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  1. #171
    Supporting Member X-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
    I am going to take a shot at this. I know I am going to get lambasted but here goes. I think the biggest problem is control by Steele. Back in November, I started a thread titled "Head Bands" I asked for opinions on this new look for our Musketeers. I honestly felt and still feel that this was a concession to the players to work with the coach in an atmosphere of friendship, respect and shared goals - a kumbaya moment. I think this backfired and is not something most college coaches would "give away" to their new team. Miller and Mack didn't let the players wear headbands. Almost by definition, I think college basketball coaches are controlling figures. "Do it this way or sit." "I am in charge." "This is my team." How many times have you seen a coach get into a players grill?. This is far different than the recruiting skills that Steele has succesfully demonstrated over the years. You need to have a different relationship with the players as head coach vs head recruiter. I believe the head bands are a symptom of his lack of control or being in charge. He wants to be their friend. Coaches coach/Recruiters sell.

    As for the core 4, many have regressed from last year. Q is not a shooter but he successfully ran the offense last year and found the open man. He should be able to do that this year. Tyrique should be better than last year, but has been very inconsistent so far. Naji is very athletic but tends to play out of control frequently but again should be improving over last year. Scruggs seems to be improving the most.

    Right now I am putting most of the blame on the coach. I am not convinced he has taken control of this team and the staff is not developing the players as I feel only Scruggs is playing up to last year's standards.
    I agree that Steele hasn't established his coaching chops enough to get (and keep) his players' attention. But the regressing of returning players has nothing to do with Steele IMHO. It is much easier for Goodin to run an offense and find the open man when he had Tre and JP waiting for his passes. And Tyrique needs room to catch and score this year, just like last year. But this year, teams can pack in the defense and it is much harder for him to get that room. Naji is trying to do too much, but this too stems from the fact that someone needs to pick up the scoring lost when Tre and JP graduated. None of this is Steele's fault. It is way premature to try and judge Steele's transition from associate to head coach. Give him some slack.
    Xavier always goes to the NCAA tournament...Projecting anything less than that this season feels like folly--Eamonn Brennan, ESPN (Summer Shootaround, 2012)

  2. #172
    Sophomore SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-man View Post
    I agree that Steele hasn't established his coaching chops enough to get (and keep) his players' attention. But the regressing of returning players has nothing to do with Steele IMHO. It is much easier for Goodin to run an offense and find the open man when he had Tre and JP waiting for his passes. And Tyrique needs room to catch and score this year, just like last year. But this year, teams can pack in the defense and it is much harder for him to get that room. Naji is trying to do too much, but this too stems from the fact that someone needs to pick up the scoring lost when Tre and JP graduated. None of this is Steele's fault. It is way premature to try and judge Steele's transition from associate to head coach. Give him some slack.
    I agree with your points but I would like to see some improvement. As for Steele, Miller and Mack were head recruiters too. It is not terminal; it just takes some time.

  3. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-man View Post
    I agree that Steele hasn't established his coaching chops enough to get (and keep) his players' attention. But the regressing of returning players has nothing to do with Steele IMHO. It is much easier for Goodin to run an offense and find the open man when he had Tre and JP waiting for his passes. And Tyrique needs room to catch and score this year, just like last year. But this year, teams can pack in the defense and it is much harder for him to get that room. Naji is trying to do too much, but this too stems from the fact that someone needs to pick up the scoring lost when Tre and JP graduated. None of this is Steele's fault. It is way premature to try and judge Steele's transition from associate to head coach. Give him some slack.
    I get your point but it still seems, a little bit anyway, of a cop out. For example, Tre was a spot up shooter meaning he generally wasn't going to create his shot. He needed Q (or somebody) to find a way to get him that ball when he was open. Welage is a spot up shooter. Like Tre, he needs Q to get him the ball when he is open. I'm not arguing the two are equivalent in talent but their games were, at least, somewhat similar. It seems like defenses are being packed in more this year (although I have no way to prove that) so Tyrique isn't going to get as many easy attempts. But, many of those "easy attempts" in the past were created by Q penetrating and then, once close to the basket and drawing defenders to him, dishing to Tyrique.

    There is a fall off in talent and experience from last year but the composition of all teams generally changes year to year. Players must adjust their style and coaches must coach to help them with their adjustments. Q finished better last year (as I recall) and he made his free throws when he went to the line. I don't see that this year. On the other hand, knowing that Welage is one of our few competent outside shooters, shouldn't Steele try to find ways to get Welage open looks? I don't see that happening either.

    There is a talent fall-off. I'll stipulate to that. But, I don't see the coaching adjustments to get the ball to the right people in the right spot. And, there does seem to be something to the argument that Steele isn't asserting enough influence on the play of individuals.

  4. #174
    Hall of Famer paulxu's Avatar
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    Just an impression, but when Welage wasn't out there, their defense moved back inside the 3 pt line.
    It's as if they knew none of our guys could make a shot out there, so why guard it.
    Consequently the lane was a clogged nightmare, as we tried to get the ball inside...pass or drive.
    Abysmal shooting day. We need people to set up some decent 3's or it will be a loooong season.
    ...he went up late, and I was already up there.

  5. #175
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    I think everyone realizes that lack of multiple outside threats is killing Qs ability to finish due to spacing, and Tyrique is not getting the momentum on passes that he got last year due to spacing and he isn't finishing (and of course today's bad FT compounds it). I see Scruggs pushing the ball more than Q, who seems to be moving more methodically. I think now that we realize we can sit Q he should be able to play with more pace (due to no need to pace himself)which should give him more "downhill" opportunities and the newly fit Tyrique and the 5 min miler Zach and even Welage should be able to run, not trot , the court. I think people underestimate the threat of Kanter last year with spacing and ability to make own shot. I won't throw anyone under the bus but Q if he makes a turnover (which will happen) could step it up on getting it back or getting into position. Good luck X, for better or worse I will be there and I have had so much "better" I can live with "worse" especially if I see improvement

  6. #176
    Supporting Member noteggs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XU 87 View Post
    I think we're getting into semantics, but I use the term "his guys" as meaning players that Steele had the final say over as head coach as whether they would be recruited or offered a scholarship. Using that definition, most of these players are "Mack's guys".
    100% agree! Letís look at the 2019 class because we seem to be impressed with the talent. First recruit to decide on X was Samari Curtis. Lead recruiter was Steele and Curtis still decided to decommit after Mack left.

    All five of the LOI signees in the class of 2019 received an offer while Steele was the head coach. Mack offers - zero. A lead recruiter is important but itís more critical whoís on the top of the programís list.

  7. #177
    Sophomore Muskeagle's Avatar
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    I have no idea how good a coach Travis Steele will be. I will say, I generally like what I've seen from him as a person as he seems honest and calm and the players did seem genuinely enthused to have him back when he was hired. That said, who the hell knows how good he will be?

    I teach at a high school and I know the varsity coach fairly well. He's been coaching since the late 80s and has had a lot of success over the years. He's definitely a "tough love" kind of guy, but his players respect him and know he cares about them. He has had the chance to attend a number of X practices over the years and he frequently mentions the transition he witnessed in Mack. The first year, he felt the players ran over him and generally did what they wanted. The next year, and even more in later years, he was in total control.

    It's hard to get the guys to see you as the boss and it's hard to be the boss, when you were the "chummy" assistant for so long. I know guys have said this before, but in this one respect alone, it could take a year (given how young all these guys are...maybe two) before he is able to totally assert himself and be seen as the "head" coach.

    Guys say all the time...."nope...not going to let the Super Bowl Championship affect me the next year"....but every year, it seems to do it anyway. The team can say..."no, we totally respect coach and know he's the leader," but maybe it really takes some time for it to sink in.

    I'm hopeful that he will be great, but I know enough not to judge who he will be on this year.
    Most fools only THINK they are ignorant.
    --Benjamin Franklin

  8. #178
    Supporting Member XU 87's Avatar
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    I think you raise good points- going from “chummy assistant” to head coach. I had also heard that Mack had a struggle or two to make this transition.

  9. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by MITTENMUSKIE16 View Post
    Paul. All heart.
    MVP of teh season so far. Give him the ball from 8 minutes left til the end of the game. Was Q benched most o 2nd half in favor of Harnin and Kennedy?

  10. #180
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    Yes, effectively he was benched for 9 minutes in the first half as well. Unfortunately, rightfully so.

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