Just like an INDY car.

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Neckfansince71
Posts: 868
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:06 pm

Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:14 pm

I spent 23 years coaching high school basketball, 1 year when I student taught, 8 years as an assistant, and 14 as a head coach. My first couple of years were spent coaching freshmen, sophomores, and coaching varsity athletes as an assistant coach. My first year as sophomore coach our head coach, who was from Lasalle Peru decided we would travel there for the Thanksgiving Tournament. I am pretty sure JackM was gone and coaching at WIU and Chips was not the coach yet. Anyway, besides the fact that I got to spend time with a very very young Coach MO who was recruiting Brad Waller for DePaul, I also had the chance to sit on the bench and witness the comments from our head coach, before, during, and after each game. (Round robin) The season this year began with such hope and a great positive vibe. We took the first game going away but then lost two close ones to complete the tournament, the last one against LP was lost in overtime, a game we should have won. In a 3 game span, I got to watch a team go from looking like a brand new INDY car, shiny and bright become a car with two bad tires and a fuel system that was never the same again. Throughout the season, as we lost close games you could just see the energy level of this team with a head coach who turned from Coach K to Bobby Knight drain onto the wood floor. You could just tell from the way the players carried themselves that things were going from bad to worse. We would get out to a lead with confidence and then something would happen. It was subtle, but each player continued to look over their shoulder as things began to unravel. And then out of frustration our head coach would tell our D1 recruit to shoot the ball. Everyone else just stood and hoped he would hit the shots necessary to put out a victory. We had some talent this year too. Not only did we have the D1 player who eventually signed with Cincy and Ed Badger, but also the 2nd place high jumper in the state who eventually jumped 7' off both legs at Iowa State. I could not help wondering what would have happened if we had won those close games early in LP? And I remembered just how excited everyone was for that first game, that first win, and how everything changed in a matter of 24 hours after losing two very close contests. T-Martin? EIU? Stetson? Look at our team's body language and how it changes as the game goes on. Seems like we have a habit of looking over our shoulders too much, waiting for that one moment that will change a close game into a run away. Just some thoughts as the season draws to a close. A sleak, INDY car racer starts the race, but how many times have you seen the mangled remains of one that hit the wall, hanging from the tow truck in disarray.

Finally, I have heard members of this board suggest a dfferent defense, a different use of the personnel that WIU has. In 1990, I had the best team that I would ever have. We were quick, talented, unselfish, and had the best player in the league to go along with a cast of very good players in their right. We hit a snag at Christmas time though. We got beat by one in the quarterfinals by Mundelien, which means we had to play Conant in the losers bracket. We lost in the sectional finals that year to West Aurora who beat Conant in the Supersectional to go to state so it was a very very tough, hard fought loser's bracket game. We were down 10 at half and we were very close to losing the game late in the first half. When we went to the locker room I had no idea what to do. I did the best I could but as we went back on to the floor, the AD who had coached me in high school and who's last name was Judson of Hebron fame asked me, "what did you change!" At that point I through up my hands and said, "I have no idea what to do!" He said, "you gotta do something different, give them something they can hang their hearts on. Go zone!" We don't play zone, I said. Well play it now and see what happens. In other words, I needed to supply them with a feather to believe in. Dumbo like, hold this feather, you can fly. Go zone, change it up, and see what happens. We lost in double overtime that afternoon, in that small auxiliary gym. We played zone for awhile and when things changed, we trapped instead out of a man to man. I think Seal has suggested something different like this before and I happen to agree. All it might take is a pocket full of feathers......Enough said! ;) jc
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sealhall74
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Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:37 am

Neckfansince71 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:14 pm
A sleak, INDY car racer starts the race, but how many times have you seen the mangled remains of one that hit the wall, hanging from the tow truck in disarray.
It was not because the driver and pit crews were not making constant in-race adjustments to things like tire pressure, shocks, spoilers, etc. In fact, modern day INDY cars have buttons on the steering wheel so the DRIVER can make the adjustments on the track, including the "after burner" button for getting that little extra burst of speed when needed. Billy turned on the full court pressure with 5 minutes to go on Wedesday after being down by double digits for most of the second half. He might as well have thrown up the white flag then as the pressure was "token" at best. Two hours later, I was watching Duke and Carolina on the tube and without Zion, Duke was getting killed and they too were down big in the second half. Coach K turned on the pressure at the 12 minute mark and Duke started hitting some tres, getting a few TOs, crowd back into the game, etc. but Carolina continued to hit shots so no Louisville-style comeback on this particular night. In game adjustments are almost non-existent with our pit(iful) crew. I think they fall more into the encouragement domain like "come on guys, move your feet quicker and show your hands higher".

Oh well, wins, losses, or draws, I am still going to Sioux Falls. Fingers crossed our guys are there and prepared to give the higher seed all they can handle, just like last year. Who's in with me?
If Jimmy V was a programmer like me, he would have said it like this: while (!(succeed = try()));
Necks2003
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:26 pm
Location: Denver, Colorado

Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:06 am

As a suffering optimist....hopefully this squad just needs a spark (plug) to get to take off and play like they have at their best points during the season.
OldHare
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 10:25 am

Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:35 am

This is the postgame by PFW Coach Coffman. You might be most interested in his statement after the 8 minute mark.
wiu2013
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:16 pm

Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:00 am

I think the biggest problem with this team is that they are not mentally tough. I agree, we do have some good players, but they miss a shot or make a bad play and they get so down on themselves and in their heads where it distracts them from being great players.
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sealhall74
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Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:25 am

wiu2013 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:00 am
I think the biggest problem with this team is that they are not mentally tough. I agree, we do have some good players, but they miss a shot or make a bad play and they get so down on themselves and in their heads where it distracts them from being great players.
We are young and dont have much in the way of true upper class leadership (i.e guys like Daum and Konchar). If it was a perfect world, Brandon would be back for one more year but thats the way it is. Pyle will fill out and no longer be a freshman. We do have a nucleus to be pretty good next couple of years. With the redshirt last year, Billy is banking on Claar filling in for Brandon next year but that is a gamble. He should have been given a lot more PT this year IMO, especially early in the season. When you get to February, it is tough to go much deeper than 7 or 8. In fact, SDSU stole a win from NDSU last weekend and used their starting 5 for the entire 2nd half so they are not too deep either.
If Jimmy V was a programmer like me, he would have said it like this: while (!(succeed = try()));
wiu2013
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:16 pm

Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:32 am

I watched the Omaha game, and mental toughness and the ability not to get rattled flowed through them. Hopefully the transfer coming in will help at the center position. Not sure if Pyle has hit and gotten stuck in the freshman wall, but he has not hit consistently in a while ( I believe he was 0-???) against Omaha.
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