Men's Basketball - State of the Program

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Post by blacksheep on Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:29 pm

I have always felt the the problems with the basketball program begin with the fact that the the school administration at the highest levels does not support the program in any meaningful way.  I've always thought that a successful basketball program should be seen as an extension of the marketing program.  All you have to do is see how much more visibility Gonzaga gets because of the success of their basketball team.  

This is why it's so frustrating when I get a email from mktg@up.edu that includes a link to a year old article about D'Marques Tyson getting his 1,000th career point.  The email was clearly labeled as the March 2019 "Best From the Bluff".  I have no idea who sent or who approved this email, but does nobody in the marketing department know that D'Marques graduated last year?  

Until we see support for the Basketball program from the President on down, nothing will change.  It's not always about more money and resources.  This is an example of simply needing someone in the marketing department to give a ****, but nobody does.


Last edited by blacksheep on Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:59 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : This is one post where PN should allow me to use the word SHIT)
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Post by PilotNut on Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:42 pm

That is really embarrassing, and talk about a good example....

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Post by up7587 on Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:42 pm

Well, it seemed everyone was in a hurry to end the season last Saturday. Not that I care, but our section/row won the Coke Zero giveaway. It was never delivered. At least they were giving away concession stand excess candy in the Pilot Club.
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Post by JimmAlacki on Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:08 pm

up7587 wrote:Well, it seemed everyone was in a hurry to end the season last Saturday.  Not that I care, but our section/row won the Coke Zero giveaway.  It was never delivered.  At least they were giving away concession stand excess candy in the Pilot Club.

The problem is the UP school administration has no clue as to what it might take to have a winning program. The student body was MIA once again at a basketball game. What is frustrating is that some of the players that helped Gonzaga build the program were Oregon and Clark County/Vancouver kids. Matt Santangelo, Blake Steppe, Richie Frahm, Zach Gourde, Derek Raivio and Dan Dickau. I saw Raivio's dad play for UP and was disappointed he went somewhere else.

It would be interesting to see who was actually on the search committees for the past 5 coaches. Reveno was allowed to stay longer than was warranted. Alas the same will go for Porter

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Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:16 pm

jimmalacki wrote:The student body was MIA once again at a basketball game. 

That statement will have meaning when you give an example of a student body that shows up to watch an 0-16 team.


Reveno was allowed to stay longer than was warranted

By what standard? He did the second best of any coach in the last 30 + years with the resources allotted. Bonus point for you if you name the coach who did the best in that time span.


Hint.. that coach was not a former Blazer.
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Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:27 pm

As to the administration not having a clue as to wat it takes to have a successfull Record, I have an idea.

The next time you talk to one of those people, you might mention that hiring a coach who has actual experience as a D1 coach has been shown to work sometimes. 

Even better if he has won in D1.
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Post by JimmAlacki on Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:46 pm

Geezaldinho wrote:
jimmalacki wrote:The student body was MIA once again at a basketball game. 

That statement will have meaning when you give an example of a student body that shows up to watch an 0-16 team.
Oh so the excuse is the team stinks so no need to show up. Do UP students get in for free?

Reveno was allowed to stay longer than was warranted

By what standard? He did the second best of any coach in the last 30 + years with the resources allotted. Bonus point for you if you name the coach who did the best in that time span.

So over 30 years of inferior basketball excuses keeping a mediocre coach. Accept mediocrity that way we are never disappointed?

So the team stinks then stay home? Do students pay for tickets?




Hint.. that coach was not a former Blazer.

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Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:19 pm

Jimmalacki wrote:So the team stinks then stay home? Do students pay for tickets?

A pretty good portion of the folks that have been coming to UP games since at least 1992 weren’t there for the last game either. They paid season tickets to not show up.
Is that better or worse?
( that includes current and former administrators, faculty, and several PN regulars)
So if you paid or not, lots of people voted with their butts.


Last edited by Geezaldinho on Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by StudentPilot on Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:33 pm

I'm not going to defend student attendance at games, but I was told the numbers were pretty good this year considering the team was rarely competitive.

I'm a Pilots basketball fan, and have been since I was 7 or 8 years-old, but there are often more important, more exciting, more fun, and more rewarding things to do when you're a college student besides basketball.

As for Saturday night's student turnout, UP Spring Break began last Friday afternoon...
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Post by Stonehouse on Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:06 pm

StudentPilot wrote:I'm not going to defend student attendance at games, but I was told the numbers were pretty good this year considering the team was rarely competitive.

I'm a Pilots basketball fan, and have been since I was 7 or 8 years-old, but there are often more important, more exciting, more fun, and more rewarding things to do when you're a college student besides basketball.

The thing about student attendance is that peer influence matters more than whatever efforts are made by the athletic department. I don't mean to say that there shouldn't be ongoing, ever-improving marketing efforts made (there should!), but the magic happens when a group of dedicated, influential students collectively decide they want to make it happen.

Way back in the stone ages when I was a student, 10-12 senior guys joined together (independent of any efforts from the athletic department), each put in a decent chunk of our own money, and began a student fan club that included pre-parties at our own houses. Within a few games we had an overflowing student section that stood and chanted throughout the entire game.

The student section was so good that year that the decision was made to give the entire middle section of the Child Center (across from the scorers table) over to students, in addition to the traditional student section. Season ticket holders who had seats there were moved in the process.

Problem was, the senior guys graduated. And the following year, leadership was taken over by one person (who was more interested in the parties than the games) rather than a larger circle with diverse friend groups. It fell apart rather quickly, and - though perhaps this is my ego talking - hasn't been equaled since.

It's not an easy task, but I've always felt like the way to really unlock the potential of the student section is to identify (and possibly groom, from freshman/sophomore year) a group of well-connected, well-liked students who hold sway on campus. Most likely, these are the types of kids who are hosting parties on weekends rather than the "student leaders" involved in student government, clubs, etc.

I'm sure there are other ways to get a successful student section going, but this is the only formula I've seen work at UP over the past 25-30 years since I've been going to games.
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Post by up7587 on Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:39 pm

StudentPilot wrote:As for Saturday night's student turnout, UP Spring Break began last Friday afternoon...

That helps make sense of a couple things. I noticed the dance team and the pep band were significantly down in numbers. I also noticed the pep squad of girls with their own uniforms were not present. Does anyone know what their story is, how they came to do what they did?
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Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:16 am

My understanding is they are some kids who wanted to form an actual cheer leading group. They tried to get recognition and funding from the student govt and from athletics to no avail, so they bought their own uniforms.

In typical inclusiveness, the university or athletic department won’t let them cheer on the floor because they aren’t an “official”  group, so they stand in the stands. Some nights they outnumbered the rest of the student section.


At various times in the last 25 years athletics has seen the dance team, the pep band, Wally, whatever those guy’s dressed in Purple and yellow costumes( beanney babies?) and cheerleaders as counter to the UP message, whatever that is.


Oh yeah, I think Stoney’s prefunk gang made the list.
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Post by Rochin54 on Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:44 am

Geezaldinho wrote:


Oh yeah, I think Stoney’s prefunk gang made the list.

Sigh....memories....

I can remember that there was a time period there where we found $25 kegs of Tecate. My girlfriend (now wife) drove a plymouth sundance hatchback. I had the back seat folded down and 3 or 4 kegs in the thing. It was bottoming out over every bump i hit. One keg in the basement, one in the upstairs. Taps were physically pulled off 10 or 15 minutes prior to tip-off so everyone would go to the game. Student section was rocking and everyone was having good natured fun. Agree with Stoney that it's the only way i've seen it work but it didn;t get sustained.

Now she drives a suburban and prefunks school auctions with nice wine.....
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Post by JimmAlacki on Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:50 am

As for the students, they only show up for Gonzaga. As for the PR department, I googled Chiles Center to get an attendance figure. They had a couple of graduation photos, and they had two men's basketball game photos. Instead of using a Gonzaga game photo where the place is crowded the two photos used show game footage that shows a virtually empty arena. Doesn't look good.

The administration is satisfied with the status quo. TP will be at UP for two more years.

The program will continue to schedule non D 1 teams and extremely weak D1 teams.

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Post by Dean Murdoch on Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:24 am

JimmAlacki wrote:The administration is satisfied with the status quo. TP will be at UP for two more years.

I don't know whether or not Coach Porter will be around for two more seasons, but it's a silly narrative to come on here and post that "the administration is satisfied" with whatever this year was.

JimmAlacki wrote:The program will continue to schedule non D 1 teams and extremely weak D1 teams.

The Pilots ARE an extremely weak D1 team. There's nothing wrong with how they scheduled this year with the exception of Multnomah and Lewis & Clark (like most posters on here, I don't like them playing non-D1 teams in the regular season). If the Pilots get to the point where we're worrying about which teams are or aren't on the schedule, that would be a massive step forward from where the program is currently at.
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Post by blacksheep on Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:37 am

JimmAlacki wrote:

The administration is satisfied with the status quo. TP will be at UP for two more years.


I doubt TP will be gone after this year. I assume he signed a 5 year deal, so he has 2 more left. I don't think the administration is willing to come up with the money to buy out 2 years of a contract. It's just the reality of the situation.

As for being satisfied, I don't think anyone is satisfied. I know the athletic department cares and is embarrassed about this season. I do think there's a lot of apathy in the rest of the administration. Again, building a culture of excellence is not always about providing money and resources. It's about doing all the little things throughout the school that support the program. Many of those things don't cost a dime, but require leadership at the top. I'm trying to remember how many times I saw Fr. Poorman at games this year, but I don't think it was many. That speaks volumes.
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Post by Stonehouse on Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:52 am

Rochin54 wrote:Sigh....memories....

I can remember that there was a time period there where we found $25 kegs of Tecate.

The stuff of legend!!!!!! Those dock sales were an incredible thing. I remember loading up my housemate's old Aerostar van (the same van that once hosted a mobile pre-game (and half-time) party when visiting PSU) with those Tecate kegs. My favorite little trick was giving the University's address - 5000 N. Willamette Blvd. - on the OLCC form rather than our actual house number. Wink
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Post by Stonehouse on Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:58 am

JimmAlacki wrote:As for the PR department, I googled Chiles Center to get an attendance figure. They had a couple of graduation photos, and they had two men's basketball game photos.

Was this on a UP-controlled website or Google image search? Because the University can't really control what pops up on Google image search.

That said, I searched both "Chiles Center" and "Chiles Center attendance" and the images that popped up all looked like pretty decent crowds to me.

If those photos are on a UP-controlled website (up.edu or portlandpilots.com), then that should definitely be changed.
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Post by JimmAlacki on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:17 pm

Dean Murdoch wrote:
JimmAlacki wrote:The administration is satisfied with the status quo. TP will be at UP for two more years.

I don't know whether or not Coach Porter will be around for two more seasons, but it's a silly narrative to come on here and post that "the administration is satisfied" with whatever this year was.

JimmAlacki wrote:The program will continue to schedule non D 1 teams and extremely weak D1 teams.

The Pilots ARE an extremely weak D1 team. There's nothing wrong with how they scheduled this year with the exception of Multnomah and Lewis & Clark (like most posters on here, I don't like them playing non-D1 teams in the regular season). If the Pilots get to the point where we're worrying about which teams are or aren't on the schedule, that would be a massive step forward from where the program is currently at.

If you look at the program's history over the past 30 years, it's disingenuous to defend the administration. Schedule enough weak teams it will make them look more competitive than they are. This year's non conference schedule was pathetic. A D1 record of 5-24 is bad enough but when you see the games they did win it speaks clearly

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Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:29 pm

blacksheep wrote:
JimmAlacki wrote:The administration is satisfied with the status quo. TP will be at UP for two more years.
I doubt TP will be gone after this year.  
From what I hear and see, the administration is NOT satisfied with the status quo... MBB is a pretty hot topic when the regents meet, I'm told.

I agree, TP will likely continue to coach as long as there is a Porter on the team, but I do think there will be a bit of a coaching "shake-up" in terms of responsibility and positioning during the offseason, as well as a change in recruiting priorities and standards.

I've heard from at least 15 individuals who tell me they will not renew their season tickets if TP continues to coach, which is too bad, but as poor as the team performed this season, I will continue to support the student-athletes who, regardless of what some might think or say, put in a 100% effort every time they are on the court.
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Post by Dean Murdoch on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:44 pm

JimmAlacki wrote:If you look at the program's history over the past 30 years, it's disingenuous to defend the administration. Schedule enough weak teams it will make them look more competitive than they are. This year's non conference schedule was pathetic. A D1 record of 5-24 is bad enough but when you see the games they did win it speaks clearly

The Pilots were 5-7 over a non-conference schedule that was the 337th toughest out of 353 D1 teams this year. Would you rather they have scheduled tougher and gone like 3-9 or something? Who cares?
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Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:16 pm

Dean Murdoch wrote:The Pilots were 5-7 over a non-conference schedule that was the 337th toughest out of 353 D1 teams this year.
UP’s schedule will be slightly better next season, and even better the following year, but I think we can still expect the two allowed games with non-D1 opponents at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season.

The highlight of next season will of course be the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu over Christmas.  The brackets aren’t out yet, and tickets don’t go on sale until October, but the teams participating are:

Louisville
Boise St.
Georgia Tech
Hawaii
Houston
Portland
UTEP
Washington
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Post by Woodless 2.0 on Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:16 pm

I wonder how much longer the WCC will tolerate this? What if we average single digit D1 wins over the next two years?

You guys are all absolutely right, it starts at the top. Beauchamp knew the business of intercollegiate athletics...that's how we got the ball rolling in the early Reveno era.

I have a ton of respect for the other CSCs that have held that office but their priorities are so different from Bill's. Barring major board pressure ($$) I think we are stuck for a good long while.
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Post by Stonehouse on Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:02 pm

Thought it might be interesting to look at our record and KenPom ranking over our past three coaching tenures, just to see how things stack up comparatively.

Note that the (X of X WCC) rankings are based on end-of-year KenPom rankings, not actual finish in the WCC standings.

Of these 18 seasons, 3 of our 5 worst KenPom rankings have taken place over the past three seasons. And the current coaching tenure is the only one that did not see significant improvement from year one to year three - in overall KenPom ranking, KenPom ranking within the conference, and win total.

Holton
2001-02: 6-24, 258 (7 of 8 WCC)
2002-03: 10-17, 207 (7 of 8 WCC)
2003-04: 11-17, 162 (5 of 8 WCC)
2004-05: 15-15, 147 (7 of 8 WCC)
2005-06: 11-18, 212 (8 of 8 WCC)

Reveno
2006-07: 9-23, 274 (8 of 8 WCC)
2007-08: 9-22, 268 (7 of 8 WCC)
2008-09: 19-13, 109 (3 of 8 WCC)
2009-10: 21-11, 79 (3 of 8 WCC)
2010-11: 20-12, 101 (3 of 8 WCC)
2011-12: 7-24, 279 (8 of 9 WCC)
2012-13: 11-21, 258 (9 of 9 WCC)
2013-14: 15-16, 111 (5 of 10 WCC)
2014-15: 17-16, 134 (6 of 10 WCC)
2015-16: 12-20, 206 (6 of 10 WCC)

Porter
2016-17: 11-22, 280 (9 of 10 WCC)
2017-18: 10-22, 272 (9 of 10 WCC)
2018-19: 7-24, 324 (10 of 10 WCC)
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Post by bobtcat2 on Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:55 pm

I'm standing by my prediction that a coaching change will be made before next season begins. No reason for Porter to go through another season of this mess when it's not only not working, it's getting worse.

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