All Forums > Hoops Dynasty Basketball > Tarkanian > Official USA South Conference Thread
3/10/2011 9:49 AM

Nacotico - my thoughts, until overruled, would be to vote for them in whichever way you think is important.  It's all subjective at this point and there are no points for getting it "right."

3/10/2011 9:51 AM
Narcotico, I am not sure what dhas was thinking but in my opinion the "strictly-defined criteria" you speak of needs to come from you and what you believe to be the important factors worthy of placing a player on the pre-season all conference team.

I do agree that having to select players based on their listed positions may cause someone deserving of being on the first team to get bumped down a slot and vice-versa, with a player getting bumped up because a better player is listed at another position but does not play there. However, Dhas did say that we can do write-ins so maybe that would be the way to get the SG that plays SF on the first team as a SF.

Just my thoughts, but I agree this is going to be hard without having the context of a seasons worth of games/stats to look at.
3/10/2011 10:14 AM
Thank you all for attending.  Let me begin, by stating I am very excited to begin my career here.  I hope it is long and prosperous for both NCW and myself.  NCW has historically run a clean program, and I plan to do that as well.  NCW has a long tradition of putting the student first in student athlete, and I plan to maintain that committment.  That said, at times, NCW seems to have been building a debate team and not a basketball team. 
I think very highly of NCW, however, I discovered that recruits don't think very highly of NCW.  After some glory years with Bbaby coaching, the team has fallen fast and hard.  The recruits have noticed.
I was able to get a lot of recruits to talk to me when I told them I was the coach at North Carolina.  As soon as I told them it was North Carolina Wesleyan, however, most hung up on me. 
My first order of business, is to restore some pride to NCW.  What you will see on the floor is a team that competes hard for the entire game, every game.  We may not be the most athletic, fastest, most skilled, or most knowledgeable, but no team will work harder than we will.  This year, it's not about the record, but about restoring a winning attitude to NCW.  Once that attitude is established, recruits will notice and this will be a place that players want to play. 
On a positive note, our assitant coach was able to use some connections he'd made when he used to coach in Arkansas and bring in Fredrick Ybanez.  This is a kid we think has a bright future here.  He should be able to contribue right away with some hard nose defense and rebounding.   He's already impressed in that regard in practice and the kids here know that hustle, defense, and rebounding will earn you playing time.  Down the road, we expect Ybanez to develop some low post moves and become an efficient scorer to compliment his rebounding and defense.

Our returning players are a great bunch of kids.  The kind of guys you'd want your daughter or sister to date.  They all recognize they have some limitations as basketball players, but they will try hard and will be the kind of underdog that you just want to root for.
We have a couple of players who, with the right dedication, could earn some post season recognition - Michael Flowers, Stephen Lee, Richard Hawkin, and J. Thomas will be expected to carry a big load here and I think they are up to the challenge.

Thanks for coming, it's now back to the practice court.
3/10/2011 2:48 PM
narcotico, it would be entirely up to you how you want to vote.  I went with the players at each position I would most want on my team.  If there were a virtual tie I would probably go with the guy who is a better fit at his listed position, but if I'm looking at the SGs and the two best are really great PG and SF material I'll still make them 1 and 2 over the "true" SGs.  I wouldn't even begin to try to guess what kind of distro guys will get.  It's preseason awards, so I have to assume I don't have any idea how anybody will be used, whether I have a very solid guess or not.
3/10/2011 3:16 PM
I'll try and get to my ballot tonight dahs -- I'm three games into an eight-game day covering state basketball. Of course, if the quality of play doesn't get any better, my votes might get influenced heavily by strong beverages. I hate watching quarterfinal games and wondering "how on earth did this team get here?" 
3/12/2011 2:34 PM
Off to a 3-0 start.  Hooray for weak teams.  I've already had 14 points of growth for Evans and 11 for Mortensen.  At this rate I could see close to 100 points of growth from Evans this season.  I imagine if I rearranged his practice minutes a bit I could get over 100, but I'd rather have him develop as a balanced player first before helping some of his high-highs go nuts.
3/15/2011 4:38 PM (edited)
THE HORNETS' NEST, Vol. 1, Issue 1

Welcome to the first issue of the new official fan magazine of Shenandoah College basketball! We'll bring you regular updates on all the happenings swirling around Winchester.

The Shenandoah Hornets are 4-5 heading into tonight's final non-conference tilt against Lycoming. With nationally-ranked LaGrange coming to town to kick off a rugged USA South conference slate, first-year head coach Red Nu remains undecided about his team's early season performance.

"I guess what troubles me the most has been our inability to develop any sort of momentum so far," Nu said. "We'll win a game. We'll lose a game. We'll win a game and we'll lose a game. That's just the way it has been. At some point, you want to see your guys string along a series of W's and we haven't done that yet."

That said, the fact the Hornets have been underdogs in eight of their first 10 contests hasn't been lost on the head coach. Winning a few that the pundits weren't expecting the team to pick up, Nu hopes, will pay dividends when the rigors of conference play begin.

"This is not an easy league, and if you don't come to play -- like we failed to do the other night against Millikin -- you're going to get smoked and it won't be very pretty," said Nu. "I don't care what league you play in, if your offense only puts up 44 points on the scoreboard, you're not going to be celebrating very often. We're a team that needs to score at least in the mid-60s to give ourselves the best chance at winning."

Several early-season moves have raised some eyebrows around campus, none more than Nu's decision to bench two-year starter Thurman Hanner in favor of classmate Carlos Hines in the paint. Hines has rewarded the new coaching staff's faith so far with a team-best 10.3 points and 6.9 rebounds. Hanner had started 55 consecutive games for the Hornets -- every game since arriving on campus as a true freshman -- before coming off the bench in the second game of this season. Hanner has averaged 5 points and 3.6 boards in roughly eight fewer minutes of floor time than Hines.

"Thurman knows he's still a key part of this team," Nu said. "We need his contribution, his experience and his depth. The fact of the matter is that Carlos outplayed him early on. That could change down the road, but for now Carlos is our guy and we're going to ride his hot streak for as long as we can. Having two guys that we can bring in and post up down low isn't a problem."

What could be a problem is the developing situation with junior forward Michael Jaconski. The Marshfield, Mass., native reportedly posted "Sick of not playing. I want 2 ball. New coach sux" to his Twitter account earlier this week. Jaconski's playing time has dropped from nearly 13 minutes per game last season to barely five so far this year, the fewest of any Hornet player. His 5.1 ppg average last season has similarly crashed to just 1.8 this year. Thus far, the coaching staff has made no public comment about Jaconski's situation, but indicated privately that they were aware of the alleged Twitter post. Unnamed persons close to the team, however, have speculated that perhaps it is Jaconski's declining work ethic and failure to embrace the changes of the new coaching staff that are at the source of the friction. Definitely an issue that will bear watching further.

Rumors are also swirling around the program that freshman Charles Fisk's day might be coming sooner than many expected. Fisk has averaged 3.6 points in just over 10 minutes of playing time so far, but he was electric with 11 points in 10 minutes against Augsburg. Fisk is shooting a team-best 52.2 percent from the floor and that can't be good news for starter John Cummings, who is averaging just 5.2 points per game in 22 minutes. Sources say Fisk is being held in reserve until he gains more familiarity with the Hornets' offense and improves on his stamina, but that Nu is "very open" to the possibility of giving FIsk his chance "soon."

Haven't seen the Hornets play yet this season? Here's your chance -- Shenandoah plays five of its first six USA South games, including an appearance by nationally ranked power Greensboro, at home. Reserve seats for all games are available by calling the campus box office at 1-888-THE-BUZZ.
3/15/2011 9:08 PM

3/15/2011 9:41 PM
what happened to the pre season awards?

i vote myself for crappiest start!
3/15/2011 9:52 PM
Since I took so long to tabulate the pre-season awards I'm going to post them after the game tonight in a conference update.
3/15/2011 10:22 PM
Posted by cheaneyfan on 3/15/2011 9:41:00 PM (view original):
what happened to the pre season awards?

i vote myself for crappiest start!
nah. i think i got it,  you at least have a good SOS
3/16/2011 12:02 AM
Good stuff Red!
3/16/2011 7:09 PM
State of the Conference, Post non-Con:

As we stand on the brink of a brutal conference schedule, it is proper that we look back on the first 10 games of the season for the 12 members of the USA South.  To begin, I should relate the results of the pre-season award voting:

The runner-up for the first annual pre-season all-USA South Conference point guard is... Eric Natale, Junior, La Grange.  And the Award Winner, by an overwhelming margin, is Greensboro Junior Kevin Murphy!
The runner-up for All-Conference shooting guard, a junior out of North Carolina Wesleyan, is Michael Flowers.  And your winner, again garnering most of the first-place ballots, is another junior, Samuel Delapaz from La Grange!
Moving on to the awards for small forwards, our runner up is only a sophomore.  Out of Piedmont University, Rafael Hobbs!  And the winner, a junior also from Piedmont University, Mathew Lauver!
The power forwards.  Your runner up is a senior from Averett University: Antoine Maurer!  And the winner is... Jeffrey Caple, the senior from Chowan.
This brings us to our last position, but they are certainly not least.  In fact, these are the biggest guys on the court.  Your centers - the runner up, a senior from Greensboro University, Victor Matney!  And the winner, a 6'11", 243-pound behemoth, another senior and also from Greensboro, is Wilbur Sheets!

The relative scarcity of seniors among the All-Conference Team winners is a strong sign pointing towards a great future in the USA South Conference.  Other strong signs of this same forthcoming greatness are featured amongst our candidates for Freshman of the Year.  Expectations varied wildly among this group, so the runner-up award is actually shared by three players: La Grange Center David Somers (who, ironically, has yet to appear in a game), Shenandoah Small Forward Charles Fisk, and Methodist Center Jim McCadams (7.1 points, 6.2 reb/game).  The winner is Greensboro guard Thomas Majors.  Like Somers, Majors is coming off a redshirt season and comes into his redshirt freshman year with some knowledge of his team's system.  Unlike Somers, he has played in every game, is averaging over 18 minutes, and has dished out over 3 assists per game while also scoring the odd bucket and grabbing a few boards.

The Defensive Player of the Year Pre-Season award will be shared.  Your winners are William Anderson, the shot-blocking center from La Grange, and David Tankersley, a defensively minded junior guard from Methodist.

Our final Pre-Season Player Award is for the Conference Player of the Year.  It will be interesting to see whether we feel the players we thought would be the best actually end up that way.  The runner up is an offensively-minded Power Forward from Chowan University.  Last season, Jeffrey Caple scored 9.8 points per game on nearly 54% shooting while also contributing 4.2 rebounds.  He'll look to build on those numbers and provide senior leadership this season.
None of the positional awards were won by a unanimous decision.  Remarkably, the Pre-Season CPOY was.  Perhaps the fact that he doesn't fit perfectly into his "preferred" position cost him in the positional voting.  This player is a junior guard out of Greensboro.  Last year, Kevin Murphy scored over 10 points per game and also dished out 2.7 assists while shooting an incredible 44% from beyond the arc.  This year he thinks he can actually improve upon this incredibly offensive performance, improving his shooting on what he hopes will be a larger number of shots to become a truly outstanding scorer.

Perhaps the most important award we hand out in the pre-season isn't for the players at all.  We all know that while college basketball is played out on the court, it's the coaches who bring together the players and teach the skills that win Conference and National Championships.  Most often the biggest part of that equation is bringing in the talent.  Here in the USA South, we realize that having the right players is well over half the battle.  Thus, Pre-Season "Recruiter of the Year" awards should be considered just as prestigious and perhaps more important than postseason "Coach of the Year" honors.  With that in mind, this year's Recruiter of the Year award will be split between a veteran and a newcomer.  The new guy is first-year Methodist coach dahsdebater.  Methodist's five-man class included a sophomore junior college product being trained to run the point in Jamie Wellman, a defensive and rebounding oriented center in Joe Randall, a small forward with near limitless potential in Jason Evans, and Joe Mortensen and Jim McCadams, two future dominant players in the post who will solidify the interior of the Methodist squad for the next four years.  The veteran is perennial national contender narcotico from Greensboro.  Narcotico's class included two offensively-minded outside scoring point guards in John Hendricks and Ronnie Giordano.  The class was rounded out with a potential monster in the low post, center Glenn Freitag.


Having doled out the pre-season hardware, it's time to take a quick look around the conference to see where we stand.  Incredibly, the conference is doing quite well as a group in the non-conference schedule in spite of enduring 5 coaching changes in the offseason.  We currently sport the 2nd-highest conference RPI (unfortunately stuck behind the hated ODAC) and combined for 75 wins in the non-conference portion of the schedule, more than any other conference except the Upstate, whose teams combined to equal our total.  As of now we boast 2 ranked teams: narcotico's Greensboro group, ranked 4th and with an RPI of 12, and bobbynite's La Grange team, ranked 23rd but with an RPI of 3.  The conference also holds two undefeated teams: dahsdebater's Methodist squad has gone 10-0 in spite of starting 3 freshmen, and jetwildcat's Palm Beach Atlantic team have equaled that total in the Western Division.  Another first-year coach, dukenilnil of North Carolina Wesleyan, has won 9 of his 10 out-of-conference contests.  Undoubtedly all of these coaches have benefited from the fairly easy non-con schedules they inherited from the previous coaches at their schools.  We can only assume that they will schedule more challenging opponents next season, likely leading to a decrease in win totals but hopefully a simultaneous jump in the SOS and RPI numbers.  Of course, the SOS for all schools in the conference (except perhaps Chowan, with a current SOS 6th toughest in the Nation and La Grange with the 8th most challenging slate so far) will likely be going up during conference play given the aggregate RPI and non-conference records already discussed.
3/18/2011 9:01 PM
Well done dahs. and nice job peeing in Greensboro's conrnflakes in our first game ; )
3/25/2011 12:22 PM
THE HORNETS' NEST Vol. 1, Issue 2

After an agonizing start to the conference season, the Hornets have won four of their last six. While it wasn't enough for the team to climb out of last place in the division, it at least brought a measure of respectability back to the squad's final 10-16 regular-season record.

"I'm disappointed," head coach Red Nu said. "When I stepped in and saw what we had coming back, I thought we had the potential to be a team that fought to finish above .500. It hasn't worked out that way, but the nice thing is we're on a bit of a roll heading into the conference tournament. Hopefully we can ride that momentum a ways."

At this time, the Hornets are waiting to see who their first-round opponent will be.

Following up on some news from the last issue, the Hornets' coaching staff and Michael Jaconski managed to bury the hatchet after the junior forward's critical Twitter post generated some buzz of the wrong sort throughout Hornet nation. After complaining about a lack of playing time early, Jaconski met with the Shenandoah coaching staff and, while nobody's talking about the details of that meeting, it is obvious the staff agreed to give Jaconski his shot. Jaconski responded, upping his productivity down the stretch.

"Any time there's a change, different people are going to react differently," Nu said. "Michael just took a little longer coming around to how we like things done as a staff."

With the Jaconski situation in the past, the rumor mill has had to look elsewhere. Speculation has now turned to whether or not the coaching staff will renew the scholarships of everyone for next season. It's no surprise to hear that Nu and his staff are uncomfortable with the large junior class this year and what it could mean for recruiting two years down the road. There are currently no sophomores on the Shenandoah roster, leading some to wonder if Nu might cut a member of next year's senior class and replace that player with a junior college selection during recruiting this spring. 

Helping fuel that speculation is the team's season-long lack of productivity at small forward. John Cummins, who lost his starting job midway through the season, failed to score more than five points in a contest from Game 6 until the season closer, when he dropped in nine points. In the midst, he failed to score in six games and lost his starting position to freshman Charles Fisk. Fisk, however, failed to produce any better and the coaching staff, reluctantly, has gone back to Cummins to make use of the junior's experience.

Don't expect much in the way of post-season awards for the Hornets this year. The leading candidate for post-season recognition may be James Lord, who sits in the top 10 of the conference for steals per game and free throw percentage and in the top 25 in three other categories (points, assists and three-point percentage). Carlos Hines (top 10 in rebounds and free throw percentage, top 25 in blocks and field goal percentage) is the only other Hornet likely to receive even a passing glance.

Cheer on the Hornets as they dive into USA South tournament play. Reserve your tournament ticket package at 1-888-THE-BUZZ.
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