I am not an apologist for anyone associated with GW basketball. The things I've posted here over time, I've believed to be true. I agree that the set up at GW makes it a less than ideal place for a coach like Hobbs. There were many times during the season last year that I stated my view that Hobbs couldn't win with the kind of kids he was allowed to recruit. I have been steadfast in my view that JK has mismanaged the program and I thought GW would be better off with him gone. Having said that, apparently Hobbs is staying for at least another year so I'm hoping that his freshman perform and the team shows real improvement. There seems to be no chance that JK is leaving soon.
I also think that Hobbs is a very comple person and often is his own worst enemy particularly when it comes to communicating with the media/fans/alumni etc. I know, at the same time, that people love to oversimplify things and the precipitous drop by GW basketball is actually a pretty complicated phenomenon. Message boards are places where commentators say is obviously because of Y - case closed. Then the argument ensues between people who hold opposite views and then each side uses oversimplified eaggerated etreme positions to make their case.
So, notwithstanding that I don't think that Hobbs is a very good fit for GW in the entirety of GW's diverse alumni, student and administrative culture, here are some things that I believe are absolutely true:
1) Hobbs really cares about the success of the kids he recruits;
2) Hobbs is a bit of a one dimensional coach - his style of coaching and the type of play he needs to win require the kinds of players who are long, athletic, tough, and smart.
3) It's not very easy to get those kinds of kids to come to GW because the kids with those attributes and without some corresponding flaw can go to high major schools and almost universally do so.
4) Omargate really changed the equation for Hobbs and he started pressing to keep it going - needing to take increasingly bigger chances. Mind you he had to take big chances before too - Omar, Elliott, Rice, JR, Montrell were all risky recruits among others.
5) A team with Pops and Mike on it could control the knuckle headed kids of today's environment. A team with Elliott on it could control things too. A team with ALL knuckle heads or lots of them with no player who was a leader could not keep things in check. I have heard credible stories about the amazing knuckle headedness of some our GW's recent failures as players. INCREDIBLE stories.
6) Hobbs doesn't deserve a pass for all of this - he recruited the kids and he coached them. But I think he truly underestimated how his system REQUIRED strong leader(s) among the players. The last two teams had more talent than wins. I think that quality of personality of a HS player is VERY tough to project into college. I think maybe if Hobbs had gotten lucky with just one or two players in the last two years instead of being mostly unlucky, maybe things would have turned out very differently. Maybe Travis might have become that kind of player if he hadn't gotten hurt - I don't know.
7) I think Aaron Ware is the first kid Hobbs has gotten to GW that might have the kind of toughness and leadership ability of the aforementioned players since Elliott. Whether this turns out to be true or not will be seen - but as a freshman he wasn't in a position to definitively show it.
8) As a general proposition when comple operations start to trend badly, it takes a long time to turn things around and some of the repercussions of the bad times don't manifest until much later. What we are seeing slowly unfold is, i think, the result of a bad trend that has finally played itself out. After a long time on the downtrend, I think there are no "difficult' players returning from last year. IF and that's a truly big if, Hobbs got 3 or 4 pretty good players of the 6 with 1 or 2 tough leaders, and no "bad" kids, then i think that we could see a pretty fast turnaround.
Now all can have at me.