By: thinker (2,825 posts) - 2/13/2016 10:56:29 PM

This team and GW under ML has consistently had some problems.

1)     Mike Hall is 100% right - the team lacks fire. We could call that lacking in leadership as well. You could call that emotional toughness as well. Or a lot of things. 

2)     The team also has a shocking lack of athleticism

3)     I don't know that this staff has been effective at developing our players well from year to year OR ML is recruiting guys who have largely already topped out in terms of their development

Several of these things are a function of what I VERY EARLY ON argued would be a limitation of ML - his inability to recruit "those" kinds of players to GW running the flex and slow down system that he runs. It's also a function of ML wanting all serious academic students. Those things aren't absolute disqualifiers but even FQ earlier this season said that he thought that the ML way might never really be able to climb above the 30-40 RPI kind of team (I hope I'm paraphrasing correctly).

I think that ML's coaching style does tend to hurt players' confidence (particularly when your players aren't super tough). I was very struck by ML's on court interview just after the VCU victory. The FIRST thing he commented on was JoeMac missing the late layup that would have clinched the game. He was focused on that :mistake" right after one of the biggest victories of his GW career. I don't recall seeing any comments from him that didn't include criticisms including sometimes  sharp criticisms.I think the players have become more conscious of not making mistakes than they are about making winning plays.

Yuta and Paul have faded more and more into irrelevance as the season has moved on even though we've seen with our own eyes that they have talent and abilities that are unrealized. If they're back next year then presumably we need them both to be starters and major contributors. Right now they both look like their games have been "broken."Certainly it's hard to say that Swan or Roland have been developed such that we could expect them to be significant contributors next year, much less Cimino or Goss.

And as Herve has aluded to, these problems don't look necessarily like they're getting solved next year with players like Marfo, Toro, Bolden who seem like good kids, good students, but not necessarily really athletic or with "fire." Smith I have no sense of either way.

If I were a betting man which i am not, I would bet along with Mentz that Darnell never ends up at GW.

So a big part of my disappointment right now is that it's hard to be optimistic about next year either.

ML doesn't seem to have a page in his coaching book that says "let's just go out there and have fun." He wants to control every detail, even how many fouls a 14 year old scorekeeper has marked down for his JV daughter. OOPS if only GW had won then that incident never would have been mentioned again.

It doesn't look like this team has a ton of FUN on the court.

BTW I still think thst ML has done a very good job at GW and wouldn't think on any level that anyone should be thinking about any kind of change on that front. A big part of the problem as a fan has been that expectations have gotten so far ahead of what the team has been able to deliver..

This is not to say OBVIOUSLY that I don't think there is considerable room for growth and improvement on ML's part. 

But this is ML's team with his players and his coaches 5 years into his GW tenure. It all has to be on him.

By: 2cents (32 posts) - 2/14/2016 12:03:02 AM

I have personally been trying to remain open minded and positive about the Coach, even defending him to friends when I wasn't even sure he deserved defending...but benefit of the doubt and all.  I want him to be great, and I really like a lot of aspects about him, especially his family being so involved and passionate. I believe they ALL love the school and community and are a positive for the program.  He is smart and seemingly caring.  He takes pride in his job and GW.  He has a winning record and clearly knows his X's and O's. But, it has become increasingly difficult to swallow a few things.  (That's what she said)  I think Cutis mentioned elsewhere about the player's body language, and I completely agree.  Dejection, frustration, annoyance, fear...these are what their bodies and reactions seem to scream.   I don't see a ton of respect for the coach.  My grandma used to smile at me while she scolded me. I think she thought it made it seem nicer and less harsh, but it actually seemed condescending and sarcastic and I hated it. I see Lonergan make that same face at his players and I wince. I know how it feels.  The fact that these seniors have not dominated this season is a huge indicator of coaching, whether through recruiting a certain type of player, or just not being able to connect with the players in an effective way. In four years, he hasn't figured out how to get the most out of his best players.  In fact, it almost seems the opposite has occurred.  Player development has to improve both off the bench and through their years at GW.  The proof is in the pudding. We have three seniors, two in particular (Joe and Pato IMO) who have the POTENTIAL to be first team A-10 and yet we struggle. And they actually HAD four years of starting and playing major minutes. Swan, Roland and Goss are not going to help next year at this rate. Why should we expect them to? Something has got to change.   I was at the game today and Adams was lights out. We have no guards that can do what he did. Quick, agile, smart. The Bonnie's were agressive, energetic and had FIRE! They may not have shot too well, but they were getting to the hoop and getting second chances like madmen. Kevin was a no show. He really bummed me out today, because as FQ pointed out, we needed him and he was so lackadaisical. He reminds me of Snuffleufagus.  Slow, soft and fuzzy.  He lacks the skill, quickness, AND strength to get sh!t done inside. Thank goodness for Pato and Tyler or this would have been a real blowout. The crowd, though apparently it was homecoming, was rowdy and rambunctious.  It was a tough atmosphere for sure, but our boys could have done better.  I was disappointed we drove in rough weather to watch a 20 point first half and ultimately, the loss.   I think it all boils down to ML's attitude. If he can find a little more positivity, it could go a long way.  Good coach, glad we have him, don't want him to go, just want him to genuinely smile. Obviously, I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, and I could be way off and he might be the most uplifting, sunshine up your ass guy in DC...but it sure doesn't look like it from the outside.  BTW, I don't know if it translated on TV, but Yuta was REALLY upset about something today.  Couldn't tell if it was at a player or coach or contact or what? I was too far away, across from the bench, and could only see him from behind with the coaches.  Tough week in VA next week too. 

By: Free Quebec (2/14/2016 12:45:54 AM)

I'm glad you are getting to do a big I Told You So post after a couple of losses.   Do you feel good about yourself now? 

By: thinker (2,825 posts) - 2/14/2016 1:18:24 AM

I feel the same way about myself as I always do. And I was ripped  repeatedly when I posted my thoughts back then and along the way. But when the team really disappoints because the players ML recruited fail in part because they lack athletiism and "fire" then my earlier position is quite relevant. 

Now none of this means that I don't want ML to stay, because I definitely do. What I think is needed is a few adjustments and growth in ML. But it has to start with a recognition of what are some of the things that need adjusting.

By: Balls Out (15 posts) - 2/14/2016 1:57:34 AM

Posted a year ago and nothing has changed...

 

"Here's the problem:  You have to go to the bathroom.  You're running down the hall, but your Mother makes you stop and orders you to piss or shit first, or take a piss-shit.  You and your three brothers do this for two and a half years.  You can't take it anymore.  So you freeze like a deer.  And shit your pants."

 

Players are micromanaged on every possession, you miss a shot - you're coming out/you go over the back - you're coming out/you win but miss a layup - you get called out/etc., etc.

 

Lonergan's act is tired and the players, execution, energy, urgency reflects it.  Four years of his wrath = constipation.  I can only assume Kethan is laughing his ass off.

 

By: Cutis (243 posts) - 2/14/2016 8:32:09 AM

Thinker, well said,well done.

By: Colonial NY (95 posts) - 2/14/2016 9:11:58 AM

I hate, truly, hate to compare Lonergan to past coaches but do y'all think that say our coach before Lonergan wasn't a get-in-your-face, screamer who demanded a lot of his players and didn't take crap type of coach? I can see some of the points as valid here, but at a certain point, saying the coach's temperment is costing this team is more on the players being tough enough to take criticism from their college coach. Hell, the first time I spoke with Hobbs he screamed at me and I didn't even play on the team! True leaders step up in the face of that criticism and demand excellence from their teammates. They don't slink away, sullen and upset. They fight back by working harder, fighting to prove they belong and know what they are doing, etc. They take it upon themselves to motivate their teammates and push for everyone to be at their best 100% of the time. The fight isn't there consistently with this team and having a tough coach who yells and screams shouldn't be a reason to back down. For a true leader on the team, it is the time to stand up. I think the way the players react to the coach is more on them than the coach. The coach can have other issues - is the talen he's recruiting good enough? are the X's and O's good enough? - but a coach who yells, screams and demands excellence, that shouldn't cause players to shrink or not play with consistency or fight for every inch on the court for themselves and their teammates.

By: GW_Alum_2004 (28 posts) - 2/14/2016 9:40:23 AM

 

By: Mike K (1,177 posts) - 2/14/2016 9:40:24 AM

The consensus is that there is not enough fire and leadership on the team, especially from the Core 3.  I totally agree, way too passive - you would think someone 6'10" 260 could get fired up and get some monster slams to get the guys pumped.   

It was mentioned in another thread that TC seems to be the only one with emotion out there (paraphrased), which can be seen, and he may need to defer to the seniors.  I hope "deferring" is true so next year we wont have this problem.  One would think that Sina, a son of a coach, would be a leadership guy, but I have not seen enough of him to know if it translates to the court.  We can only hope.

By: Bo Knows (705 posts) - 2/14/2016 9:47:58 AM

The fact that this thread passes for serious discussion here explains a lot. But let me ask the coaching "experts" this. So against teams like VCU and Virginia the same style of coaching worked! I assume the team was tight and ML micromanaged there also? No? ML coaches the same way win or lose. So please explain why we are 18-7. Again you would read this thread and think we are 7-18.

 

By: Rich Maier (17 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:03:26 AM

Bo, you are just another Anonymous person who is scared to say it to our face. Laughable to use your term. Sorry I don't take what you say seriously. Bad week for ML and the Colonials. We are so predictable and as I've mentioned like Balls OUt the team is micromanaged. That's a sure way to take away someone's confidence. He's like your father coaching you. Give the team some space. Sure we're 18-7 after beating up the OOC schedule.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to see where JoeMac, Pato and KevLar have improved much under ML. Pato did improve his jumper while working with the Argentine national team. We expected a lot with some predicting a Sweet 16. Doubt it but it could still happen. We do NOT have 5th place locked up in the A10. We're 7-5 and 3 teams are 6-6. This is the season we've all been waiting for.

By: FredD (598 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:04:34 AM

I'll it give a shot Bo. UVA was game coached for parts of all offseason and the players totally bought in. VCU the seniors decided before or early in the season they were going all in to win that game. More globally this team is not that athletic. No Armwood like player to nuts on the offensive glass. This same lack of athleticism hurts them on defense. As they fail to meet their OWN expectations this team gets tight. They press. I understand ML pleading for guys to totally commit BUT they are not that tough so it's not perfect or desirable or even  that workable but it is up to the coaches just because they are the other half of the equation.

By: Bo Knows (705 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:10:03 AM

Rich I am sure you have an extensive coaching background and have attended every practice which enables you to accurately comment on the current situation. I am sure that after the VCU and Virginia games you had similar comments. I am certain that if only GW would hire you we would be the first team since 1976 to go undefeated present roster notwithstanding. 

By: SW (189 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:12:29 AM

"He wants to control every detail, even how many fouls a 14 year old scorekeeper has marked down for his JV daughter. OOPS if only GW had won then that incident never would have been mentioned again."

 

As I discussed with my GW season ticket holder and grad is that the first thing he did was call his boy Eric Bickel to give him his "WOE IS ME!" story on nationally syndicated radio, no less. The more I think about it, the more that incident at SJC reflects negatively on ML. Shut your god damn mouth and stay in you god damn seat.

By: Bo Knows (705 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:13:03 AM

PS Rich did you even read Mike Hall's post?

By: Bo Knows (705 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:15:52 AM

SW don't think too hard you might hurt yourself. You have no idea what you are talking about re SJC non- incident

By: SW (189 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:16:33 AM

"Again you would read this thread and think we are 7-18."

 

If we were 7-18 no one would be posting here.

By: SW (189 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:18:21 AM

"SW don't think too hard you might hurt yourself. You have no idea what you are talking about re SJC non- incident"


No, I think I have it down.

 

1. ML's daughter "fouled out" with 4 fouls.

2. ML approaches scorer's table to ask how many fouls they have, because he only counted four.

3. By ML's own admission, words were exchanged.

4. A police officer walks over to the table.

5. ML leaves the game.

Did I miss anything?

By: Bo Knows (705 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:21:30 AM

SW, I am sure Herve can attest we had plenty of posts here during losing seasons. Of course the front runners disappeared so maybe that's why you don't know.

By: Bo Knows (705 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:24:19 AM

SW, other than #1 and #2 you aren't close. "Words exchanged" ???? Downright embarassing analysis by you.

By: Rich Maier (17 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:31:05 AM

Say it to my face, Mr. Anonymous. No one NOSE anything but you. Ah the fantasy life. I suggest you go to the It Ain't Lonergan thread as it needs your support. You are embarrassing yourself.

By: SW (189 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:34:47 AM

The only one who is embarrasing himself here, is yourself, Bo Blows. Read ML's words yourself:

"“That could be a little exaggerated. I rush over to St. John’s to catch the Seton JV game. Middle of the third quarter, my daughter — they’re down like four — so start of the fourth quarter, she gets a foul called, and the scorer’s table hits the horn and says she’s got five fouls. So my wife, she’s sitting … near me in the bleachers, I said ‘she doesn’t have five fouls.’ She said ‘no way she has five.’ So my daughter goes to the bench, bawling, she’s crying, so I look over, I say ‘Hey, do you have five?’ She said ‘No.’ So, I thought I was discreet, I waited till the next timeout, and I went over to the scorer’s table and I asked the little young lady that was sitting there, from St. John’s, I said ‘Hey, how many fouls does No. 13 have?’ She said ‘Well, I only had her for four.’

So some middle-aged loser (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) at the scorer’s table starts yelling at me, asking me who I am. 

I said, ‘I’m nobody. I’m just, my daughter’s down there crying, I know she doesn’t have five fouls and I’m just curious why, you know, you got her for five. And then he called over a policeman — who I knew, I used to play basketball with [him] — so I just went into the hallway and talked with him, and then I just said ‘Well I better get out of here.’ So that was a little embarrassing, to say the least.”

 

Sounds like I got it pretty on the money. Again, ML's attempts at saying "I'm nobody" are laughable. EVERYONE AT SJC knows who he is! He should have stayed in his seat, shut his mouth, and made it a teachable moment for his daughter.

 

No surprise ML's daughter is crying over fouling out with four fouls. His players are just as soft.

By: Rich Maier (17 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:51:55 AM

SW, it was a conspiracy to toss ML from the game. THEY made sure ML would get to the game. THEY deliberately fouled out his daughter with only 4 fouls. THEY forced ML to go to the scorer's table. THEY forced him to get into a 'discussion which led the cop to come over. THEY kicked him out of the game because he wasthe target being a HC at GW. And ML misspoke when he told his story. So don't hold his own words against him. Comcast, USA Today, MSN, WaPo and others picked up the story because it was a feel good story of a man coming to the defense of his HS daughter. 

By: thinker (2,825 posts) - 2/14/2016 10:55:48 AM

Bo,

I can't really see as how you'd disagree with any of the following as you've alluded to some of these things as werll:

1 Players lack athleticism such that no one can really create their own shot on offense and keep up with athletic opposing players on defense

2 Team has small margin of error. They must play with great effort, smart defense and tough rebounding and have a very effective game offensively to win against most A-10 teams

3 Surprisingly with everything on the line for this senior laden team (SIX GUYS with 4 years of college) - they are not playing with much effort. The team has seemingly collapsed deep into the season for the second year in a row. You've specifically called out Kevlar, for example for his lack of effort or fire.

You have said all these things in one way or another in recent weeks.

You can't coach athleticism but you can recruit it  and ML mostly hasn't done so.

I don't believe you can coach fire but you can recruit it and ML mostly hasn't done so.

You CAN coach effort but for two years in a row in many of the crucial games ML hasn't been able to get the kind of effort he needs from his players.

So we have a team that lacks athleticism; It lacks fire; It lacks effort at crucial times; It has two sophmores who are critical for the team going forward who seem to have regresssed to the point of apearing to me to have been "broken."; we have a player Jordan Roland who you have hyped for a full year as a guy who will be a real contributor who can't get on the floor for more than a minute or two. 

So Bo, what gives? If ML is doing a great job recruiting and doing a great job developing players, and doing a great job coaching overall then how can we be in the spot we;re in? How can the team play with incredible focus and effort in a bunch of games this year and here in the final run (for the second year in a row) just not show up?

So here I am really criticizing and here I really want to hear you defense. If all this isn't on ML, who or what is it on?

By: 2cents (32 posts) - 2/14/2016 11:01:09 AM

Bo, I respect your opinion and appreciate your empathy in posts.  In most cases, I agree with you that comments could be tempered.  With that being said, do you see the morale of the team on the sidelines?  You don't think by this time of the year the players have lost a certain energy for ML? Is it not somewhat of a reflection on him that we don't have consistency and enthusiasm from the players?  Nobody is perfect...maybe his attitude on the side lines is contagious and could be tweaked a little? Positivity and positive reinforcement go a long way with this age. 

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