Great article Tim, agree with every point you made, felt like I wrote it myself while reading it.
There are 2 logical explanations for this situation.
1. Thad is evolving as a coach, changing the way he does things, and challenged the players to meet the new demands of the program during the off-season, and they left because they did not want to put in the work now required of them.
2. Something big is happening behind close doors, and its not a positive either.
Its too early to tell at this point, but I'm hoping for the former. Not going to go into panic mode yet in any case.
Honestly, with all of the scrutiny over this team's individual work ethic, it might be a good idea for the entire team to declare. It could be a much needed eye opener for many of them.
Honestly, I think all of the fuss is one year too early. The Amir Williams/Shannon Scott class was a complete dud, which is why the program hasn't been as good as it was a few years ago. Players matter more in basketball than in football, you can miss on a few recruits in football and be elite, if you miss on a big class in basketball, than you are screwed for the next 4 years, like we have been. I like where the program is headed and do not believe Thad has lost his touch at all. If we have a bad year next year, than all of the #FireThad talk will hold more merit. For now though, I'm not the least bit worried about the state of the program.
I have been a Thad supporter for a long time now, but this omission from Russel indicates a lack of cultural identity around the basketball program, which is the sole responsibility of the head coach to create. The problem is you need to instill and empower leaders on your team that have been around the program for a while, but the NBA draft rules make that type of culture very difficult to create. Izzo is the master at this, but I don't see anyone that we could get that would be able to navigate this issue any better than Thad, honestly. Maybe a change in recruiting strategy is necessary, go after more of the 3 and 4 year guys, less of the 1 and done types. Then once you have a solid foundation built, you can go after 1 or 2 NBA players every recruiting cycle. Maybe that's happening as we speak with the all of the freshman/sophmores.
Wow, the salt and ignorance in this thread is unbelievable. For starters, MSU is going to win the title this year, they are by far the best team in the country right now. (Pro tip for the 11w tourney challenge). They have not just been destroying us these past few weeks, they have been destroying everyone they have played. They are a complete,veteran team with a NPOY finalist and legendary coach.
Secondly, OSU is the fifth youngest basketball team in the entire country. The coaching and "fundamentals" you speak of have certainly been taught, and taught well, but young teams are not going to be fundamentally sound every game. There are going to be glaring holes some games, and there are going to be games where we look pretty good. I feel like some of you only watch a few games a year, then make judgements of the team based on one or two games.
Thirdly, it is very common for young teams to play worse as a game they feel they cant win goes on, pretty much every young team does it, its a hallmark of young teams in fact, suggesting otherwise is simply ignorant.
Fourth, our identity has always been defense, and we have gotten better as the season went on, since February 1 we are one of the top 4-5 Big Ten teams based on conference record, a far cry from the beginning of the season. This team has a lot to learn, and you teach it one thing at a time, you cant overload them with everything at once and expect it to work.
Fifth, OSU is not a blue blood in basketball, we are going to have some down years, and we are going to have some up years. No coach better than Thad Matta, a guy who has won 20 games a season every, single, year, is going to come to this school and magically turn us into Kentucky, and thinking that this will happen is simply ridiculous. Thad Matta is possibly the best coach the program has ever had, with Fred Taylor back in the 60s the only other contender for the crown.
Lastly, if you honestly think this team will not at the very least make a strong sweet 16 bid next year, than you're not paying attention, or you are just simply ignorant of how the college basketball game works.
Hiring Depodesta, hiring Jackson, moving on from Manziel, the Browns are having a great off-season so far. If they actually draft well I'm gonna start getting seriously excited about the future of this team for once!
This is the first time in my entire life I have been this excited to be a Browns fan. Those of you mocking this move are extremely shortsighted. This move is either a stroke of pure genius, or a ticking time bomb waiting to explode all over the organisation's face. This is the exact type of move the Browns should be making, simply from a pure game-theory standpoint. They are the team with literally nothing to lose and everything to gain, therefore they should be making risky moves that have huge upside potential. Even if this does fail spectacularly, its still the right move, but I am optimistic that it will work, a phrase I never use when describing my feelings towards a Brown's offseason move.
Analytics is the future of sports, and this guy is the original architect. Everyone is now using it in baseball thanks to this guy. The Warriors are eviscerating everyone in Basketball by utilising an analytic model, and even in football, The Patriots have been using some form of it for a while now. This guy had the Mets rolling before he left, their farm system is stocked and they went to the World Series this year, do you really think he would leave that situation if he didn't believe that it could be done in the NFL?
I really don't see what the issue with this move is, at least they are finally trying to win for once in my life.
Not a big Bryce Harper guy, Ive heard from several people that he is a complete tool.
Ummmm...... You don't always have total control over whether you get into those championship games. It always depends on the timing of the loss that usually comes once a season or so, as well as the national perception of your team. National championship coaches are rare, I don't know how you can argue any differently. I was disappointed that we didn't get there this year like everyone else, but 50-4 with a championship in 4 years is an amazing accomplishment, who cares if it doesn't come with its own special trophy???
Im not gonna lie, this is about what I expected when we got Urban Meyer, he is just that good. That doesn't make this any less sweet however :)
I have said it before, and ill say it again, this team is gonna surprise people this year come tourney time. Patience my brethren, patience.
From what ive seen so far, this team is going to turn a few heads come tourney time.
I don't like the 6 or 8 team models, if the playoff were to expand I would be a heavy advocat for a 7 team model. 3 teams with a gauranteed spot in the playoff field, with the remaining 4 teams battling it out for the final position in the field. This would still preserve the integrity of the regular season while giving more teams a shot at competing for championships. I like the current 4 team model as it is and would like to see it remain intact, but I fear expansion is inevitable, and that this 7 team model is the best comprimise.
Being a Penn St fan sucks :(
I think it may go even deeper than that honesty. Firstly, we know that Meyer and the offensive coaches have changed the offense since last year, and that things were not going to be as smooth coming out of the gate as they would have been if we had the same offense. Secondly, we were never going to lose any of these games, so why not use them as glorified practice sessions? A poster on this thread has already commented on the value of in-game reps to a player's development, so why not practice the plays we suck at while we have the luxury. Thirdly, defending national champions have a horrible motivation problem that keeps them from repeating when they have a shot at doing so, this offense was receiving a hell of a lot of praise over the offseason, what better way to keep them motivated then to create a little chaos and show them that they still suck, and that all those media pundits and fans dont know what they are talking about?
I personally think that this is exactly what is happening. We will be fine when it counts, have a little faith.
I was excited when I clicked the link to this article since this is the type of stuff that interests me, but this exercise proved to be quite pointless. The data is all over the place so no real conclusions can be drawn, and that's discounting the small sample size. The score of our game is misleading anyway considering how bad our offense played, and I am sure some scores in that chart are just as misleading as ours. You would have to watch every game in that chart, the first 2 games of each season, and then compare it to what you saw Saturday for any true conclusions to be drawn. Guess we will just have to wait until Saturday to see if last weekend was a fluke game for the offense. Good article idea though, its why I love this site.
EDIT: The next time you want to do an article similar to this one, it would be awesome if you could include the betting lines for each game as well.
I've said it a million times, Mariota will be a far better NFL QB than Winston, no idea what people were thinking with that one, and I never will.
The QBs, while making a few bad throws (which happens nearly every game from every QB), can't be at fault for today's bad offensive performance. The real problem today was the offensive line being generally tired and sluggish from the VT game combined with playing an inferior opponent in Hawaii. Our entire offense simply looked tired, sluggish, lacksidasical, whatever adjective you want to use to describe a tired team. You could tell by how sloppily we were shifting through the motions of our offense, how long it took us to get set and into our plays, etc. Our blocking on running plays was not good on the majority of our runs, inside or outside, and nobody was getting downfield to help spring a key block on a huge play like usual. The receivers were not getting good separation on our deep strike attempts, and yes, a few balls were poorly thrown. All of this was to be expected though, and I am not worried at all about our offense.
The biggest story today for me was how dominate our defense looked. Pitching a shutout, multiple negative yardage plays and sacks, interceptions, fumbles, even scoring a touchdown. I think we may have held their passing attack to under 100 yards for the first time since 1998? This bodes very well for the future since its our offense that has been our strong and most consistent side of the ball the past few years, but if our defense continues playing like this than we can have a few bad offensive performances and it won't matter.
Just like it did not matter today.