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The Season of Bad Breaks

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  • The Season of Bad Breaks

    Sorry if this is kind of long, but here is my take on this basketball season.

    Before this season started, we all had high hopes of having a good season. We had a new coach who was a known winner. We had some returning players who had sweet 16 experience. We had some recruits coming in who seems to be good players — one a first team juco all-american, one a second team juco all-american, a prep school player, a 7 foot shot blocker from Nigeria named Ohimen Orukpe, and a couple of other recruits). So everything is looking great.

    Then we get our first bad break. Guy Ntang, the prep player, who had already committed to coach Turgeon and recommitted to coach Marshall, dies in a pickup game in front of coach Marshall. Maybe this should have been a sign of what was to occur this season. But we're still confident of having a good season because Guy would only be a freshman and might have been redshirted anyway. And besides, we have the 7 foot Nigerian shot blocker coming in who can also run like a deer. So when the preseason MVC predictions come out and we're only picked for 7th, most are saying, "No way, that's too low. We should be one of the top 4 or 5 teams when it's all said and done."

    Then the second bad break occurs. Orukpe can't get "out of Africa". We think, "Well, maybe he'll be here in time for the start of Valley play." But it's a no go. Now the season has started and players are playing out of position. And then we find out, we don't have any good shooters, or at least consistent shooters. All the good shooters from last year have either graduated or left the team.

    When we think it can't get any worse, the third bad break occurs. Matt Braeuer is out with a concussion. Now we have to start using players in game situations we wouldn't have normally used. We almost have another bad break when Ramon Clemente, our top rebounder, breaks his pinky finger. But he shows his toughness by fighting through the pain and only misses one game.

    So far, we haven't had any good breaks. Orukpe still hasn't been able to get out of Africa. Matt is still unable to play. But at least some of our new players are starting to play better. Mantas Griskenas, the first team juco all-american, is gaining more confidence and playing better with each game.

    But now the fourth bad break occurs. Mantas tears his knee up and is lost for the season.

    We finally get a good break when Matt, after missing 10 games, comes back. But by now it seems like almost everyone has lost their mental toughness to finish games. So even though Matt is back, we still can't seem to close out games.

    So in summary, we started out the season with high hopes. But with the bad breaks and the bad shooting, we're where we are now. But "what if" Guy hadn't died, "what if" Orukpe was here blocking shots, "what if" Matt hadn't missed those 10 games, "what if" Mantas hadn't tore up his knee? Maybe we'd have more confidence. Maybe that confidence would have led to more consistent shooting. If all that would have happened, maybe today, instead of talking about how bad the season has gone, maybe instead we'd be talking about who we're going to be playing in St. Louis on a Friday night.

  • #2
    IF:

    Guy doesn't die, very little would probably change. If anything, had that alone happened, Coach could have turned that into motivational equipment.

    Okrupe gets out of Africa, this is a much different team. JT or Ellis is redshirted, and we have a post presence that changes several games where we just needed one more big man that didn't have 4 fouls on him.

    Matt doesn't get a concussion, we are a lot tougher in early Valley play, go maybe .500 in the Valley, and win one in StL.

    Griskenas doesn't bust his knee, we have another warm body in the post who is a decent defender and puts up 7 or 8 a game. He also gives us one more guy who doesn't have 4 fouls on him.
    Deep in the heart of couldn't give a crap about college basketball-land and I miss the SHOX.
    Students > Alumni
    If you EVER want to open your damn mouths about Selection Sunday, READ THIS FIRST: http://www.midmajority.com/p/1296
    The ONLY document that means ANYTHING: http://www.bbstate.com/schools/WICH/sheet

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    • #3
      Originally posted by fastbow
      IF:

      Guy doesn't die, very little would probably change. If anything, had that alone happened, Coach could have turned that into motivational equipment.

      Okrupe gets out of Africa, this is a much different team. JT or Ellis is redshirted, and we have a post presence that changes several games where we just needed one more big man that didn't have 4 fouls on him.

      Matt doesn't get a concussion, we are a lot tougher in early Valley play, go maybe .500 in the Valley, and win one in StL.

      Griskenas doesn't bust his knee, we have another warm body in the post who is a decent defender and puts up 7 or 8 a game. He also gives us one more guy who doesn't have 4 fouls on him.
      Jt has already redshirted so there he either plays or he doesnt.

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      • #4
        Good summary and I support your enthusiam and never say die attitude.

        But you can't base your life or a basketball program on "What If's."

        "What If's" are for losers. Winners don't have to dwell on "what if" or day dream about what might have been.

        This program will turn around, but it will not be built on "what if's."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 60Shock
          Good summary and I support your enthusiam and never say die attitude.

          But you can't base your life or a basketball program on "What If's."

          "What If's" are for losers. Winners don't have to dwell on "what if" or day dream about what might have been.

          This program will turn around, but it will not be built on "what if's."
          That's basically why I put quotes around the "what if".

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          • #6
            MAYBE the season is different if Okrupe makes it. Once again, has anyone seen this guy play? It's hard to adjust to D1 ball right away especially for a big guy.

            The problem with this team is greater than one or two things. Even if everything had fallen into place I have my doubts this would have been that great of season. Maybe .500 like you said but I can just tell these players and coaches don't mesh well at all. Marshall needs to concentrate on these final few games and doing everything he can to replace the bad blood with blood that wants to play for him and his system.

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            • #7
              You forgot that Ejike Hart failed to qualify. Would have given us another experienced inside guy. Who knows if that was bad or good depending on how Ellis works out. I'm really liking the kid, but we could really have used a player to step in and play big minutes.

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              • #8
                All I know is everything happens for a reason (mostly likely a good reason), I think it'll make this team, Coach, and the fans stronger in the long run.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Downtown Shocker Brown
                  You forgot that Ejike Hart failed to qualify. Would have given us another experienced inside guy. Who knows if that was bad or good depending on how Ellis works out. I'm really liking the kid, but we could really have used a player to step in and play big minutes.
                  Let's say Hart qualifies, when AE becomes available I think Butler loses his schollie 1st semester instead of 2nd.
                  "Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should accomplish with your ability."
                  -John Wooden

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                  • #10
                    A good summary of the things that went wrong, and added with the loss of Hart, are some of the reasons why our predictions for the team didn't come close to reality.

                    I was one of the few, with fingers crossed, who predicted 2nd place. That was based on the belief that MG would be a major factor, both inside and out. Without MG coming through, the team changed from what the coach wanted to go with. PJ was to play mostly the two. I was expecting him to cause defensive problems for the opposing teams' SGs from that position. The backup PG problem that we experienced also was unexpected for me although I don't think it was a surprise to the coaching staff.

                    Perhaps as important as anything, there is a mental softness to the team. Lack of personnel is one reason for the inability to hold leads and win close games but we also appear to have the mind set of losers. I was hoping the mental side problems went away, but probably for different reasons than last year, they are still with us. The Shockers have been short-handed on players and therefore overall talent. Mental collapses have a tendency to happen under those circumstances.
                    In the fast lane

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hotel Paper
                      All I know is everything happens for a reason (mostly likely a good reason), I think it'll make this team, Coach, and the fans stronger in the long run.
                      I'm not a religious man, but...
                      "I returned and saw under the sun that—the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all" (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

                      AKA The "Tao" of Solomon
                      Wichita State, home of the All-Americans.

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