Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Who replaces Burke?

Still tons of speculation and not a lot of answers at this point. And that seems to be the way the Mount handles things. Doubt we'll know anything concrete until it gets done.

Originally I heard there was a big push for Matt Henry. That seems to be cooling.

The other three finalists when Burke got the job were apparently Pete Strickland, Jamion Christian and Brion Dunlap. Marty Ingelsby and Gary Nottingham (Google that one). Hoopdirt.com is reporting that a lot of the early interest seems to be focusing on George Washington assistant Pete Strickland.

The former Coastal Carolina coach served this past year on Mike Lonergan's staff with the Colonials. Lonergan himself once hoped for the Mount job. Prior to that he was with Sidney Lowe at NC State.

Some other names who may also come up Andy Enfield (head coach at Florida Gulf Coast), Mike Rhoads (Virginia Commonwealth assistant), Chris Harney (St. Mary's head coach), Kurt Kanaskie (Navy assistant), Kevin McGeehan (associate head coach Richmond), Mike McKee (Denver assistant), Duffy Conroy (Milwaukee assistant), Kenny Payne (assistant coach Kentucky), Brad Frederick (Vanderbilt assistant), Mike Farrelly (Niagara assistant - former Mt. St. Mary's assistant), Ben Wilkins (William & Mary assistant), Robert Wilkes (Old Dominion assistant), David Duda (St Joe's assistant), Tom Dickman (Hood head coach), Tony Newsom (Fairfield assistant) and I'm sure over the course of this search there will be a few more that pop up - along with the several I mentioned yesterday.

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  1. Strickland would be such a dud of a hire. Another middle-aged, journeyman assistant coach? Didn't we try that one already with Burke? Let's get somebody young and hungry. If they succeed and move on to bigger and better things, what's wrong with that? I don't think we're going to find another Jim Phelan who stays at the Mount for 50 years. I don't even think Mount should be a place where a coach stays for 10-15 years. If that happens, it's likely that their record is mediocre or worst. Let's not be naive, Mount isn't a big enough program and doesn't have the resources to retain successful coaches or hire away proven big-time assistant coaches. Look at the VCU model. Higher young guys, watch them succeed and move on and then higher another young guy.

    I like Henry. I think he would do well and I think he will be a good head coach somewhere. If you went to the games (which based on the lack of gameposts this year, I'm not sure some people did) it was clear the team played much harder for him than they did for Burke. I don't know if these mass exodus rumors have any truth in them, but I question whether that would be such a bad thing. Anyone but Norfleet and Parker is welcome to pack their bags and see what other D1 programs want them. I'm guessing not many.

    If he's not the answer, than I'd like to go with another younger assistant, whether it be Jamion or someone else.

    Also, Raff, please don't ever mention Kevin Robinson Jr. as a potential head coaching candidate again.

  2. Why wouldn't there be a push for Matt Henry? A young, energized coach is actually what the Mount needs.

    I think he would be a very good hire. What's the harm in giving him a year to prove himself?

    Maybe you can help me out and elaborate on the 'mass exodus' of which you speak? Cause that doesn't seem to make any sense to me. Usually, players leave when you hire someone who isn't on the current staff. And the players everyone are most excited about for next year are the players that Henry recruited? So why would they want to leave if Henry was hired? Sounds like an illogical and made up rumor to me.

  3. That's another thing to keep in mind. If Mount was to hire someone outside the program like Strickland. A guy that probably has a pretty secure position at GW for the foreseeable future (since Lonergan figures to be around for a few years at least) what length of deal would they have to give him to pull him away? Would it be like Burke's 5 year deal? I hate doing that, because that basically locks the program into a coach, good or bad, for 5 years. That is, unless you get a "get out of jail free" card like Burke apparently gave us. I don't want to be in that situation again.

    I have no idea, but I'm guessing we wouldn't have to do that with Henry or some of the other young guys. Maybe a 3 year deal, which is much more bearable. After 2-3 years, it's easy to figure out if he's the answer or not.

  4. Was either year two or three of the Milan era where guys were wearing bags over their heads that said Milan must Go.

  5. Henry's resume is about as thin as my father-in-law's hairline. What has he done to deserve being a D1 Head Coach. Now, he seems like a nice enough guy, but wouldn't you want to move on from all things associated w/ Robert Burke & erase the 2 year mistake that just set this program back? Yes, the team played harder for him than Burke, but kids are impressionable & with the right leader, can be molded into proper players, but the bottom line is you need talent.

    MountGrad said it right, Norfleet & Parker are really the only ones who seem to have a bit a talent. Add Prescott & Whack to that crew, with a hopefully motivated & improved Raven Barber & you have a starting 5. But the lack of depth will hurt this squad.

    This job has got to be for young coaching talent. Having a 20 year assistant take the reins is a mistake. There must be a reason that you're an assistant for 20 years...because you lack the leadership to be an effective HEAD coach! Coach Phelan was a different breed & Milan brought a fire & a passion to the team. I swear I used to really dislike Jimmy Patsos, but that guy has grown on me & I wish we had someone like that walking the sidelines...well, someone not that crazy! Plus, Jimmy's a Deadhead & I'm sure that wouldn't fly with the "devotion to Catholicism" crew.

    I say go all in for Jamion...he's young, hungry, proven to be a winner, & he's a Mountie. He would be my first pick...if he shuns us, then who knows what will happen, just hopefully not a Robert Burke version 2.0?

  6. Keep Henry for one year. One or two current players will leave but it will not be because of Henry (or Burke!).

    Recruit a couple more guards, get Prescott and the three already recruited to play and, as I read last week, put Danaher on a weight program and we may have something going on.

    Use the year to evaluate. Change things next year if the results are not up to expectations.

  7. You might be right Raff, but by the end of Milan's 3rd year, he was hosting a playoff game. I think you can see the direction a program is going in after 2 or 3 years. You can see the recruits in the pipeline and the style of play. 5 year deals for a school like the Mount, which can't afford to buy them out early, seem like a bad idea and can really set the program back if the wrong coach is hired.

  8. @Henry - Couldn't agree more with your assessment. Spot on. Let's see what we got here before we make wholesale changes. All year everyone on here was talking about how much they were looking forward to next season. So lets play it out and see what we got.

    @Kevin - I'd rather a coach with a razor thin resume than one like Burke's that's filled with cuddlesome fluff. The only way you are gonna get a great coach at the Mount is if you get them before they are great. Everyone has their own opinions, but I personally think Henry fits that billing.

    Also couldn't agree more with you about Patsos. I used to despise him. But over the years, I started to kinda respect him and what he brought to the table. And over the last year or two, I've come to love the guy. I think he's awesome. Insane, yes. But in a good way. Glad they won last night. Looking forward to watching him go nuts on sidelines in the tourney next week!

    @Raff - at the end of year two of Burke's reign, you said it was obvious that he wasn't the answer at the Mount ...... so what's your point?

  9. Hey Onions, if you call me "Henry" I am going to refer to you as "Shallots". Hahahaha


  10. Well, it's Super Tuesday. I am counting the ballots on this blog and I have not voted.

    Henry = 3 (MountGrad, Onions and Harry)
    Christian = 1 (Kevin)
    Raff not voting

  11. Run as fast and far away from the Robert Burke era as possible. Matt Henry might be a nice guy but he has very little experience and the experience he has as an assistant was with a very dysfunctional program. He is young enough to continue his program elsewhere. If the Mount goes with Henry, they will be signaling that they aren't interested in thinking big. If we are going to go young, let's do it with someone from a much bigger program and if he is a Mountie, that would be great. I would say that Jamion would be a great pick. Let's not forget about Brion Dunlap. He served the Mount very well and, while he didn't graduate from the Mount, he knows what it is like to be a Mountie and there would be no personality issues like what we just experienced. Maybe the administration will realize that the better option was right under their nose a couple of years ago.

  12. Anonymous6:55 PM

    From one female to another, perfectlylovely is to basketball knowledge as Birdy is to real singing.

    I do not know enough about Jamion, but he was a very overrated recruit who played but a fair game.

    Lots of reasons NOT to hire Dunlop.

    Don't know other possibilities.

    Henry OK by me.

  13. Sorry, I logged in under my daughter's ID by mistake. I'm not a fan of Birdie myself so I have to agree with you there Kelly but that's where our agreement will apparently end.

    I would be interested in your many reasons not to hire Brion. I hope they don't include that he isn't Catholic or that he is a single dad (and apparently a pretty good one at that). Look at where those types of hiring requirements got us with Burke. Brion was the primary recruiter for Milan and was well liked by the players and the Athletic Department and he never once put the school in an embarrassing position. Is is that you aren't a fan of his X's or O's or is it personal in nature? If you are going to put something like that out there, let's hear some detail.

  14. Anonymous7:51 PM

    Whenever I see or hear someone evoke objectionable parameters that were heretofore not specified, I have further suspicions about their personal problems and sensitivities. (Sorry, psychology is my job).

    I wanted to answer that Bri is short and black, but you probably would think I was serious. I did not know his religion, and I did not know that he is a single dad. All I have heard is that he is a nice person.

    Here are some of the reasons. His qualifications are limited to impressing you and getting along with some former players. He is an assistant coach at a program that is not recruiting well and has just had a poor season. He has no connection to our three new recruits, nor to Prescott and Norfleet and he would bring on no one for next year. Shall I continue?

  15. Milan recommends Brion. Never putting the school in an embarrassing position is hardly noteworthy.

  16. We are all entitled to our opinions. And, no, I wasn't accusing you of being a racist. Unfortunately, those were a few of the reasons that apparently contributed to the Mount not seriously considering him a couple of years ago. I don't think many in the know will disagree with this.

    I also disagree with your characterization of Holy Cross' season as poor. The strides they have made in two seasons are pretty impressive. Don't be surprised if Milan gets some votes for Patriot League coach of the year. As far as recruiting goes, the core of the Mount's most recent NCAA tourney team was recruited by Brion and that was about as talented a group of players that the Mount has seen in a very long time.

    As far a connection to the current players, I would go in that direction if we had an accomplished assistant to hire as head coach. Henry is far from that. Again, maybe Henry is a nice guy but he really hasn't accomplished anything that should help him garner consideration for a D 1 head coaching job... maybe in a few years after some time with a successful program elsewhere.
    I'm not blindly saying that Brion is the only guy. There are others who I think could bring us back to being a successful program, let's just not settle for average this time.

  17. Re: Brion and recruiting - the last year, scheduled to come to the Mount were Burrell (fair player at best at HC now), Morales (again, not at all special) and a guy that never qualified. So, sorry, nothing good there.

    Then Milan left and we got Burke, with last minute additions Norfleet (better than the players Brion or Milan recruited), and Castellanos (fair).

    Check out the HC recruits for next year - hint - no one signed. Does not bode well for your claim of likely recruitment success.

  18. Burrell was Freshman of the Year in the Patriot League this year so how can you say he had a fair year lol. Also Morales averaged 7 ppg in the CAA which is a big step up from the NEC, you can prob double that if he played in this league.

  19. Oh puh-leeze, anyone but Kevin Robinson. I knew him from when he was a little kid, when I was riding my bike from town going to the Mount games too. It would easily be Kevin's dream job to be the coach at Mount. He was flattered beyond belief to be an assistant. I believe that was mostly due to his 'ties' to the Mount more than anything. we need someone who is not going to be in 'awe' of the position. Yes, he'd probably work hard and provide a good effort, but I believe he would be in over his head. Heck, they will probably make him head coach in the end anyway. Knowing my luck,with so many things not going the way I wished for the Mount the past few years, it will probably happen, lolol. Y'all may dislike what I say yet again, but I just do not believe that Kevin is legitimate enough to be a head coach at a D-1 school. Maybe high school.

    I doubt it would happen as well, but, I'd sure like to see Cliffy come back to coach also. Unless Mount paid him handsomely, I can't see why he would leave Florida to come back to MD. Although Jacksonville has regressed this year at the bottom of the A-Sun, Cliff has had great success down there sending them to the big dance, along with his team upsetting Arizona St. in the NIT a few years ago. I sure hope Cliff gets Jax rolling again because he may have passed up a huge opportunity a year or so ago when Jax did so well. he likely could have gotten a job at a bigtime school but he chose to stay at Jax--so that tells you something about his commitment down there. Yes, Jamion Christian might be a good choice due to his youth and experience- Mount definitely needs some energy lately. I believe he would be adept at recruiting also. Don Anderson is good guy and is a wise man , but i just don't know if he would want the stress of the Mount rebuilding job. I know him from my times in Gettysburg. He would undoubtedly be a swell recruiter too. He knows a lot about the Bmore and DC youth. That Pete Strickland guy does seem to bring a lot to the table with his experience and success. However, I don't know if the question should be whether or not the new coach is a 'Mount guy' or not. I believe a better question should be...'do we go younger or older'?

  20. Mount Grad:

    Wow, I agree with a lot of what you said in your initial post. Cool! We all must realize that times and society has changed, and, being a head coach really anywhere for an extreme length of time just does not occur as much in modern times. I can understand if it was a bigtime school and a coach was already at the pinnacle of his career. However, loyalty is virtually non existent these days and it is all about 'Me' anymore for most people in this country. Not many really even appreciate loyalty that much anymore in the real world. For example if a coach came to a small school and was very successful, then got offers for big bucks at a bigtime school. Then subsequently did not advance to the other job....well, many of his peers would think he was crazy or even a failure. Thats just how people's values, these days, are- especially with younger citizens. As for myself- I appreciate loyalty and true effort more than moolah though, but I am deemed to be quite 'irrelevant' amongst society with that philosophy and many other views I have lol. So, with that in mind, we need to just keep things in perspective.

    Hey Mount Grad: Thank you so much for your little comment about hiring Kevin Robinson as coach. Lol you and think alike, somewhat.

  21. Kevin J:

    The comment you made about being an assistant coach is not all that accurate. I know of many that have it made in other careers or avenues in life, and simply would rather have a lesser position so it was lesser stress. Perhaps Pete is already established in something else or was satisfied with his previous success when he did head coach at CC. However, I do think that comment to be accurate about Burke, lol.

    You like Jimmy Patsos now? Why? The way it seems is that you jumped on the bandwagon because they finally made it to the tournament this year, lol. Patsos has been there 8 years so it is about time he did something. If not for the transfers from other schools, Loyola would be still in the bottom half probably. Kevin, please don't emulate the majority of this country and be a 'fair weather' fan of Loyola and Patsos, lol. I am surprised we havent' heard of Patsos completely going off his rocker and killing one of his players yet. I seen him nearly twisted a players nose off before during a game on the bench, well, at least, he emulated like he was doing that lol.

    I believe if we got someone crazy to coach, then we should revive the ghost of the hilarious Mike Deane. He is very familiar with the NEC of course. He has been very successful too. He led Marquette to big success. He revived both Siena and Wagner for a time period from obscurity. I guarantee you that big Mike Deane would virtually 'stomp' those players into shape, lol. Did you ever see how he stood up and stomped on the floor hard enough to caused his players to fall out of their seats? lol. Then him and his cool glasses he wore, lol. He simply got ran out of Wagner because he wanted to do things his way, and his way was damn good. I'd absolutely love it if Mike Deane would rise from the dead and coach the Mount. Then he could exact revenge on Wagner and big money daddy's boy Danny Hurley.

    So, at the present time, out of all coaches, I vote for Big Mike Deane as the new coach at MSM!!!