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UCBearcatlawjd2 Online
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Post: #1
Progress?
As we enter March of year 3 here is Wes Miller’s record vs the too three quads.

Year 1: 6-14 plus one quad 4 loss.
Year 2: 11-13 but 10-5 vs quad 2 and 3.
Year 3: 7-12 but 3 of those wins are quad 1.

Brannen’s last year 9-10 with one Quad 4 loss.

My evaluation, if Brannen wasn’t a moron with his players and scheduled smarter during the Covid he may have still been coaching here. Glad he isn’t coaching here but a lot of his issues were self sabotage.

Wes Year 1 sucked. No way around it. It was worse than both Brannen years by far.

Wes Year 2 was a huge leap in terms of winning games vs decent teams.

Wes Year 3 has regressed a bit vs decent teams but they have had way less opportunities. They have made a bit of progress vs the best competition but not enough.


The last three games will give us a really good idea if real progress has been made. Wes Year 2 would handle K-State and WVU at home but lose in a rather uncompetitive game vs Oklahoma. In my view it’s extremely important to get the last two home games. That would show a 6-4 record which isn’t that off from the Year 2 record.

Overall the numbers are still not good enough. A good team and a good coach are consistently above .500 in games vs the top 3 quads.

The biggest goal going forward has to be protecting home court. It’s been a problem for this staff since year 1 and has to get better or there won’t be a year 5 or year 6. The second biggest goal in my opinion comes down grabbing a scoring alpha that is also a leader on the court. It’s a combination of roster construction, culture, and leadership that has to improve.
 
02-29-2024 07:28 PM
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bearcatmark Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Progress?
There has been small progress this year as UC has been a top 30-40 kenpom team most the season (they are 44 right now, which is 6 spots better than last year). But I think the big roster reset this year (5 of the top 6 scorers from last year are gone) while upping the overall talent still left us with a lot of new guys (new to the program and in some cases guys new to D1 college basketball) that had to take on big roles.

I think fans tend to ignore the positive effect of continuity. There is a reason the expression is get old stay old. If the team came back as currently constructed minus Newman and Ody, I firmly believe it would be a top 25 team next year. The continuity and year of development matter a ton.

Odds are a couple of others leave and they add a couple portal pieces. As long as they keep Jizzle, Dan, Simas, and 2 of their centers...this team is going to be really good and the right portal pieces could see a jump to a top 15 type team. (I'm far more confident in top 25 than top 15...obviously). You'll notice Wes's big jump from year 1 to year 2 came with a lot of continuity...it also came with the biggest thing this team is missing... a 2 guard that can score at all three levels. (Landers)

Despite that, this team is a couple of breaks from making the tournament this year. The margins in this conference are just tiny when you're a bubble type team. Good teams in this conference can end up with records that don't look good. A good West Virginia team went 7-11 in the Big 12 last year (earning an 8 seed in the tournament).

I think UC's run of losses have fans thinking this team isn't any good...when it's just missing a couple of pieces (or a couple of guys that aren't quite there yet) and has been pretty damn unlucky. (349 in kenpom luck factor) This isn't the ACC where a team in the 50s in kenpom can run up a 12-6 conference record. This is what UC signed up for. But the tests of being in this conference are going to pay off. As Wes said the other night, this program is coming.
 
(This post was last modified: 02-29-2024 07:52 PM by bearcatmark.)
02-29-2024 07:51 PM
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bearcatmark Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Progress?
I also take issue with year 1 Wes being worse than year 2 Brannen (i get your Q1-Q3 record stat, but the quality metrics don't support it). Year 1 Wes also didn't have senior Keith Williams and a Tari Eason talent. Obviously, year 1 Brannen with Senior Tre Scott, senior Jarron Cumberland, and Keith Williams was a pretty good team (that underachieved).
 
02-29-2024 07:56 PM
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Lush Offline
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RE: Progress?
simas and the bigs aren't going to transfer anywhere
 
02-29-2024 09:16 PM
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bearcatmark Offline
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RE: Progress?
(02-29-2024 09:16 PM)Lush Wrote:  simas and the bigs aren't going to transfer anywhere

I don't think so either. Just making clear who I think the core that if they come back.
 
02-29-2024 09:28 PM
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Bear Catlett Offline
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RE: Progress?
Koval, Hensley, MAW, Mike Saunders, Davenport, Mason Madsen...

Aziz, Reynolds, Simas, Jizzle, DD, CJ Frederick, Skillings...

Who ya taking?
 
03-01-2024 08:37 AM
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bearcatmark Offline
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RE: Progress?
(03-01-2024 08:37 AM)Bear Catlett Wrote:  Koval, Hensley, MAW, Mike Saunders, Davenport, Mason Madsen...

Aziz, Reynolds, Simas, Jizzle, DD, CJ Frederick, Skillings...

Who ya taking?

The latter. Talent has been upgraded significantly. Having continuity and development together is going to be huge going into next season. We already witnesswed Wes's huge jump from year 1 to year 2 just by getting more time with the admittedly flawed guys in the program and adding one difference maker.

Keep the core guys from this year's team...and if they can just add a 2 guard from the portal that can score at all three levels and handle the ball, this team could be poised for a huge year.
 
(This post was last modified: 03-01-2024 09:50 AM by bearcatmark.)
03-01-2024 09:02 AM
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OKIcat Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Progress?
While we all want improvement, I won't be numbered among those suggesting a coaching change in basketball now is the solution.

Look no further than Bloomington, IN, a program with more championships and history than UC, plus B10 visibility (and better revenue) since 1899. It's been 22 years since the Hoosiers reached the Final Four and overall they've only had 10 NCAA appearances since then.

They've spent tens of millions on their arena too, paid through the nose to hire a succession of rising star coaches hoping each time they found the right one to return their program to the NCAA's promised land.

It's fair to say, one year from now progress in the Big 12 can and should be critiqued. We're seeing flashes of talent from Dan and Jizzle that are alluring and with more help on the way there is a high probability of seeing this team ranked, "off the bubble" and solidly in the 2025 NCAA Tourney.
 
03-01-2024 09:39 AM
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rath v2.0 Offline
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RE: Progress?
I think it's pretty clear that the roster is very much improved. I have no complaints there. They're going to continue to improve next year.

The big concern I have is that I see a staff that does the exact same thing every single game like they don't believe that opposing coaches study game film or something. We run some good sets but our playbook on offense and defense fits on like two sheets of loose leaf paper. Not a terrible plan if you have better players than the other team.
 
03-01-2024 10:07 AM
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Cat-Man Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Progress?
IMO Brannen was a better in game coach than Wes. (I'm talking strictly X's and O's. All other crap aside)
 
03-01-2024 12:16 PM
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BearcatJerry Offline
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RE: Progress?
(03-01-2024 09:39 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  While we all want improvement, I won't be numbered among those suggesting a coaching change in basketball now is the solution.

Look no further than Bloomington, IN, a program with more championships and history than UC, plus B10 visibility (and better revenue) since 1899. It's been 22 years since the Hoosiers reached the Final Four and overall they've only had 10 NCAA appearances since then.

They've spent tens of millions on their arena too, paid through the nose to hire a succession of rising star coaches hoping each time they found the right one to return their program to the NCAA's promised land.

It's fair to say, one year from now progress in the Big 12 can and should be critiqued. We're seeing flashes of talent from Dan and Jizzle that are alluring and with more help on the way there is a high probability of seeing this team ranked, "off the bubble" and solidly in the 2025 NCAA Tourney.

I'm going to "poke the bear" just a little... Granted, "one year from now" we will have some sort of meaningful metric by which to compare the Conference record. But "one year" is a very limited metric, a very small "sample size" if you will. An argument could easily be made, "one year from now" that "one season" is hardly a good metric to base "improvement" or stagnation on. Besides which, lets be honest here, each season is it's own, self-encapsulated thing. Each season has a unique roster of players and it's own "breaks." How do you compare "next season" to "last season"? I mean, heck, by some standards we are "just a few breaks" from taking five Conference wins from the loss category THIS season and moving them into the win category.

I get it. Wes isn't going anywhere. Not this season. Not next season, if we're honest with ourselves. Protest and "calls for coaching change" be damned. He's our coach this season, next season, and at least the season after that. And the dominant reason won't be "fans," it won't even be "the record." It's what it is it is always about: $$$.

But let's not kid ourselves about kicking the can down the road another year.
 
03-01-2024 01:01 PM
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RE: Progress?
If we tank next year he deserves to be sent packing. The days of 5 years to get your guys in place went the way of VHS. Although I doubt we could afford it after his big weird extension after year 1
 
(This post was last modified: 03-01-2024 01:59 PM by rath v2.0.)
03-01-2024 01:57 PM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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RE: Progress?
(03-01-2024 09:02 AM)bearcatmark Wrote:  
(03-01-2024 08:37 AM)Bear Catlett Wrote:  Koval, Hensley, MAW, Mike Saunders, Davenport, Mason Madsen...

Aziz, Reynolds, Simas, Jizzle, DD, CJ Frederick, Skillings...

Who ya taking?

The latter. Talent has been upgraded significantly. Having continuity and development together is going to be huge going into next season. We already witnesswed Wes's huge jump from year 1 to year 2 just by getting more time with the admittedly flawed guys in the program and adding one difference maker.

Keep the core guys from this year's team...and if they can just add a 2 guard from the portal that can score at all three levels and handle the ball, this team could be poised for a huge year.

Yeah, it's sort of telling when you look at what those guys are doing now.

Davenport - bench player at Arkansas (14-14)
MAW - 2nd leading scorer on St Bonaventure (who is an NIT bubble team)
Hensley - deep bench player for Southern Illinois (12 min/game)
Saunders - bench player at McNeese State (who is decent this year)
Madsen - 6th man at Boston College (11th place in ACC)
Koval - playing in the 3rd best pro league in Japan (Shinagawa City)
Dejulius - playing in Germany's top league
McGinnis - starter for Lipscomb (19-11), 3rd leading scorer, although advanced stats say he's not one of their 5 best players.
Ado - ?? couldn't find him anywhere

Simas, Frederick, Aziz, and Reynolds did better at other schools as underclassmen than most of those guys are doing now as seniors.

The only ones from the 21-22 team doing decent are Dejulius and MAW (and also Newman and Lahkin, but they're still on the Bearcats' roster now).
 
03-01-2024 02:22 PM
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cinbinsportsfan Offline
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RE: Progress?
(03-01-2024 02:22 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  Yeah, it's sort of telling when you look at what those guys are doing now.

Davenport - bench player at Arkansas (14-14)
MAW - 2nd leading scorer on St Bonaventure (who is an NIT bubble team)
Hensley - deep bench player for Southern Illinois (12 min/game)
Saunders - bench player at McNeese State (who is decent this year)
Madsen - 6th man at Boston College (11th place in ACC)
Koval - playing in the 3rd best pro league in Japan (Shinagawa City)
Dejulius - playing in Germany's top league
McGinnis - starter for Lipscomb (19-11), 3rd leading scorer, although advanced stats say he's not one of their 5 best players.
Ado - ?? couldn't find him anywhere

Simas, Frederick, Aziz, and Reynolds did better at other schools as underclassmen than most of those guys are doing now as seniors.

The only ones from the 21-22 team doing decent are Dejulius and MAW (and also Newman and Lahkin, but they're still on the Bearcats' roster now).

Ado is on Wes' staff as a GA.
 
03-01-2024 02:53 PM
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RE: Progress?
(03-01-2024 12:16 PM)Cat-Man Wrote:  IMO Brannen was a better in game coach than Wes. (I'm talking strictly X's and O's. All other crap aside)

Not so sure. Brannen took a roster with seniors Cumberland, Tre Scott, and junior Keith Williams and managed to lose 4 Q3 games with them.

All three of those guys would be the best player on this team.
 
03-01-2024 05:41 PM
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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RE: Progress?
I think it's an apple and orange comparing Brannen to Miller. Take away Mick's recruits - Cumberland and Scott - and JB's first year would've been a disaster let alone his fall in Year 2. He also played against American level competition. Wes has improved the roster but he's stepped up in weight class. The jury is still out. It's why I've said next year is a better year for an evaluation - another year of recruiting and playing in the B12. Again, my issue is winning these close games. The roster is surely good enough to pull out a few more wins than what they achieved. I do agree these last three games will be telling. Win 2 of 3 vs 0-3...

The elephant in the room remains. NCAAT. Wes is in his 13th season overall [242-175] and has only two appearances in his career. He won't get in this year.
 
03-01-2024 07:44 PM
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BearcatJerry Offline
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RE: Progress?
All I know is that under Brannen we were losing to Houston by 40 point margins...

I am not a fan of Miller but we aren't doing that any more.
 
03-02-2024 06:57 AM
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RE: Progress?
Brannen was horrible by all means. The best thing he did was get one more year out of Jarron, Keith, and Tre in Year 1 and bring in DeJulius in Year 2. Otherwise, he tore the program to shreds.

Wes has undoubtedly improved the program every year that he's been here.

The current ratio of big wins-to-bad losses (especially at home) through 3 years is working against him, but the overall body of work has generally been acceptable.

Next year is officially put up-or-shut up with regards to making the NCAA tournament though.
 
03-02-2024 07:58 AM
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RE: Progress?
Brannen was the world's laziest damned hire. Wes wasn't.
 
03-02-2024 09:28 AM
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OKIcat Offline
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RE: Progress?
(03-02-2024 09:28 AM)rath v2.0 Wrote:  Brannen was the world's laziest damned hire. Wes wasn't.


Bolded, agreed. His credentials were very impressive and he possesses a passion and likeability that was a welcome change. He faced (and still faces) enormous challenges in rebuilding a historically great UC in the toughest conference ever.

I'll feel a lot better with two home wins to end the season. Regardless, it's time to stay the course and evaluate success one year from now.
 
03-02-2024 10:00 AM
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