Monday, November 28, 2011

Wrapping Up the Navy Loss

Here's what I saw from my seat at Alumni Hall on Sunday Night....

  • A team that was way too tentative offensively to get the job done. The Mount didn't penetrate the Navy defense nearly enough but when it did it was highly effective.
  • Xavier Owens was the first Mountaineer to have real success getting into the lane. His shooting percentage on the evening won't indicate a good night, but when the freshman penetrated he scored.
  • Chad Holley didn't get an opportunity until late in the game. When Josh Castellanos left with four fouls early in the second half, the Mount opted to play Julian Norfleet as the lead guard. It put Norfleet at a spot he isn't overly familiar with and took him out of the offense. Finally, when Holley was given extended playing time near the end of the game, he scored 11 points by getting into the lane drawing fouls, making the free throws and then hitting a crucial three pointer to cut the lead to three.
  • The pressure defense helped get the Mount back into the game on Sunday night. But I feel like in the end it also kept them from winning. Too many easy baskets against the pressure when the Mount was getting stops in a half court set kept Navy in the lead. With that said, the dagger that Jordan Sugars threw from behind the three-point line with the Mount trailing by just three and under 3 to play, had come after the Mount settled into a half court defense.
  • Kelvin Parker continues to impress offensively for the Mount. He is knocking down open jumpers and just has that look of a scorer about him. He also brings a fan club, from nearby York High, great to see. I don't think we've really seen his athleticism yet, but comparisons of Alex Watson are out there. Yes, Alex Watson. Imagine if Al could have shot it this way?
  • Navy went to the zone because the Mount had success inside early. Danny Thompson, who was also plagued with fouls all night, and Raven Barber had early success that forced the defensive switch.
  • I'm pretty well convinced that this community of Mount fans has more confidence in Kristijan Krajina than the big guy has in himself right now. He did some good things, but he is playing way too tentatively to be overly effective. He needs to believe in himself. Its hard, since he hasn't had real minutes in competition since December of 2009. 
  • Defensively they have to get better in a half court set. Thompson was in foul trouble because his teammates were getting beat. That hurts the Mount at both ends. Thompson is clearly the best rebounder, a top defender and has been a key offensive threat.
  • The game was even for all but the one stretch in the first half that saw Navy go from a 14-all tie to the large margin. The Mount cut back into it to make it nine at the intermission but it got to 14 before the Mount started to rally in the second.
  • St. Francis NY is next and its another winnable game. I thought the Mount played its best full 40 minutes on Sunday, but yet it was still a dead stretch that cost them. This team will continue to work on getting better, but 20 turnovers is still way too many.

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  1. Al Watson was, without a doubt, the most athletic player I have ever watched at the Mount. Pretty special player. Could handle the ball, distribute, drive and rebound... and let's not forget that he had the most aggressive/spectacular dunks ever seen at the Mount. It would be quite a find if Parker can remind us of Al - with a better jump shot.

    By the way, it will be interesting to see how Parker gets rewarded if he has a solid season. These types of recruited walk-on's typically are told that they can earn a scholarship if they prove themselves. With only three available scholarships for next year, and all are spoken for, it will be interesting to see how it plays out for Parker.

  2. John - management of a college team involves a variety of skills, most importantly how to offer, sign and dispose of players. Look at how many offers some of the larger schools have signed for 2013 (let alone 2012). Here is part of the reality: when a player signs on, he does not have to be given his scholarship by the signing school. Yes, it is a one way street.

    Now, as applied to MSM - first of all, we have two players who signed their letters, not three. The third may or may not be thinking he wants to come next year. Of the three, one or more may not qualify.

    The point of all this is - if Parker continues to shine, there will be a scholarship for him, I almost can promise.

    Also, remember Cleveland (and Golladay)? Where are these scholarship players now? Answer: Gone, thus two more spaces.

  3. Anonymous9:06 PM

    If this were the playoffs, I would sit Castellanos and think twice before I gave Barber heavy minutes.

    Holley and Parker are starters, period. Danny T. deserves all the minutes he can give. Krajina and Trice should start, Norfleet sits until he gets the message and is aggressive on both ends.

    Gotta stop the turnovers = no Castellanos.

    Yes, give Owens some time. Add Wells if healthy.

    I like the coaching and I see things developing, despite the thin troops.

  4. Harry - Schools send out letters of intent. Once a player signs the school is bound by that letter of intent. It used to be that scholarships were year to year, but that has recently changed and I think is in effect with the next incoming class. The early signing period which just ended was for 2012 only. Nobody has signed for 2013 yet. Still there have been offers and commits for that season. But neither is binding. You are correct there is no guarantee that a player who signs a letter of intent has reached NCAA clearinghouse eligibility standards.

    I know all of this gets rather confusing, so I want it to be as clear as possible.

  5. Harry... thanks for the lesson. I wasn't implying that the staff didn't have a plan, I was simply saying that it will be interesting to see how it will play out.

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  7. Look for Dan Wetzel's article on published November 12, 2011 for a detailed description of the letter of intent. Turns out the student is indeed bound, but the school is NOT.


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  9. John,

    I remember being a teen and hanging out with Al and Steve Kinney in the dorm. Al was like my idol back then. I think I still have his poster of him dunking that they gave away at a game, lol. Granted, I was a bad teen though. I partied with them after games and threw some bigtime bashes, especially in the new dorms then,lol.

  10. Harry - I remember reading that article back in 2001.

    Here's a current link to LOI quick reference from the NCAA

    In blue you can see that the institution agrees to provide one year of financial aid. (scholarship)

    Those scholarships are limited in number. Right now the Mount would have three available for next year based on graduating players. Two have gone to the NLI's that have signed.

  11. Silly me, I forgot the link

  12. Raff - Here's what really happens - the schools get the LOI from the student. Then they tell the prospective 'one year commitment athlete' that he will not suit up or ever play, then he 'chooses' to ask for his release, granted by the school BECAUSE they have a better prospect. That's part of how the big schools operate, so it makes a sham of the 'rules'.

  13. Harry - Apparently I'm not as jaded as you. I truly don't think this is as common as you make it out to be. Particularly for an individual who hasn't yet set foot on campus. I think that after a period of time the reality might set in that a player isn't going to get the playing time and the coaching staff does little to dissuade and sometimes helps the student along in transferring. However, I find it hard to believe that a school offers a LOI and then before they set foot on campus they tell a kid not to come that they'll never play. I think that would be recruiting suicide. I've had various conversations with high school and AAU coaches over the years about recruitment. All of them have said that the word of the college coach is what they have to rely on. Meaning a scholarship is year-to-year so the word and the trust of the coach that it's going to be renewed annually was huge. If there would be a situation as you're mentioning and implying the high school coaches and AAU coaches would immediately stop pushing their players to that school and coaching staff. I've seen lots of coaches lose favor with AAU and high school coaches - and games as a result. I really hope that our coaching staff isn't involved in the tactics that you are implying. Because if they are the recruiting avenues will dry up and dry up quickly.

  14. Hey, Raff. Put your SFNY-LIU preview up! lol. For some reason I have a good feeling that we are gonna get a sweep!

  15. Raff - indeed, at the NEC level, you are precisely accurate. I am not aware of anything happening at the Mount as I described; Now for the top 40 schools, an entirely different story. Take a look at the names of the players 'verbally committed' to UNC, Kentucky and, well at least 10 others, for 2013 and 2014. Then, see which of them actually end up at those schools.

    The explanation for the disparity is basically along the lines I mentioned.

  16. Verbals and signed LOI's two different scearios.....we are in total agreement there.

  17. Hahaha- You 2 are so hilarious in a battle to see which one 'knows' more than the other. Oh men..... I tell ya, no wonder they disinterest me so much. Now as far the signing process. It is easy to figure out that bigtime teams are paying players in some fashion to get them to come there. However, are any of you aware if that goes on at Mount-level schools? You would think that Wagner and QU would be doing those types of things- with Moolah Moore and the Hurleys. somehow it doesnt seem right that Wagner got the Michigan St guy who was Mr. Bball in Michigan- Dwaun Anderson or something.