Ruminations on a Tuesday Night

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Ruminations on a Tuesday Night

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:45 pm

So... obviously it's difficult to feel very upbeat about anything after yesterday's shellacking. But I've never been one to dwell on the downside of things, so I was thinking earlier today about the future of the program and where we're headed. And you know what? Starting next year, I think we will finish in no worse than fifth place in the WCC over the next three seasons. Really.

Why? Well, first off - Pepperdine has pretty much totally imploded. They lost two more players today (including talented freshman big man Daniel Johnson) and their two top recruits (Brad Tinsley and Paul McCoy). They are down to eight scholarship players now, and who knows if Shelley, Thomas, and Thompson (their three most promising freshmen) will stick around and wait to see who the next coach is. It will take them two-three years to bounce back to competitiveness, assuming the new coach can get some good recruits.

And it seems as though USF is going through the same thing. They will have a strong nucleus next year with Lowhorn, Quezada, and Strong, but the rest of their roster is really weak, and they too have a messed up coaching situation and no recruits signed for next year. Again, this will be a rebuilding project of more than a year.

So right there, I think we have a leg up on those two teams for the next three years. And I think we've got an advantage over LMU too. Orlando Johnson is great and they've got some good signees, but I'm much more confident in our stable of talent as opposed to theirs... really only three guys on their roster interest me right now, and you never know what will happen with their signees. Also, Tention is presumably on thin ice, and if he can't deliver after next season (a possibility, since they'll be really young still), they could be in a coaching turmoil too.

The rest of the WCC? Gonzaga and SMC have the top two spots locked down. Santa Clara has some great signees and a super-energetic coach in Keating... they will be top four for a good long while. San Diego? They'll be good next year, but once Johnson and Pomare are gone Billy Grier is going to have to prove that he can recruit, which he probably will be able to no problem. Still, after the 2007-08 season we will have much more experience than them and I think we could be on par with each other.

But I don't want it to sound like I will be happy with us standing pat and our WCC foes taking steps backwards. No way. I think clearly this team we have has tons of potential to improve. We've already seen what Nik is capable earlier this year, and we know that Taishi is a better shooter than he's showing right now. Sikma is dripping with potential... he could be an all-WCC performer as soon as next season. And Kramer has been steadily improving in the paint, looking more for shots and playing tough defense. Smeulders has started to show flashes of being a good scorer, and Jared Stohl - given minutes - can be counted on to knock down shots and score a ton of points. Niedermeyer has shown a better ability to shoot the ball too. And Hannibal and Porter? Who knows? They're projects, but hopefully at least one of them will be able to grow into a solid contributer.

Here would be our line-up for next year:

PG: Ito (JR)
SG: Raivio (JR)
SF: Niedermeyer (JR) /Smedulers (JR)
PF: Sikma (SO)
C: Knutson (SO)
B: Stohl (SO)
B: Niedermeyer (JR) /Smedulers (JR)
B: Thompson (SR)
B: Carter (SR)
B: Porter (FR*)
B: Hannibal (SO)
B: Mitrovic (FR)
B: Open Scholarship (FR)

And in 2009-10:

PG: Ito (SR)
SG: Raivio (SR)
SF: Niedermeyer (SR) /Smedulers (SR)
PF: Sikma (JR)
C: Knutson (JR)
B: Stohl (JR)
B: Niedermeyer (SR) /Smedulers (SR)
B: Porter (SO*)
B: Hannibal (JR)
B: Mitrovic (SO)
B: Open Scholarship (SO)
B: Open Scholarship (FR)
B: Open Scholarship (FR)

This could be our best shot at challenging the Zags and SMC... Gonzaga will be without Pargo, Heytvelt, Downs, probably Daye, etc.; and SMC will be without Simpson, O'Leary, Hughes, Walker, etc.; hey, a boy can dream, right? Smile
And (I know this is way far ahead) but we'll have four seniors and two juniors for sure in 2010-11:

PG: Stohl (SR)
SG: Mitrovic (JR)
SF: Porter (JR*)
PF: Sikma (SR)
C: Knutson (SR)
B: Hannibal (SR)
B: Open Scholarship (JR)
B: Open Scholarship (SO)
B: Open Scholarship (SO)
B: Open Scholarship (FR)
B: Open Scholarship (FR)
B: Open Scholarship (FR)
B: Open Scholarship (FR)


Even without stud recruits in the next two classes, we should be solid next year, even stronger the year after that, and with good experience in 2010-11. And if we do get a stud recruit in there somewhere (Brad Tinsley? Larry Richards?), the future will look even brighter.

Clearly the incoming class of 2010-11 will be crucial - four players, and the coaches will have had a loooong time to be out there scouting the guys they like. That's the HS class of 2010... currently sophomores. So hopefully we are already out there scoping it out, because that class could be what defines the future of the program beyond the Sikma/Ito/Raivio/Knutson/Smeulders/Stohl group we've got right now.

Anyway, I know it's all fluff, but I just wanted to remind people that if we can slog through this season - and it will be a slog at times, as proven by last night's thumping - the future does look pretty promising, especially when you factor in the struggles of the rest of the WCC.

Whew... I actually feel a lot better after writing that... I hope some of you feel better after reading it! Smile

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Re: Ruminations on a Tuesday Night

Post by MesaPilot1 on Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:52 pm

Stonehouse,
Thanks for the updates. I am getting excited for my trip up to Portland on February 9th (Loyola) ,and February 11th (Pepperdine) games. I am looking foward to my tour of the Campus.I hear it's quite beautiful
I tryed to get a guarantee that both games will be wins. But, no such luck. My will call tickets behind the bench will probably offer me a good view of the Student section across court. drunken cheers
I believe that the Pilots have a good chance inside against Santa Clara as long as Kramer does'nt get in early foul trouble and they can spell him by bringing in Jasonn to lean on and wear their big man out.(Jasonn has been looking better and fighting for those rebounds). Mad Mad
St Mary's could go like Gonzaga or be a close game you never know with this young roster.

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Re: Ruminations on a Tuesday Night

Post by PilotNut on Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:34 am

Funny, Stonehouse, I was having similar thoughts today. Looking at the rest of the WCC, and the direction of their programs:

GU & SMC: Continued upward trend. We have a long way to go to catch them. There is no indication that they will be anything but strong in the next few years. (Wild card: Bennett gets hired away...)

Pepp, USF: Downward trend. Coaching changes, players leaving... does either one have any signed recruits left for next year?

Portland, LMU: Upward trend. Granted both really can only improve, but both are very young. I think we have HUGE upside potential, and think we are in a better situation to move up than LMU at this point, based upon talent, support and coaching.

SCU, USD: Stable. Both are consistent programs and we have to prove that we can compete/surpass them. USD has no seniors, and Pomare and Johnson are juniors. SCU's Angley and Henke are seniors, Bryant is a Junior. Both SCU & USD have new coaches who have to prove themselves (but inherited cabinets that were far from empty).

Moral of the story: things will get better next year, and another step up the year after.... Basketball


Moving on to Saturdays game; we still have a lot of this season to go. I am optimistic about the SMC game, on 2 counts:

(1) Hopefully our guys will come out ticked off after the Monday game. I hope they have a chip on their shoulder and feel the need to "redeem" or "prove" themselves.

(2) SMC plays Gonzaga on Monday night, so hopefully we can catch them looking ahead a bit (I am not sure how SMC's loss against USD will effect this... but it is probably a wake-up call to SMC...)

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Oregon recruits

Post by IronLions on Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:23 pm

Any ideas if McCoy, Tinsley or SHAMsud end up in a Pilot uniform?

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Re: Ruminations on a Tuesday Night

Post by PilotNut on Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:18 am

Great question, Iron. I would certainly hope that we could land one of them; we still have 1 schollie to give for next year.

I dont think any of the 3 were on our radar the first time around, which doesnt help... but you never know...

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Re: Ruminations on a Tuesday Night

Post by PilotNut on Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:09 pm

I guess I should add that I am sure that the Pilots are interested in Tinsley (who wouldn't be??, especially when we have an open schollie), and McCoy if/when he gets his release...

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Re: Ruminations on a Tuesday Night

Post by IronLions on Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:27 pm

McCoy has stated he is %100 sure he doesn't want to go to Pepperdine. However, it seems he has opened up the possiablilty of playing football again which bring a lot more schools into the mix. Tinsley will be a hot property, but Portland has the benefit of being close to home. Not too sure about SHAMsud. He never signed a LOI at Pepperdine and there was some rumblings about his academics.

It will be an interesting off season.

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Re: Ruminations on a Tuesday Night

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:55 pm

I wonder who is counseling Mcoy? Has there been a player in modern history who succeeded in basketball and football besides Charlie Ward?

unh-uh... Ernie Kent's kid doesn't count.

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