Conference USA Topic

Big Clay-maker Wilson  is the prize of the class. 
The # 2 overall rated recruit in the class attended the highly prestigious City University School of Liberal Arts in Memphis.  For the past three years Wilson and his family have actually lived in the basement of the Univ. of Memphis Drama Department.
Clay hopes after his professional playing days are over he will become the face of Old Spice.  You know, like your man should smell.  Look at him. Now look at me. Back to him, BACK to me.
When last seen, Wilson was at the local country club having his new "Stereo system" (that was anonymously gifted to him) installed into his 620 HP Viper (in Kentucky Wildcat blue I might add).  Membership has it's perks.

Joe Manke  is a 6-7 undersized center originally from Massachusetts but attended a Juco in Tennessee.
He graduated from the two year program in 15 months for which he received a white adidas headband which he wears constantly.  Known most for his lockdown defense and inability to pick up any offensive sets.

Franklin Legler   rounds out this recruiting class.
Legler combines a near automatic outside shot with a sub 60 FT%.  His lack of passing ability makes him a natural fit with the current Memphis squad.  Franklin reminisces about his childhood dream of lacing up for the nearby Tulsa Golden Hurricane, but that fantasy never became a reality as Tulsa passed on him during recruiting.  Legler also raises big cats on his family farm in Oklahoma and has a llama named Kitty.

4/9/2012 12:58 PM (edited)
Ernest Goad Fr. C 71 35 66 66 73 31 19 32 31 39 52 57 D+ 572
Thomas Sharp Fr. PG 61 83 5 56 12 1 30 61 68 27 72 74 D 550
William Soucy Fr. C 81 15 84 76 81 64 11 1 10 35 73 52 C+ 583

Sharp is high-high in ath/def, not sure about per. If per is high-high as well, watch out, we got ourselves a scorer. 
Goad reb/def are both high high. Stamina high-high as well. 

4/9/2012 12:14 PM (edited)
PG - Ed "The Menace" Blackmon
ATH - 69 (low)
SPD - 80 (low)
REB - 1 (low)
DEF - 61
SB - 1 (low)
LP - 12 (HIGH)
PER - 67
BH - 58 (HIGH)
PAS - 79 (low)
WE - 74
STA - 75 (low)
DUR - 28
FT - C+

SF - Larry "The Menace" Hess
ATH - 71
SPD - 50
REB - 50 (HIGH)
DEF - 66
SB - 45
LP - 40 (HIGH)
PER - 14 (HIGH)
BH - 41
PAS - 48
WE - 54
STA - 65 (HIGH)
DUR - 66
FT - D- (HIGH)

Not much potential for Blackmon. More-so for Hess. We also signed SG - Timothy "The Menace" Bradshaw because his nickname was "The Menace" and PF - John "The Mess" Foster, but that was a mistake.
4/9/2012 9:13 PM
Here are my two players, Thomas "Hutch" Hutchinson and Huang-Fu "Manchu" Ming are my two recruits.

I thought the talent was very thin in my area (which is not a very densely populated area), so I wound up getting a JUCO SG who I will redshirt and then play at SF next year. He will be reasonable. He is high/high in perimeter, unsure about the other areas. He is going to be used primarily to balance classes.

My second player is a very strong Center and a four year player. He is high in athleticism, high/high in rebounding and high in LP. He will wind up being a backup offensive option and a strong defender and an elite rebounder.

I also signed two one year transfers, both actually reasonable players, who will help me hopefully win a few games in the short term and allowed me to carry over a few thousand for the long term.

4/9/2012 9:32 PM (edited)
ORLANDO, FL (WiP) Central Florida university officials announced today that though attempts to recruit coveted SF Stanford "The Menace" Messenger fell short they are pleased with their recruiting season. Assistant Head Coach Richard Curcio stated that the overall depth of returning Knights meant that almost any result from this recruiting season was acceptable. "I'm just glad that ineligible guard we threw an offer at decided to go to prep school. Nice kid, but probably not cut out for CUSA basketball. Well, maybe Houston."  On the battle for Messenger Curcio praised the recruiting job done by coach zags27 and the Eastern Carolina staff. "In the end it comes down to effort of course. And in this game, that means cash. The Pirates had more booty, and they are good at spreading their booty."

The Knights return 11 players from a team that went to the National Tournament last season, losing a heart-breaker in round one. While replacing starting PG Rickey Douglas, who lead the team with just under 4 assists per game and was second in team scoring wont be easy, senior Michael Barr is looking forward to the challenge. "When I came down here coach Dac told me I'd have a shot at starting, something I didn't think was going to happen with BC, you know, so I'm just going to try to do what coach tells me and not make too many mistakes with running the show, you know." Barr transferred from Boston College after his sophomore season. The BC Eagles started Philadelphia City Center Academy's freshman Chad McGaughy at PG in the season opener last night, a disappointing 48-62 loss at California, Riverside. McGaughy scored 14 to lead the Eagles in defeat.

The Knights opened strong, beating UMBC on the road 76-62 behind 20 points and 12 rebounds from preseason CUSA first team forward Michael Downs. "That white boy is a beast," extolled Barr of his Pensacola native teammate Downs. "Straight up, I ain't never seen no white boy could jump like that. And his moves down low - damn. Yo, don't make that sound like I'm racist or nothing though - I got mad love for all the white boys - but Michael is special."  Though only in his second season under coach Dac, Barr scored an efficient 8 points to go along with 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals against only 2 turnovers in his debut as floor general. "I'm just so grateful to God first and foremost and Jesus and all the apostles too. I'm loving life right now, my man. Living large. Staying humble. Tomorrow's another game." 

The Knights play at Lafayette of the Patriot league tonight in Easton, PA. Tip-off is 7:08 PM EDT and the game can be heard on WUCF FM 89.9 on tape delay at 11:05 PM EDT. 

4/11/2012 2:23 AM (edited)
Sitting at the #1 conference RPI spot after non-con play. Not bad so far ...

DIConference RPI
1. CUSA .6030
2. SEC .5959
3. Big 12 .5752
4. PAC 10 .5651
5. ACC .5474
6. Big 10 .5427
7. Big East .5263
4/20/2012 3:05 PM
We also have more teams (4) ranked in the top 25 than we ever have before ... that may go away once we all start cannibalizing each other.

East Standings
School Coach Conf.
Top 25
UAB options 0-0 10-0 0-0 10-0 0-0 10-0 W10 20 112
#15 Central Florida dacj501 0-0 10-0 0-0 10-0 0-0 10-0 W10 31 173
#7 Marshall girt25 0-0 10-0 5-0 5-0 0-0 10-0 W10 7 56
#22 Memphis oldwarrior 0-0 9-1 2-0 7-1 0-0 9-1 L1 18 79
E. Carolina zags27 0-0 8-2 1-1 7-1 0-1 8-2 L1 23 54
S. Mississippi Weena 0-0 7-3 2-3 5-0 0-1 7-3 L1 84 100
West Standings
School Coach Conf.
Top 25
#21 UTEP aejones 0-0 10-0 4-0 6-0 0-0 10-0 W10 5 39
Tulane antonsirius 0-0 9-1 6-0 3-1 0-0 9-1 W8 33 133
Houston jamespastine 0-0 8-2 3-0 5-2 0-0 8-2 L1 35 111
Rice shqipta 0-0 6-4 1-2 5-2 0-1 6-4 W1 63 66
SMU mr53 0-0 4-6 0-2 4-4 0-0 4-6 L1 214 268
Tulsa tianyi7886 0-0 3-7 0-0 3-7 0-0 3-7 W2 176 195
4/20/2012 3:08 PM
post-season is all that matters...
4/20/2012 4:31 PM
There has been some discussion of what it takes to be a mid level NT team on the CC.
I hate to write a book there, so I thought I'd toss out some thoughts here and get some responses from the group.

#1. I think the operation to prove we could establish a Mid-Major conference and compete with the Big-6 is a proven success.
#2. I think Rupp was the best possible place to do it since the Big-6 (outside of the SEC), seems to be pretty even and overall fairly weak.
#3. I would argue we have probably as good a group of coaches here in CUSA (once we shored up the West and got rid of Billy), as any conference in Rupp.

Now, with those things said, I think we have hit a ceiling with our advancement.
The floor has been raised drastically in CUSA since we got here, but the roof needs to go up as well.
The overall project has convinced me that the gap between the Big-6 and the Mid-Majors is bigger than I thought and much harder than I thought to bridge.

I see Rupp D1 as having about 5 levels in it.

Level 1 would be the really good teams with A or better prestige who recruit the 4 and 5star players and "expect" to play into the 2nd or 3rd round of the NT nearly every season.
Level 2 would be the solid B+ to A- teams that "expect" to make the NT each season and play past the first round most times.
Level 3 I would say is the B- to low B+ teams that make the NT most seasons... but seldom get past round 1.
Level 4 is the C+ or so team who's going to be sub100 rpi each season but miss the post-season from time to time.
Level 5 is below that....

Dan has left us and moved onto level 1.
I "expect" him to stay there and continue to do what he does.
I personally don't believe we have anyone at that second level right now... but have about 3-5 teams who have the potential to be in that area in the next 2-3 seasons... and possibly join Dan shortly thereafter.
I think we have alot of the level 3 teams. They are much better than what was here when we got here.... and are probably as good as 70% of the Big-6 teams in Rupp.
However... level 3 IMHO is:
#1. the spot where you can change your tactics and move on up...(as Dan did),
#2. just keep recruiting the 1 to 3 star level players with potential... and keep winning 18-20 games and making the NT but losing in the first round.
The floor has been raised. We now have a better conference prestige than before.

I actually think we now need to re-think our goals.
Being able to compete with the Big-6 has been achieved.
I think the next step should now be... lets be the "REAL" #2 conference in Rupp, behind the SEC. Not one of the top-7.
That means playing more rounds in the NT than anyone else (cept the SEC), Making more money than everyone else, (cept the SEC).... and getting our prestige higher individually so we can recruit the players it takes to do those things on a year in year out basis.

Then we can step it up another notch and work at being #1 period.
I actually think this group can do it.

PS. the reason I put the SEC in a different category, is they have about 5-6 A+ prestige teams. They truely are more solid year in year out than the rest of Rupp, and I think they will be an entirely different challenge to overtake once we are earning $30-$40,000 in post-season cash every season.

PPS. LOL, one other thing is that the SEC is one of the lower baseline prestige conferences in HD. Alot of those teams with A+ prestige are a B baseline... not really that much different than most of us. They are across the southeast and pretty much in the same area we are recruiting from. We can continue to take their left-overs... or sit up at the big-boy table and demand our share. It may mean with 4 openings we take 2-3 recruits... but every single good player you land is one less than the SEC and ACC have to win with... and there are only so many good kids out there.
5/16/2012 12:42 PM (edited)
Bob, I'd like to go through a lot of that point by point.
#1. I think the operation to prove we could establish a Mid-Major conference and compete with the Big-6 is a proven success.
I guess it depends what you mean by "compete." I think we are clearly the best non Big-6. However, we played a total of 17 non-con games as a conference out of 120 vs BCS schools. We went 5-12. 4 of the wins (and 10 of the 17 games) were by 1 school against 4 bottom simai BCS schools. 7 of us did not play any BCS schools, 2 played 1, 2 more played 2. As a conference we scheduled 78 RPI boosting away games against sim or lower quality human coached teams. We knew what we were doing and we made no excuses, but our success is largely artificially driven, and I don't think its exactly proven yet...
#2. I think Rupp was the best possible place to do it since the Big-6 (outside of the SEC), seems to be pretty even and overall fairly weak.
Its the overall fairly weak part of that statement that I agree with. I think it makes Rupp the best place to do this from our standpoint, because it'd be even harder anywhere else. I don't know if that qualifies it as the best place for this experiment, if the experiment is supposed to prove something about mid-major conferences in general...
#3. I would argue we have probably as good a group of coaches here in CUSA (once we shored up the West and got rid of Billy), as any conference in Rupp.
Delicate point - myself included I think if coaches were subject to that same tiered ranking system you use for schools we've probably got a decent bunch of level 3 and level 2 guys with some younger guys i don't know where to place yet, and a few top level guys. Is there a conference with more top level guys altogether, maybe, but I don't think this is an area of particular concern...

I think I'd agree with your tiered rankings. I also think based on that and my 17 season record at Alabama in Tark that I am an upper echelon tier 3 coach. Bama has been a B+ for the past 9 seasons. We are 3-8 in the NT in those 17 seasons, with 1 S16 and 1 NT2. That's with the SEC in Tark consistently finishing 3rd in post season cash averaging maybe $26k per season. If I can't figure out how to get over the hump there, how the hell will I do it here? An anecdote - about 12 seasons ago the #1 PG was 10 miles from my campus. I had come off a PI championship game or PI final 4 or something and was, as usual, a B+.  I think I had 5 openings. The kid had Bama as a favorite school and my best player ever (a PG) was one yr removed from the team, so I badly needed his replacement, having failed to secure it before he went EE. I spent every dime I had on the kid and didn't get him. Now a days I would advise me that it was stupid to even try given all the 5+ opening A+ schools nearby in the ACC plus my own fellow SEC schools that had A+ (LSU, UK and Arkansas). I know all that proves is that I don't know what the hell I'm doing, but that's sort of my point anyway.

So now I get to the meat of the message. I am certainly not trying to put words in your mouth or suggest you are suggesting anything improper. Maybe there are a number of things I'm just not thinking off (I'm sure of it). From my POV though, the only substantive action that I could see taking based upon your PPS that would be any different than what folks are already trying to do is actively not recruit against each other. Since this sort of thing is of course against the rules I don't think that is what you are asking us to do - I don't think you are actively asking us to do anything -

Look - all the people who are going to jump down my throat now or whatever - I'm not trying to cause any trouble or anything at all, just trying to explain how I see this...explain to me how I'm wrong but don't just attack, ok? I want this to work as much as anyone. I left behind a D2 team that I had just won my only championship ever with to try this thing...

5/16/2012 1:34 PM
Recruiting is all about picking your battles. Imo, B+ can definitely sign 4/5 star recruits, just have to look beyond your basic 360miles radius.Distance isn't everything. The 5 star recruit in Utah or Montana might be easier and cheaper to sign than the 5 star guy that's in your backyard, especially when your back yard has UNC/Duke, while Florida and other SEC teams can dip into your backyard. 
5/16/2012 1:41 PM
First, let's not overreact to the fact that (for the most part) our postseason showing fell short of expectations. As I said on the CC, I truly feel that with a couple small differences, we easily could've put three into the 2nd round. Hell, with a little better luck on first round matchups, it could've been more than that. But we had a team run into a Kansas squad that was a 14 seed, etc.

I don't put any more stock into this than I did a few seasons ago when we were the most successful conference in the postseason, had three in the E8 and two in the F4. We caught some breaks that season, and we fell short on some breaks this one. Hell, my team this season was better than the one that made the F4, but that season we won a coin flip or two and this season we lost one.

Second, there's no question that at this point the project has been extremely successful. We've significantly elevated the conference and at this point are equivalent to a lower BCS conference. The thing separating us from become a good or great BCS conference is more consistent, deep postseason runs ... and the thing keeping us from that is talent, pure and simple. Guys have to stop settling for low/mid-caliber players. Take a walk-on instead if you have to. Lose a battle every now and then (as long as it's not a hopeless, ill-advised battle). But push for better players. That's the key. Lord knows we have more than enough coaching talent.
5/16/2012 11:11 PM
And dac, I didn't read zags' post and think he was making any suggestion about recruiting against one another. Honestly, that hasn't been a factor that's held us back -- battling each other for a bunch of players. I think the vast majority of DI vets try to avoid that type of thing with conference mates. I know I certainly do. It's common sense, really. That said, sometimes it's unavoidable. Regardless -- I don't thing that's what zags was talking about, and it's not something that's really had any material impact on us as awhile.

But dac, what we can and should do is what I addressed in my post above. That's how you take a team from solid to good, or good to great -- season by season ramp up the level of talent you're going after. It doesn't happen overnight. My first recruiting class at Marshall I believe had one top 50 at his position (out of five ... may have been two, not positive). But I slowly ramped it up, started signing more top 25-30 guys, then top 20, then top 10. People can't be stagnant and just consistently accept low/mid type guys -- you wouldn't/couldn't do that in a BCS conference and expect to be successful, and you can't/shouldn't do that here. (The royal "you" ... not you, dac.)
5/16/2012 11:17 PM
Final note: I don't designate low/mid strictly by ranking ... I definitely have 4-5 players on my team that weren't slam dunk BCS recruits by ranking.
5/16/2012 11:19 PM
I made some mistakes in recruiting in the past. I won't make them again.
5/17/2012 2:04 AM
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