Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Missing Out on McMillan

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

It was reported yesterday that John Carroll's Malcolm McMillan picked Central Connecticut State to continue his basketball career turning down a Mt. St. Mary's scholarship offer. If you trust Recruit Recon (and I think they are one of the best regional recruiting sites) that is the ninth player who has spurned a Mount scholarship offer to go elsewhere. That certainly is a disturbing trend.

Recruit Recon has one more player holding a Mount scholarship offer, Elijah Bonsignore, while TheFanBlog has learned of three more scholarship offers over the last several days including those extended to Kanu Ajah, Luke Mergerson, and Chad Frazier.

But there is no doubt that with the new coaching staff on hand the fact that there have been no commitments leads to more uncertainty. And it seems that the only thing certain about the Mount program right now is uncertainty.

At least there are a lot of questions.

What type of offense will the team run? Will it be the methodical, high post backdoor, Princeton style stuff that Robert Burke was associated with at Princeton and then Georgetown? Or the wideopen offensive attack that he may have learned in his one year on the west coach with Loyola Marymount and subsequent years at Siena? Or some hybrid in between?

Will the defensive intensity remain? If not, will there be some other defensive formations, or we will strictly see man-to-man?

What type of substitutions patterns will emerge? Will we be able to chart them before the game? Or will the hot hand stay in the game?

Who will handle the ball? Four year starting point guard Jeremy Goode is gone. Lamar Trice would seem to have the first look, but freshman Josh Castellanos may challenge. Or is there another option?

I could go on.

You see there are a lot of unanswered questions on the court and if you're a fan - you can't help but be somewhat anxious about some of them. And when news comes of players picking other schools you can't help but get a little concerned. Some of that concern has been calmed in the last several days by the positive note of the fact that there are some potential bright spots on the horizon.

You'd like to be able to trust the staff - and to some extent I do - but without a track record that is difficult. So all you can do is sit back and wait. And hope that all is going to work out well. But that first commitment would make me sleep a little bit easier.


  1. Raff, I cannot thank you enough for all your diligent work in regards to providing such valuable info. Hey, do we have a fan forum like Holy Cross does, or are we limited to the Mount Fan Blog and Mount U with proprietor Gerick? Hope you come to the games in Ohio Raff, I do not want to be the only one there.

  2. I appreciate your blog and look forward to new discussions. It is not my intention to dismiss all you say just because I disagree with some of what you have been writing during the past few weeks.

    So, again, thanks. Now for some thoughts.

    I believe your criticisms of the Burke team and their recruiting efforts are very much off base. Many ways for me to prove this to you, but it would take a thousand words. Let me just say they are engaged in looking at players in many places and the sheer number and quality of the potential recruits is staggering, especially considering they do not have any reputation (yet) for the success of their teams.

    So you are getting ready to judge Burke & Co. by the record this upcoming season? OK, I too am anxious because I love winning. Now remember Milan?

    First year 10-19
    Second year 7-20
    Third year 13-17
    Fourth year 11-20

    So the moderate successes on record started in year FIVE.

    If you followed Milan's recruits, I dare say in the past three seasons COMBINED there were fewer visits and scholarships offered than ALREADY clocked by the current staff.

    Fact is, Milan did not believe the Mount was capable of attracting better than a B grade athlete. He went after the little known areas he was best acquainted with (like Tidewater) and hoped for a rose to bloom.

    So many more aspects; too little time now.

  3. John - Thanks for reading and thanks for the comments.

    First off, I don't want to be misunderstood. I'm a Mt. St. Mary's fan. It wouldn't matter to me who the coach is. I'd root for them and support them.

    I will not judge Robert Burke as a basketball coach strictly on wins and losses this season. That would be unfair.

    All I've been trying to put forth here is that as an outsider looking in, there hasn't been a lot to get excited about. Not all of that is Burke's doing. And that there are a lot of questions about the program.

    There are things as an outsider that I've seen or heard that concern me. But there are also things that excite me.

    I am more a quality over quantity in recruiting philosophy. But what you say about Milan's philosophy may very well be true. And I think it has been noted here that the players that it has been reported that the staff is looking at are generally being recruited by bigger schools. I don't recall other than Beidler, Goode and Holland, there being too many Brown signees that really had offers from bigger or better schools. I certainly would like for the Mount to attract a better basketball player. But in the time that I have been a fan, I don't recall there being a more athletic group than the group that Milan was able to put on the floor. However, if you go after all these kids and they end up choosing bigger schools, and then the B kids (as you referred to them) who might have come to the Mount have already
    picked other schools, then you're left picking from a group below that. Then you're coaching skills better be that much better.

    Trust me, I want this to work. I want Robert Burke to have a great career. I just think there are a lot of questions right now, and unfortunately a lot of outsiders don't have a lot of answers.

    It's easy to say be patient. But what I've been trying to say, it's tougher to follow through on that.

    I'm excited to see the season start. Excited to see what the offensive gameplan will be. Excited to see what path will be taken. Because as a fan, but still an outsider, its sort of been a dark six or seven months.