Current state of the program

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Current state of the program

Post by PilotNut on Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:56 pm

This was initially going to be part of my WCC record prediction in that thread, but I have again decided to ask some questions of all of us and the program, so I think it is worthy of a seperate thread. Please know that I care about the program more than most people realize, but that is why I am frustrated, and think some things need to change. I say these things out of hope that others will see that the program is not where it could be, and things could be MUCH better (and yes, I know they could be much worse, too).


My follow-up question to the WCC prediction answer: What needs to be our WCC record to consider the year a success? Or, not a disapointment? I have mentioned previously in my rants that I am generally disappointed at the state of the program right now, considering we are in the 7th year of a coaching regime... (yes, we had a few good years, but today, how much better is the program than 7 years ago? we are still losing to teams like MSU & UTPA, discussing excuses like how hard it is to win on the road, and Pomeroy/RPI well into the 200's--last in the WCC.)

7 years ago, would you be satisfied knowing that in 7 years going .500 in conference play would be a HUGE stretch and quite unlikely? That our RPI and KenPom rankings would be worst in the conference? No I hope not.

Quite honestly, if we don't pull a few rabbits out of the hat and get close to the 8-8 record, I will continue to be disapointed. Is going 8-8 really likely with this team? Nope. But, every one of us should be expecting more from this program, and should be asking serious questions when we are not improving.

We hear about great and exciting recuits every season; but of course that is what we are going to hear. At the end of the day, is our incoming talent level improving relative to our WCC competition? Are our players developing faster/better relative to our WCC competition? Is the Athletic Department and University investing in this program more than or at a rate faster/bigger than our WCC competition to catch up? If we are going to close the gap and surpass other WCC schools, we need to THINK BIG. I do not believe this is happening. pale

I guess I also need a pep talk. I really hope I am proved wrong. I just don't see the improvements, investments, cultural changes, etc. for a fundamental "game changing" improvement in the program. I feel like folks settle for "Well, we are a WSOC school" (did someone really just say that? really?), "Well, Rev has had more success than any other coach recently, so things must be ok" (like that is saying much), "The WCC is really tough this year" (hmm, that is every year?) or "We just renovated the locker rooms".

On that last one, I ask: Did the Chiles renovation really get us ahead of our WCC competition to give us an advantage? Or just catch us up somewhat, while still behind GU, BYU, SCU, USD and soon to be Pepp's new facility? Should we have thought bigger? Should we have aimed higher, and built something to REALLY grab attention? Did we build everything we should have? Should we have built study facilities? A larger MBX area? Dedicated practice space? Did we even come close to the facilities of some big time programs? I don't think we came close. The renovation was noted as costing around $2-$2.5 million (not chump change, but what would another $500,000-$1 million have bought if we are going to get serious about this?) Are we now in a position to recruit the high level local student athletes alongside UO? GU? Yes, we are closer facility-wise, but did we settle for "close enough"?

I should also point out that I am not saying that Coach Rev should be fired. Looking at longer term history, is there something fundamentally lacking with the program? Yes. Rev brought short term success, but why can't he sustain "top half of the WCC" success?

Please, someone prove me wrong. I would be very happy to admit I am wrong on this...? I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this...

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:19 pm

Without addressing your concerns directly PilotNut (I’m trying to watch the Rose Bowl), I feel your pain and concern for the program.

When Michael Holton arrived at UP I remember telling him that many of us were getting “up in years” and would really like to see a WCC Conference title before we’re just too old to go to the games any longer. Well, in the ensuing years little has changed regarding results, but I know it hasn’t been because of lack of effort on the part of the University.

I won’t enumerate the ways UP has upgraded the university’s ability to have a competitive program, as I know I’d leave out too much, but I know UP’s administration from the top down knows the basketball program is necessary to the vitality of the university.

UP’s athletic department is way ahead of where it was prior to Fr. Beauchamp’s and Larry Williams’ takeover, but the results are disappointing for sure. The overall framework for a successful basketball program is in place, but UP has not been able to recruit the athletes that can turn the program around and still compete in the classroom.

The basketball staff works as hard at recruiting as any school in the WCC, probably harder than most, but they just haven’t been able to land the program changing recruit. Success seems to breed success, and the top recruits with the qualifying grades are going to the already successful programs. A good example of how important just one or two impact players are to program is Santa Clara. Last year SCU was a UP doormat without Trasolini and Foster, this year with those two players back, Sagarin rates them #49 in the nation.

Going through the UP rosters over the last few years it’s safe to say that UP generally gets recruits that are “sleepers” with potential because the “known” top recruits go elsewhere. It’s doubtful UP will ever get top flight big men, so it’s imperative UP recruit some pure shooters who have an unrelenting work ethic to get even better….a Jared Stohl. Or develop players who are superb athletes with potentially superb basketball skills….a Kevin Bailey. Or find that rare recruit that is the ultimate “worker” who can will himself and his teammates to rise beyond their estimated potential…like a Ryan Nicholas.

I share your frustration. I know everyone in the UP chain-of-command is working to improve the program, but for some of us time is running out. I will continue to savor the few wins UP accomplishes, however I’m afraid my hopes for this season are nothing more than avoiding last place. Long term, my expectations for the program go much higher.

Some have said, “You won’t be disappointed if you don’t have expectations,” but without expectations how can any of us move forward and get better.

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by PilotNut on Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:48 pm

I agree with the player talent comments... we have failed in that regard, and it is a cornerstone to build a program.

So... we know we aren't getting the recruits we need to compete in the top half of the WCC. How do we address that?

Facilities help... and while we are better today than a year ago, was the renovation a game changer? Did we make enough of a statement? Obviously money is a huge factor in all of this. The Pilot Club will need to grow & step up. Have members been asked to help in this regard?

What else can "we" do? Larger recruiting budget? Better targetting? Training for the coaching staff?

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by up7587 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:03 pm

I believe the failure to maintain the level of success from 2009-2011 is directly due to recruiting. Either we didn't get the players we need, or we didn't select the right players. Right now we should be seeing Tim Douglas as a Jr. PG. leading this team. Tim didn't work out, and we are suffering dramatically by not having an experienced quality PG. We have no players in the program who entered in 2009-10, and should be our senior leadership. The shooting guards who should have replaced Jared Stohl and open up the middle for the big guys aren't getting the job done.

I appreciate that the coaches continue to grind (#noholiday), but our margin for error is so small that missing on any player leaves us vulnerable to seasons like we are currently experiencing. Maybe two or more of the current players will have an epiphany like Kory T, going from non-contributor to starter. Otherwise, it isn't getting better soon.

As for what can we do? Keep supporting, letting the school know we care. Getting new hot recruiters as coaches, who skate closer to the seemy side of college bball with extra benefits, marginal students, etc., is not the solution.

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by wrv on Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:12 pm

My view is that in the front court our recruiting has been fine. We have no superstars there, but we have capable players at center and obviously power forward who have held their own. I certainly have seen worse. Our back court is poor for D1--we have low scoring out of our guards, and none of them has shot consistently well to help open the middle. I had hoped we would attempt to remedy the situation by bringing in a guard with shooting skills. I do not think we can win without improvement in the back court, or some unforeseen improvement in our permitter scoring.

I do have faith that we have the right staff in place.

As to this conference year, prospects look very dim.

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:28 pm

up7587 wrote:Getting new hot recruiters as coaches, who skate closer to the seemy side of college bball with extra benefits, marginal students, etc., is not the solution.
That’s an important point….we currently have the squeaky cleanest athletic department I can imagine. Without going into specifics, I can’t envision another school going to the lengths that UP does to totally comply with NCAA regulations….regardless of how dumb some of the regulations are.

Watching way too many TV games the last couple of weeks, it’s become apparent from interviews and observations that a number of BIG TIME players at some schools were there ONLY to play basketball….but it creates a very uneven playing field for others schools when that is allowed.

I think the WCC schools, except perhaps one, are certainly playing by the rules. But I also think some schools have built on their successes in a very positive manner by receiving huge donations from their alums to broaden the recruiting budget.

I have never seen as many recruits on the UP campus as I’ve seen in the last three or four years, but there is just something that has kept them from signing. A former co-pilot of mine from the airline days now flies a corporate jet owned by a WCC school regent that is used by the head coach to make recruiting visits….nothing illegal there; it just shows how thing can be done to make an initial impression on a recruit.

At UP, the recruitment of high quality players is needed to achieve success on the court, but it should not be done at the expense of academic standards or the TEAM cohesiveness that is so wonderful to watch now.

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by dholcombe on Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:21 pm

If we could just avoid the bad losses I'd be feeling OK about the state of the program. Other than Montana State and UTPA I'm OK with the way the season is shaping up. Not pleased, but OK.

Is there a way to teach consistency? That seems to be the biggest flaw we have right now.

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:58 pm

The most urgent need addressing this team right now is outside shooting (Pilots are - by far - the worst-shooting team from three-point land in the conference and 299 out of 347 teams in D1). We've all seen how a consistent outside game opens it up for the quality forwards and posts we have on the roster right now.

Bad News: There are 5 (count em, FIVE) scholarship guards returning next year...given this, it makes it extremely difficult to immediately target this need with the final open scholarship when there are positional needs elsewhere (as I've said in other threads, my opinion is that finding an eventual replacement for Nicholas should be the target with that).

Good News: Typically, there's lots of established shooters available from the juco ranks (oh hi, T.J. Campbell). Might make sense to add one for 2014-15 if one or more of the five guards currently on the roster that'll still be around then haven't developed an outside touch yet.

Speaking of T.J. Campbell...hard to believe this was less than three years ago -


I'm finding it hard to finger the new facility upgrade as a worry when the Pilots are losing games to Montana State and UT Pan American. You could spend double, triple what UP did on the expansion and renovation and still not win a recruiting battle for an in-state kid that wants the prestige of playing in Corvallis or Eugene for a Pac-12 program.

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by DoubleDipper on Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:46 am

In an article in this morning’s Oregonian Coach Reveno discusses recruiting on the Bluff:
The recruiting foundation for University of Portland men’s basketball is simple: hit the Northwest hard, and the Portland area harder. And keep an eye on everywhere else.

For the Pilots in recent years, this means recruiting players from outside North America. It’s not that Portland coach Eric Reveno hasn’t repeatedly tried during his seven-year tenure on the Bluff. But some doors have opened in Europe the past few years that allowed Reveno to sign two players who could have a significant impact on the Pilots' program……
Read the entire article here: Recruiting on the Bluff

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by DoubleDipper on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:36 am

DoubleDipper wrote:....so it’s imperative UP recruit some pure shooters who have an unrelenting work ethic to get even better….
This is what I'm talking about:

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:38 am

Needs to dig the trench about 13 ft more...

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by pilotram on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:04 pm

I like the approach, but we currently have four guys from the Northwest (not counting BC) and one guy from Portland. For whatever reason, locking up recruits from close by isn't happening. At PSU I count 7 from the NW, 0 from Portland.

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:19 pm

pilotram wrote:I like the approach, but we currently have four guys from the Northwest (not counting BC) and one guy from Portland. For whatever reason, locking up recruits from close by isn't happening. At PSU I count 7 from the NW, 0 from Portland.

PSU gets somebody from Portland every year. This year it's Tim Douglas. Wink

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by Woodless! on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:38 pm

Where do you find these photos DD?
DoubleDipper wrote:
DoubleDipper wrote:....so it’s imperative UP recruit some pure shooters who have an unrelenting work ethic to get even better….
This is what I'm talking about:

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:50 pm

DeanMurdoch wrote:Speaking of T.J. Campbell...hard to believe this was less than three years ago -
Forget Campbell's dunk. I don't think we even have anyone on the team now who could make that lob pass!

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:56 pm

Most alarming piece of info from Daschel's article: "UP also turns the ball over on more than 22 percent of its possessions, second worst in the WCC."

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by PilotNut on Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:54 pm

I was amazed that someone is worse than 22%. Who?

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by DoubleDipper on Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:55 pm

DeanMurdoch wrote:
...hard to believe this was less than three years ago -


I'm finding it hard to finger the new facility upgrade as a worry when the Pilots are losing games to Montana State and UT Pan American. You could spend double, triple what UP did on the expansion and renovation and still not win a recruiting battle for an in-state kid that wants the prestige of playing in Corvallis or Eugene for a Pac-12 program.
Thanks for the video, Dean. I remember the play well, I was sitting behind the Pilots bench with TJ's mom, Kramer's mom, and Coach Jackson's then girlfriend....popcorn and drinks were flying everywhere after that play.

As for recruiting against OSU and UO....you're absolutely correct when you say the Pilots would "still not win a recruiting battle for an in-state kid that wants the prestige of playing in Corvallis or Eugene for a Pac-12 program."

There is no doubt the potential level of recruits coming to 7 of the current 9 WCC schools is not up to what the Pac-12 is getting. It's up to the staff to just recruit better than those other teams, and then coach them better when they arrive on campus…no easy task, but a necessary one.

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by DoubleDipper on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:10 pm

PilotNut wrote:I was amazed that someone is worse than 22%. Who?
Pepperdine @ 24.1% (310/347 in D-1). UP’s is actually 23.2% (284/347).

The D-1 average us 20.8%....so as bad as it seems, there are other fans and coaches complaining too. tongue

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:18 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:
PilotNut wrote:I was amazed that someone is worse than 22%. Who?
Pepperdine @ 24.1% (310/347 in D-1). UP’s is actually 23.2% (284/347).

The D-1 average us 20.8%....so as bad as it seems, there are other fans and coaches complaining too. tongue

BB State has Portland at 22.4 and Pepperdine at 23.5, but the actual numbers will vary depending on how the website calculates possessions (and that's a long story).

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by DoubleDipper on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:31 pm

Woodless! wrote:Where do you find these photos DD?
Ha ha, blame blacksheep, he's the one who gave me the tutorial on posting pictures.

How about this one? I used to fly into Vancouver, BC a lot, and during our layovers we’d often to Whistler to ski, but when we decided to try Grouse Mountain we ran across this great wooden sculpture. I didn’t take this picture, but it hangs in my home sports bar.


Is that a breathtaking view of Vancouver, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and the Olympic Mountains in the background, or what?

This is what is was like the day I was there:

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:47 pm

Back on topic... I am not lying when I say that it is getting very hard to want to support this team. Although, I am thinking that it is just because of the last few games that I feel this way, but it seems that the next few away games and home games will not help me feel better. I will be continue to be at every game regardless.

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by PilotNut on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:37 pm

Well, tonight didn't do much to make me feel better about the direction of the program... pale

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by DoubleDipper on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:11 am

An_Undergrad wrote:Back on topic... I am not lying when I say that it is getting very hard to want to support this team. Although, I am thinking that it is just because of the last few games that I feel this way, but it seems that the next few away games and home games will not help me feel better. I will be continue to be at every game regardless.
So you "will continue to be at every game regardless," but "it is getting very hard to want to support this team."

I won't question your mixed message, but can only offer some advice:

I attended the women's game tonight, and watched the men’s game on tape....both teams lost, but the reason I would never consider withdrawing my support of each individual and each team as a whole is because of the effort they give game after game and practice after practice....day in, and day out.

Both teams have excellent cohesiveness and camaraderie....something that was not apparent last season, and the players work long hours to play to the best of their ability....it may not always look like they are playing well, but they sure as hell are trying their hardest to play their best.....

Think of them as the warriors defending your school's honor....if they weren't doing it, who would? Could any of us do as well?

It’s quite easy to support a team at the top; the real test is continuing your support during tough times. I'm old!

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Re: Current state of the program

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:53 am

I don't know where you pulled that meaning from, but that was not directed against the players, teams, or the effort. I see what the put in and appreciate it immensely (spoken by someone with an opportunity to play an NCAA sport but declined). Dig deeper.

Think of them as the warriors defending your school's honor... Could any of us do as well?

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