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The Shantay Legans Era

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default The Shantay Legans Era

Post by DTLegend Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:18 pm

Look at me! New Coach and I'm gung ho with new topics. I just thought we needed a new thread to signify the start of a new era.

The energy, excitement, and optimism of the past 24 hours has really pushed me from lurking into contributing. So here are some initial thoughts.

Legans on 'Why Portland'

The above video in the Nick Krupke tweet is awesome to hear. This is the energy that so many of us have been looking for from a head coach. He's clear about Portland being the "right job" which is saying something considering so many think he could have run his EWU team back next year with greater success.

Furthermore, look at this tweet from Coach Reveno

Take it for what it is, but there's a guy who has no reason to comment, but still believes in the potential of UP basketball.

A lot has been said about how this is a terrible job, where Legans can only hurt his stock as a head coach, but I'm confident he is aware of what he is getting into and has a clear vision on how to make Portland a winner.

Speaking of, it seems that Coach Legans wasted no time in sending out some offers as I've noticed multiple offers from Portland coming across my twitter feed. One thing all of these guys hold offers from EWU. What this shows me is that Legans isn't changing his script. He knows what got him to where he was at Eastern Washington, and he's going to keep that going. He's building those relationships and I can't wait to see the next couple of years play out.

It's been close to a decade since I've been this excited about UP basketball.

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Post by Sound Voltex Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:43 pm

https://medium.com/wills-wcc-blog/shantay-legans-named-head-coach-at-portland-fd3c00c36f30

From my perspective, having watched Legans’ teams fairly closely over the past few seasons, this is a great hire for the Pilots. He has a track record of success at the mid-major level, as both an assistant and head coach. His Eagles played a phenomenally fun style of basketball — against the slow-as-molasses Saint Mary’s Gaels, Eastern put up 75 points in a five point loss in Moraga.

After a five season run that put the Pilots firmly in the West Coast Conference cellar and saw the team become incapable of building rosters with much talent, a young, fun head coach is just what the doctor ordered to remedy the situation in the Rose City.

In my story on Portland’s firing of Terry Porter back in February, I argued that Porter isn’t entirely responsible for the Pilots’ struggles. Bringing in a new head coach alone isn’t enough to change the situation in Portland. There needs to be a change in culture along with the change in coach. Based upon how quickly Legans went from coaching in the NCAA Tournament to taking the Portland job — less than 48 hours! — I have to believe he sees something good at Portland.

It could just be money, of course, as Legans goes from making $130,000 (per reporting from Jeff Faraudo) at Eastern Washington, a public school facing budget cuts, to Portland, a private school that can throw cash around as it sees fit without having to answer to tax payers. But I feel like it has to be more than that. Eastern Washington was set to return almost everyone from this season’s squad, including both Groves brothers. Another NCAA Tournament next season and Legans would find himself on the shortlist for some more high-profile jobs.

Unless he gets the entire Gonzaga roster to transfer to Portland next season, there’s nothing he can do in one year at Portland to vault himself into those conversations next March. Which leads me to believe he sees the Portland job as a situation in which he can rebuild a program. That’s great news for Portland.

To me, there’s no reason for the Pilots to be the doorstop of the league. Portland is a phenomenal city that produces an underappreciated amount of talent. The Chiles Center is a perfect mid-major gym. It’s big enough that even the snarkiest BYU player or fan can’t call it a “high school gym” but it’s small enough that even a half-capacity crowd can generate some energy.

Can Legans lead the Pilots to the NCAA Tournament like he did with the Eagles? That will be tough. Since BYU joined the WCC, there hasn’t been a team outside of the league’s top three to break through and earn a bid. The WCC is unique among all the leagues in the sport in that regard; the top three are so entrenched, and so far ahead of everybody else, that even the most talented roster in a program’s history might not be enough. But, can Legans bring the Pilots to respectability once again? Can he get them to finish in the top half of the standings? Can he get them to become the team that poses a significant threat to the big three like Kyle Smith did with San Francisco? Absolutely. And if he can do that, all it takes is a couple of wins in Las Vegas.

To me, this is right up there with LMU’s hire of Stan Johnson, BYU’s hire of Mark Pope and Pacific’s hire of Damon Stoudamire as one of the best I’ve seen in my seasons covering the league. Not just because of the guy they hired, but because of the situation the program was in and the direction they chose to go from there.

Teams at this level have a few general options when making a hire.

You can stay in house, as San Francisco and San Diego did by promoting assistants in Todd Golden and Sam Scholl, respectively. Yes, they’re young up and comers, but they’re different in that they knew their athletic departments and their athletic departments knew them. Both have found some success, and both have had some hiccups, but it’s too soon to fully evaluate the quality of either hire. Also, both programs were in a good spot when their head coaching job opened up. San Francisco needed a new coach because Kyle Smith did such a good job that the Pac 12 came calling. San Diego needed one because Lamont Smith resigned abruptly after encountering legal issues. In those situations, it makes sense to stick with someone who had helped build the on court success. Portland isn’t in that kind of situation. Far from it.

You can go out and get a free agent former high-level coach, as Santa Clara did with Herb Sendek, Pepperdine did with Lorenzo Romar, and LMU did with Mike Dunlap. The thing is, those former high-level coaches are free agents for a reason, whatever success they once had dried up at some point. Could they be good again? Absolutely. However, those three programs have achieved at essentially the same level as they had under their previous head coaches.

Or, you can go out and grab a young up and comer as LMU did with Johnson, BYU did with Pope, Pacific did with Stoudamire and Portland has done with Legans. All three took a program that was down, relative to the league or its own standards, and turned things around. Yeah, we’ve only got one year of Johnson so far, so it’s way too soon to know how it pans out, but the early returns are very strong.

Considering how the first two options have worked out for the other programs in the conference, if I had to pick a head coach I’d be inclined to go with a young up and comer.

That’s exactly what Portland did, and not only did they get a young up and comer, they got one with a track record of success at the mid-major level. Plus, he’s just a likeable guy. I only occasionally cover the Eagles, but being in Spokane I see them all the time. I liked Legans at EWU. I expect Portland will like him on The Bluff, too.
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Post by mikemac65 Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:46 pm

Great post
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Post by FloridaPilot Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:02 pm

Thanks for sharing these posts! The positive vibes are quite pleasant to read for a change.

I have been scrolling through the press and even comments on other message boards and it’s full of negativity. There’s no pleasing other basketball fans it seems. We hired Legans and the message is “why would he take that job?” Whereas if we hired anyone else and it would have been “Portland has no desire to be better.” You have to start somewhere. There’s no way to pull ourselves up unless we do something like this, and I believe we (both UP and Legans) deserve the opportunity to try.

I’m very pleased with this hire and look forward to looking forward to Pilot men’s basketball again (please keep supporting the women too)!

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Post by Dean Murdoch Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:34 pm

FloridaPilot wrote:We hired Legans and the message is “why would he take that job?” Whereas if we hired anyone else and it would have been “Portland has no desire to be better.” You have to start somewhere.

Ain't that the truth. The same people that are saying the Pilots aren't even trying are the ones deriding Coach Legans for taking the job.

If anyone feels like running through a brick wall tonight, go find some clips of his virtual presser today. You have to love his energy and attitude.
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Post by DoubleDipper Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:11 pm

In the lead-up to Shantay's hiring I mentioned his upbringing by a single mother, his brashness at a young age, and his loyalty to his childhood mentor...this article written before he came to UP illuminates that:

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/mar/18/eastern-washington-coach-shantay-legans-successful/
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Post by DoubleDipper Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:00 pm

This is the postgame interview with Shantay Legans (the first 12 minutes are with Shantay, the next 12 are with Tanner Groves) after EWU's loss to Kansas in the Tournament.

At UP we have been listening to postgame loss interviews for the better part of five years.

IMO this interview shows a great level of understanding of the game, and the coach's ability to breakdown and analyze each aspect of the game is less detached and at a much higher level than UP fans are used to seeing.

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Post by Kevin Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:41 pm

I'm VERY impressed with this guy!

He's intelligent and HUNGRY!

Can't wait to attend live games!!!!
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Post by DoubleDipper Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:18 pm

"Fans, get a chance to hear from newly hired University of Portland men's basketball head coach Shantay Legans live this Friday in a special "Lunch with Coach Legans" session that will be streamed live on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The session will be hosted by television voice of the Pilots Ann Schatz and aired live from the Chiles Center beginning at 12 p.m.

In addition to hearing from Coach Legans, the show will feature commentary from Portland Vice President for Athletics Scott Leykam, as well as a number of recognizable Pilot Basketball alums and other special guests."

https://portlandpilots.com/news/2021/3/24/mens-basketball-tune-in-to-lunch-with-coach-legans-on-friday-at-noon.aspx
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Post by DoubleDipper Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:40 pm

In Shantay's words:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1374425532851384329

https://twitter.com/i/status/1374431229366337547
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Post by DoubleDipper Thu Mar 25, 2021 11:54 am

Dean Murdoch wrote:If anyone feels like running through a brick wall tonight, go find some clips of his virtual presser today. You have to love his energy and attitude.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1374471759596900359

https://twitter.com/i/status/1374474635811594241

Don't forget Friday's "Lunch with Coach Legans" a noon...

https://portlandpilots.com/news/2021/3/24/mens-basketball-tune-in-to-lunch-with-coach-legans-on-friday-at-noon.aspx
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Post by Sound Voltex Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:52 pm

Radio interview with Coach Legans this morning on 1080 The Fan. We sleeping giants now.

https://vocaroo.com/1jJpFdwUGs7u
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Post by Dean Murdoch Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:13 am

@sr_collingwood wrote:(New EWU coach David) Riley said his first priorities are trying to keep the current team intact in the era of the transfer portal, his current recruits and to begin hiring a new staff.

This suggests that assistants Bobby Suarez and TJ Lipold are following Legans to Portland.

The Pilots may or may not get some players from EWU, but it was always a safe bet at least a couple assistant coaches would be following Coach Legans to UP.
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Post by DoubleDipper Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:10 pm

Lots of takeaways from today's "Lunch with Legans," but just a couple of points:

1. Ann Schatz is a gem, and I hope we will see a lot more of her on Pilots' video productions..

2. In the past, Coach Legans has relied on high school recruits, but now he is constantly checking the the transfer portal for updates and he is looking for the Pilots to be competitive sooner than later...

3. Wonderful to have "cameo" appearances from Coach Eric Reveno, Pooh Jeter, Donald Wilson, Alec Wintering, Jared Stohl, Coach Ben Howland,, and Shantay's first boss at ECU, Bill Chaves, the AD at U. of North Dakota.


Last edited by DoubleDipper on Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by dholcombe Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:13 pm

Is there a recording? I had a scheduling conflict.

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Post by Sound Voltex Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:26 pm

dholcombe wrote:Is there a recording? I had a scheduling conflict.

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Post by dholcombe Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:51 pm

Thank you.

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Post by DoubleDipper Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:56 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:In the past, Coach Legans has relied on high school recruits, but now he is constantly checking the the transfer portal for updates and he is looking for the Pilots to be competitive sooner than later...
This just in, EWU stars Tanner and Jacob Groves are both in the transfer portal!  Shocked
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Post by Sound Voltex Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:02 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:
DoubleDipper wrote:In the past, Coach Legans has relied on high school recruits, but now he is constantly checking the the transfer portal for updates and he is looking for the Pilots to be competitive sooner than later...
This just in, EWU stars Tanner and Jacob Groves are both in the transfer portal!  Shocked

“Not ruling EWU out, love that program, I would love to be coached by Dave,” Tanner told The Spokesman-Review. “Just exploring all of my options.”

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/mar/26/eastern-washington-star-tanner-groves-enters-ncaa-/

If they or any other EWU players end up transferring here, I propose we change our names to the Portland Eagles. tongue
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Post by DoubleDipper Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:06 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:This just in, EWU stars Tanner and Jacob Groves are both in the transfer portal!  Shocked
An acquaintance in Spokane tells me Tanner Groves is getting some interest from high-majors...including Gonzaga.

The question is whether Tanner would only leave EWU if his brother accompanies him to the same team, and whether that would dissuade some schools from recruiting him.

Apparently you can learn all sorts of things in the bars and barber shops in the Spokane area... Razz
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Post by DoubleDipper Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:20 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:Ann Schatz is a gem, and I hope we will see a lot more of her on Pilots' video productions..
The Shantay Legans Era  Tatjan10
Tatjana, Ann, Shantay
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Post by Geezaldinho Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:24 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:
DoubleDipper wrote:This just in, EWU stars Tanner and Jacob Groves are both in the transfer portal!  Shocked
An acquaintance in Spokane tells me Tanner Groves is getting some interest from high-majors...including Gonzaga.

The question is whether Tanner would only leave EWU if his brother accompanies him to the same team, and whether that would dissuade some schools from recruiting him.

Apparently you can learn all sorts of things in the bars and barber shops in the Spokane area... Razz

I don’t think Tanner would get many minutes at Gonzaga. He’d be close to home, though.
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Post by Dean Murdoch Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:49 pm

@vegasbedwards wrote:Eastern Washington's Tanner Groves has told @GoodmanHoops that he's heard from Texas Tech, Arkansas, Iowa State, Virginia Tech, Stanford, LMU & Washington State since entering the transfer portal. Says he'll also consider Portland (his HC took that job) & returning to E-Wash.

It's on!
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Post by lomiton Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:21 pm

Like pretty much everyone with a pulse, the University of Portland men's basketball program has been a severe disappointment over the last several years. Not expecting Gonzaga like results but certainly the Pilots should have much more competitive. And honestly, no reason why they shouldn't be.

I was profoundly disappointed when the school supported Terry Porter to coach this last season. My thought at the time was no matter how much short term money the school thinks its saving, the damage that not making a move caused (because it screamed "apathy") substantial damage to the program.

On the bright side and fortunately unlike football, it doesn't take more than a great recruiting class to turn those fortunes around. With the cache that Shantay has I think he has the wherewithal to bring in the type of recruits needed. With his coaching chops, whatever he is short in the talent department he has the ability to coach them up.

For the first time in a long time I am feeling bullish about UPortland hoops. It's nice to have a talented, motivated coach that brings fresh energy to the position. I hope the athletic department and the school give him the tools he needs to be successful. Having been to Cheney, if Shantay could do it there, Shantay could do it anywhere.

Go Pilots!

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Post by PilotNut Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:32 pm

Greetings everyone... I hope you are all surviving the pandemic and have stayed safe and healthy.

I share the positive comments of others on the hiring of Coach Legans; he seems like a good hire.

I am going to reserve most of my optimism for the time being, however.  Yes, Legans and others in the Athletic Department said all the right things... but all the right things were also said when Porter was hired, and when Reveno was hired, and Holton, and so on.  

Hiring a good coach is only the first step.  The University Administration still needs to step up its support for the program.  I am not just talking money, but also academic support and flexibility, prioritization, visibility, admissions, etc...  If it is more of the same from Waldschmidt Hall,  I am afraid it will again tank the program (can it get any lower?).  It is interesting timing in this regard, as there will soon be an interim President and then a new President.  I certainly hope that anyone who supports the team will make their voices heard up to the Board of Trustees to make sure the priority of the program is a factor in that decision process.

We've been down this road before, but I hope that it will be different this time...


Last edited by PilotNut on Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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