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carney2

What's The Grade For Women's Basketball?

Some of you follow this closely and I look forward to your opinions.  

Coach Nolan has now completed four years at Lafayette and from here on will be playing entirely with her recruits.  Her overall record in Easton is 44-76 (a winning percentage of 36.6%), with an 18-46 (28.1%) record in the Patriot League.  By year her record is

2010-11:  11-19, 4-11
2011-12:  8-22, 2-13
2012-13:  11-19, 4-11
2013-14:  14-16, 8-11

Should the grade be high because we seem to be improving?

Should the grade be low because we have not broken into the upper echelon of a pretty mediocre League?

Should we be grading down for the "February swoons?"  Here are the records for February and March:

2010-11:  2-6
2011-12:  0-8
2012-13:  2-7
2013-14:  4-6

Should the grade be affected by the fact that a Nolan team has yet to win its first Patriot League tournament game?  After all, the poor records pretty much have guaranteed low seeds and opening round games against much better teams on their courts.

Grades and comments appreciated for both the 2013-2014 team and the entire Nolan era.
bison137

Re: What's The Grade For Women's Basketball?

carney2 wrote:

Should the grade be low because we have not broken into the upper echelon of a pretty mediocre League?




Don't know how I'd grade her - but I think it's relevant to point out that the PL has become a pretty good league for women's basketball.    This year was the best in league history - despite being pulled down by Boston U and Loyola.   Also better than any year ever for the men.

Some conference rankings for this year:  Sagarin ranking = 15th of 34 conferences  (equivalent to 14th in prior years due to the new AAC being added).   RPI = 11th.   Nolan Ranking = 11th.
Patriothoops

grade for nolan

Has the game passed her by?? Her career record in 35 years shows she has only won 51% of her games (591-552). In her last 6 seasons at Fairfield, Nolan did not post a winning record. Add her 4 years with the Pards and she is now at 10 straight. To be fair she did take over an abysmal program Tammy Smith (55-210 career). How Smith last that long I will never know.  We were sold that Lafayette was getting an experienced “Hall of Fame” coach who would turn it around. (Interesting to note that the coach who replaced her at Fairfield has already had 4 20 win seasons.  In his 1st 4 years after her 6 losing seasons he won 77 games.  Nolan in contrast has won only 44 at Lafayette. She has done it her way with her recruits including the famous Fab 5. From the beginning she phased out the current players on the roster in favor of her recruits. We were told she was going to recruit better players. Yet they still lose.  I do not believe the team or the individual players have shown show marked improvement under her tutelage. They cant shoot, they cant defend and they cannot protect the ball consistently well enough to get to a winning season.  All you have to do is look at the season stats to see that. Some might say that the 14 wins are definitely a step in the right direction. Those wins are a very deceiving. The non- league schedule was softened. Their 6 non- league wins came against teams that only won about 35% of their games all year. Lafayette added 4 possible “gimme” wins when BU and Loyola came into the league.  Colgate and Loyola were horrible and Lehigh wasn’t much better . The 14 wins really is not saying much when 12 of the 14 wins were against bad teams.  After watching her teams  and her body of work for 4 years  I see 3 trends that make me question her game management,  her ability to get the women to play better and most importantly, her ability to turn the program around. They very rarely if ever, beat teams with winning records. This year only Navy and Bucknell had winning records. They certainly are not Connecticut and Baylor. Secondly, they just seem to lose games where they are in a position to win. That is so frustrating to watch. This year’s playoff loss to AU is a perfect example.  Did they even have a clue in those last 33 seconds? Third, I scratch my head when I watch her substitution patterns and frequency of those substitutions. The women, most nights, never seem to get into a flow. I also felt that over the years I was watching a hockey game with constant changes in floor personnel during the course of a game. Last year I looked at some play by plays and it showed that players were coming in and out every 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
This year, all the Lady Leopards had to do was sweep the 4 teams behind them in the standings.  These teams were a combined 39-85. What happened?  The team figured out a way to lose to both Lehigh and Boston U.  Lehigh was a killer. Beat them by 22 then lose by 14. Really? Flip flop those 2 losses and the Pards post their 1st winning season since the late 90’s. Let’s face it. Can we throw a blanket over most of the league right now?  The Patriot League comes down to coaching.  Beat the teams behind you, split/sweep a Bucknell and/or Holy Cross and beat the top 3 at least once, maybe twice. A good coach could do that. After all those years of Coach Smith I would have taken a watered down 16-14 but Laffy can’t even seem to do that right. I am still not convinced after four years, that Coach Nolan is the right fit for the Lafayette women’s team. Am I enthusiastic about another coaching change? No. After watching Tammy Smith, I like many, had hoped Nolan would be the one.  She is not. The game has passed her by. I give her a G for good bye.
Go Pards.
ed65

I completely agree with Patriothhoops.  This team went into February with an opportunity for a very good season (and a very good PL record).  They came up short in every key game in February.  Danielle Fiacco is a special player both for LC and the Patriot League but the coach had her on the bench much too much.  Danielle is a defensive force that has rarely been seen in the PL, and she should have been playing 35+ minutes a game IMHO.  The coach's inability to recruit shooters is simply inexplicable as well as the under utilization of Emily Homan.

The LC Admin (Bruce, McKitrick and Jim Dicker) need to think long and hard about whether to retain Diane Nolan.  I like Diane's enthusiasm but she is a major disappointment as a coach, especially in February.

Time for a change.

WINNING IS IMPORTANT.
Patriothoops

Fiacco's minutes

I will first preface my response by saying that I have no idea what happened at the day to day practices. That said, just on stats alone, last year Fiacco was 2nd in minutes played and averaged 27.1 minutes a game. This year she averaged 19.7 minutes a game and was 6th in minutes played. Yet still led the team in rebounds and blocks. She had 80 of the teams 149 blocks. To Ed 65s point, she was a lane clogger and someone other offenses had to be aware of. What would her stats have looked like if she played more minutes and would Laffy have been a better defensive team with her on the floor for more minutes? Last year the team gave up 59.1 a game. This year with a softer schedule, Laffy gave up 65.4. So the question remains what happened between Danielle's junior and senior year that caused such a big drop in minutes. Danielle averaged more minutes her frosh year (23.5) and her soph year (28.1) than she did her senior year.
bison137

Re: Fiacco's minutes

Patriothoops wrote:
Last year the team gave up 59.1 a game. This year with a softer schedule, Laffy gave up 65.4.



All of the computer rankings and metrics say that LC's schedule this year was stronger than last year.    Despite adding Boston U and Loyola, this was the strongest PL ever - by a significant margin.   Three top 100 teams and two other strong ones.
carney2

Re: Fiacco's minutes

bison137 wrote:
Three top 100 teams and two other strong ones.


At least we're the best of the other five.
bison137

Re: Fiacco's minutes

carney2 wrote:
bison137 wrote:
Three top 100 teams and two other strong ones.


At least we're the best of the other five.



Yes - and also the best LC team in at least 15 years and possbily more than 20.    Lehigh and Boston U - who were 7th and 8th in the league this year - would have been no worse than 4th in a number of years in the past.
carney2

Not the responses I expected.  So far we have some Lafayette fans willing to torch the program while they build a gallows outside of Kirby to hang the coach.  On the other hand, a member of the loyal opposition states that this may have been the best Lafayette team in the past 15 or 20 years.

My head hurts.
bison137

carney2 wrote:
 On the other hand, a member of the loyal opposition states that this may have been the best Lafayette team in the past 15 or 20 years.




Unfortunately that is not a high standard however.   In any case, the level of competition in the PL is MUCH higher than it was when LC had some winning records in the 90's.
Patriothoops

Lafayette's last winning season was under Pat Fisher in 1997-1998. In his then 18th season, the Pards finished 15-13. In his 21 seasons Coach Fisher finished with a record of 295-284 (51%). Lafayette then survived 9 seasons of "basketball" under Coach Smith and she won 20% of her games. Now we have Coach Nolan and she has won 36.6% of her games. I guess some would call that improvement.  Anything would be an improvement after Smith. Coach Nolan certainly did not replace a legend.
Carney, curious as to your grade for Nolan. You too Bison. The thread is about opinions on Coach Nolan and the job she has done in her 1st 4 years, not the strength of the league. So lets hear the grades.
If there is someone out there who follows the Pards and thinks Coach is doing a great job and the lady's program is is good hands and pointed in the right direction then lets hear the other side.
NewXbo

Patriothoops wrote:
Lafayette's last winning season was under Pat Fisher in 1997-1998. In his then 18th season, the Pards finished 15-13. In his 21 seasons Coach Fisher finished with a record of 295-284 (51%). Lafayette then survived 9 seasons of "basketball" under Coach Smith and she won 20% of her games. Now we have Coach Nolan and she has won 36.6% of her games. I guess some would call that improvement.  Anything would be an improvement after Smith. Coach Nolan certainly did not replace a legend.
Carney, curious as to your grade for Nolan. You too Bison. The thread is about opinions on Coach Nolan and the job she has done in her 1st 4 years, not the strength of the league. So lets hear the grades.
If there is someone out there who follows the Pards and thinks Coach is doing a great job and the lady's program is is good hands and pointed in the right direction then lets hear the other side.


It's obvious you are not a long time fan of Lafayette basketball, just a Nolan critic. Pat Fisher is not a he. Sorry your daughter didn't get as much playing time as you would have liked.
bball10

Patriothoops…
I really try not to respond to those of you that think you know everything about everything. Simply amazing!!!  I just can't let the comments by patriothoops go.  I coached 9 long years at Lafayette, took over a program that was sub .500 or barely .500 for years prior to my hiring.  I coached 6 of those 9 years WITHOUT scholarships and given 3 years with scholarship players.   However, the first year was when Laf.  decided in March or April that basketball would award scholarships.  So correction, I was given 2 years.  I can tell you one thing, the cupboard four years ago was not as bare as it was nine years ago.  Seriously, take a look at the WHOLE picture when wanting to give an opinion or knowing it all.
Thanks,
bball10

Patriothoops.. I'm sorry, it was 13 years ago the cupboard was bare.
carney2

bison137 wrote:
carney2 wrote:
 On the other hand, a member of the loyal opposition states that this may have been the best Lafayette team in the past 15 or 20 years.




Unfortunately that is not a high standard however.


Listen, buster, you're talking to a bunch that hasn't had a winning team - in anything - since the Fillmore administration.  This crap is the best crap we've had in 15 years and...well, it is.
bison137

Re: Fiacco's minutes

bison137 wrote:
Patriothoops wrote:
Last year the team gave up 59.1 a game. This year with a softer schedule, Laffy gave up 65.4.



All of the computer rankings and metrics say that LC's schedule this year was stronger than last year.    Despite adding Boston U and Loyola, this was the strongest PL ever - by a significant margin.   Three top 100 teams and two other strong ones.



Following up on this, Army ended up with a 13 seed for the NCAA tournament - despite not even being the regular season champ.   That ties for the highest seed a PL team has ever had (except when the tournament only had 48 teams prior to 1994).

Also the league had two NIT invitees - Navy and American - for the first time.   And also one team (Bucknell)  is in the other women's postseason event.

Final RPI ranking for the PL was #11 - equivalent to #10 in past years.
bethlehempard

Our coaches-for-life in football and men's basketball are both around 47 percent for their careers.
O'Hanlon first four years: 59-54 with the NCAA in year four. Those were the days with that huge turnaround.  
Tavani: 16-28 in four years with a title in year five.
All three coaches stepped into bad situations. New coaches usually do.
Nolan's record is no surprise. She deserves more time. If it doesn't work out well that's par around here.

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