/20/2017 8:17:45 AM      Replies: 75

gw05092/15/2017 9:48:19 PM

Something I brought up in the chat -- 

I could be completely off base, but I recall ML & GW would typically be in on high-end recruits only to see them go on to sign elsewhere.  After a while, we'd end up with the Nick Griffin's and Skyler White's of the world. The board would typically applaud ML for being "in" on guys early but what difference does it make if there's no chance they'll come here?  Kevin Huerter was not coming here over Maryland.  Chris Lykes was not signing at GW.

Did ML really believe he could sign some of those guys away?  Was he wasting time that could've been used to get the type of recruits VCU, Dayton, St. Joe's, hell even UMASS got?

I've gotta agree with The Dude that the "Great Depression" of recruiting classes after 2012 is the main culprit of this flawed team and I can't help but wonder why ML was so bad at getting A-10 caliber players to commit?  Could it have been his personality and reputation?


the dude2/15/2017 10:07:33 PM

Well, you know I agree with you 0509.  On a night where TC struggles, Yuta is too quiet, you would like to turn to the other Seniors, Juniors, Sophs, and then you recall they are all gone, and now at places like Delaware and Cal St Northridge and AU.

Why the major drop? That's a good question I'm not sure why, just have a few theories.


we suck2/16/2017 12:26:36 AM

Keep blaming the fact that we suck this year on the former coach you morons.

The former coach was able to win the NIT at a school that doesn't spend the money needed, has apathetic fan support and whose athletic dept is completely dysfunctional right now.

This season can't end soon enough. But hey, we have every reason to look forward to next year. We have people like Gary Williams and Tommy Amaker dying to coach here! We have HS players that want to come play at GW instead of the power conferences. I just can't figure out why we keep losing. Only if Josh Hart had come here instead of Nova. Dude, help me out here?

To all of you with a brain, get ready for the next couple years to resemble the last few years of the Hobbs regime.


the dude2/16/2017 12:39:27 AM

Funny how any time someone raises ML's recruiting failures, on comes the same voice to distract.

Going back now 25 years every GW Coach has made an NCAA tourney, so enough with the whine whine its impossible to win at GW. 4 Coaches, 25 years, all made NCAA trips.  Jarvis turned things around rather quickly, so did Hobbs, so did ML, even Penders made a tourney (with MJ's recruits)

GW is well positioned actually, in a hot bed of hoops talent, with a long history of international recruits in the nations' capital.  The only thing Patriot level about GW is too many of the recent recruits ML brought in post 2012.


pembo2/16/2017 1:07:04 AM

When you bring in four quality starters in one class, it can be difficult to recruit quality players behind them.  It probably isn't a coincidence that Lonergan's second (and only other) talented freshman class is the one he recruited when McDonald, Garino, and Kev were on their way out.

But it may also be true that Lonergan's coaching style put GW at something of a recruiting disadvantage.  Is it a coincidence that his first class had three DC area players out of four and that his last one had no DC area players among its top four members?



furdusi2/16/2017 1:13:55 AM

I actually think we will be better next year. I expect the freshmen to make a jump in confidence (Jair, Smith and Toro) and we will see a little more of marfo. Reminds me of when pato, larsen, savage and mcdonalds freshmen campaign. Sina and Yuta coming back for there senior year...barring any unexpected transfers is a plus. This year, you can see the improvement as the season went on. Anyone that expected us to be in the top tier this year just sounds unreasonable. Unless we change coaches...then it will be another rebuilding year. I think the biggest question will be our recruiting....tbd

the dude2/16/2017 1:52:48 AM

I've raised that theory as well, if you have to wait for your one good recruiting class to completely clear out before bringing in another one, that is not good recruiting. If your only carrot is immediate playing time you can not sustain or continue to build.

Well, good point, complete drop off in local recruiting.  Its has been posted here that ML's standing with local AAU powers was perhaps not in good shape, especially with TT.  We also ended up with a staff of 3 very young assistants without local connections? Why hire 3 guys, all young, no one with DMV ties?

What we now 100% know (regardless of what you think about the firing) what was long rumored, that ML had a lot of players (and some staff) unhappy playing for him.  Word gets around in the small world of HS/College hoops players handlers and Coaches. That can't help.  Surely was about to get worse at the WaPO story and investigation had we retained ML. 

I would still like to know how many of these guys ML really wanted and how many he felt he had to settle for.  Did ML look at guys like Goss and Cimino and think they would thrive in the A10? Nick? JR? How much of it is identyfing the right guys to pursue, and how much was just missing on the guys they wanted.  Do not understand how someone could look at Goss and think that's a future good A10 player.  Don't get how you could watch JR and think he matches up physically in the A10, or that his handle/shot mechanical flaws could overcome the size/defensive issues.  I don't see how anyone including all of the recruiting sites could look at Cimino and think this guy is a top 25 Center.  Missing on someone like Swan, who just never developed, but had the requisite physical tools makes a lot more sense.  Above all, wondering why we don't seem to be more focused on International recruiting.  There are programs out west built almost 100% on International players.


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cpots2/16/2017 7:12:59 AM

Agree w Dude, think you nailed it (and whoa, I can post from my phone again!)


gw05092/16/2017 8:48:22 AM

"Keep blaming the fact that we suck this year on the former coach you morons"


Look, the intention of my post was to try and start a discussion about how ML and staff (INCLUDING MOJO) have targeted and evaluated players that brought us to today.  Why was ML (a local guy) so inept at recruiting locally? Is there a "stink" on our program? Were guys like Skyler White, Griffin, Bryant, Cimino, Goss top targets or just fall back guys?  And if they were fall back guys, why did we find ourselves ending up with SO MANY of them?

I also remember hearing that ML wasn't even that high on Yuta and had to be talked into going to scout him.  Why was that?

I am of the opinion we would probably be best served with having someone like Sutton, should he want the job, step in as he seems to have a pretty good knack for id'ing talent.  As much as I am optimistic about our current Freshman, who I think aboslutely can be the core of a tournament team by their Senior year, relying on all-or-nothing recruiting classes does not seem to be a recipe for long-term success.

lets be real2/16/2017 11:24:12 AM

You can blame this season on recruiting all you want, but this team, with Tyler-Yuta-Sina and 5 top recruits, is one of the most talented teams in the A-10. Not in 3 years... this year

haha2/16/2017 12:39:51 PM

Let's be real. For real?

You putting Sina in the conversation? Give me a break...


yeah2/16/2017 12:53:38 PM

Yeah, if we rubbed Sina and Yuta off screens so they could shoot open 3's, they'd be having much better seasons. Sina was a huge reason we beat St. Bona, our only win in weeks

the mv2/16/2017 1:02:21 PM

Sina has been a huge reason why we have a number of our wins.  The problem is that when he's not going well, he tends to really go not well.

But, he was a member of the Big East's all-rookie team as a freshman so it's really hard to dispute that he's a talented player.  Perhaps he has been asked to shoulder too big a load on this team?  Perhaps he has taken this on himself to his detriment?  Perhaps a former point guard would have had greater success coaching him at this position?  All kinds of possibilities and I doubt that any one of them is the definitive right or wrong answer.

haha2/16/2017 1:21:16 PM

"The problem is that when he's not going well, he tends to really go not well." I agree with this sentence, which means he is a streaky shooter, not your typical reliable shooter. I think he is just an average player (not saying he's bad, he is very important to this team), not part of the "winning equation". Plus, you can't just look at his offensive stats, he has been pretty bad on the other end of the floor.

"A talented team" does not mean "a good team". In our case, it's more like "A team with some potential". Expecting the freshmen to make immediate impact and contribute to winning is unrealistic. This team, IMO, is not supposed to be a great team on paper. Not this season. Although I blame MoJo for bad coaching (execution) a lot, I have to admit that the talent level that has been shown on the court (not the untapped potential) is not enough to do too much. 

perhaps2/16/2017 1:21:51 PM

You gotta run plays for them... get your best players open shots so that nights like last night don't happen. TC can't score 25 every game. Gotta coach 'em up


the dude2/16/2017 2:22:12 PM

The Freshmen are up and down as to be expected. Not the issue. (although there is a vague and perpetual overstatement of them on the board)  The three prior years of recruiting added 2 good players, Yuta and TC. Otherwise a graveyard of recruiting.  Even our two very good players have issues, one goes missing on offense and the other can not play defense well, but they are nevertheless very good. 

Sina is also not the issue. He's a guy who can dribble and a shooter and that's it. He's useful, not the issue, the issue is that a player of that skillset immediately gets 37 minutes a night by default because we have no one else after years of poor Guard recruiting.

So the thread topic posed by 0509 is how/why did this happen.


haha2/16/2017 2:53:29 PM

I respect your opinion. Coaching is a problem, and I've been saying this for a long time. What I'm trying to say is that the level of talent is also a problem. The players are not good enough, and the coach is simply not ready. 

I am not talking about the thread topic raised by 0509 and is simply replying to let's be real. Recruiting has been pretty bad. It's a fact (nothing alternative). No need for further discussion or justification.

pembo2/16/2017 2:55:01 PM

Immedidate playing time wasn't Lonergan's only carrot.  Among others, there was the quality of the University and the prospect of playing in the NCAA tourney and/or a great NIT run.  But for the modern player, a sense that you won't start for, say, two years, can be a strong deterrent.

What Lonergan ended up with in terms of recruiting certainly wasn't ideal, but it might have sustained the program (and may yet):  the occasional strong class and some good transfers (plus one hit -- Yuta -- in several bad classes).

As for what Lonergan saw in various players who didn't pan out, it might be (and this is just speculation) that he saw role players who could supplement the big four (which eventually was a big three) and his transfers.  For example:

Griffin -- three point shooting specialist

Bryant -- versatile reserve who can scrap and guard several positions 

Cimino -- big man who can stretch the floor 

Again, this is far from ideal, but it was rational to have recruited these guys unless ML had better players who were willing to take those scholarships.  











the dude2/16/2017 3:16:31 PM

By the 2014 and surely the 2015 class though you can't be recruiting role players to augment the Core, you need to recruit players who can replace the core, but I do get what you are saying.

The timing of when guys sign is rather illustrative. Otherwise hard to know, missing on targets and settling, or picking the wrong guys to target in the first place. Did ML look at Goss and JR say, those guys are going to be good A10 players, lets go get them?

That is the first I had heard of Yuta, in contrast you had the comments about Marfo being his "best ever."  

Then there is the matter of roster balance. Why have he recruited so many offensive players who struggle on D? PJ, JR, Sina, Steeves, Nick, even Cimino and Goss. Offensive talent with physical and Defensive limitations.   Looks to me like the plan was to build Davidson 2015, but in the end we have Davidson 2017.

the mv2/16/2017 4:34:15 PM

You have answered your own question with your last sentence.

When ML got here, the talent before him could not play the style and manner he wanted.  Then he brought in the Core 4 plus Zeke, solid basketball players but even this group was deficient at shooting the basketball.  Joe was a good shooter who played the point too unselfishly at times.  Pato really improved his shot but not until his senior season.  Kevin had a nice touch but having him play outside meant not playing a big down low.  Zeke and Kethan both possessed exceptional skills but neither could be considered a strong outside shooter.

So ML went overboard.  He landed Mo Creek, Alex Mitola, Tyler, Matt H., Jaren and Pat Steeves via transfer.  He signed Nick Griffin, Yuta, Cimino and Goss (bigs who could shoot), Roland who in my judgement is a better shooter than he is an athlete.  With all of this shooting, he sacrificed defense and athleticism.  He somehow felt that going from very little perimeter shooting to a team filled with shooters would work.  Not so in the A10 where you also need to be athletic in order to defend.

So there you have it Dude.  Really no more need to ask the same question 1,000 more times.

ct colonial2/16/2017 4:50:10 PM

I thought that ML was only going to get better recruits as time went on.  Guys such as Kris Jenkins, Bonzie Colson (basically half of Notre Dame and Nova) had GW on their preliminary final list.  GW was usually one of the only (or the only)  mid-majors on that list, which indicated that those recruits liked ML's pitch.  As the program continued to improve and win, some of those types of players would be more inclined to choose GW.  That's generally how it happens at mid-majors; you have to win big before you start beating out Power-5 teams for good recruits.  You could already see that happening with this past class; both Toro and Marfo picked GW over a number of BCS offers.  He also did a great job recruiting a number of transfers (who were also considering BCS schools).  

ML definitely had his misses in terms of recruiting.  I honestly don't really blame the Nigel Johnson incident on him that much; just one of those bad breaks (but I get if you do).  He also had a very hard time recruiting players for 1-2 player classes.  A lot of players transferred out, but a lot also transferred in.  I think that ML was a polarizing coach, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I also think that guys transferring in to the school would've known ML's reputation better than high school kids, so I don't think that his reputation could've been that bad (and it certainly didn't impede his recruiting efforts).  

I think that Mojo has done a fine job this past season, but I'm not really concerned about that.  The major question is how good he is at recruiting talent to the school.  Hard to gauge how good of a coach he is until we see what kind of players he brings to the program.  I definitely get why the school wants to stay with him; he's a young, charismatic coach who could end up being a huge steal.  I really hope he does succeed.  Just tough to say right now whether or not he's going to be GW's solution as head coach.


the dude2/16/2017 4:58:48 PM

Well, that is the first time I've read you note the problem is the roster.  Is there anything more relevant to discuss? Seems more enlightening than blaming the interim coach and ignoring years of roster building issues.  

If that was in fact the plan and based on so many offensive first recruiting, Davidson 2014/15 showed you can actually win in the A10 that way, but you can also lose by 30 (NCAA game 1) when the shots don't fall.  To win big though you better be good offensively across the board and we are not, even if that was the intent.  For instance, we could really use a Stretch 4, I know Goss and Cimino were advertised as such, where is the actual stretch aspect of their games?  The current Freshmen would seem to be a departure from this plan, or a correction?

Finally, was it more of a strategic mistake (offensive centric at the expense of defensive players) or just missing on offensive players? Why would a Coach build a team destined for great success with Zeke and the Core 4, and then change gears to so many shooting/low athletic ability players?

the dude2/16/2017 5:09:15 PM

Also agree with CTC, thought the recruiting would improve as the program continued to improve and win, didn't we all? How can you get so many good guys to come when the program is in the gutter and so few as its winning big??

Well, instead the opposite happened.  Why that happened is what I am after.

Also, agree about the Mojo remarks. Too much has been made of his in game coaching (which appears oddly good IMO, for the most part) and too little about his recruiting (a complete unknown) I think he's actually ready for the former and a virtual unknown as to the latter which is why you can't risk hiring him.



the mv2/16/2017 5:29:11 PM

No Dude, there is no ONE problem.  Do you really believe that ML would have produced the exact same results with this year's team?  There of course is no way to know for sure, but I personally wouldn't have foreseen that.  You spend a lot of time here talking about all of these recruiting misses involving roughly the 8th-13th best players on a basketball team.   So Nick Griffin was a great shooter in high school but he's available to GW because he is undersized and not a great defensive player.  Your best case scenario for him is that he becomes a dependable guy off the bench who gives the team a spark with his shooting.  You were never thinking of him as a 30 minute per game player.  That's not what was in anyone's mind when he was recruited.  Your worst case scenario is that he can't get his shot off with enough consistency at this level (and that he can't create fior himself).  So, he transfers.  What have you really lost?  Despite what you may think, it's not like Shawndre Jones or Jack Gibbs wanted to play at GW but we had no room for them because we signed Nick Griffin instead.

There are only two players unless I am missing someone who transferred away from GW under ML who would have otherwise figured somewhat prominently in the team's plans and they are both now playing (and practicing respectively) for Butler.  And of course there are always going to be misses.  Guess who became very interested in Matt Cimino at the 11th hour when Noah Vonleh left Indiana early for the NBA?  None other than your boy Tom Creen.

The more intelligent analysis in all of this is to examine where the minutes are going on this team from year to year and ask whether we should have been able to recruit better for any of these players.  Not too many teams regularly play 12-13 guys, or even ten with much regularity.  Quibbling over why guys who didn't work out here who were barely good enough to earn meaningful playing time is pointless and honestly proves nothing.




the dude2/16/2017 6:29:37 PM

Mischaracterizing my points but I am used to if from you. I am not talking about 8-13.  You are not recruiting for 8-13.  All of the misses have been players would be competing for 3-7 of this year's squad.  Last year we basically were playing 6 guys. Recruits should be pushing starters and there should be 3-5 guys who are Srs/Jrs on this roster who are not here because of so many misses.  I'm not saying you can land 85%, I am saying you can't land 10% and avoid a huge drop off.  


I've been writing for the past few years we need to recruit better, I didn't need to see it happen, I could see it HAPPENING.   So now that it has, I am all for the people who have dug into the why and the how. I seem to recall you writing a lot that it wasn't happening, now that is has you seem to think its not worth discussing.  So be it.

the mv2/16/2017 6:41:36 PM

Suggesting that the team isn't quick or athletic and the team isn't good are not the same thing.  Our slow, unathletic team won the NIT last year.  I was there whereas you lied and only claimed you were there.


xac2/16/2017 8:22:47 PM

GW will never get the one and done kind of recruit. You will not see too many great high school players aspiring to play for GW. From the pool of players that GW can recruit from, the probability that the recruited players will succeed is anyone's guess. I think GW fluctuates between good and bad classes more by coincidence than design. When you see how far off the recruiting rating systems have been off (some of the GW failures rated higher then our Core Four guys), it's hard to see how many of the so called experts can decree a recruiting class as a good one before any of the recruits ever gets on the court. It's easy to say that the Core Four was a good recruiting class NOW.

are you kidding2/16/2017 10:20:40 PM

The problem is not the roster... this is a super talented team with possibly the worst coaching in the A-10


the dude2/16/2017 10:36:24 PM

No one believes that, not even the person who keeps typing it.  

XAC, that is why Head Coaches are paid 700k/year, to identify and land talent that can compete atop their conference.  ML did that at Catholic and Vermont, and initially very well at GW, and then he didn't for 3 years. Its not easy and even the best Coaches have some ebb and flow to their recruiting success but that's what makes and breaks Coaches.

I wouldn't sell GW short, yes we're not attracting a lot of top 50 talent (our A10 rivals have landed half a dozen 51-100 guys in recent years) but there are a lot of good players playing 1-3 levels below GW right now who out of HS would have signed here in a heartbeat.  Just look at that flow of transfers going from tiny conferences up the ladder each year.  Just like there is maybe not a single BCS school that would not have liked to sign Garino in hindsight.  Every top BCS team also has plenty of guys riding pine who would have better off playing 34 minutes/game at GW.



xac2/17/2017 8:30:46 AM

Do not disagree with most of your points. Your point on hindsight is right on. Even with the transfers, we can evaluate a college track record. Many players may have been better off at GW, but it never entered their mind to come here in the first place. Just saying that so many of us spend time praising our recruits until we don't. Yes coaches are paid to recognize talent, but with 200 other schools vying for the same talent, somebody ends up with less than the cream. In the lower divisions, coaching is as important to success than the talent, so good coaches succeed. It's a lot harder as you step up in competition.


gw05092/17/2017 8:38:39 AM

That's kind of what I was getting at Dude and XAC.  

Is there a defect somewhere that we are not identifying the BCS guys riding pine who would be better off playing full-time at GW or guys playing in lower divisions that we missed?  If we ARE identifying those guys and they are still going elsewhere, what is it about our program we can improve so we have a better shot at landing them in the first place?


the mv2/17/2017 9:44:04 AM

Nothing like a manufactured discussion which makes absolutely no sense at all.  Every BCS school has a player riding the pine who would have been better off at GW?  Is this really where you want to go when criticizing Lonergan's recruiting?  Armwood, Creek, Cavanaugh...all from BCS programs, all thrived at GW.  If you're really wondering why he couldn't land these players out of high school, it's simple.  Whether you were a starter like Mo or Tyler or a role player like Zeke, guys show up to those schools believing that they will play a lot.  Each had unique circumstances which led them to GW but in a more general sense, Zeke's story is probably the most common.  Either he didn't fit into the style or system that Jay Wright wanted, or he was nor deemed a good enough player (my guess is the former).  So, you transfer to a lesser program to play more.

The reverse scenario, where a player from a lesser program transfers to a bigger program, has results all over the place.  Matt Mobley averages more points per game at SBU than he did in either of his seasons at Central Connecticut State.  Four McGlynn consistently shot around 39%-40% from the floor at Vermont and Towson, them saw his percentage drop to 35/5% at URI against consistently better defenses.  Alex Mitola went from 30+ minutes a game and double digit scoring in each of his 3 years at Dartmouth tp 15 minutes and 5 points a game at GW.  His role was obviously very different playing at a better program against better competition.  You can find dozens examples of guys whose numbers regressed or stayed roughly the same, far fewer where the numbers substantially improved against better competition.


haha2/17/2017 11:01:28 AM

But the funny thing is the players aren't even good enough to be the 8-12 men on the team. It's sort of the like u preparing for a exam, thinking ummmmm..getting a B is enough to get my overall grade to an A...then you didn't prepare or do too well, which end up in a C. LOL. Same shit happened to GW's recruiting over the years. Maybe it's bad luck that the players did not become what they were advertised to be LOL.

Again, some people still use the word "talented", more like "unrealized potential". It's like playing 2K. You can have a team full of players that have 70 overall but A+ potential and call the team "talented". It takes time to fully understand whether this team is truly "talented" or "wasted". At this, you can blame everything on coach (I am a huge non-believer in him), but the talented level is not that good yet. Be realistic.


1971 walk on2/17/2017 11:40:32 AM

What jumped out at me in the Davidson loss was the herendous offensive sets.  There was total confusion and lack of execution.  2 players running to the same spot and leaving the other 3 hanging.  A well run team figures this crap out in practice.  The offense is almost unwatchable, no matter how much effort is put forth.  I hope this gets fixed before Sunday!  


bo knows2/17/2017 12:17:43 PM

I've been reading this discussion of recruiting with considerable amusement. Decided to wait until it had largely played itself out to post.

I don't know whether to call this the GW Bubble but in reality some of you need to get out more and see what we are up against, facility-wise, academically (lower standards), interest level etc. Our facilities pale to most in the A-10. Our investment also pales. We have higher academic standards than most. We don't charter (yes recruits ask about that). Yet we are expected to bring in a parade of top 100 recruits? In this case reality is divorced from love for GW. Yes, we all want the best for GW but we are far behind the eight ball. Get out and visit the other schools, then let's talk again. I've been to every campus in the A-10. I've seen the facilities from the arenas to the weight rooms to the practice facilities. GW would trade right now with at least more than half of the league. Yet, again we are expected to recruit at the top. Recruiting does not happen in a vacuum. It is a dynamic process that has so many factors not just what team or coach you want to play for. For example, do you think it hurts or helps recruiting when you come to see a game and you see perhaps 500 students (on a good day)? But last week you went to VCU and saw thousands. How about when you go to a GW game and the VCU crowd is almost as big as the GW crowd? Until we fix investment and interest, we are in a tougher spot.

That said, so ML has had some hits and misses. That is going to happen when you are largely recruiting in the 100-250 range because in reality that's where we are, 95% of the time. But given the fact we have made it to 3 post-seasons in a row and won the NIT, I would say ML's recruiting can hardly be labeled as bad either in context of the present or historically for GW given the level of recruit. To the contrary, it has been good enough to have the best 3-year stretch in GW history record-wise. However, the type of talent we do get usually needs development and is not ready on Day 1 (freshmen). But ML smartly used the transfer process to shore up weakneeses and misses. That surely must be factored in.

We have enough talent to win now but we have young talent which is developing. The freshmen will be better as sophs etc. I think everyone understands that a veteran coach who has been through the development process many times in his career is going to better understand how to put these guys in the right spots to be successful. That's not a knock on Mojo. That type of coaching only comes with experience. And you only get experience by coaching. That's just reality outside the GW Bubble whether some inside the Bubble wish to acknowledge it or not. 




boom2/17/2017 1:27:01 PM

Lame excuses  Bo

bo knows2/17/2017 2:12:08 PM

Boom I presume you prefer to talk out of your ass on this. Carry on!

the dude2/17/2017 2:24:04 PM

Haha, that is true, not good enough to be 8th 9th 10th men.  Another indicator is where they transfered to.

0509, the defect could be ML's reputation soured. It certainly did, what impact that had is speculative.  Or the post Sutton/Strickland recruiting tanked theory.    Not sure what it was but the recruiting tanked. The quality of transfers also dipped over time, but not as sharp a decline.

This team should have 8 Seniors and Juniors we recruited in 2013 and 2014. Instead we have 1, Yuta. We followed that up with the A10's worst ranked class of 2015.  

Who was focused on local recruiting, who was working the international recruits? What the hell happened?



the mv2/17/2017 2:55:23 PM

Not to sound like our president but "Wrong."  These guys were good enough to be our 8th-12th men.  In fact, that is who they were.  The problem as is the case with most transfers is playing time.  They wanted to play more and transferred to programs like Delaware, American, and St. Peters where they have a more realistic opportunity to play more.  Not so difficult to comprehend.

Why weren't these recruits better players?  Because players like to play right away, or at least after one year  This group knew that they would be sitting for at least two years behind the Core 4, Zeke/Creek/Tyler, etc.  So it's hard to get really good players to come to GW with the thought that they'd be sitting a lot for 2 years.


the dude2/17/2017 3:27:12 PM

You two did spend much of the last 2 years arguing against anyone who expressed concerns about the recruiting and how far the team would fall as soon as the Core departed.  "we'll be fine what are you talking about Dude ___ ____"    I would think you would either sit this thread out or show a little more humility about things.

bo knows is right2/17/2017 3:43:17 PM

Always remember the 5 P's:

Proper preparation prevents poor performance.

Maurice is not prepared.


friend of mojo2/17/2017 3:49:34 PM

Per one of the assistants, this is the final list of scholarship offers each GW player chose us over. The staff doesn't hype their recruits so people don't usually know the offers they had from high major programs like the ones below. 

Sina- Michigan, South Carolina

Steeves- Vandy, Stanford

Smith- Florida State, Memphis

Toro- Kansas State, St. Joseph's

Marfo- Pitt, Georgia Tech, Providence

Bolden- Patriot League

Rogers- USC, South Florida, Siena

Honestly this was one of ML's best recruiting classes and should be a postseason team with them joining Tyler, Yuta, and Jordan. Yuta is the best defensive player in the A10, and Tyler is one of the best offensive players (or should be). Roland is a solid A10 Player as well and will only continue to develop. Mojo and Hajj helped ML recruit these kids and they are all high level recruits. But yeah, the struggles right now are due to a lack of talent right Dude? Why do y'all still entertain the guy who was proven to have posted under 49 different names. Not really a credible source if you ask me. 


the dude2/17/2017 3:53:44 PM

Friend of Mojo is Bo.  Bo, you can deny all you want, but I believe you sat out this thread until earlier today like I believe "Friend of Mojo" is who he claims to be. Just like we all believe there is someone called Bo Knows is Right, just like every thread for years didn't have your magical names pop up all echoing ML is amazing theories.  

Is is possible to have a single discussion on without you ruining it?



friend of mojo2/17/2017 4:01:10 PM

I am not Bo Knows, Dude, but that's fine if you feel that way. All I have to do is look at the thread 3 Faces of Eve to see who you are in all your 49 poster glory. 

the mv2/17/2017 4:17:20 PM

What a masterful post Dude at 3:27.  Written as if our head coach who was coming off of a school record for most wins in a season and was replaced by a coach who had never been a head coach at any level in his life never actually happened.  Of course I thought this year's team would be a little bit inferior to last year's team under Lonergan because some talented inexperienced players would be replacing some talented experienced ones.  Now, please tell me again that the coaching change has nothing to do with this year's team being considerably worse than last year's team.  Please tell me that any problems have everything to do with talent and recruiting and nothing to do with coaching.  Come on, I can use the laugh.


bigfan2/17/2017 4:50:35 PM

ML recruited the best he could for the roles he needed.

Some homeruns, some doubles, some glaring strikeouts. Agree could have been better a couple of years before this class, but we little no playing time.

In fact, Bryant and family was told he wouldn't have a lot of playing time until junior year.

Would have been certainly better if Paulie stayed, though Dude has a different view. Don't really care about Nick who hardly stood out and didn't wait for a chance to probe himself, Cimino (three points in recent Patriot league appearance), Dan Guest (whose problems were his own making), Carrera (the third of the three anonymous sources, Skyler White (a walkon), frankly Bryant who was a tweener, and even Kethan, who rightly or wrongly had a "me first" attitude. One can argue about whether he was trying to be a hero for us or him and personally think it might have been us, but outside his sophomore year until he was injured, Kethan didn't work out great for us. Would have been great this year, but he wouldn't have been here this year.

But with Darnell, on paper and on the court with a head coach who had the experience to make the best of the recruits, there is certainly the possibility this team could have had at least a shot at the NIT, instead of fighting for .500 with some unimpressive wins.

Each recruit, even Kevin, has shown flashes. A while ago, we were talking about how JR is coming into his own.

P.S. Everyone who has come and even those who have left, don't appear to have had even a whiff of controversy. And our academic performance was superb. At our level, that matters, too, in recruiting.

It's also about having a coach with the experience to use the players in the right way and manage the situation on the court.



the dude2/17/2017 10:34:08 PM

BF, with due respect, its not about that. Its about recruiting more Larsen Savage Garino and Joes, and fewer 2013-2015 recruits.  

If ML had recruited 4 or 5 guys like Yuta, and not just 1 in 3+ years we'd be in good shape right now, has very little to do with Mojo's Coaching.

The thread if I am reading correctly was not about relitigating that, and rather why so many recruiting misses.  

haha2/18/2017 3:46:17 AM

So I'm guessing we can all agree that this year is just not gonna be good in the first place. I'll take the middle ground here. Average coach/coaching staff at best + a roster that doesn't have enough players to succeed (but with TONS of pontential). 

Back to the initial conversation. Recruiting is not solo effort, plus relying on transfers year after year is not the most sustainable recruiting strategy. Moreover, just because some of the players were recruited by some major schools, that does not necessarily means they are good or they are supposed to be good. They choose us over others not because we are physically better, but because of the playing time they foresee. Jaren Sina, as far as I know, wants to go pro after graduation. So going to GW and play 35+ minutes every time is the most ideal condition for his future. He's going to get at most 20 mins in some high profile schools. Michigan might only needs him to be a spot up shooter, but we need more than that of course. 

it doesnt matter2/18/2017 7:26:42 AM

We could have Kentucky's roster and still be getting outcoached.  You could make the argument this is the most talented roster in the A-10, but they are underachieving because they can't even run a HS level offense (and look lost on defense at times also)


haha2/18/2017 10:57:49 AM

Now that's a stretch. If we have Kentucky's roster..LOL...Then we'll have a Kentucky level coach. I don't even make these kinds of assumption cuz it's impossible. In terms of coaching, I agree with you, "average coach at best". But again, why can't people distinguish the difference between "talent" and "potential". We run a stagnant offense, that even when it works, still only can do that much. But your coach can't help with the other part of execution. Very few players can penetrate, and our bigs can't even set a good scree. On defense, part of the reason our bigs look good is becuz they have to compensate for the mistakes our guards made. Coach can't do shit when the guards on the other team crossed u over like crossing a street without anyone. It is simply not fair to blame everything on MoJo, though he's largely responsible for many critical in-game mistakes. In fact, I don't like his coaching at all. 

Leave the talent part to next year. You may hate these powerhouse teams, but Kentucky level team has real talent, what we have is called potential. We need freshmen to step up, yes. Let them grow up, next year should be better.


long suffering fan2/18/2017 12:24:36 PM

In the end, you judge the recruiting by the RPI/won lost record.   In ML's prior 3 years, we have won 75 games, have victories over several ranked teams; received an at large bid, went to one NIT tournament where we had a road win vs. Pitt and then won the other NIT in its enirety.   In the face of these facts, to say that ML was a bad recruiter is ludicrous.   ML admittedly did not do this simply on the strenght of his recruiting out of high school, but it included traditional (sit for one year) transfers and immediately eligbile transfers.  Yes, we may not have been able to attract players on a calibre of Armwood, Creek, Cavanaugh etc out of high school, but getting them to come to GW involves recruiting.   Tyler may not have chosen ML his first go around, but he thought enough of him to choose him when it came time to transfer, and the coach/AD department needs to be recognized for this.   These quality players had many transfer options but chose GW, and it seems like some do not want to credit ML for this.   Let me repeat...we won 75 games in ML's last 3 years.  That is some pretty good recruiting if you ask me.   To criticize ML for the team on the court underperforming this season without him actually coaching this team is unfair and, as we say in the courtroom, "without the evidence to support it".   As we all know, coaching involves more than recruiting and Xs and also involves player development and implementing a system that will get the most of each player on the team, irrespective of the talent level, and we can sit here and speculate all day on how the players would have performed and developed under ML, but any conclusions reached would be invalid simply because ML is not here to coach them.  As I said many times, if you are of the belief that ML needed to be fired for the off the court stuff, I may disagree but understand and respect that position; but to argue that we were not a solid basketball program under ML is ludicrous.


the dude2/18/2017 1:35:31 PM

LSF, I know you are bright enough to understand this so you must be intentionally doing otherwise.

1. ML recruiting in the 2011-2012 : Fantastic leading to the Core 4 Zeke/Creek and success lasting through the core 4 graduation. Decline success from NCAA to NIT to NIT but success throughout the career of the Core years.

2. ML recruiting 2013 onwards: VERY subpar leading to a huge drop upon Core graduation. Also left us with teams that had had no depth turning an NCAA caliber starting 5 into an NIT team, but more concerning, a guaranteed HUGE drop upon graduation.  Meaning this year, very likely next year and the foreseeable future look very mediocre. Surely this year and probably next year.

I know you read the board regularly and I know you understand this premise.  So I find it incredulous you are echoing the "ML was successful what are you talking about" meme.  Can't believe a man of your intellect is muddying the waters with this hackneyed refrain. For someone who complains about the team more than any other, I would think its decline would be of particular concern to you.


ziik2/18/2017 2:32:29 PM

ML needed some guys to plug gaps. He did not choose all that wisely, and, its seems, he put a awful lot of pressure on young, unproven guys to replace Zeke and Creek. Too bad. 


long suffering fan2/18/2017 2:35:40 PM

I am going to complain...that is just what I do.  But I must say that when a team goes 75-32 over 3 years, with wins over Maryland, Uva, Wichita State, Creighton, Tennessee, Seton Hall, Pittsburgh, Georgia, etc., wins the NIT, goes to the NCAA tournament as an "at large', etc., I happen to think that is pretty damn good, even with the occasional Depaul sprinkled in.   And if my recollection is correct, this was with nearly all of ML's recruits.   These are facts.  Now you want to blame ML's recruits for current and future failures...well on one hand this years team is also all ML recruits, but it is simply not correct to point the finger at a coach who is no longer coaching the team.  Or to put it another way, we are now 13-13.   Lets say for argument's sake, the replacement of a veteran coach with the replacement of a 31 year old 3rd assistant cost the team 4 games on the court (lets say Georgia or UAB, Penn State at home, St. Joes or one of the Richmond games and the heartbreaker at VCU).   Well then we are 17-9, heading towards another 20 or more win season, and again looking at at least an NIT bid.   Problem is, we don't know that, just like you, Dude, don't know otherwise.   And we will never know.   I happen to still like this recruiting class, having seen many good things from Smith, Toro and Bolden, and having not given up on Marfo who appears to be developing much slower (is it the player or the coach?).    This team continued to have an upward trajectory under ML which I don't believe exists anymore.    Is the problem this year the coach or the players recruited by ML?   We all have our opinions, but nobody will ever be able to say for least at this time, which it is.


the dude2/18/2017 2:54:16 PM

LSF, no, incorrect, the team had a downward trajectory. DOWNWARD! Graph the RPI or KenPom the last 4 years.  This is not a good team, stop blaming Mojo by inventing 4+ wins that didn't happen but supposedly would have happened.

Are you serious? ML is not responsible for this year's 100% ML constructed team? If you feel that way please withhold derailing the conversation any further. Starting to feel like an evolution discussion with a flat earther.

On the other hand, please do feel free to explain why a team that had already lost 7 of the 8 recruits who should be Seniors and Juniors did not have a recruiting problem under 2nd half era ML. The GW program that had the worst ranked A10 recruiting class 2013 and the worst ranked recruiting class in the A10 2015, or the 2014 recruits, 80% of which are already gone.  (If you want to get into transfers have at Steeves and Sina but as I've said I don't think they are really the problem.) Its the 10 out of 11 recruits.  You do not see this? I find that hard to believe.


the mv2/18/2017 3:30:21 PM

Haha, I agree that certain things like lacking foot speed are very difficult for any coach to overcome.  However, please don't pretend that our lack of effectiveness at setting screens is not a coaching deficiency.  Our coaches need to teach screen setting during practices and if our guys are not improving at it, then this is likely a function of either the coaches not teaching it properly (doubtful) or this skill not being emphasized (likely).  Screen setting is much like rebounding...requires a know-how, a willingness, and a prioritized part of each game.  


ziik the bomb thrower2/18/2017 3:31:51 PM

Clearly, Mojo needs to read the board more often.


haha2/18/2017 5:34:58 PM

The MV, I agree with you. In fact, I am consistently complaining about the quality of our screens for a period of time now. What I'm saying is, I blame this on coaches and certain players. The screens are so bad that a guy like Yuta can never penetrate. Guys just sit on his left hand, and he has nowhere to go. The screens are set too early, players either don't know how to roll to the basket, or pop out too quickly. Every move has to have a purpose, Basketball 101. For guys like Jaren Sina, he is slow, and by slow, he doesn't know the meaning of change of speed. He'll have a hard time to attack off of screens even when the screen is perfect. But I agree, good screens very occasionally happen to our team. 

kenpom2/18/2017 6:43:29 PM

There's a reason the Dude told others to look up the Ken Pom trajectory for he last four years, instead of actually doing it himself. It's because he is wrong.   It is not a DOWNWARD trajectory, as he screamed. 


2013 - 112

2014 -49

2015 -79

2016 - 51 

That is simply not a downward trend over four years, no matter how loudly Dude yells it.  

But those are just facts. 


the dude2/18/2017 7:04:19 PM

Maybe Mojo can reverse engineer our player's DNA to give them quick feet and explosive athleticism  while simaltaneously reading the board Ziik.

Not only do I think Mojo has Coached the team to about their ability this season, that his supposed ineptitude is largely imagined or exaggerated,  I'm not sure why some assume ML would have thrived coaching young, inexperienced players through struggles. Wasn't exactly his forte as a Coach.  I'm also wondering in what year did ML overachieve. Year 1? Year 2? Year 4? Year 5? Perhaps year 3 right?


All of this must be Mojo's fault only makes no sense, or makes som sense if you want to downplay recruiting as the obvious culprit, I simply don't believe a single Colonial fan by now has by now not observed the plight of the roster creation.  You can surely argue at the margins what weight you want to attach the Sept Coaching change, at the margins at most, it simply is not the predominant the reason and saying so oddly ignores the very obvious issue.

You can pick almost any issue and blame it (largely erroneously) on Coaching. Even screens. Screens requires a few things, including solid frames, quick feet to establish legal screen position, players who are experienced playing with each other, etc. Kevin Larsen set good screens, Collin Smith does not, there's a reason for that and it also has little to nothing to do with Maurice Joseph.  Toro sets pretty good screens but Collin Smith doesn't. Yuta doesn't much screen for anyone else, Tyler screens only so he can pick and pop. Our Guards would have a tough time setting a screen if they tried, Matt Hart seems the most willing.  

Even screens has a lot to do with personnel.  BTW, if you think our personnel should have beat Georgia, put on ESPN and watch them yet again play Kentucky even.  Same with a school like Penn St.  

Lastly, I'll remind you that every flaw and loss was also blamed (largely erroneously) on ML' Coaching, by a lot of the same voices, often led by your voice LSF. It was usually wrong to blame ML  Coaching (do we really know better than he did?) and its usually wrong to blame Mojo (but for the love of God Mojo call some timeouts, that one I think we can all stipulate)




the dude2/18/2017 7:10:05 PM

...and nice try but the last 4 years would be 2014 2015 2016 and 2017.  you know, NCAA NIT NIT and .500. Also last year the NIT results turbo charged an RPI & KenPom that come NCAA tourney selection time was closer to 100 than the 2014.  

But we all recall where the team was in 2014 then the next 2 years, are you arguing it was not sliding slightly down from the NCAA tourney 9 seed to well off the bubble? Are you suggesting this year is not further down?  You are pretending yes that this year is not the topic but 2012/13 was?


jammer2/18/2017 8:10:34 PM

Lot of misses in recent years. That is obvious. The Freshmen I think are very over rated. Maybe down the road but right now they are playing a lot on a team that has no other answers.  These five would play at most  a few role player minutes on last year team. Same is true for Hart and Jordan. 

bobo2/18/2017 9:57:57 PM

Image result for stop repeating yourself

bigfan2/18/2017 10:03:17 PM

LSF has it exactly right.

While it is true as Dude constantly notes, some of our freshman recruiting dropped off a bit before the recent freshman class, which would be very strong with Darnell and an experienced head coach, it was on the upswing before we got bushwhacked in the midst of a sought-after recruit's visit.

ML would probably have won at least four more games due to experience and would know how to use these particular players to maximum effect, even if it means covering up weak spots in our talent.

Know it was ML who recruited at times to those weak spots before the current freshman class, which still has good potential but it was also ML recruiting the kinds of players and good character young men who would fit in his system.

So it is, as LSF noted, impossible to state how this bunch of recruits and this team recruited by ML would do (including to be fair, what games he would have won that we lost) without the team being coached by ML.

Think it would have significantly better, not NCAA, but at least a shot to make the NIT, unlike our current situation.


the dude2/18/2017 10:21:45 PM

BF, I appreciate your the sentiment of agreement, but to be clear I am not saying "some of our freshman recruiting dropped off a bit"  I am saying it was league best in 2012 and league worst 2013-2015. As in to put it mildly, plain awful. Just to be clear about the recruiting description.  

Too early to tell about 2016 recruits. But the guys who should make up the bulk of THIS team, The 8 would be Seniors and Juniors are scattered around tiny schools (one exception now at Butler) because they were not good enough to play here. Whatever you think the Goss JR soph class I will leave there for now. I don't think much of it personally.

The thread, which I did not start but applaud 0509 who did, wasn't really to litigate whether the recruiting was the issue, it was WHAT THE HELL happened to ML's recruiting those years. If you are a Colonial fan and upset about this year, you really ought to stop blaming Mojo's Coaching and take closer look at those 2013 2014 2015 classes.  If you really don't the recruitng in those years was the issue, well I guess you don't have much to add to this thread.



the dude2/18/2017 10:36:28 PM

I'll try one more way.  Generally speaking, to be an NCAA team we need about 6 good A10 level players.  4 or 5 will probably get you to the NIT, 2 or less and you are going to struggle to win the A10.  As in, guys who would be starting on most upper tier A10 teams.

We had in the following years

2014: 6  NCAA's

2015: 4 (missing the 4 spot really hurt this year, NIT)

2016: 5 (good starting 5, zero depth at all, no bench no depth, NIT)

2017: 2 

Does anyone dispute this? Right now the top A10 teams would start any more than 2 of our guys?

If so pass me the Kool Aid.

nice try2/18/2017 11:30:28 PM

good effort at covering your tracks, Dude, but everyone reading this question knows you are full of it.  

LSF says the trajectory under ML was upward (I don't agree, but it wasn't downward for sure, and you could argue it was upward compared to the previous 5 years).  You respond to LSF's comment about the trajectory under ML by saying it's a four year downward trend, which is comically dumb. 

A post points out the Ken Pom under those four years and you respond by saying you are including this season in your analysis of the trajectory under Ml.   ML is not the coach this year.  That makes no sense.  If it was really meant as a response to LSF, then you didn't comprehend what he wrote.  At best it's circular reasoning, but really you are just lying.  

You got called out for saying the trend under ML was downward over four years so you respond by saying the trend under ML is downward trend as long as you include the time he wasn't the coach.  You are talking gish-gallop, 'alternative facts' gibberish.  You are an embarrassment to your many poster names. 


jfw2/19/2017 1:14:19 AM

Is 'Nice Try' your poster name? You sound like a hypocrite. Only an idiot would dispute the team has been trending down from the 2013_14 season to the present. An idiot and a hypocrite 

1971 walk on2/19/2017 11:48:42 AM

The coaching change in September was devastating to the team.  ML had his faults as a politically incorrect coach.  BUT, he ironically knew how to build team chemistry in the most important practice, on the floor, and at gametime.  There were only a few games where the team came out flat.  The rest of the time they were fired up and hungry.  

When Kethan slapped ML's hand off of him during the Temple game after being taken out of that game, that to me signified the beginning of the end for both Kethan and ML.  It was emblematic of the ongoing underlying discord and was shocking to see.  It wasn't just a Kethan thing in my opinion.


rkelley2/20/2017 3:22:08 AM

Kethan slapped his hand off? That happened? Wow, I didn't realize that.

I think Lonergan was a great coach, and a good--not great--recruiter and did a nice job scouting and coaxing transfers. I also see a coach with strong opinions and a hunger to win. Certain players will be alienated. It's a shame Kethan was one of them because he's a great player, but that's the way it goes. Without Lonergan, our program was in absolute shambles. He brought Larsen, Joe, Garino and they're what resurrected the program. 

That said, I like MoJo and feel he has done a nice job. His open-mindedness and calm demeanor have worked nicely this year. I also appreciate how he has kept everything on track with all of the possible detours and distractions that could have been. It's hard to win with freshman, and we're solid. A lot of that is Lonergan--Cavanaugh and Yuta--but some of it is MoJo. I would like to see him stay.



rkelley2/20/2017 3:22:21 AM

I see a lot of really good local players and tranfers choosing other private or out-of-state schools in our conference. I wonder why we're not more of a destination despite making the tournament, generating some buzz by earning top-25's and winning an NIT over the past few years. We're a good academic school in a good area. 

What's stopping them? Is it our academic standards? I see that we tend to flaunt the *academic* achievements of our athletic teams a whole lot. Would be huge if we were able to flaunt some athletic achievements, and ones that people actually care about (sorry squash team).

Recent Transfers to Other Private A10 Teams:

TJ Cline Niagara

BJ Johnson Syracuse

Pookie Powell Memphis

Kuran Iverson Memphis

Matt Mobley Central Connecticut


Local Recruits:

De'Monte Buckingham VA

Nick Sherod VA

Kuran Iverson VA

Sam Miller VA

Jalen Adams MD

Jeff Dowtin MD

Isaiah Miles MD

Nick Colter MD

Stanford Robinson MD



Man, how could would we have been if we had Jaylen Adams these past 4 years? Iverson I understand he was a problem.


rkelley2/20/2017 3:36:03 AM

Sometimes all it takes is one bad coach-player relationship to turn a team against a coach. I'm not sure if Kethan was that guy, maybe he was the spark, who knows. I believe Lonergan set the bar high in 2013-14, and he began to feel the pressure when the University marketed the team and allotted more funds into the program pushing the bar even higher. It sounds like there were even more distractions with coworkers and angry parents etc. I'll speculate that that pressure trickled into his coaching to some degree, and had him coaching desperately at times, or at least uncomfortably. You can feel a lack of expectations this year, and you can see it in the coaching (not in a bad way). MoJo is free to mix and match as he pleased. He's looking at the big picture--which is a credit to him considering he's trying to earn a job. But regardless, he is free to coach how he wants.

Lonergan on the other hand was trying to win every game, and every minute mattered. Down the stretch, when the teams started to stumble, I noticed he would be inpatient with bench players and he would often rely almost solely on the starters. When the starters would have bad games, he would sound like he was trying to fix everyhing about them almost obsessively. 

He is human and the players are human, but that's what it looked like to me when watching 2014-15, 15-16 teams. It looked like the team was feeling the pressure and some of the players were burnt out.

maine colonial2/20/2017 7:00:50 AM

ML's teams always underperformed late in the season. The three previous coaches had teams that finished 7-3 or better down the stretch in the last 10 regular season games. ML's never finished better than 6-4.

ML's teams last 10 regular season games:

2016: 6-4 

2015: 4-6 

2014: 6-4 

2013: 3-7 

2012: 2-8

Hobbs' teams tended to perform better down the stretch. And his last team did well under his leadership but not under ML's especially late in the season.

2011: 7-3

2010: 4-6

2009: 4-6

2008: 4-6

2007: 6-4

2006: 10-0

2005: 7-3

2004: 7-3

2003: 3-7

2002: 2-8


2001: 4-6

2000: 7-3

1999: 8-2


1998: 6-4

1997: 5-5

1996: 8-2

1995: 5-5

1994: 8-2

1993: 7-3

1992: 5-5

maine colonial2/20/2017 8:17:45 AM

MoJo's team will finish somewhere between 2-8 and 6-4. I'm guessing his team will perform better down the stretch than the first GW teams under ML and Hobbs, which both went 2-8.

The bottomline is in the last 25 years of GW Men's basketball, only 9 teams finished 7-3 or better and only 4 teams finished 8-2 or better down the stretch in the regular season. 

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