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       Lafayette Sports Fan Forum Forum Index -> Women's Basketball
The Maroon

Something is Wrong.

I'll stand by everything that I have said: 1) Coach Nolan has one recruiting class in place, 2) we lost our three leading scorers from a 11-19 team and 3) There's no way to judge the direction of a program until at least the third season when a new coach takes over. We know that coach Nolan didn't inherit the UConn Huskies.

As Andy has said "In Diane Nolan we trust." I loved the decision to hire  her and it was night and day when the team took the floor last year. I don't think anybody is thinking "hey, the weave was just about to break through." This season being a rebuilding one is hardly a big deal. I'm not quite as sold on her as Bogey - but she seems to be doing everything the right way.

But does anyone else wonder what the heck happened?

All that is obvious is that predicting who is going to see time beyond Fiacco and Homan is a difficult endeavor.

Last night's break through was from Macklin who, depending on the game, is either a starter or a garbage-time player. Freeland got a good 10 minutes as a starter, Downey 15. Jordan's minutes are also all over the map.

By this point in the season I would have expected a bit more consistency in the rotation. This team seems to suffer from lack of an identity.

Well...that and they shot 29% from the field last night.
Lafalum

I am actually shocked. I didn't expect a championship but did expect to see some daylight. This run through the PL schedule has been dissappointing. Dissappointing enough for me to believe there is some rot in here that may take more than two years to work through.
carney2

Lafalum wrote:
I am actually shocked. I didn't expect a championship but did expect to see some daylight. This run through the PL schedule has been dissappointing. Dissappointing enough for me to believe there is some rot in here that may take more than two years to work through.


Not sure what you mean by "rot," but something has gone drastically wrong.  Did anyone see dead last in the Patriot League, not one win in the second half of the League schedule, and ending the regular season on an 8 game losing streak, which is certainly where they will be after Saturday vs. American?  It wasn't all that long ago that some of us (me) were talking about contending.  I have been, and continue to be a big Nolan supporter, but with Fiacco and Homan available every day, this is not understandable, and is certainly not acceptable.  It is on the coach.  She needs to take a long look in the mirror.  If this is headed for Tammy Redux,...
Bogus Megapardus

This is NOT Tammy Redux.  This is a much better them that is learning how o play together under Nolan's system.  They're miles ahead defensively.

But (a) they can't shoot and (b) they've given up and/or they're worn out.  There's no spark whatsoever.

I think next year will be a vast improvement.

As to Coach Nolan - I sure hope she's around for a while at least.  She's in the same age group as Tavani and FOH - I'd hate to see all three retire at the same time.
The Maroon

Bogus Megapardus wrote:
This is NOT Tammy Redux.  This is a much better them that is learning how o play together under Nolan's system.  They're miles ahead defensively.

But (a) they can't shoot and (b) they've given up and/or they're worn out.  There's no spark whatsoever.

I think next year will be a vast improvement.

As to Coach Nolan - I sure hope she's around for a while at least.  She's in the same age group as Tavani and FOH - I'd hate to see all three retire at the same time.


While the Prophet of Doom has gone a little overboard, it's clear something is wrong and I don't think it has anything to do with any layover from Tammy's era.

Having the nations second leading shot blocker has certainly helped our defense - but I don't know how much of that you can credit to Nolan. Tammy's teams played sound defense - they just couldn't score.

And that's pretty much where we are now. It's scary how badly we shoot the ball once we go beyond Fiacco and Homan.

But my main point stands: If there ever was a year to be bad, this is it. I'll keep the faith. A year from now we can have a much more serious discussion about the direction of the program under coach Nolan -  But honestly - when you are saying that a team has given up and is worn out - that's not a good sign no matter what year of rebuilding you are in.
knowitall2b

What is really wrong?? You guys are way off base.

I've been following this FAN Forum for years and never wanted  to comment until now.  One thing i dont understand is why each of you, who seem to know SO much about coaching, recruiting, game strategy, defense, and just about everything in every sport, didn't apply for this position when it became available.  
IMHO this program was in a better position two years ago, when "In Diane We Trust" took over then it was when Tammy took over.  So...there is a huge problem...
And by the way.. Watch what you wished for with those football scholarships.. oh I'm sorry, I mean merit based scholarships..
Bogus Megapardus

Hello, knowitall2b, and welcome on behalf of everyone.

Lafayette is a Division I school.  Like other Division I schools it has fans, and fans can be opinionated once in a while.  There is no academic index required to post here, and certainly no requirement that the opinions expressed have to correct - or even rational, for that matter.

All in all, I think that Lafayette athletics is better served by having fans who express thoughts and opinions - even absurd ones - than by not having fans.  And were the competence and ability to step into the shoes of a Division I varsity head coach a prerequisite for posting a view on a message board, there would be very few message boards, I would imagine.

So you think the women's basketball program was better off under Tammy Smith, and you don't like the idea of football scholarships.

Care to elaborate?
knowitall2b

Thanks for your definition of FAN on this board and boards everywhere.  Im not saying the program was better under Tammy Smith, I'm saying when she inherited the program it was non scholarship and hadn't been .500 for 5 or so years before she took over the program. IMO, she should have stayed at Muhlenberg.  As Im sure all of you feel..  There at least everything was equal, amonst the schools and conference.  All you'll didn't like the weave but at least it was some sort of offense, very complex and probably part of the reason the players struggled.  Put at least there was spacing, movement, screens, bounce passes, backdoors, lay-ups , and shots within the rythem of the offense.  Now, pass to Fiacco and or Homan by 5'0 guards  trying to pass over 5'5-6 or taller defenders.  I just shake my head.  Even though I dont like what I see with this coach, she is not the REAL problem. Genio Auremia wouldn't be able to win there.  Just saying...
The Maroon

Welcome on my behalf as well.

"One thing i dont understand is why each of you, who seem to know SO much about coaching, recruiting, game strategy, defense, and just about everything in every sport, didn't apply for this position when it became available."

That's kind of silly and you seem smart enough to know it. Thus we shouldn't assess a politician's performance unless we run for office, an actor unless we wan't to go to Hollywood, a news report if we don't want to go into journalism.

IMHO this program was in a better position two years ago, when "In Diane We Trust" took over then it was when Tammy took over.  So...there is a huge problem...

That's what this board is about - discussion. I welcome your divergent viewpoint. As moderator I don't tolerate any accusations of bad character and I do my best to keep a short leash on the criticalness of an athletes performance. IE - if Nolan's teams don't seem to be playing good defense - that's fair game. Saying something along the lines of "she's a horrid witch" is not.  I would welcome you to check out other sports discussion boards - we keep our discussions at a pretty high-level.
The Maroon

"Im not saying the program was better under Tammy Smith, I'm saying when she inherited the program it was non scholarship and hadn't been .500 for 5 or so years before she took over the program. IMO, she should have stayed at Muhlenberg. "

Your last sentence is telling - she took over a situation where she knew what she was up against. Expectations for her were realistic - Pat Fisher won 21 games over her last three seasons - and on this board we were pretty forgiving when she was 7-70 without scholarships.  When she was in year five of scholarships and going 6-24 and starting a non-scholarship PG, it was obvious she wasn't getting it done.

All you'll didn't like the weave but at least it was some sort of offense, very complex and probably part of the reason the players struggled.  Put at least there was spacing, movement, screens, bounce passes, backdoors, lay-ups , and shots within the rythem of the offense.  Now, pass to Fiacco and or Homan by 5'0 guards  trying to pass over 5'5-6 or taller defenders.  I just shake my head.  

Valid points from beginning to end. I was blown away at the lack of effort to get our guards better looks. No screens up high. Can't stand the lack of passing fundamentals. If we could do more on the outside it would certainly open it up for Fiacco and Homan. I dont'  understand the routine overhaul of the starting line-up.

Yet I believe - as I have always believed - there's no way to guage the direction of a program when a new coach takes over until year 3. It works the same in reverse - you don't give a coach who takes over a winning program to much credit to early as they have the other coaches kids.

Again - welcome to the board - always welcome new opinions.
knowitall2b

Tammy only had three scholarship classes in.  Kiesha, Lj and Liz were her first true scholarship class.
Granted the class before that received scholarships, but weren't the scholarships decided on in late March of that year?  So, that woud be three not five.
The Maroon

knowitall2b wrote:
Tammy only had three scholarship classes in.  Kiesha, Lj and Liz were her first true scholarship class.
Granted the class before that received scholarships, but weren't the scholarships decided on in late March of that year?  So, that woud be three not five.


Point well taken. Scholarship players available in March were at a premium - and her first class did not turn out well. Then she brough in Keisha, LJ and Liz and man did the future look bright! They had a good frosh year and it really looked like things were on the upswing.

The trip to the title game the next year I found to be a little odd. Why couldn't that team have played .500 ball during the regular season?

She was actually getting non-scholarship recruiting down pretty well. Spicer, Garner, Purr, Stettler, VVD, that girl who had a nice three-pointer whose name escapes me at the moment (Zavochi?) and I'm too tired to look up, - darn good players. When her scholarship players weren't as good after the first season - that was odd.

And there's another point. Tammy's 1-27 year - the ONE was against a good American team!!! You're telling me that team couldn't have eked out five wins?

After she had her six-win season in 2010, I just couldn't make a single case at all for keeping Tammy.

Look - I see a lot both ways.

I didn't mind the weave. Hell - we were scoring just as much. I'm a hoops purist and I enjoyed taking my kids to the games and seeing good passing, movement without the ball, spacing - I like Butch's offense and that's what she was running. I'm kind of old-school in that regard. Sometimes it appeared we weren't looking for the shot until the shot-clock was at 10 and often we started it way to far from the basket. She also didn't get enough point guards. Spicer played an ungodly amount of minutes and I wondered why except when she took her out things went to hell in a handbasket within 2 possessions.

Tammy's kids played their ass off and fought to the end. They also played damn good team defense  and we'd be in serious trouble if Fiacco wasn't owning the paint like she is.
I started the thread with the title "Something's Wrong" and frankly I'm more concerned about the fact that the few times I was able to see the squad this season I saw a lot of sullen faces. I also can't stand how bad we are on the defensive rebounding. I always tell kids that I coach that rebounding is mostly about desire (I don't neglect  boxing out) and Tammy's kids had it. As undersized as they were most of the time kids like Garner, V and Purr battled like hell down low. (Another sidebar, I am well aware that teaching 12-year olds does not make me an expert on the nuances of coaching at the level Tammy was - so I didn't apply  Cool
I'm not seeing the same hustle this year - that bothers me. I'm with you - I don't like the offense that seems to be way to much about lobs to Homan and Fiacco, but those two are also the only ones rebounding. I can't stand to see a true PG like Freeland penetrate, draw the defense to her and our kids aren't spaced appropriately for her to dish it. Freeland could help herself a little with her passing - but it's mostly bad spacing. There's also some speed on this team and we're getting nothing on the fast break.

Basically, from my incredibly limited vantage point - I just haven't seen the team live enough and it's so much different on TV - I see a team that has no identity and appears to have strife going on.  That feeling is compounded by the fact that they got worse as the season went on.

Right now I'll say it is a youth problem, I think we are ALL pretty reasonable on this board and gave Tammy benefits of many doubts so I'm not being a hyopcrite. Next year if we're doing the same thing I think the concerns will be a lot greater.  

Here's the bottom line from my vantage point: Though nine seasons overall - Tammy didn't get it done. I don't feel like she was getting the most out of her talent and I didn't see enough player development.  Through 1.5 seasons it looked like Diane had everything going in a very different direction. For half a season it hasn't. I'm still in her camp - as I was with Tammy after being 7-70.

Sorry about the rambling - just happy to see another fan of the sport on the forum. Particularly a guy (or woman) who is offering an opposing view.  So far the  only thing you've said I disagree with is we should have applied. Do you really want Carney running this team?
Pardman

It's a big jump from high school to college basketball in many ways at any level, but most of all for D-1 freshman. Aside from Lafayette's academic demands, the social concerns of being away from home, making new friends, etc. the grind of the season IMO just took its toll on our freshman. Three of the four frosh played in excess of 20 minutes per game in a 29 game season that spanned approx 4 months, not to mention travel, which is significantly in excess of what they were used to at the high school level. This comment is in no way to imply a lack of leadership or experiencing sharing, it's just something that if you haven't been through before you just do not know how to prepare yourselves both physically and mentally.
The Maroon

Pardman wrote:
It's a big jump from high school to college basketball in many ways at any level, but most of all for D-1 freshman. Aside from Lafayette's academic demands, the social concerns of being away from home, making new friends, etc. the grind of the season IMO just took its toll on our freshman. Three of the four frosh played in excess of 20 minutes per game in a 29 game season that spanned approx 4 months, not to mention travel, which is significantly in excess of what they were used to at the high school level. This comment is in no way to imply a lack of leadership or experiencing sharing, it's just something that if you haven't been through before you just do not know how to prepare yourselves both physically and mentally.


Good point, high school competition is getting better but it's still a lot of duds - just want them to improve and stay focused and not get down on themselves.  They will be fine next year as long as they keep believing and learn from their mistakes.
edmc2416

The Maroon wrote:
Pardman wrote:
It's a big jump from high school to college basketball in many ways at any level, but most of all for D-1 freshman. Aside from Lafayette's academic demands, the social concerns of being away from home, making new friends, etc. the grind of the season IMO just took its toll on our freshman. Three of the four frosh played in excess of 20 minutes per game in a 29 game season that spanned approx 4 months, not to mention travel, which is significantly in excess of what they were used to at the high school level. This comment is in no way to imply a lack of leadership or experiencing sharing, it's just something that if you haven't been through before you just do not know how to prepare yourselves both physically and mentally.


Good point, high school competition is getting better but it's still a lot of duds - just want them to improve and stay focused and not get down on themselves.  They will be fine next year as long as they keep believing and learn from their mistakes.


While a lot of the optimism on the board is well-placed, and I agree that the young kids should be better prepared next year, Coach Nolan needs to recruit some snipers.  Maybe the kid from NYU will fill that role next year.  The stat that consistently jumps out is the poor shooting %.
The Maroon

edmc2416 wrote:
The Maroon wrote:
Pardman wrote:
It's a big jump from high school to college basketball in many ways at any level, but most of all for D-1 freshman. Aside from Lafayette's academic demands, the social concerns of being away from home, making new friends, etc. the grind of the season IMO just took its toll on our freshman. Three of the four frosh played in excess of 20 minutes per game in a 29 game season that spanned approx 4 months, not to mention travel, which is significantly in excess of what they were used to at the high school level. This comment is in no way to imply a lack of leadership or experiencing sharing, it's just something that if you haven't been through before you just do not know how to prepare yourselves both physically and mentally.


Good point, high school competition is getting better but it's still a lot of duds - just want them to improve and stay focused and not get down on themselves.  They will be fine next year as long as they keep believing and learn from their mistakes.


While a lot of the optimism on the board is well-placed, and I agree that the young kids should be better prepared next year, Coach Nolan needs to recruit some snipers.  Maybe the kid from NYU will fill that role next year.  The stat that consistently jumps out is the poor shooting %.


Oh yeah - and doing so would open up some space for Homan and Fiacco. It's a free-for-all down there when Fiacco gets the ball and it leads to the inability to pass it back out to the perimeter.

But you have to patch the biggest hole first. With a good offseason and an addition of possibly one shooter we probably aren't going to shoot better than 28% from 3.

I've always like Pat Riley's idea to emphasize a 10% improvement on some key stats. Doing that probably seems like nothing: reduce our turnovers from 18 to 16/game,  score 58 PPG scoring vs. 53, get the number of offensive rebounds to 426 vs. 386 - you hit a couple of those goals and other stats get a lot better.
Kpard

The culture of losing becomes easily accepted. It has to be the opposite. We must be recruiting to win and win championships. We need players who come from winning programs, have proven that they want to win, and know how to win. I'm sure Coach Nolan would tell us that this may be easier said than done.
knowitall2b

The culture of losing becomes easily accepted. It has to be the opposite. We must be recruiting to win and win championships. We need players who come from winning programs, have proven that they want to win, and know how to win. I'm sure Coach Nolan would tell us that this may be easier said than done

[color=darkred]In following both the women's and men's programs over the past few years, and researching the high school programs each of their recruits came from, believe it or not, 85% of them came from winning programs. I am sure they come in wanting to win. You can not compare high school to Division I Athletics/Lafayette both in the classroom and on the basketball court.  The academic expectations and requirements are very challenging at Lafayette as other Patriot League schools but!  
Also, your comment about wanting to win,,,,Why would they come in and want to lose? That makes no sense.  My sense is, its a whole lot deeper than this... [/color]

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