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Game #9: 11/29/22 - 7PM at American University


Eli
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5 minutes ago, Dane96 said:

Gonna be harsh:

This team is bad, forgetting injuries and sickness.

Dwayne Killings may not be ready to be a head coach at this level, maybe one day he can be but he simply isn't it today  I am sorry, at nearly 400k a year this isn't an experiment.  It's really money, real jobs, real impact on the University's bottom line. There are simply no in game adjustments, no cohesive strategy, and no real recruitment strategy.  I have not seen a single source of improvement from him as a coach nor the returning players.  

The end.

I will fight (kidding, I say it proverbially) anyone who says otherwise.  I've coached at multiple levels and played at multiple levels, sent kids to D3, D2, and D1.  Played against and with kids of the same, including future pros.  I understand the damn game, and I am very angry.  This is by no means to say that a decision to move on from Coach Brown was wrong or right, that is not my decision to make.  However, choosing the right coach and not a straight up "salesmen" with zero head coaching experience at any level seemed very risk, and that concern is growing both on and off hte court.  

Coaching takes place both on and off the court, and isn't only about recruiting and x's & o's.  Yes, DK is good at getting out and "selling the brand", I guess?!  But the whole thing has seemed forced from the get go, starting with a "New mentality".  WTF kind of nonsense was and is that?  Every single team that has suited up for Albany had a "Mentality" and that was to win for themselves and the school.

I am done with my rant...but I do not see this getting any better both on and off the court.  

End rant. 

Killings isn't it...time to move on. This experiment is over....it was the right decision to move on from Brown because that also got stale and was a bad product, but this is by orders of magnitude worse. Put a fork in DK, he's done! 

Sorry to lose Beagle, the kid can really play. The rest of this roster is unwatchable, coupled with horrendous coaching you have bottom 5 or 10 worst team in D1. With a new facility coming and DK's legal troubles...they should fire him and move on even mid-season. 

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As I said, I've been about as positive as can be, and I said we needed to give him 3 years to learn and grow, but I don't think any of us saw us having a team ranked around 340. It's just terrible at this size school, this size market. My patience that was supposed to be three years is starting to look like 1.5 years.

Edited by godanesgo99
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2 hours ago, cwdickens said:

In the end, one makes a choice whether or not to post and/or follow MBB ... I am of the opinion that no one whether old guard/new guard/no guard gets any satisfaction from the current state of affairs with the team.  

Speaking for many that I know personally who use to post or follow more closely and no longer do. I think many people who don't post anymore like you said did have a connection with Brown being he coached for 20yrs, but also despise Benson and the culture he has created in the Department. 

When he leaves I gather you will see more people post again and become more engaged. I mean have you seen the dismal fundraising for March Matchness last year with MBB behind all sports...even the donors are done. Some of us still follow the box score just to see, but supporting Benson and his crew isn't in the cards.  Maybe it will take the lawsuit to get him out as it doesn't seem anyone in the University cares too much about the dumpster fire started by Benson.  

Enjoy the season! 🏀

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12 hours ago, Clickclack said:

Killings isn't it...time to move on. This experiment is over....it was the right decision to move on from Brown because that also got stale and was a bad product, but this is by orders of magnitude worse. Put a fork in DK, he's done! 

Sorry to lose Beagle, the kid can really play. The rest of this roster is unwatchable, coupled with horrendous coaching you have bottom 5 or 10 worst team in D1. With a new facility coming and DK's legal troubles...they should fire him and move on even mid-season. 

What I don’t understand is they can potentially have two back to back ROY. I’d say he can recruit, but is completely lost on coaching.  

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14 hours ago, Eli said:

And you know that Benson will ride this out or probably extend him because Benson can't possibly take the blame and admit he made a mistake with the hire.

From a retired Math teacher here is Benson's formula for success R =Recruit good student athletes, B = Coach Badly, D  = Denigrate the good students YOU recruited to cover your a$$;

R+B+D  = CONTRACT EXTENSIONS & BIG BUCK$. 

E = Extra credit: get a couple {BD's} = Big Donors--NOT "Doonesbury's" {the common man} they don't matter.🤒

Edited by dslyank
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1 hour ago, UA'08 said:

What I don’t understand is they can potentially have two back to back ROY. I’d say he can recruit, but is completely lost on coaching.  

This is why I have remained positive. His recruiting has brought multiple great athletes/players. His connections in the basketball world bode well for future recruiting and the future of the program.

Last year's class of Neely, Reddish, and Little should be a real solid foundation. Neely was more polished to start, but both Reddish and Little are still projects with the world of potential in their hands. Reddish needs a cooler head and Little needs to improve his defense and team offense.

This year's class of Jackson and Beagle both look great as well. Beagle is obviously the more finished and could be all conference as a freshman, much less rookie team and ROY. Jackson has shown flashes and just needs time to adjust to D1. 

Next year's class of Margoupis, Robinson, and Adnan looks pretty strong as well. This should be a great core for the next few years and give us a contending team in the AE, if not a top team in the AE.

Fill the rest with transfers and the team should be solid. Ketner is a solid AE role player. Edmead is fine as a third PG. He has shown flashes and did well in the NEC. Kellogg isn't ready yet, but seems fine as a practice player, end of the bench guy that could grow into something solid. Amica isn't the same after the injuries, but he can still be good. Hutch is all hustle and always does well in conference play. Drumgoole was a great transfer to get, but is still a little overly aggressive. Davis and Patel are exactly what we want as grad transfers. Players that can step in right away and fill the holes we haven't filled with younglings or to replace someone who graduated or transferred out.

Looking at our roster, it should be good enough to do ok in a tough OOC. Still probably lose more than they win with this schedule, but not get blown out by everyone, then get 9-11 wins in conference and be a threat in the conference tournament. 

Yes losing Neely due to injury hurts and having him and Beagle down low together could cause fits for opponents with both of them being threats outside and in, but injuries happen. I don't think Neely's injury can be blamed for the team performing THIS poorly. In my mind it's all coaching. It's all getting the most out of your players. It's being able to make in game adjustments. It's about teaching how to stay strong and stick to your game plan during adversity. It's about being able to focus the team to stay away from 90% of the hero ball. I say 90% because sometimes you need a player to step up and take over the game.

I don't think WB gets a roster this talented or athletic, but give the team to him and he would have gotten the most out of it. Some of the 1 on 1 isolation play we have seen dominate every game would have landed many of these guys on the bench until they figured it out - even if they were the best on the team. Remember when WB benched Nichols when he went through his isolation crazy circus shot phase? He Sat the entire first half of the SBU game. Brown gave him a shot in the second half and he played calm and collected and led the team to a great comeback. Without putting him on the bench that game to make the attitude adjustment, I'm convinced we never make it to the championship game against UVM that year, and never pull off the "almost" upset.

I said from day 1 we needed to give DK 3 years to develop from a top assistant to a head coach. So while we are only 1.5 years in, we need to recognize that there hasn't been any improvement in his leadership. I know the lawsuit has to be distracting and has to be having an effect on what he does, but it's crunch time for him. Rise above the distractions and become the leader that this team needs or crumble under the pressure and he suffers an even bigger setback to his career. He will get an opportunity as an assistant somewhere again even with the lawsuits due to his connections, but he won't find another HC job anywhere unless it's a D3 or JUCO. 

If he could figure out how to thrive under the pressure despite the distractions and really coach and lead these guys forward to a winning conference record: I'll give him tons of credit. I'll root for him to come back next year and continue to grow. He does that and opportunities at the highest level will open up for him regardless of how the lawsuit ends up. It's really do or die for him. A career defining moment.

He is currently down 5 with a minute and a half left on the clock. Can he perform the comeback? Can he be Hooley at the buzzer or will he be Hartford leaving D1 in disgrace?

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Love your optimism. Nice assessment also. While, not convinced about some of the pieces (IMHO some of the players just are not D1 material); I really HOPE DK can bring some semblance of respect this year. And survives the lawsuit, pulls out a miracle 5 ½ minutes, and puts it all together year 3. 

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7 hours ago, tnehurley said:

Jamel Horton was last year’s defensive POY, but of course he’s long gone. UA will not win that award this year! 351 out of 363 is awful. ROY with Beagle looks like a good bet, though.

I know he was, it was just a tongue in cheek joke when I realized just how bad the defensive ratings were. I mean comically bad. 

At least last year we knew the defense would keep us in games and even when over matched we could have a shot to pull an upset win over much better teams. Combine strong defense with poor offensive luck from the other team and you can have a terrible team beat a great team. This team right now looks bad offensively AND defensively. 

If Vegas put an over/under on the number of wins this teams gets out of the rest of the schedule at 4 (that is FOUR) I am thinking right now that the under would be a smart bet. I see wins vs. LIU Brooklyn and home games against New Hampshire and NJIT. We are projected to lose every other game. Most by double digits. I am not even really confident in those three. I see a scenario where Presbyterian is the only D1 win of the year. 

If everyone thinks the complaints are harsh now. Wait until the team finishes 6-26 after a first round AE tournament exit. Thats 4-26 against D1 programs. 

I still have on purple and gold glasses on and I am still holding out hope for DK to figure out how to get to this teams potential, but right now the confidence is extraordinarily low. 

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On 11/30/2022 at 12:52 PM, godanesgo99 said:

This is why I have remained positive. His recruiting has brought multiple great athletes/players. His connections in the basketball world bode well for future recruiting and the future of the program.

Last year's class of Neely, Reddish, and Little should be a real solid foundation. Neely was more polished to start, but both Reddish and Little are still projects with the world of potential in their hands. Reddish needs a cooler head and Little needs to improve his defense and team offense.

This year's class of Jackson and Beagle both look great as well. Beagle is obviously the more finished and could be all conference as a freshman, much less rookie team and ROY. Jackson has shown flashes and just needs time to adjust to D1. 

Next year's class of Margoupis, Robinson, and Adnan looks pretty strong as well. This should be a great core for the next few years and give us a contending team in the AE, if not a top team in the AE.

Fill the rest with transfers and the team should be solid. Ketner is a solid AE role player. Edmead is fine as a third PG. He has shown flashes and did well in the NEC. Kellogg isn't ready yet, but seems fine as a practice player, end of the bench guy that could grow into something solid. Amica isn't the same after the injuries, but he can still be good. Hutch is all hustle and always does well in conference play. Drumgoole was a great transfer to get, but is still a little overly aggressive. Davis and Patel are exactly what we want as grad transfers. Players that can step in right away and fill the holes we haven't filled with younglings or to replace someone who graduated or transferred out.

Looking at our roster, it should be good enough to do ok in a tough OOC. Still probably lose more than they win with this schedule, but not get blown out by everyone, then get 9-11 wins in conference and be a threat in the conference tournament. 

Yes losing Neely due to injury hurts and having him and Beagle down low together could cause fits for opponents with both of them being threats outside and in, but injuries happen. I don't think Neely's injury can be blamed for the team performing THIS poorly. In my mind it's all coaching. It's all getting the most out of your players. It's being able to make in game adjustments. It's about teaching how to stay strong and stick to your game plan during adversity. It's about being able to focus the team to stay away from 90% of the hero ball. I say 90% because sometimes you need a player to step up and take over the game.

I don't think WB gets a roster this talented or athletic, but give the team to him and he would have gotten the most out of it. Some of the 1 on 1 isolation play we have seen dominate every game would have landed many of these guys on the bench until they figured it out - even if they were the best on the team. Remember when WB benched Nichols when he went through his isolation crazy circus shot phase? He Sat the entire first half of the SBU game. Brown gave him a shot in the second half and he played calm and collected and led the team to a great comeback. Without putting him on the bench that game to make the attitude adjustment, I'm convinced we never make it to the championship game against UVM that year, and never pull off the "almost" upset.

I said from day 1 we needed to give DK 3 years to develop from a top assistant to a head coach. So while we are only 1.5 years in, we need to recognize that there hasn't been any improvement in his leadership. I know the lawsuit has to be distracting and has to be having an effect on what he does, but it's crunch time for him. Rise above the distractions and become the leader that this team needs or crumble under the pressure and he suffers an even bigger setback to his career. He will get an opportunity as an assistant somewhere again even with the lawsuits due to his connections, but he won't find another HC job anywhere unless it's a D3 or JUCO. 

If he could figure out how to thrive under the pressure despite the distractions and really coach and lead these guys forward to a winning conference record: I'll give him tons of credit. I'll root for him to come back next year and continue to grow. He does that and opportunities at the highest level will open up for him regardless of how the lawsuit ends up. It's really do or die for him. A career defining moment.

He is currently down 5 with a minute and a half left on the clock. Can he perform the comeback? Can he be Hooley at the buzzer or will he be Hartford leaving D1 in disgrace?

While I appreciate the enthusiasm, I think you are very significantly over-valuing the talent on this team. There are two really foundational pieces and one is injured, a few are maybe rotation players on a good team/championship team with limited minutes....the rest are not D1 kids. DK appears to be very good at identifying one top flight kid a year, works hard to get him and to his credit has landed them, Neely last year, Beagle this year....the rest of his roster construction and development is poor. The roster is small even if athletic in some spots, there is very little D1 experience on the roster. The whole program is trying to learn on the fly...combined D1 experience is 1.13years with a coach who has no idea how to coach a team. It's a bad combination leading to these results. 

The bigger concern is actually how $ienaty of a coach he is x's and o's, ability to implement a system, hold guys accountable, coach them up etc. Begs the question, what do they do in practice. Defense is mostly effort is absolutely abysmal. Their size (ranked 317 in the country) puts them nightly at a rebounding disadvantage. They need to get a lot bigger everywhere on the floor. If you can't play defense and you can't rebound...you are going to lose a lot of games. Brown for years would roll out an absolute garbage of a team on the offensive end but they would hang around or win games because they at least tried to play defense. 

At this point I'm looking for any positive trend change...can they improve defense; can they make a shot that isn't a 3 and finish at the rim. They are actually a half decent 3pt shooting team. I actually think their offense while bad at least has a pulse in stretches. That defense is unwatchable, they can't stop a nosebleed. If they were even half decent on defense, maybe they would be watchable. It's frustrating to see even when they play OK on offense, you know they have almost no shot at a win because they won't or can't make a stop. It's a bit surprising because last year they were actually half decent (mid-pack D1) in defensive efficiency. This drop-off is kind of ming-boggling. 

Edited by Clickclack
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On 11/29/2022 at 11:38 PM, MRSGDG said:

Speaking for many that I know personally who use to post or follow more closely and no longer do. I think many people who don't post anymore like you said did have a connection with Brown being he coached for 20yrs, but also despise Benson and the culture he has created in the Department. 

When he leaves I gather you will see more people post again and become more engaged. I mean have you seen the dismal fundraising for March Matchness last year with MBB behind all sports...even the donors are done. Some of us still follow the box score just to see, but supporting Benson and his crew isn't in the cards.  Maybe it will take the lawsuit to get him out as it doesn't seem anyone in the University cares too much about the dumpster fire started by Benson.  

Enjoy the season! 🏀

Well put, however, "Enjoying the season" ... do not see that happening

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