Request for Advice Topic

So after eight seasons playing HD, I feel like this was clearly my best team so far at Wooster.  I felt like I had recruited the type of team that I wanted: solid ath/def, a good point guard to run the offense, and a balanced offense with very good inside and outside scorers.  I won my conference, stayed in the top ten all year, and managed to get a #2 seed.  And then I lost in the second round of the NT for the fifth straight year.  I'm 6-0 in the NT first round and now 0-6 in the second round.  Wooster, say hello to bitter disappointment, I think you've met before.

The last couple days I've been looking at my team and trying to figure out what I need to do to get over the NT second round hump.  Obviously game planning is a huge part of the equation here but I'd like to focus on recruiting for this post.  It would be quite helpful if people could take a look at my roster and give me any feedback you can think of, positive or negative.  I'm interested to see what other coaches think of the team I assembled.  What weaknesses do you see?  What should I have focused more on when recruiting?  What was this team missing?  Why does the HD game engine hate me so much and conspire against me in second round games?

Any feedback is welcome and appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

5/3/2013 4:58 PM
Without seeing the results of the other games, it's hard to tell, pseudochamp. You have a pretty good team, but there was no need to go slowdown and -4 against Dickinson. They barely use their low post guys in their offense. I would have gone normal and -1.
5/4/2013 10:26 PM
I think you are really close.  You have some very, very good players.  Dickinson is a very good team as well.  Notice, he took Colorado to the wire in the next round.  In part I think you ended up with a bad match-up early in the NT.  Looking at your talent, I think you easily could have made the sweet 16.

That said, I am not sure how to 'get over the hump' to the next level.  I think your recruits are really, really good.  I am sure you know each players weakness as well as anyone.  Sometimes this game takes a little luck.  You need good players nearby that you can recruit and defend.  You need to get lucky and pick off a player or 2 from far away sometimes.  Looking at your players, obviously you have the right idea.  I would be happy to have several of your guys honestly.

Personally, I try to abide by the philosophy of each player being able to do at least 2 things well.  For guard, they need to be good at BH/Pass or scoring or defense... Bigs need to be good at Rebounding, defense or scoring... I got so sick of bad FT% a while back that I almost consider that a 4th skill... so I definitely consider it, especially in a scorer.  But my sense is you know this stuff.  The only guy on your team that doesn't seem to meet this criteria is the SF - Franklin.  And it's hard to get every single recruit to be a winner - sometimes you have to settle for the best available to give minutes and balance to your class and team structure.  I guess Bradley isn't that great either, but he's not horrible.  And he is a back-up..

I think you need to keep grinding.  I think you have the right idea in terms of talent.  I think you will break thru in the NT if you keep it up.  It took me a long time to break thru consistently.  I know I just tried to build a little bit each cycle... get a little better player than before with the higher prestige.  Part of it may be that you don't get as much recruiting money.  There's a snowball effect to being in a good conference in terms of extra recruiting $.  it's not entirely an accident that the GNE and University have such good teams - good coaches, then give them lots of $$$ and teams just stay good.

5/4/2013 11:08 PM
Valid points.  I went slowdown because I correctly assumed they were going to run uptempo with their fb/fcp and I wanted to get my starters as many minutes as possible.  He had plenty of decently fast guards to throw out there and most of my backups were limited offensively.  I did the -4 because I've had good success with that against other guard-heavy teams with no 3pt shooting.  Didn't work this time since he still scored plenty inside and we gave up too many off boards.  Boo crappy defense.
5/4/2013 11:12 PM
Just to clarify too.... I went to one sweet 16 in my first 12 seasons at Millsaps.... and that may have been a little lucky.  So you have 8 seasons with much more consistency in the NT...  So I think you are close.  Maybe just a little more grinding and you will be there.

FWIW, I wouldn't have gone -4 on Dickinson either - but I run a press and get in foul trouble with some of my weaker defensive guards.  Looking at the PBP of the game, it was very close and he pulled away a little at the end.  I would have run normal tempo, hoping to get HIM in foul trouble.  Unfortunately, even with your M2M defense the opposite happened.  and -4 yields more fouls.... gotta run

5/4/2013 11:17 PM
Thanks for the replies spike and brian, I appreciate the feedback.  Like you said, brian, I'll keep grinding.  I need a good recruiting cycle next week so I can rebuild and not take a step back.
5/4/2013 11:31 PM
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