S John

College Basketball: Tournament Time

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And VCU has built itself to somewhat of a mid-major powerhouse. I just don't get. Competing in the tournament, winning games in the tournament vs 7-28 and a school that doesn't see Bball as a priority. Money talks as they say. But, Will this ultimately be best for his career? I am highly doubtful it will. And, I hate seeing the Power 5 vultures come and decimate a very good mid-major program with these type of moves. Ultimately, Mrs. Wade could've said, "Will, your taking that money, we have a family to think about.". That could be a factor too.

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Posted (edited)

It is really a weird situation. Word out of LSU media types is that Wade has expressed interest in their job even before the tournament so he was really looking to landing that job. Our AD just said that he sat down with Wade, discussed all of the enhancements necessary to the program that Wade wanted and agreed to every single one of them, which would include salary increases so this is 100% on Wade. He wanted to leave VCU and wanted to go to LSU. I don't know what the allure is for him there but this is definitely where he wanted to go. I mean, money might have been an issue but it's not like he was making pennies. I think he was on a $1.5m per year salary at 34 and if Smart was any indication, it would continue to go up every year as interest in him increases. Plus he had access to a brand new $25m practice facility which is just baller. Maybe LSU paid over $2m and that was enough to jump ship but it seems small to me given the drastic differences in program and commitment between LSU and VCU.

As a side note, Wade did it in the worst possible way. He had a team meeting at 3pm, never told them that he was leaving then took the job a few hours later. The players ended up finding out he was leaving via twitter. At least when Smart left, he told the team like a man.

Anyway, he's gone and it seems the players aren't too chuffed about it. We might not see any major transfers. I'm still worried about the recruits but VCU is moving fast and that will give the new coach an opportunity to try to woe the recruits. As we all know, they tend to decommit but it looks like VCU is going after Mike Rhoades who was an assistant of Smart's, his top recruiter and loved by his players. I think the VCU plane is scheduled to leave in an hour to Houston and I expect to hear an announcement tonight or tomorrow that Rhoades has agreed to the job. We should hear about the recruits over the next few weeks. Fingers crossed. Losing another class would destroy us.

Edited by Mexal

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Posted (edited)

Wish the best @Mexal! I know it sucks. When Beilein turned around WVU's program and bolted for UM, it sucked. But, it was a blessing in disguise as we ended up with Huggy Bear. Maybe, just maybe, if you can keep key recruits, it also might be a pleasant suprise. Maybe VCU is Rhoades dream job and exactly where he wants to be. And, that's important. You said he was a great recruiter and like WVU, VCU has to look for the hidden gems. Only great recruiters can find them and make the best of them. I don't put to much faith in the "star" system for recruiting. I think you look for above decent talent, great attitudes, and the game to integrate into your system. Like you said, VCU needs to make it happen quick, and salvage what they can, recruiting wise.

Edited by Michael Seswatha Jordan

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Thanks. I'm sure everything will work out, it normally does when you have an excellent program that is coach agnostic. The issue, as I mentioned, is the recruits because we can't afford to lose another draft class and maintain the same level of high level play as in the past. We have 2 seniors, no juniors and if we lose this year's freshman class, we'll be in a world of hurt. Fingers crossed we move quickly and can get to the recruits before they make up their mind. History shows we'll lose a bunch, but hoping we can keep at least 2.

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Of course recruiting is vitally important in any NCAA sport, but the nice thing about basketball is that you only need to have about 8 guys who can play to field a good team.  A good team can make the tournament, and if you make the tournament, you can make a run.  Unlike NCAA football where you need like 50 guys with outstanding ability, 2-deep at every position, to be consistently competitive at the highest levels.  

It's definitely one thing I prefer about basketball.  Even if you lose a couple recruits in a transition year, plug the holes with a couple of hungry JUCO's and go from there.  A lot of kids don't live up to expectations anyway.  

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