The next step: Healing

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The next step: Healing

Post by PilotNut on Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:00 am

Check out Stonehouse's Pilots Blog over on OregonLive. He does a great job of putting Monday's game in perspective:

http://blog.oregonlive.com/pilots/

Nicely done on choosing the paintings, too... quite descriptive and accurate. Basketball

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Re: The next step: Healing

Post by Stonehouse on Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:43 am

Ha! Thanks Nut... I was in a bit of a weird mood last night, and that was the result. Smile

Still... a loss like that, coupled with our diificult schedule to end the season, does make me re-evaluate a bit my expectations and hopes for the coming years. In short, we're going to be banking a lot on player development. I'm seeing sparks of the kind of development we need in Ethan, Kramer, Robin, and Jared, but clearly Taishi and Luke have hit a wall.

I'm not as worried about Luke, but Taishi... suffice it to say it's been a tough year for him, both on and off the court. But I also know that he's got a tremendous work ethic, so knowing him he will probably work harder than anyone else on the team at getting better this summer.

Nik is a tough case... he's our best player and best scorer, but his decision making needs work. I think he is so ultra competitive that sometimes he ends up forcing things or getting a bit too amped up... he needs to learn how to make the game slow down for him in crunch time, not speed up. Still, I think we're going to see a lot of points out of Nik before his career as a Pilot is done.

As for Jasonn... who knows? He's so darn big that the potential is there, but he definitely does still have a long way to go.

Mitrovic sounds like a good shooter (can never have enough of those), but I'm starting to really get the sense that we need to get a good athletic player with our final scholarship - either an athletic point guard that play some good defense and use speed as a weapon on offense, or an athletic big man (ala Diamon Simpson, Rob Jones, etc.) that may not have all the size in the world but can help bang on boards and run with the other athletic bigs and just give us more explosiveness on offense.

Because remember, even if our guys do improve (and I think they will), we still have a long hill to climb, since GU and SMC aren't going anywhere and SCU and USD are on the upswing. LMU needs help but are basically in the same boat as us... really only USF and Pepperdine seem like they are going in the wrong direction, at least over the next season or two.

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Re: The next step: Healing

Post by PointPilots on Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:32 pm

Does "bit of a weird mood" mean you were hammered? I'm guessing so

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Re: The next step: Healing

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:47 pm

PointPilots, I have to say I'm shocked - SHOCKED affraid I say - that you think a sensitive soul like Stoney would overindulge.

sorry, just an excuse to use the Munch emoticon

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Re: The next step: Healing

Post by navigator on Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:37 pm

I had to stop listening to the game with 12 minutes to go and I was totally shocked when I came back and read the box scores to see how we finished up. There must have been a mistake, but no, just crushing news.

Anyways what must be kept in mind is most of these guys are in a new system, raw players and second year players. G and SM obviously have had some guys in place for a while, know their roles and get to know just a couple new guys to fit in. Iím not knocking on the coach cause he has to clean house and go out and find his type of players, build the schools rep and his too. He may not even have pulled in the type of players he really wanted yet.

So to have won the game in Montana, played the Dawgs extremely well and have lost some close games, Iím fairly pleased with what theyíve done. I canít wait for next year.
Ito will have had some time to heal and concentrate on his game. I know what heís gone through has affected his game.

Big guys will have gained some valuable experience. The guards will play with more confidence. Everyone will be more court savy.

Yes, most of these guys have been AAU and all star camps. I think itís a little more difficult playing D1 all the time and having to have youíre A game every night. And thatís what theyíre finding outÖa game is 40 minutes.

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Re: The next step: Healing

Post by up7587 on Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:44 pm

Stonehouse! A renaissance man as well as an eternal optimist! Who knew!

Being neither, I have committed myself to enjoying the games, and if a win occurs, that's icing. As for the long awaited but never arriving "next year", well, we'll see. Placing hopes on 19 and 20 year olds is an iffy proposition; witness our supposed to be point guard currently tearing it up in the Big Sky conference. Couldn't we use him to break a press once in a while! If all these young players stay in school, continue to work and develop, and get some help in the form of an athletic player or two, then things should look up. But with only one senior departing, and two juniors who don't contribute, expecting major improvements next year is a long shot at best.

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Re: The next step: Healing

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:03 am

up7587... of course I'm an eternal optimist. I'm a Pilot fan! Smile

But I see where you're coming from... we will definitely be banking on player development when we talk about expectations for next season. Still, I do remain optimistic, since we will be returning 87% of our overall minutes from this season. When you combine that stat with the fact that 62% of our minutes this season come from players new to D1 basketball, I do feel like there is a lot of room for just experience and comfort level to help improve the team. Yes, it will require kids to buy into it and put in a lot of work, but I think that hasn't been a problem under Reveno - the kids definitely have good work ethics.

In a perfect world, a good parallel (sp?) to where we want to be a few years from now is Drake. Now, I don't expect us to be 22-1 and ranked in the top 15 in a few seasons, but I do think that their blueprint is a nice one for us to follow. Check out this great article about what they've done this year with a team laden with upper classmen who are good students and work hard:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/mvc/2008-02-04-drake-focus_N.htm

Not to mention the fact that Paul Davis, who engineered the turn-around before passing the reins to his son before this season, was Reveno's coach at Stanford and is someone whom Rev views as a coaching mentor. (I wish I came up with this all by myself, but a special tip of the hat to the person who tipped me off on this.)

Looking at what Drake has done this year... I look ahead to the 2009-10 season, when Taishi, Nik, Robin and Ethan will be seniors and Luke, Kramer, Jared, and Jasonn will be juniors. Couple that with the fact that Pepperdine and USF will still be in massive rebuilding mode, San Diego will have lost Johnson and Pomare, Santa Clara will have lost Bryant, GU will probably have lost a slew of players to graduation and the draft, SMC will have lost Simpson... really only LMU will not have lost any big key players. The conference might be down a bit that season (like the MVC is this year), and we will be full of veterans. Now, if we can couple that roster with some nice additions from recruiting... that could be a darn good team.

But, of course, that's all just talk. But it's more fun to think about that than our 2-7 WCC record with no easy games left on the schedule. Sad

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Re: The next step: Healing

Post by MesaPilot1 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:17 am

Stonehouse,
You are the eternal optimist, although I will tell you from growing up in that area Drake is a very prestigious academic university in the Midwest. You are right in that comparision.
I believe if Portland could get just one athletic "star" player the rest of the players are in place for the next 2-3 yrs. They need one" go to" guy when the game is close, how many close games has the team losT this year because they did not have that one guy you just know could create "magic" when the game was on the line. I think this Tinsley kid is just too highly recruited when North Carolina starts looking at you the whole country does too. But, maybe the Pilots can pickup a JUCO or Transfer who wants to be closer to home that can provide instant offense and athletism to be the" go to" guy. Cool

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Re: The next step: Healing

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:39 am

Yeah... Tinsley is probably a pipe dream at this point, but it's still fun to think about. And he WAS at the game on Monday, so it's not like he doesn't even know UP exisits.

I think your diagnosis is right on, Mesa. We don't really have someone who can take over at the end... Sherrard has tried at some points, Nik has tried at others... but really neither are quite there. Nik may develop into that kind of player, but I think he (as I posted yesterday) needs to let the game slow down a bit at the end and not try so hard.

And I forgot to mention in my Drake comparison... they have been terrible for a long, long time. Seriously, I think UP has mad more success than them over the past 20 years. They finished in the bottom four of the conference nine times out of the past 10 years. And suddenly they are 20-1 and ranked. So they really did resurrect from the ashes, you know? Again, I don't expect THAT level of success, but still... they have shown what is possible using the model that Reveno is.

I think an athletic JuCo SF/PF could be a nice way to go - would bring some experience and a different aspect to our team that is lacking at this point.

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