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Welcome Ronald Polite

Discussion in 'George Mason Basketball' started by DJ3, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Quentin Daniels

    Quentin Daniels Hall of Famer

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    I would love that and if the oppty presents itself will take you up on it. Appreciate the offer - Thanks!
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  2. Mason32

    Mason32 Starter

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    I think this right here is what most of these arguments stem from. To most last year is a letdown but to some it's an achievement that is looked at in a vacuum without context.
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  3. DJ3

    DJ3 All-American

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    Thank you for the reply. But I don’t have some major learning disability. I was diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school. Generally, it’s not an issue. After all, I was able to graduate from the prestigious George Mason University!

    Everyone can go back to insulting me, I have thick skin.
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  4. Herndon

    Herndon Starter

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    That's an interesting take. I'm not sure I agree, and here is why:

    1) You say "most", but I'm not sure you have any evidence to back that up. To YOU, perhaps (and perhaps to some of our less basketball savvy co-fans as well). I'd love to see some sort of backup to your assertion that this is the viewpoint of more than half of the fanbase. Heck, even a poll on this site (which I think we can all agree represents a pretty small subset of the GMU fanbase) would be something. Without this, my feeling (and I fully admit that I have no more evidence than you) is that there's a little bit of a squeaky wheel thing going on here, where the loudest, most obnoxious voices are assumed to be more representative than they are.

    2) What context do you refer to? I mentioned in another thread that there are just as many reasons for Mason to be bad as there are for them to be good, and so average is a reasonable expected value for the program. If there is context I'm not taking into consideration, I'm all ears, but I'd just ask that you extend the same courtesy.
  5. DJ3

    DJ3 All-American

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    Herndon, what are you trying to imply with your signature line? HIS NAME IS DAVID PAULSEN
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  6. GMUgemini

    GMUgemini Hall of Famer

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    I don’t think it is without context. Certainly Mar was a disappointment, Grayer was a disappointment, Otis was a disappointment and Reuter was a big disappointment. Had Mar, Grayer and Otis played a full season to the ability we know they had the season would have been much different (think about the fact that Otis was shooting something like 1-26 from 3 to start the season, Mar was like 0-20 from the floor, Grayer didn’t even play after the fifth or sixth game).

    However, I also don’t think all is lost because we had a sub par season. The players know what it takes to be at the top now (and it’s not a preseason ranking), Paulsen knows what he has to do. Nothing is guaranteed, but there is plenty of potential on the roster.

    And yeah, I used to fly up for homecoming every year after I left the area, but the last time I did that was 2012 (my first daughter was not coincidentally born in 2013). Would love to come back up for another homecoming, but that’s probably several years away (unless GMU wants to give me a tenure-track job and I will be there every game).
  7. Herndon

    Herndon Starter

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    gmutom and DJ3 like this.
  8. DJ3

    DJ3 All-American

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  9. Herndon

    Herndon Starter

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    I mean, I don't have a particular LACK of faith in Paulsen. I think he's produced wins at a reasonable level so far.

    So far I have seen nothing to make me believe he's not the man for the job. I also haven't been overwhelmed positively by him.

    Were he a stock, I'd have a "Hold" rating on him.
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  10. Mason32

    Mason32 Starter

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    I dunno, being at the games listening to other fans, seeing the FIRE paulsen tweets, reading this forum. No one really seems that excited about another couple of seasons with this guy other than some of the overly optimistic out of towners on here.

    Whether or not people think it was a letdown (it was) you can argue the A-10 is most likely never going to be as winnable as it was last season; unless VCU bolts for another conference.
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  11. Herndon

    Herndon Starter

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    Again, I'd like to see something less anectodal, and more concrete. "Some guys I talked to, and some tweets I saw" don't meet the level I'm looking for when assessing fanbase satisfaction (especially tweets, twitter is just the absolute worst).

    But, I think your post raises the point I've been trying to make over these past couple years.

    We shouldn't be expecting to win the A-10, as a fanbase. It's not a reasonable expectation. Is it possible? Yes, but we shouldn't EXPECT it.

    We, as a university, have simply not chosen to compete with the same seriousness as some of our conference peers. We don't put the same level of resources into our program as our competitors do, and until that changes, we shouldn't expect our results to equal theirs.

    I know that sucks to hear. I KNOW IT. It sucks to type, but it's the truth. GMU doesn't take basketball as seriously as VCU does. We don't take it as seriously as Dayton. We don't take it as seriously as Saint Louis.

    Let me try to illustrate the point I'm making:
    My daughter plays basketball. She's good. This past year in fall/winter league, she was her team's MVP, and won the skills event at the all star game (in included both boys and girls). Playing AAU this summer, it became quickly clear that she was the best player on her AAU team as well. When she plays against girls her own age, I expect her to kick their asses, and frankly so does she. She's got the same resources as they do. She's just as tall, and just as old, and has had just as long to work on her game.

    So, halfway through the summer, the coach thought it wasn't challenging for her, so he asked her to play up an age group. When she started going to those practices, she wasn't kicking everybody's ass anymore. She was just another girl on the team.

    That's not a let-down, though. They're bigger, and older, and more mature than her, and some are two years older.

    A second grader is just a lot different from a fourth grader, and it would be silly of me to expect her to kick a fourth grader's ass. When she gets to fourth grade, we can re-evaluate, and I'll hold her to a different standard, but when she's not playing on a level playing field, I expect her to do her best, and I'm satisfied with that. The fact that she doesn't look wildly out of place on that team is good enough for me.

    Similarly, the fact that we're a middle of the road (to slightly above) A-10 program is good enough for me, because we're not playing on a level playing field. Until we are, expecting/Demanding/being disappointed by not kicking everybody's ass strikes me as more than a little childish.
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  12. Mason32

    Mason32 Starter

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    And you think more Mason fans feel that way instead of expecting to challenge for conference oh I don't know maybe once every four years? Just because you're fine with the team just existing doesn't mean others have no right to ever raise expectations. Your argument would make more sense if they never left the CAA, kept Hewitt for two more years and never upgraded lockerrooms, practice facilities. Are they not making efforts to "level the playing field" as you say?
  13. GMUgemini

    GMUgemini Hall of Famer

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    The university is, but the fans aren't. VCU outraises us by something like 400-500%, and the attendance gulf between us and Dayton/VCU/URI/Saint Louis/even Richmond is pretty vast (Dayton averages something like three times what we do per game). The university can only do what we give them to work with.

    But just because last season was a disappointment, doesn't mean next season necessarily has to be. We seriously only lost Otis off last year's team, a sub-optimal Otis at that. Player development isn't necessarily linear (even if we always project it to be). Take VCU, as an example. Two seasons ago, they finished 9-9, just like us (but below us in the standings). They lost two really huge seniors to graduation, Justin Tillman and Johnny Williams. Players who had high hopes, like Santos-Silva, Jenkins, and Vann were big disappointments. They were picked to finish 4th, but finished 8th. Mike Rhoades was out couched by Paulsen in Richmond and we stole that game at the buzzer. Questions about whether Rhoades was a good replacement for Will Wade abounded.

    Next season, VCU were picked 7th based on returning players and the question of whether Marcus Evans was, a, healthy and, b, how he'd translate into the starting lineup. Well, Santos-Silva became a huge beast, Jenkins beasted, Vann beasted, and Evans was one of the best players in the A-10 last year. In the meantime, St. Joe's was picked to finish 3rd and finished in the bottom of the conference, St. Louis was picked to win the conference and they finished 6th (although they finally put it all together and won the postseason auto-bid). No one expected St. Bonaventure to be as good as they were going to be (they were picked 9th). Dayton was picked 6th.

    Mason literally missed out on meeting their expected finish by a single game (two super close losses, one to Davidson, one to Duquesne), couple that with the disappointment of the first three games (three games we had no reason to lose -- I blame 50% the coach, 50% the players for those games). And now to some, Paulsen can't coach, half the roster doesn't belong in the A10, most of our incoming class is trash, and the future is bleak. But last season was the first season they didn't exceed their expected finish under Paulsen.

    To me, there is enough potential on this roster to hold Paulsen to the fire. He needs to know his rotations at the start of the season (there is no reason not to), and he needs to manage every single game like it's the last game of the season. My expectations for the players are: 1) take care of the damn basketball and 2) play defense for 40 minutes every single game. If they do those two things, they'll be in every single game next year and might just out-pace their expectations again (my guess is the coaches, who don't respect Mason, will pick them 8th or 9th -- I expect they'll finish somewhere between 4th and 7th -- hopefully 4th, but I can be realistic).
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  14. tblack33

    tblack33 All-Conference

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    I think this argument is fundamentally flawed when you look at the article that you site to back up your argument on this frequently, Davidson is at the bottom and is in the conversation for top 3 year in year out. Many other teams at the bottom in spending have had more success than we have. Teams that spend more than us have spent time as conference bottom dwellers the last few years.

    It's more than just money spent = expectations for a large portion of this fanbase.
  15. GMUgemini

    GMUgemini Hall of Famer

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    A lot of Davidson's low budget is due to the fact that McKillop's salary is way below where it should be because he has no desire to move. If he were being paid what Rhoades was being paid, they'd be in the top half of the conference in spending. I suspect some other weird accounting in their AD has to do with their spending as well. I doubt, for instance, they are busing it up from North Carolina to their games in upstate New York.
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  16. Herndon

    Herndon Starter

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    They are, in fact making efforts. I like those efforts. We're on the right path.

    We're just not there yet. As I said, when we get there, I'll happily re-evaluate my judgement.

    And OF COURSE you have the right to raise your expectations. I also have the right to expect my daughter to play varsity high school basketball next year as a 3rd grader.

    I'm ABSOLUTELY entitled to expect anything I want. That doesn't mean that A) My expectations are reasonable or B) They're likely to be fulfilled or C) I'm not foolish for having them.
  17. tblack33

    tblack33 All-Conference

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    Agreed on McKillop's salary, but even if he was making Rhoades money (you can argue all day if that's fair market value for a coach at Davidson even if they are playing great basketball) Davidson would still be spending less than St. Joes and would fall in above us at 10th in the league.

    What from that article makes you think they are accounting any different than any other school? What incentive do they have to show that they are spending less, and potentially turning a profit?

    Per the rationale that is being used for how we should align expectations with our spending, Davidson should be spending double what they are for where they regularly finish. UMASS should be looking at an NIT or tournement berth almost every year. IMO, it's a flawed way of setting expectations for a team.
  18. Herndon

    Herndon Starter

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    You're mis-understanding my argument, I think.

    If you make you or I the head coach at VCU, we're quickly going to screw up all their advantages.

    If you make Tony Bennett the head coach at GW, he's quickly going have them competing for conference championships.

    Outliers exist.

    The thing is, you don't set your expectations based on outliers. You set your expectations based upon what you can reasonably expect.

    You can't reasonably expect to have a series of coaches who continually out-perform their circumstances. Talent, as a rule, is distributed along a bell curve, which means that most of the time, most of the people are going to have a coach that is anywhere between "slightly below average" and "slightly above average".

    If you REALLY believe Paulsen is a left-side outlier, and his lack of coaching ability is screwing up a situation at GMU that an average coach would have contending for conference champions, then we simply don't see eye to eye.

    I see Paulsen as a coach that has taken a program with "middle of the road" fundamentals and turned it into a "middle of the road" program.

    Now, mind you, it HAD been a "bottom of the barrel" program, before he arrived, so he has DRAMATICALLY improved the program since his arrival.

    We FURTHER don't know that he won't continue to improve the program, but it seems relatively clear to me that Paulsen has established himself AT VERY LEAST as a middle of the road coach.

    Middle of the road coaches are what most programs should EXPECT to have.

    If you're Davidson, and you get McKillop, you're overjoyed, because you're getting better results than you should reasonably expect. If you're Mason and you get Larranaga, same situation. If you get results WORSE than you should reasonably expect, then it's time to think about finding a new coach, but putting a guy in the 5th fastest race car, and then being disappointed when he finishes 5th in the race is dumb.
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  19. GMUgemini

    GMUgemini Hall of Famer

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    No idea. But I do know, for example, we used to show $0 for facilities maintenance as example of how accounting could be different. We’ve also had a travel advantage in both the CAA and the A10 because we are at the epicenter of both conferences, so I would guess our travel expenses are less than St. Bonaventure or Saint Louis, for example. Davidson doesn’t have that advantage. But maybe they don’t give McKillop a big recruiting budget because he doesn’t need it? We obviously don’t have line by line comparisons to work with.
  20. gmutom

    gmutom Hall of Famer

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    I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I'm extremely disappointed that Herndon's daughter didn't do better against the 4th graders and will, therefore, be boycotting her games this season and withholding donations to her team's candy-bar fundraiser. If Mason can beat UConn, then Little Miss Herndon should be able to hang with the big girls. :cool:

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