Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Cataholic » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:30 pm

There is no reason that MSU cannot be a good basketball program. Wofford just won the Southern Conference and was 29-4 this year. They average 1,600 attendance at their games. Arena only seats 3,400 and campus only has 1,700 undergrad students in a town of 37,000.

Bozeman is beautiful town, great campus, great quality of life, good size student body and a great education. It is hard to understand how we only average 2,400 attendance per game, but we have not been winning. I remember Thursday night games in the late 80’s that drew 6,000! And for the naysayers of the Brick, it has a big arena feel while many of the Big Sky arenas feel like high school gyms.

Lots of young rising coaches out there that can turn the tide. Costello can really make his mark by bringing in the right guy and invigorating the program.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Helcat72 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:31 pm

BelgradeBobcat wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:43 pm
John K wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:29 pm
Wow! That's...interesting. So we spend slightly than both of the 2 best programs in the BSC, with virtually nothing to show for it.
I wouldn't say nothing. MSU sent our band to the Big Sky tournament. Missoula U did not. =D^
Well there goes that extra couple hundred thou!


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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by BelgradeBobcat » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:49 pm

MSU has never had a successful basketball team that didn't have a strong Montana presence. Fish couldn't land Brenden Howard or Mack Anderson. I doubt he even recruited Kendall Manuel. What if we had those guys? He finally got Ladan Ricketts and signed Caleb Bellach-too little too late. Why is RayQuan Evans at North Idaho? I'm sure Fish didn't give him the time of day. The new guy has got to get a bigger share of what little D-1 talent there is in this state. We're simply not going to be good without them. History proves it.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Cledus » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:29 pm

Cataholic wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:30 pm
There is no reason that MSU cannot be a good basketball program. Wofford just won the Southern Conference and was 29-4 this year. They average 1,600 attendance at their games. Arena only seats 3,400 and campus only has 1,700 undergrad students in a town of 37,000.

Bozeman is beautiful town, great campus, great quality of life, good size student body and a great education. It is hard to understand how we only average 2,400 attendance per game, but we have not been winning. I remember Thursday night games in the late 80’s that drew 6,000! And for the naysayers of the Brick, it has a big arena feel while many of the Big Sky arenas feel like high school gyms.

Lots of young rising coaches out there that can turn the tide. Costello can really make his mark by bringing in the right guy and invigorating the program.
Won’t this be Costello’s first hire?



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by BelgradeBobcat » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:36 pm

Listen to this interview between Anthony Nachreiner and Colter Nuanez about why MSU men's basketball has not been good for so many years. Bozeman's downtown is more than two blocks, but other than that-it's pretty good.




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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by GoldstoneCat » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:10 am

BelgradeBobcat wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:36 pm
Listen to this interview between Anthony Nachreiner and Colter Nuanez about why MSU men's basketball has not been good for so many years. Bozeman's downtown is more than two blocks, but other than that-it's pretty good.

I listened to this, and I agree with Colter, there's not necessarily been a commitment to break the malaise in the basketball program. The basketball program needs to be taken to all corners of the state, and featured, like the football program has been. The Sixth Man club is the first vehicle that can be used to increase resources inside the program, and I'd like to see that club used a little better. I'm a member of it that does not live in Bozeman, and I got little to no engagement from the coaching staff or the athletic department on that front. I'm outlying, I understand that, so I'm not asking for coaches to come out here a la QB club or anything, but some emails once in awhile or even a video conference into any event would be nice. If Costello is serious about rebuilding this program, I feel like some better engagement with basketball-willing boosters is a short path that could put some more money into the program, at least for assistant coaches and/or recruiting. Colter's point about the socio-economic "sameness" of Bozeman is well-taken, but if you can create buzz around a program that economic "class" can provide you an opportunity to raise significant dollars, as well. I feel like there just hasn't been the effort from the university, in a cohesive fashion, to push basketball at MSU. That's not to say that athletic department staff haven't; the ones I've interacted with regarding Sixth Man Club etc. have been great. This isn't a criticism of the department, but of the leadership and their direction on basketball. I hope the next coach (hopefully Sprinkle IMO) will be encouraged to try to grow that donor club by re-imagining what it can be and can do for the program.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Cataholic » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:51 am

Cledus wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:29 pm
Cataholic wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:30 pm
There is no reason that MSU cannot be a good basketball program. Wofford just won the Southern Conference and was 29-4 this year. They average 1,600 attendance at their games. Arena only seats 3,400 and campus only has 1,700 undergrad students in a town of 37,000.

Bozeman is beautiful town, great campus, great quality of life, good size student body and a great education. It is hard to understand how we only average 2,400 attendance per game, but we have not been winning. I remember Thursday night games in the late 80’s that drew 6,000! And for the naysayers of the Brick, it has a big arena feel while many of the Big Sky arenas feel like high school gyms.

Lots of young rising coaches out there that can turn the tide. Costello can really make his mark by bringing in the right guy and invigorating the program.
Won’t this be Costello’s first hire?
I think so, but it is an important hire. A reinvigorated basketball program would be a major accomplishment for an MSU athletic director. Something Fields never got done.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Cataholic » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:59 am

GoldstoneCat wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:10 am
BelgradeBobcat wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:36 pm
Listen to this interview between Anthony Nachreiner and Colter Nuanez about why MSU men's basketball has not been good for so many years. Bozeman's downtown is more than two blocks, but other than that-it's pretty good.

I listened to this, and I agree with Colter, there's not necessarily been a commitment to break the malaise in the basketball program. The basketball program needs to be taken to all corners of the state, and featured, like the football program has been. The Sixth Man club is the first vehicle that can be used to increase resources inside the program, and I'd like to see that club used a little better. I'm a member of it that does not live in Bozeman, and I got little to no engagement from the coaching staff or the athletic department on that front. I'm outlying, I understand that, so I'm not asking for coaches to come out here a la QB club or anything, but some emails once in awhile or even a video conference into any event would be nice. If Costello is serious about rebuilding this program, I feel like some better engagement with basketball-willing boosters is a short path that could put some more money into the program, at least for assistant coaches and/or recruiting. Colter's point about the socio-economic "sameness" of Bozeman is well-taken, but if you can create buzz around a program that economic "class" can provide you an opportunity to raise significant dollars, as well. I feel like there just hasn't been the effort from the university, in a cohesive fashion, to push basketball at MSU. That's not to say that athletic department staff haven't; the ones I've interacted with regarding Sixth Man Club etc. have been great. This isn't a criticism of the department, but of the leadership and their direction on basketball. I hope the next coach (hopefully Sprinkle IMO) will be encouraged to try to grow that donor club by re-imagining what it can be and can do for the program.
It is pretty simple, you have to win.... the fact that MSU has been able to average 2,300 and be third in conference attendance despite so many losing seasons is remarkable. Win some games and you will awaken a sleeping giant (maybe just oversized person).

I haven’t listed to Nach’s comments yet, but is he saying that Missoula’s downtown is better than Bozeman’s? Bozeman might have the most vibrant downtown in Montana. Missoula has empty buildings and lots of homeless. The Mo Club and Stockmans do not constitute a vibrant downtown.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by homeytennis » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:23 am

It's not about the Xs and Os but the Jimmies and Joes. MSU needs to hire a salesman and recruiter. There are good high school players in Montana. Go get the best ones. Wyoming had two top ten junior college programs in Sheridan and Casper. Not exactly basketball garden spots how did they get ballers to come there? Also the State of Utah imho is under recruited and they have produced really good players from time to time. Then there are always Seattle, Portland, the Bay Area and LA.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by CelticCat » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:31 am

homeytennis wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:23 am
It's not about the Xs and Os but the Jimmies and Joes. MSU needs to hire a salesman and recruiter. There are good high school players in Montana. Go get the best ones. Wyoming had two top ten junior college programs in Sheridan and Casper. Not exactly basketball garden spots how did they get ballers to come there? Also the State of Utah imho is under recruited and they have produced really good players from time to time. Then there are always Seattle, Portland, the Bay Area and LA.
Recruiting talent wasn't Fish's biggest problem, it was keeping the talent in Bozeman. Whether that is because he is hard to play for or guys had some culture shock when they got to Bozeman, that's hard to say. Isaac Bonton is a great example, he was a highly recruited kid and a very impressive get, but he didn't make it through a whole year. Colter said on ESPN that the word is Bonton demanded that he start above Frey, and Fish said no, and that was that.

I also thought player development wasn't too bad either. Anyone who stuck around for more than a year improved, or at least maxed out their abilities.

We need a coach who understands what it takes to recruit, maintain and develop talent at a more rural school like MSU. Basketball is such a universal sport, you can find talent pretty much anywhere, but you need to make sure they will mesh well with the culture in Bozeman.


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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by LTown Cat » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:18 am

BelgradeBobcat wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:49 pm
MSU has never had a successful basketball team that didn't have a strong Montana presence. Fish couldn't land Brenden Howard or Mack Anderson. I doubt he even recruited Kendall Manuel. What if we had those guys? He finally got Ladan Ricketts and signed Caleb Bellach-too little too late. Why is RayQuan Evans at North Idaho? I'm sure Fish didn't give him the time of day. The new guy has got to get a bigger share of what little D-1 talent there is in this state. We're simply not going to be good without them. History proves it.
This!!


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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Cataholic » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:33 am

CelticCat wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:31 am
homeytennis wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:23 am
It's not about the Xs and Os but the Jimmies and Joes. MSU needs to hire a salesman and recruiter. There are good high school players in Montana. Go get the best ones. Wyoming had two top ten junior college programs in Sheridan and Casper. Not exactly basketball garden spots how did they get ballers to come there? Also the State of Utah imho is under recruited and they have produced really good players from time to time. Then there are always Seattle, Portland, the Bay Area and LA.
Recruiting talent wasn't Fish's biggest problem, it was keeping the talent in Bozeman. Whether that is because he is hard to play for or guys had some culture shock when they got to Bozeman, that's hard to say. Isaac Bonton is a great example, he was a highly recruited kid and a very impressive get, but he didn't make it through a whole year. Colter said on ESPN that the word is Bonton demanded that he start above Frey, and Fish said no, and that was that.

I also thought player development wasn't too bad either. Anyone who stuck around for more than a year improved, or at least maxed out their abilities.

We need a coach who understands what it takes to recruit, maintain and develop talent at a more rural school like MSU. Basketball is such a universal sport, you can find talent pretty much anywhere, but you need to make sure they will mesh well with the culture in Bozeman.
Good post.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by CelticCat » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:32 pm



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Colter_Nuanez » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:36 pm

Cataholic wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:59 am
GoldstoneCat wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:10 am
BelgradeBobcat wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:36 pm
Listen to this interview between Anthony Nachreiner and Colter Nuanez about why MSU men's basketball has not been good for so many years. Bozeman's downtown is more than two blocks, but other than that-it's pretty good.

I listened to this, and I agree with Colter, there's not necessarily been a commitment to break the malaise in the basketball program. The basketball program needs to be taken to all corners of the state, and featured, like the football program has been. The Sixth Man club is the first vehicle that can be used to increase resources inside the program, and I'd like to see that club used a little better. I'm a member of it that does not live in Bozeman, and I got little to no engagement from the coaching staff or the athletic department on that front. I'm outlying, I understand that, so I'm not asking for coaches to come out here a la QB club or anything, but some emails once in awhile or even a video conference into any event would be nice. If Costello is serious about rebuilding this program, I feel like some better engagement with basketball-willing boosters is a short path that could put some more money into the program, at least for assistant coaches and/or recruiting. Colter's point about the socio-economic "sameness" of Bozeman is well-taken, but if you can create buzz around a program that economic "class" can provide you an opportunity to raise significant dollars, as well. I feel like there just hasn't been the effort from the university, in a cohesive fashion, to push basketball at MSU. That's not to say that athletic department staff haven't; the ones I've interacted with regarding Sixth Man Club etc. have been great. This isn't a criticism of the department, but of the leadership and their direction on basketball. I hope the next coach (hopefully Sprinkle IMO) will be encouraged to try to grow that donor club by re-imagining what it can be and can do for the program.
It is pretty simple, you have to win.... the fact that MSU has been able to average 2,300 and be third in conference attendance despite so many losing seasons is remarkable. Win some games and you will awaken a sleeping giant (maybe just oversized person).

I haven’t listed to Nach’s comments yet, but is he saying that Missoula’s downtown is better than Bozeman’s? Bozeman might have the most vibrant downtown in Montana. Missoula has empty buildings and lots of homeless. The Mo Club and Stockmans do not constitute a vibrant downtown.
The best way I could explain it is this: Bozeman's downtown is more vibrant and newer and cleaner etc. But it's not better to young people, especially young men from urban areas. When I said Bozeman's downtown was two blocks, I should've said wide. I know the main drag is much longer than two blocks. The main drag is main street on both sides and maybe one street over each way. Missoula's downtown just has a lot more options. I'm not saying better because most of them are dive bars. But you have to remember that the niceness of Bozeman also makes it way more expensive, especially when it comes to night life and partying at the bars. And college kids don't have any money. Just pointing out some observations. By and large I have not met many kids from West Coast urban areas who love the best parts of Bozeman - skiing, fishing, hunting.

On that note, I had an idea of how I would build Montana State- from the Midwest in instead of from the West Coast, or nationally, like Brian Fish did. Ryan Tootell and I did the last 1/3 of this podcast about this exact topic on this week's Big Sky Breakdown




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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Colter_Nuanez » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:38 pm

And I guess the most concise way I could say what I think Montana State needs to do to become elite in basketball is this: it's about way more than just the coach. If you think you are going to fix the mediocrity that has defined MSU basketball for most of my life, you have to do more than just change the coach.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by CelticCat » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:43 pm

Colter_Nuanez wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:38 pm
And I guess the most concise way I could say what I think Montana State needs to do to become elite in basketball is this: it's about way more than just the coach. If you think you are going to fix the mediocrity that has defined MSU basketball for most of my life, you have to do more than just change the coach.
I mostly agree. Sometimes you can catch lightning in a bottle with a coach, but more likely there is a lot more keeping MSU from having a legit bball team than just coaching.


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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by homeytennis » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:07 pm

Why not go out of the box and hire Coby Karl, the LA Defenders coach in the GLeague with his dad George as the No 1 assistant. George coached in Montana in the CBA before heading to the NBA.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Cataholic » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:10 pm

Colter_Nuanez wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:38 pm
And I guess the most concise way I could say what I think Montana State needs to do to become elite in basketball is this: it's about way more than just the coach. If you think you are going to fix the mediocrity that has defined MSU basketball for most of my life, you have to do more than just change the coach.
While it is more than just the coach, it all starts with the coach. He hand picks the players and assistants. He sets the tone. He molds the culture. All of that can happen in Bozeman. Other programs have found ways to win in much worse environments. Look at the humble beginnings of Gonzaga. I don’t envision Gonzaga type success, but becoming a dominant player in the Big Sky every year is an attainable goal. We just need the right leader for the program.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by Colter_Nuanez » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:31 pm

Cataholic wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:10 pm
Colter_Nuanez wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:38 pm
And I guess the most concise way I could say what I think Montana State needs to do to become elite in basketball is this: it's about way more than just the coach. If you think you are going to fix the mediocrity that has defined MSU basketball for most of my life, you have to do more than just change the coach.
While it is more than just the coach, it all starts with the coach. He hand picks the players and assistants. He sets the tone. He molds the culture. All of that can happen in Bozeman. Other programs have found ways to win in much worse environments. Look at the humble beginnings of Gonzaga. I don’t envision Gonzaga type success, but becoming a dominant player in the Big Sky every year is an attainable goal. We just need the right leader for the program.
The other thing to consider is how much more expensive recruiting, bringing recruits to Bozeman and getting out to recruit, than almost anywhere else in the Big Sky. Weber State has SLC airport, EWU (and Gonzaga) has the Spokane airport, etc. How does Southern Utah do it? Well Todd Simon has a pipeline straight from Las Vegas, which is two hours away, because of his time both at Findlay Prep and UNLV. Also, I don't think SUU is the bar MSU fans are shooting for.

How does Montana do it? Well they recruit very specific areas — Seattle (where DeCuire is from) and Oakland, because DeCuire was at Cal — and fill the rest in with Montana kids (Kendal Manuel, Mack Anderson) and transfers (Jamar Akoh). And Montana gets significant private donations to boost its recruiting budget.

It does all start with the coach. But getting the right coach is going to take fixing some of the systematic issues — football mindset, practice situation, MSU basketball coaches offices, budget — first. Just like DeCuire, Coach Fish fundraised to back-fill most of the gaps, but it still was hard.

All that said, MSU's biggest downfall the last 13 seasons has been roster turnover. Which is why finding the right fit for Bozeman is so essential.



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Re: Coach Fish (Does he stay or go)

Post by BelgradeBobcat » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:51 pm

Colter_Nuanez wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:31 pm
The other thing to consider is how much more expensive recruiting, bringing recruits to Bozeman and getting out to recruit, than almost anywhere else in the Big Sky. Weber State has SLC airport, EWU (and Gonzaga) has the Spokane airport, etc. How does Southern Utah do it? Well Todd Simon has a pipeline straight from Las Vegas, which is two hours away, because of his time both at Findlay Prep and UNLV. Also, I don't think SUU is the bar MSU fans are shooting for.

How does Montana do it? Well they recruit very specific areas — Seattle (where DeCuire is from) and Oakland, because DeCuire was at Cal — and fill the rest in with Montana kids (Kendal Manuel, Mack Anderson) and transfers (Jamar Akoh). And Montana gets significant private donations to boost its recruiting budget.

It does all start with the coach. But getting the right coach is going to take fixing some of the systematic issues — football mindset, practice situation, MSU basketball coaches offices, budget — first. Just like DeCuire, Coach Fish fundraised to back-fill most of the gaps, but it still was hard.

All that said, MSU's biggest downfall the last 13 seasons has been roster turnover. Which is why finding the right fit for Bozeman is so essential.
Interesting comments on the podcast about how Binford recruits. I wondered if her approach would work for the men's team. Nate Harris told me that they specifically recruit in areas that are a direct flight away-thus Seattle, Denver, and Minneapolis. But since then Binford has hit Boise hard-getting three signees out of there. It seemed a little strange to me-but not a big suprise since Binford went to school there. But after being in Boise for the Big Sky Tournament, it hit me that Boise is just a much bigger version of Bozeman in a lot of ways. Bozeman is more like Boise than Pocatello or Moscow for sure, so maybe those kids feel more comfortable in Bozeman-same for Choate's football recruits. I don't know what kind of boys basketball mecca Boise is, but the area is a lot bigger than one might think. Also, if the Big Sky tournament stays in Boise, Binford's team is going to have a lot friends and family of those kids to supplement the cheering section.



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