"Go ahead, skin that smoke-wagon and lets see what happens."
There’s a new sheriff in town, folks, and his name is Mike Leach. Coach Leach laid down the law this weekend and kicked TJ Poloai off the team for what is rumored to be a violation of the team’s substance abuse policy. Leach has been very outspoken in his lack of tolerance for his athletes using recreational drugs and this is an example of those words being put into action. Let’s hope the rest of the team got the message. This also makes me wonder if this is something that is going to cause some friction throughout the athletic department where multiple teams have dealt with similar issues recently and not always applied the same disciplinary measures. I guess we’ll see.
Fortunately that ain’t all that’s goin down in Pullman these days, so you know what to do:
Besides laying down the law, Coach Leach has also been busting his tail on the recruiting front and his work is paying some huge dividends already with high hopes that the momentum continues right up to signing day. This last weekend there were at least 11 players visiting, some lugging around truck loads of BCS offers and it appears 4 star WR/CB Gabriel Marks has already committed. Transitional recruiting classes are notoriously difficult, but it appears Coach Leach and his staff were more than ready for it. They have a done a masterful job of building on the pieces left in place by the previous staff, while capitalizing on the publicity surrounding their hiring to find some very exciting upgrades late in the recruiting cycle. There will be very few high school players across the entire country who won’t be aware of who the coach at Wazzu is and that is a game changer for us. Think this recruiting cycle has been fun to follow? Just wait til the next one.
I know football is where all the fun is right now folks, but Im sorry, we gotta talk about basketball. I know, I don’t want to either, but we must.
Last night the Cougs teased us with an OK defensive effort for ¾’s of a basketball game before Lorenzo Romar’s technical foul magically turned Terence Ross into the reincarnation of Anderson Hunt. Even before Ross’s 3 point eruption, observant Coug fans noticed something that was keeping the game closer than it should have been and likely going to cost us the game whether Ross was suited up or not… we can’t rebound. The Huskies were having one of those shooting nights when no team stays within 20 points of anybody, yet there they were lingering between 6-8 points back despite shooting somewhere down around the Mariner’s batting average. Of course, as we all saw, they were getting so many offensive rebounds that any effort the Cougs made on defense were just wasted. We were not getting the ball back until the Dawgs put it through the hoop no matter how much they struggled to do that. It was so bad that Amieable and I were reduced to laughter any time a shot went off the rim on the defensive end. It was simply amazing.
This guy does NOT play for the Cougs.
So what do we do? I’ll tell you what we do… Youth Movement! Look at our schedule folks and tell me where do you see any more wins coming from? They are going to be few and far between, or in other words… this season is over. Buh bye. So I think its time to do the only thing we have left to do, play for tomorrow. And that means sit the seniors down and lets give the youngsters the experience they’ll need to drag us out of the sorry quagmire we’re currently bogged down in. The following swaps will do nicely:
- Simon for Lodwick – Can Simon really score, rebound or defend LESS than Abe? Not possible.
- Kernich-Drew for Capers – Is there anything that Kernich-Drew doesn’t already do better than Capers? Hell, even Amieable is a more dangerous scorer than Capers and I think we can safely retire the “lockdown defender” title.
- Ladd/Diiorio for Aden – To make up for all the holes in his game, Aden would have to shoot over 60% and score 28 points a game. He doesn’t, so this is an easy swap. Not sure how serious Ladd’s injury is so DiIorio will have to fill in for now.
- Shelton for Enquist – Shelton is raw, but his potential as a rebounder and defender make him a thousand times more interesting than the senior former walk-on who spent the past 3 seasons falling bass ackwards into a scholarship and playing time.
Ok, so this won’t change our fortunes in the W/L column, but I can tolerate losing with a lineup of guys with potential who are gaining valuable experience. I cannot follow a bunch of seniors who have more than proven they are not up to the task of winning Pac-12 basketball games. Next week we go on the road to Stanford and Cal, so that should be fun. Lets hope some teams start overlooking us!
Just to argue for the sake of arguing, Lodwick is the fourth highest average number of rebounds per game (before tonight's results). Not so bad for a guy who is below no. 4 in average minutes per game.
I was disgusted listening to Bone on the coach's show tonight. His woe is me. I don't have big people excue-making and "there's not much you can do if they're in close to the rim tipping the ball around" whining. Like HECK YOU CAN"T. I'm 6'4" and I can clear out big people close to the rim. It's called boxing out. If they've already got position inside of you, you use your butt to drive them under the backboard, off the court, and out of the play. Bud tried to suggest, "what about Cal and Stanford, they are near the top of the conference in rebounding and they're not big." "Oh, no, Bud. They are big," Bone says. "They've got a lot of 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-7 guys." He said that. Really. And Ken, we don't? We don't have guys over 6-6 that you put out on the court regularly. The man is a joke and he has to go.
Interesting ideas. I disagree with Simon for Lodwick. Neither can score at PAC 12 level, but Lodwick can rebound and play D pretty well. He is usually up against guys that are bigger. Lodwick will be replaced next year, one hopes, with someone who does what Lodwick does well, but can also score. It ain't Simon.
Ladd, I think, may become a scorer, but I wouldn't bet $100 on it. He is a classic "in betweener" I am afraid. but, Aden is definitely a disappointment.
Before we push Bone out, I think we need to see what happens with solid newcomers next year. The new big guy and Motum could be a very good high/low post combination.
We will definitely need another point guard. Moore is o.k. but Lacey looks to me like more of a shooter and fair driver. Not so good with the ball under pressure.
I couldn't agree more with your assessment of the basketball "program." I am trying to resist piling on, but everything I've seen from this team is the same as the last 3 years. No rebounding, primarily due to an inability to block out; ; sloppy, lazy play with multiple turnovers; refusal to get back in transition; a point guard who just dribbles around rather than run the offense; and an inability to value the basketball. I don't know what Bone wants, what his system is. Combine this with a coach who won't rip into his team at timeouts, and who has rerely shown any anger over a loss, and it's a recipe for disaster. . I almost cried when I saw Marv Harshman introduced at halftime; his WSU teams played hard and valued the basketball. I read that Rick Majerus' teams at St. Louis run wind sprints when they fail to block out or fail to get back in transition. All the gains of the Bennett years have been given away.
=I didn't watch the end of the UW game; I turned it off with 10 mins left because I couldn't bear to watch. I knew what was coming when we started to give away that 10 point lead in the second half. This team is basically unwatchable. Maybe 4 wins in conference???
You are listening to Steve Physioc and Ernie Kent too much... Cal and the 'Furd are coming to Pullman, not the other way around. Doesn't help, as they will still be loses, but...
I like all of your proposals except for the first one. And in answer to that question the answer is "Yes."
Simon is a guy that is and should have been a Big Sky player. Might have even been a star at that level.
But the fact of the matter is that Bone has to build discipline into this program, and right now, the only real leaders he has are Lodwick and Capers, who, not so coincidentally are Bennett's players.
I'm glad Leach is laying down the law. Players, although still kids in my book, need to know that they can't be running around being stupid. They are representatives of our school. If I do something stupid, I bet about .0000000000000000001% of people will actually notice or care. I remember giving a drunk DeAnglo Casto tons of crap when he showed up uninvited to a party at my house the night after we lost at home to UW.
Another commitment out of the weekend: Kache Palacio, LB. Also, the internets are saying that the new staff told DT Maurice Bennett, "Thanks, but no thanks."
@WallaCoug I've never seen one of our players even get in position to rebound, let along f'ing boxing out!!!!!
In the second half, I was laughing so hard at how little our team was evening trying to crash the boards.
It's straight comedy!!
@Robert K. Im not so sure Lodwick does play D or rebound all that well. In fact, I am positive he doesn't rebound well.
@Soze OOOOPS! gold star for you, Soze.
In my defense at least I didn't listen to them enough to give Romar the MVP of the game.
@Sutra While I think Simon is a "role player" at best for us, I'd rather start discovering his ceiling now than continue learning over and over what we already know about Abe. AS far as Abe and Capers leadership, it just doesn't matter if they are an empty jersey otherwise. Plus i think Reggie needs to have that role thrust upon him, since he isn't really grabbing it with both hands on his own while Abe and Cape are out there. Reggie and Motum need to take the reigns.
@Huddy Of course this means we are down 2 D-tackles in about 72 hours. It wasn't exactly a position of strength before the weekend, yeeesh. I think we can get Mitchel in this summer and I am not going to be too stunned if Leach has a nice surprise we havn't heard of yet, perhaps from the JV ranks.
@Huddy If we're running a 3-4 I think we're going to need a few human Grand Coulee Damns to man the tackle spot. Not sure Bennet was cut from that mold.
@Longball Are you kidding me, guy coached his heart out! Left everything out there on the floor and willed them to victory.
@Soze Wasn't it Bone who left everything on the floor?
I'll be here all week, folks.
Well, Bennett is now talking to Northwestern State and Jackson State and getting some interest from Missisppii State. Doesn't sound like a great prospect. I didn't like his attitude right from the start; he "committed" to us but made it clear he was going to look around. I think it's telling that a bunch of Wulff's commits have already been dropped by the new coaching staff. We''ve been offering and getting commits from players with no other Pac12 or BCS offers.