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Author Topic: “You don’t have to win a championship to be a champion here” - Mike Neighbors  (Read 758 times)

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edemire

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Mike Anderson could never get away with saying this publicly.

Are women's basketball coaches allowed to embrace the idea of " moral victories" in a way men's basketball coaches cannot? My initial take is "yes" and here's why:

http://www.bestofarkansassports.com/you-dont-have-to-win-a-championship-to-be-a-champion-here-mike-neighbors


But I'm looking to get others' opinions too!
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LadybackBBFan

Regarding Edemire's comments
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 11:25:34 am »

Mike Anderson could never get away with saying this publicly.

Are women's basketball coaches allowed to embrace the idea of " moral victories" in a way men's basketball coaches cannot? My initial take is "yes" and here's why:

http://www.bestofarkansassports.com/you-dont-have-to-win-a-championship-to-be-a-champion-here-mike-neighbors


But I'm looking to get others' opinions too!
What you posted proves you wrong.  "Women coaches are not allowed to have moral victories just as  men's coaches are not allowed."  Coaches from programs with winning traditions are not allowed to have moral victories - eg. Arkansas men and Tennessee women as you stated.  Coaches with not winning traditions are allowed to have moral victories. If Arkansas women's track team came in second in the Nationals - they would not have been celebrating a moral victory.  Here is why the basketball team is allowed to celebrate a moral victory:  - Arkansas women's team - first Arkansas team and first ever # 10 seed to ever play in the tournament championship game.  Only the fourth team in Arkansas history to play in the semi-finals and the first since 2002 - a 17 year drought, I know I have been to all of them, first team to have any Arkansas player in the tournament record book - three of them Chelsea for points and free throw % in a game and Jailyn for 3 pointers in the tournament - breaking records set in 1985, 1993 & 2006, first player to make all tournament team since 2003 - Chelsea - and only the third ever - Christen in 2002 & 2003.  I could go on but this is only in our coaches second year.  What is not to celebrate!  These girls deserve it and they did it all with the second best player, Monk, playing injured, in severe pain & probably should not even be playing. Get over it & celebrate these great accomplishments by a great group of young women. 
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 03:16:40 pm by JHicks3636 »
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logic


Mike Anderson could never get away with saying this publicly.

Are women's basketball coaches allowed to embrace the idea of " moral victories" in a way men's basketball coaches cannot? My initial take is "yes" and here's why:

http://www.bestofarkansassports.com/you-dont-have-to-win-a-championship-to-be-a-champion-here-mike-neighbors


But I'm looking to get others' opinions too!
I don't really disagree with the article, but it has far more to do with greatly exceeding expectations than whether it is men's or women's coach saying it.

This is Anderson's eight year, and Neighbor's second year after being picked a unanimous last place last year and not a lot better this year.  No one expected Arkansas to play in the SEC tournament final.  The fact that we did left everyone overjoyed.  The outcome in the final didn't change that.

I was more than pleased that we beat Georgia, because I knew we would lose against S Carolina. I dreaded watching the game because instead of me relaxing watching them win by 30, I was afraid we might keep it close till the 4th quarter when they would pull away and win.  And, a close game would leave me exhausted.
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jdlew


Women basketball and softball is trending up...when those two coaches have been here 8 years they will be held to a higher standard than they are now...
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edemire

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Re: Regarding Edemire's comments
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 10:33:27 pm »

I appreciate the feedback! I do think a big part is the context of when the "near-championship" is achieved, and the historic legacy of the program involved. But, what I didn't write in the piece is that I feel that even if a longtime struggling men's program had achieved something similar to what the Lady Razorbacks did in the SEC Tournament, that male coach would have gotten flak for saying what Neighbors said.

A specific example would have been if, a few years ago, UALR had made it to the Sweet Sixteen under Chris Beard, but then lost in that round. I can imagine so criticism going Beard's way if he'd said the same thing in that circumstance.

This is just my feeling based on years of following the game (and the meta-game of how fans react to stories) — obviously no evidence in a hypothetical like this.

What you posted proves you wrong.  "Women coaches are not allowed to have moral victories just as  men's coaches are not allowed."  Coaches from programs with winning traditions are not allowed to have moral victories - eg. Arkansas men and Tennessee women as you stated.  Coaches with not winning traditions are allowed to have moral victories. If Arkansas women's track team came in second in the Nationals - they would not have been celebrating a moral victory.  Here is why the basketball team is allowed to celebrate a moral victory:  - Arkansas women's team - first Arkansas team and first ever # 10 seed to ever play in the tournament championship game.  Only the fourth team in Arkansas history to play in the semi-finals and the first since 2002 - a 17 year drought, I know I have been to all of them, first team to have any Arkansas player in the tournament record book - three of them Chelsea for points and free throw % in a game and Jailyn for 3 pointers in the tournament - breaking records set in 1985, 1993 & 2006, first player to make all tournament team since 2003 - Chelsea - and only the third ever - Christen in 2002 & 2003.  I could go on but this is only in our coaches second year.  What is not to celebrate!  These girls deserve it and they did it all with the second best player, Monk, playing injured, in severe pain & probably should not even be playing. Get over it & celebrate these great accomplishments by a great group of young women.
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Dwight_K_Shrute

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Mike has also said many times that they are not a results based program.  Has anyone ever heard him explain what he means by that in detail?  Just assuming especially early on in the tenure say first one or two year, they are not going to focus on W's and L's, but more on development, preparation, recruiting and if you are executing those things the right way then the W's will come. 

LadybackBBFan


Mike has also said many times that they are not a results based program.  Has anyone ever heard him explain what he means by that in detail?  Just assuming especially early on in the tenure say first one or two year, they are not going to focus on W's and L's, but more on development, preparation, recruiting and if you are executing those things the right way then the W's will come. 
Yes, that is what he is talking about.  He has indicated that he has not entered all of his offense yet.  In addition he needs more parts.  He was asked about it early this year at a luncheon.  He indicated that we would be changing to a results team next year.  After the tournament, he has said that he is a year a head of his 4 year program.  I expect that we will have a + SEC record next year for only the third or fourth time in program history.  We will have much more depth next year.

psycHOGlogist

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We will have much more depth next year.

This is an interesting observation, and one I agree with completely. However, Mike also talks frequently about not going more than about 8 players deep in his bench for a regular rotation. And we saw that this year -- though you could argue that could be a combination of his philosophy and perceived talent level.

When we have a bench that includes almost all players that this staff recruited (Williams, Spangler, Mason, and Weaver will be the only holdovers next year, if they all return), will we go deeper than 8? I'm not sure -- but it will be fun to see! If you are not excited about the direction of the program, I am not sure what to tell you.
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LadybackBBFan

You don't have to win a champion to be a champion here
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 10:35:30 am »

This is an interesting observation, and one I agree with completely. However, Mike also talks frequently about not going more than about 8 players deep in his bench for a regular rotation. And we saw that this year -- though you could argue that could be a combination of his philosophy and perceived talent level.

When we have a bench that includes almost all players that this staff recruited (Williams, Spangler, Mason, and Weaver will be the only holdovers next year, if they all return), will we go deeper than 8? I'm not sure -- but it will be fun to see! If you are not excited about the direction of the program, I am not sure what to tell you.
Not to be too picky, but he has used 9 players this year who have played significant roles: Thomas, BZ, RNB, & A't off the bench so he has proved he is not rigid on the 8 number.  He looses three players who have played significant roles and minutes this year.  He stated at his last luncheon that he expects to see the following contribute next year: Ramirez (who he said was as good as Chelsea), Rokia who was 10th player this year, Davis from Springdale who he said would be ready as a freshman and who could help tremendously on scoring and rebounding, and Daniels the incoming p.g. from Maryland.  He did not even talk about Barnum who I know would contribute if she is eligible.  I would expect Ramirez and Chelsea would get 30+ minutes, but the remaining minutes could be spread more evenly than in previous years and the key would be an injury would not be as critical as it was this year.  We still have basketball to play this year, but I am already looking forward to next year.
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psycHOGlogist

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Not to be too picky, but he has used 9 players this year who have played significant roles: Thomas, BZ, RNB, & A't off the bench so he has proved he is not rigid on the 8 number.  He looses three players who have played significant roles and minutes this year.  He stated at his last luncheon that he expects to see the following contribute next year: Ramirez (who he said was as good as Chelsea), Rokia who was 10th player this year, Davis from Springdale who he said would be ready as a freshman and who could help tremendously on scoring and rebounding, and Daniels the incoming p.g. from Maryland.  He did not even talk about Barnum who I know would contribute if she is eligible.  I would expect Ramirez and Chelsea would get 30+ minutes, but the remaining minutes could be spread more evenly than in previous years and the key would be an injury would not be as critical as it was this year.  We still have basketball to play this year, but I am already looking forward to next year.

I don't think you're being picky at all - just pointing out the facts. I just remember Mike's comments about "only going 8 deep" a couple of times during the year. And 9 isn't all that different from 8, I guess. It prompted several folks (on Hogville) to argue for giving other players, Macy in particular, more minutes, but that obviously never really happened. Looking at the players on the roster who saw action in fewer than half the team's games (n=34 games so far), you find:

Weaver - 12 games, 4.1 mins avg in those games
Spangler - 12 games, 2.4 mins avg in those games
Stout - 14 games, 1.9 mins avg in those games


Weaver and Spangler have eligibility remaining (2 years each; well, Stout does, too, but it's clear she's moving on), but it's not clear to me whether their prospects for playing time are getting better or getting worse.

Doumbia played in 21 gams, averaging 5.7 mins/game. The only other player who didn't play in every game when she wasn't injured (like Gaulden), was RNB, who played in 32.

Looking forward to next year, if you make a simple swap out of Ramirez for Monk (though Gaulden might try to have something to say about that), you get a starting 5 (and we played the same starting 5 in all but 1-2 games this season!) that looks like:

Ramirez
Dungee
Tolefree
Mason
Williams

One question I have is, do we ever go with a lineup that includes both Gaulden and Ramirez? Maybe shifting Ramirez into the Tolefree role? Where does Doumbia's expected increase in playing time come from -- Mason? I would assume that Marquesha Davis will challenge for Bailey Zimmerman's minutes (BZ averaged 18 mins/game and had 1 start). Similarly, I am thinking that Oberg might push Williams and Thomas for time?  What will Reece's role look like, if any? Daniels would be PG #3? Anyway, lots and lots to think about.

But as you say ... first, the post-season!!!

In random other news, Arkansas State has parted ways with their long-term coach Brian Boyer, and Todd Schaefer is rumored to be someone they'd consider. I hope Schaefer stays ...
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psycHOGlogist

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And I didn't talk about Barnum, either - does she allow us to play two bigs at a time? Some combo of Williams/Barnum/Thomas/Oberg?
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logic


Looking forward to next year, if you make a simple swap out of Ramirez for Monk (though Gaulden might try to have something to say about that), you get a starting 5 (and we played the same starting 5 in all but 1-2 games this season!) that looks like:

Ramirez
Dungee
Tolefree
Mason
Williams

One question I have is, do we ever go with a lineup that includes both Gaulden and Ramirez?

I believe Gaulden starting and/or playing with Ramirez at times is not unlikely. Gaulden showed flashes of brilliance so I don't think she was as good as she can be this year, but she might be next year. With a lineup of Williams and some combination of Dungee Gaulden, Tolefree, Mason, and Ramirez hitting 3's at high rate and/or driving to basket may make Arkansas a high scoring team next year.
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