What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

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wapiti
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What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by wapiti » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:30 am

What needs to be done to make our men's team competitive in the Big Sky?
We have not been competitive since Durham. I am not on board yet with replacing the HC.

Would a Basketball arena be part of the solution? The griz were not very good with Basketball until they built a basketball arena.
Weber State has a nice arena.
EWU has a dedicated basketball arena.

Have we been striking out on the HC's? or are we not getting quality assistant coaches? or both.
or
are we striking out on recruiting? (Other than Hall and Frey)
or
does there need to be a culture change within the men's bball program?
or
Lack of interest from the fan's.
or
lack of committed resources from MSU to promote the team.

Why have we been so terrible with the men's bball team?????



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by mslacat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:22 pm

We could improve our basketball facilities some to help with recruiting, but the admin would rather pump money into football. When it all comes down to it the answer is the head coach. The head coach hires the assistants, chooses which players to recruit, sets the tone for the program and puts the players in a position (or not) to win games!



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by BelgradeBobcat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:31 pm

Coaching: MSU hasn't had a head coach move on to a bigger job since Ott Romney went to BYU in the 1920's. Doesn't look like Fish is going to move up to a bigger job as a head coach either. Compare our coaching record to um's-they've had half-a-dozen or so move up-and DeCuire will too.

Location: Montana is two states away from a major metro area. Bozeman is perceived as rural. MSU is at its heart-a cow college. With Bozeman growing, MSU growing and diversifying, our airport expanding and getting more direct flights (so players can get home and parents can fly up here) maybe that will change a little bit.

Complete abandonment of in-state talent. Phantom will kill me on this, but having 2 or 3 instate scholarship kids on the roster and playing (not just walk on practice players) will help the program. It helps with fan interest which makes the program more exciting and so-on. Having some in state guys on the team who's family can be substitute families to the the out-of-state players helps-it sure does with the football team. Fish finally signed Ricketts. Guess what-he's starting! Ladan Ricketts didn't set the world on fire coming out of high school, but after 2 years in a JC he comes here and starts almost immediately. There were better players than Ricketts in Montana when he came out of high school. Fish signed Caleb Bellach for next season. I predict he will have a big impact on the program. More than a Junior College bench player from out-of-state that Fish has frequently signed-and then found out wasn't very good. MSU has never had a good basketball team that didn't have a strong contingent of in-state players.

Keeping your recruits: I don't know who was a fault-the kid or the coach, but last season Fish lost his two best high school recruits before Christmas time. Isaac Bonton went to a JC in Wyoming, is frequently scoring 30 points a game, and will probably end up at a high major school next season. If we had him this season I think we're a pretty good team. Bonton is one of several recruits that have moved on before they used up their eligibility under Fish. That's a problem.

Facilities: Our arena is fine, but it's not near the best in the league. But it is, what it is. It'd be a lot better if there were more people in it during basketball games, but that support has all but evaporated in the Huse and Fish years.

As long as the football team is doing good-nobody really cares I'm afraid. At MSU we can't seem to be good at both at the same time.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by iaafan » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:05 pm

Get the ball to your best shooter and encourage him to shoot. Hint hint. That’s Ricketts. He should be pumping up 15-20 per game. He’s 47% from 3, but only 59 attempts. Hall is 36% with 88 attempts. That’s 3 points per game MSU is throwing away by not recognizing who can shoot. Frey has 53 attempts at 30%. Give half those to Ricketts and that’s another 4 to the per game average. MSU throws away seven points due to not knowing who it’s best shooter is. Ricketts is also 11-11 FTs. He’d get to the line more if he shot more.

Big guys rebound, passers assist, shooters score...

It ain’t rocket science. But this is a common problem for basketball coaches at all levels. Ball hogs abound and people actually think 30% shooters are good because they have that ONE good game occasionally.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by Cledus » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:15 pm

mslacat wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:22 pm
We could improve our basketball facilities some to help with recruiting, but the admin would rather pump money into football. When it all comes down to it the answer is the head coach. The head coach hires the assistants, chooses which players to recruit, sets the tone for the program and puts the players in a position (or not) to win games!
I'm not a basketball wonk or goob, but I've always believed coaching in basketball has more of an impact on the outcome than in other sports. Maybe it's because the players play both offense and defense, I don't know.

What I do know is I've seen too many coaches turn around programs in one to two years to know it's not a fluke. Bennett and Krysko immediately come to mind. Washington State and Virginia were almost always doormats until Bennett showed up and his turnaround efforts were quick. Given he's done it now twice in a row, you can pretty easily say it's not luck or fluky.

Maybe part of the problem is the administration. If we've had a bad run of coaching, I believe the administration needs to do a better job of setting and managing expectations.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by WolfPtCat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:51 pm

BelgradeBobcat wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:31 pm

Complete abandonment of in-state talent. Phantom will kill me on this, but having 2 or 3 instate scholarship kids on the roster and playing (not just walk on practice players) will help the program. It helps with fan interest which makes the program more exciting and so-on. Having some in state guys on the team who's family can be substitute families to the the out-of-state players helps-it sure does with the football team. Fish finally signed Ricketts. Guess what-he's starting! Ladan Ricketts didn't set the world on fire coming out of high school, but after 2 years in a JC he comes here and starts almost immediately. There were better players than Ricketts in Montana when he came out of high school. Fish signed Caleb Bellach for next season. I predict he will have a big impact on the program. More than a Junior College bench player from out-of-state that Fish has frequently signed-and then found out wasn't very good. MSU has never had a good basketball team that didn't have a strong contingent of in-state players.
My older cousin (originally from Helena) was at the DU game with me last night. I blew him off when he made this comment. "if we are going to be bottom half of Big Sky....then stock the team with MT kids, at least people would go to watch them play". My response....MT maybe has 1-2 players per year with DI talent.

I used to hear this all the time in Wyoming re: UW Cowboy football.

But your post makes me re-think. Last exciting team. Late 90's...Danny Sprinkle (Helena) Dan Sullivan (Billings) John Lazosky (Billings). A lot of students and fans would go to root on the local players. This improved the other points from you post....Attendance, Institutional support, ect.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by ilovethecats » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:57 pm

Cledus wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:15 pm
mslacat wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:22 pm
We could improve our basketball facilities some to help with recruiting, but the admin would rather pump money into football. When it all comes down to it the answer is the head coach. The head coach hires the assistants, chooses which players to recruit, sets the tone for the program and puts the players in a position (or not) to win games!
I'm not a basketball wonk or goob, but I've always believed coaching in basketball has more of an impact on the outcome than in other sports. Maybe it's because the players play both offense and defense, I don't know.

What I do know is I've seen too many coaches turn around programs in one to two years to know it's not a fluke. Bennett and Krysko immediately come to mind. Washington State and Virginia were almost always doormats until Bennett showed up and his turnaround efforts were quick. Given he's done it now twice in a row, you can pretty easily say it's not luck or fluky.

Maybe part of the problem is the administration. If we've had a bad run of coaching, I believe the administration needs to do a better job of setting and managing expectations.
Ya it's actually pretty funny how the question was posted. "I'm not on board with replacing the head coach...but what needs to be done?"

We'll you're not going to like the answer because first and formost Fish has to go. He lost this team years ago. We've literally had players tell recruits not to come here during the recruiting process. That's rock bottom. So first and formost we need new leadership.

i'd like to see us recruit shooters again like durham used to. we haven't had a pure, knock-down, ice-in-his-veins shooter in almost two decades. we're one of the only teams in the nation who acts like shooting really isn't that important. and i'd be curious to see what teams out there shoot at a worse clip than we do on our own home floor.

we could upgrade facilities for sure. but i've been to many of the big sky facilities and there are only a few that i think are hands-down better than the brick. facilities are what you make it. start winning games and facilities will come.

this isn't a convo we need to overthink though. coaching is bad. actually let me rephrase that as i do belive fish has a great basketball mind. but he doesn't relate to his players and his in-game adjustments are many times non-existent. if players stop playing for a guy, the chance of winning iz about zero.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by Bobcat4Ever » Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:25 pm

What if the men's basketball team had won two Big Sky championships, one tournament, and had only one losing season (the first) in like twelve years? I know I’d be pretty happy compared to now. That's of course what our women's team has done, and what did we do differently there? Took a chance on an up-and-coming young coach with a good background who really wanted to be a head coach and had a plan. I believe there are lots of younger coaches who are or want to be D-I head coaches at a great place like Montana State. Hiring a career assistant as a head coach often does not go well. Let's use our maximum three-year contract ability to take a chance on that someone "who everyone says is going to be an excellent coach." If after three years (don't wait eight) nothing has gone well, try it again. Is there risk involved? Of course — but if you don’t take a chance to be good then it's unlikely to ever happen.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by BelgradeBobcat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:30 pm

WolfPtCat wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:51 pm
But your post makes me re-think. Last exciting team. Late 90's...Danny Sprinkle (Helena) Dan Sullivan (Billings) John Lazosky (Billings). A lot of students and fans would go to root on the local players. This improved the other points from you post....Attendance, Institutional support, ect.
Scott Hatler, Adam Leachman, and Danny Sprinkle were starters on the last MSU team to go to the NCAA tournament. Thinking back on those guys in high school-would Fish have given any of them the time of day?



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by BozoneCat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:39 am

BelgradeBobcat wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:30 pm
WolfPtCat wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:51 pm
But your post makes me re-think. Last exciting team. Late 90's...Danny Sprinkle (Helena) Dan Sullivan (Billings) John Lazosky (Billings). A lot of students and fans would go to root on the local players. This improved the other points from you post....Attendance, Institutional support, ect.
Scott Hatler, Adam Leachman, and Danny Sprinkle were starters on the last MSU team to go to the NCAA tournament. Thinking back on those guys in high school-would Fish have given any of them the time of day?
I don’t disagree, but on the other hand Montana high school basketball is not even close to what it was in the 80’s and 90’s. There hasn’t been a lot of D1 players to come out of Montana in the last 20 years. I still think that if MSU continues to lose more than they win, it doesn’t matter where the players come from, people will stop coming. I agree with @ilovethecats, it is pretty evident that a coaching change needs to happen. This is not working, and people hardly care any more.


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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by phantom » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:25 am

BelgradeBobcat wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:31 pm
Coaching: MSU hasn't had a head coach move on to a bigger job since Ott Romney went to BYU in the 1920's. Doesn't look like Fish is going to move up to a bigger job as a head coach either. Compare our coaching record to um's-they've had half-a-dozen or so move up-and DeCuire will too.

Location: Montana is two states away from a major metro area. Bozeman is perceived as rural. MSU is at its heart-a cow college. With Bozeman growing, MSU growing and diversifying, our airport expanding and getting more direct flights (so players can get home and parents can fly up here) maybe that will change a little bit.

Complete abandonment of in-state talent. Phantom will kill me on this, but having 2 or 3 instate scholarship kids on the roster and playing (not just walk on practice players) will help the program. It helps with fan interest which makes the program more exciting and so-on. Having some in state guys on the team who's family can be substitute families to the the out-of-state players helps-it sure does with the football team. Fish finally signed Ricketts. Guess what-he's starting! Ladan Ricketts didn't set the world on fire coming out of high school, but after 2 years in a JC he comes here and starts almost immediately. There were better players than Ricketts in Montana when he came out of high school. Fish signed Caleb Bellach for next season. I predict he will have a big impact on the program. More than a Junior College bench player from out-of-state that Fish has frequently signed-and then found out wasn't very good. MSU has never had a good basketball team that didn't have a strong contingent of in-state players.

Keeping your recruits: I don't know who was a fault-the kid or the coach, but last season Fish lost his two best high school recruits before Christmas time. Isaac Bonton went to a JC in Wyoming, is frequently scoring 30 points a game, and will probably end up at a high major school next season. If we had him this season I think we're a pretty good team. Bonton is one of several recruits that have moved on before they used up their eligibility under Fish. That's a problem.

Facilities: Our arena is fine, but it's not near the best in the league. But it is, what it is. It'd be a lot better if there were more people in it during basketball games, but that support has all but evaporated in the Huse and Fish years.

As long as the football team is doing good-nobody really cares I'm afraid. At MSU we can't seem to be good at both at the same time.
Lol ... I'm not going to kill you for it, it's all good, but I don't necessarily agree with you. Bottom line, I think the fan base says they'd like to have more Montana kids when things aren't going well. If the Montana kids can't help you win, the fan base is going to want a change anyway. Ricketts has a skill set, shooting the basketball from the 3 and the size needed, so he makes sense. Don't get wrong, I have no problem recruiting Montana kids if you think they can help you win and ideally, you'd be able to land one every couple of years that can contribute and help.
When you talk about keeping your recruits, I tend to think of those situations where there is typically blame to go around on both sides. On the coaching side, a lot of player relations come down to the ability of the coaching staff, many times the assistants to communicate to the player what needs to be done. Most of the time, the player has adjustments that have to be made to be successful and as freshmen that are used to having success and now struggling, that is hard for them. In those instances, the head coach is obviously important, but the assistants are crucial.
I'm not sure what the budget is for men's basketball. While MSLACAT correctly points out that the head coach is responsible for everything, he doesn't control the baseline budget for the men's program. He can increase it by playing buy games, which is what it sounds like Fish did this year to help with travel. What is the pay for the assistant coaches compared to other comparable program. While the head coach hires the assistants, the amount of money paid to the assistants can have a big determination in the depth and quality of the pool. That will have an effect on recruiting, coaching, player development, scouting, everything. So, when MSU moves forward with the next coach, will they increase the pool of money to hire the assistants to help the new coach?
I'm not a huge facilities guy, but I do think they can impact recruiting. When you get a recruit on campus, everything matters and facilities will make an impression, one way or another.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by phantom » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:34 am

iaafan wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:05 pm
Get the ball to your best shooter and encourage him to shoot. Hint hint. That’s Ricketts. He should be pumping up 15-20 per game. He’s 47% from 3, but only 59 attempts. Hall is 36% with 88 attempts. That’s 3 points per game MSU is throwing away by not recognizing who can shoot. Frey has 53 attempts at 30%. Give half those to Ricketts and that’s another 4 to the per game average. MSU throws away seven points due to not knowing who it’s best shooter is. Ricketts is also 11-11 FTs. He’d get to the line more if he shot more.

Big guys rebound, passers assist, shooters score...

It ain’t rocket science. But this is a common problem for basketball coaches at all levels. Ball hogs abound and people actually think 30% shooters are good because they have that ONE good game occasionally.
Where you are on the opponents scouting report makes a huge difference. Ricketts is shooting a good percentage and the great for him and the program. He's a 3-point specialist and he's doing that well. 11 FT's have no correlation to how many shots he takes, it's more indicative that he is a spot up shooter and doesn't attack the basket. Nothing wrong with that, he plays to his strengths. If you took Hall and Frey out of the lineup or made Ricketts the focus, his percentage would do down as teams would focus more on running him off the line and making him put the ball on the floor.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by bobcat99 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:07 am

iaafan wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:05 pm
Get the ball to your best shooter and encourage him to shoot. Hint hint. That’s Ricketts. He should be pumping up 15-20 per game. He’s 47% from 3, but only 59 attempts. Hall is 36% with 88 attempts. That’s 3 points per game MSU is throwing away by not recognizing who can shoot. Frey has 53 attempts at 30%. Give half those to Ricketts and that’s another 4 to the per game average. MSU throws away seven points due to not knowing who it’s best shooter is. Ricketts is also 11-11 FTs. He’d get to the line more if he shot more.

Big guys rebound, passers assist, shooters score...

It ain’t rocket science. But this is a common problem for basketball coaches at all levels. Ball hogs abound and people actually think 30% shooters are good because they have that ONE good game occasionally.
Ugh. I'm sorry, but this is so inaccurate.

Tyler Hall is our best shooter. Why are his percentages low? Because he draws the attention of EVERYBODY. He is the primary draw, always getting the best perimeter defender.

Now, Ricketts is a good shooter. He's a fine player. But if he was getting face guarded by the other teams best defender the whole way down the court, then you would see his percentages drop too. That's basic common sense.

Now...Ricketts is a catch and shoot player. He does not create his own shot. He does not drive and score, or drive and dish. So please explain how this would increase his FT rate by shooting more? I'm sure he'd get a couple more, but I would bet his FT rate would stay about the same, which is pretty low.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by bobcat99 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:08 am

Oh Phantom beat me to it. Good job phantom.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by bobcat99 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:10 am

While I'm here, how about stop recruiting athletic guys who can't shoot, dribble, pass, and can only potentially play defense. Drives me nuts.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by bobcat99 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:10 am

And our development is ******, which is on the coaches.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by phantom » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:54 am

bobcat99 wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:10 am
And our development is ******, which is on the coaches.
At the end of the day, everything is on the coaches. My point in an earlier post was, I'm not sure how the pool of money to hire assistants is compared to other schools. So much goes into success. Recruiting talent is obviously crucial, but talent has to be developed, both mentally and physically. It takes an entire coaching staff to do that. I'm not making a judgement on this coaching staff, just making the point.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by wapiti » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:00 am

So if much of this issue is on the head coach. How do we attract a better head coach? Would improved basketball facilities attract a better head coach? How bad was the pool of applicants from the last 2 hires???

I also agree that we need more players that are from the state of Montana. If there are 1 to 2 players every year that are Div 1 capable, then we should always have 2 to 4 players that are from Montana.



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by aucat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:23 am

I posted a comment on the SDSU game with the women about the incredible excellence that SDSU has regarding their entire athletic program. Both their men and women are consistently very strong in hoops, and we already know about the excellence of their football program.

The fact that we hired Leon Costello away from SDSU gives me optimism for the future. Leon knows what success looks like and what it takes to achieve it. If SDSU can achieve this kind of consistent success, there is no reason why MSU cannot achieve it. I think we are on the way in football. We have had our ups and downs in women's hoops, but have not achieved a consistency. Our men's hoops program is frustrating to say the least. When you see programs like SDSU, and for that matter, UM achieve such outstanding success in basketball, you naturally think, then why the heck can't MSU do that?



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Re: What needs to be done to improve men's B-ball?

Post by aucat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:36 am

Regarding facilities, while attending the last two ladies games I was actually thinking how much better the basketball arena is now compared to not that long ago. I really LOVE the new overhead scoreboard. The huge video screen is great and it is really nice to see the stats displayed as the game is played, like 3 pt %, overall FG %, FTs, etc. etc. The closeups of the players faces are fun to see.

Then you look at the entire arena. All the seats are very comfortable. It wasn't that long ago that we were basically sitting on rolled out bleachers. So I certainly think our arena is very nice and has an "old fashioned" appeal that I think is important to have these days.

As I looked up at our banner which states that we haven't won a Big Sky championship since 2002-- (way too long, 16 years!) I couldn't help recall a game that I attended, I believe in December of 1996. MSU had a "Holiday tournament" of some sort and we played Mississippi State out of the SEC for the championship, and BEAT THEM! The place was completely PACKED. Just think the students were out, no band, no cheerleaders, just fans. Think how much our community has grown since 1996. Think about the growth in student enrollment. And for that matter, how much better the arena is compared to then. So what's the difference? Well, I looked up at that banner and we were winning championships back in '96.

It's great to have fatihful fans. I look at myself as one, but maybe I'm not. I didn't attend MSU. I go because I love sports. As long as MSU is COMPETITIVE, I will attend all MSU athletic events. However, to me, I guess I just don't get much entertainment value of watching my home team lose by 20 points. I would love to see all of our athletic teams contend for championships on a regular basis. Some fans demand this, and this is what it takes to pack the arena. Me? I just ask that we provide competitive exciting games. But I do think we have good facilities.



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