Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SID Musings...

So as I sit here the morning after another bizarro basketball game in which I can't figure out (like we gave up 82 points), I started thinking about certain things, as a person tends to do. I should mention that this thinking started while watching the reruns of the Pyramid on the Game Show Network at midnight (total aside, but was there ever a better game show minute then the Pyramid's Winner's Circle? Any game where a prepositional phrase is considered illegal is something I'm going to love.)

Anyways, I've come up with a couple of theories on this, and the first is this...sometimes the ingredients are correct but they don't just mix. Case in point...I have three daughters. My oldest Jessi (22) and my youngest Angie (14) both like to cook and know how to cook, especially things like cakes, cookies, brownies...you know, the stuff that spikes my cholesterol. Well, both kids make brownies a lot. Both use identical brownie mix, and both use identical ingredients, the same oven, the same pans. Yet what inevitably happens is that one set of brownies is usually good...better than I would have thought, and one set of brownies is disappointing. Why? Everything is the same ... but sometimes the ingredients mix better, and sometimes they don't mix at all, and for some reason, this Bengal team has a hard time mixing together. The ingredients are there, and some games, and even for portions of games, everything mixes well, but sometimes ... the brownies just don't come out right.

The other thing I've come to realization is that it might be me. Now while that might sound silly...but I've done a little research on this, and well...it sucks. I've been an SID for 18 years, two at Belmont Abbey, four at Augusta State, and this is my 12th here, and I'm starting to think, especially in men's basketball, it's me. I've always kept this file, and I've now updated, but this is not something I want on my tombstone...

Year School Overall .PCT Conf. .PCT Finish

1992-93 Belmont Abbey 12-16 .429 6-8 .429 5/8

1993-94 Belmont Abbey 7-19 .269 3-11 .214 T7/8

BAC TOTAL 19-35 .352 9-19 .321

1994-95 Augusta State 8-19 .296 4-14 .222 10/10

1995-96 Augusta State 11-16 .407 6-12 .333 7/10

1996-97 Augusta State 9-19 .321 5-13 .278 9/10

1997-98 Augusta State 5-22 .227 3-13 .188 T11/12

ASU TOTAL 33-76 .303 18-51 .261

1998-99 Idaho State 6-20 .231 4-12 .250 8/9

1999-00 Idaho State 8-19 .296 3-13 .188 T8/9

2000-01 Idaho State 14-14 .500 10-6 .625 3/9

2001-02 Idaho State 10-17 .370 3-11 .214 7/8

2002-03 Idaho State 15-14 .517 7-7 .500 T3/8

2003-04 Idaho State 13-18 .419 7-7 .500 T2/8

2004-05 Idaho State 9-18 .333 3-11 .214 8/8

2005-06 Idaho State 13-14 .481 4-10 .286 T7/8

2006-07 Idaho State 13-17 .433 8-8 .500 T5/9

2007-08 Idaho State 12-19 .387 8-8 .500 T4/9

2008-09 Idaho State 13-19 .406 9-7 .563 4/9

2009-10 Idaho State 7-19 .269 4-9 .308 8/9

ISU TOTAL 133-208 .390 70-109 .391

OVERALL TOTALS 185-319 .367 97-179 .351

The So if you can't figure that out yet...in 18 seasons, I've had one....ONE...winning season, and that was 15-14 back in 2002-03. I've had TWO winning conference seasons...10-6 in 2001 and 9-7 last year. I have had 11 18-loss seasons, and counting this year, three 20-loss seasons. Only four times in 18 years have I seen my team finish in the top half of the conference, and thankfully for Joe O'Brien, he's gotten me half of those.

At Idaho State I cover football, men's basketball, and softball, and I figured this one out too. The last time one of the teams that I cover was more than one game over .500 for the season ... was January 5, 2006 when Idaho State men's basketball was 7-5 after starting 7-2. That was so long ago the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin hadn't started yet, the Seahawks had never played in a Super Bowl, and Blu-Ray DVD players were not available in stores.

My wife swears it's not me, but after I left Belmont Abbey, the made the NCAA Tournament five years later, and Augusta State in the last 12 years after I left has had 11 winning seasons, six 19-win seasons, five 20-win seasons, one 30-win season, three conference tournament titles, five NCAA appearances, they lost in the National Title game last year, and they were ranked #1 this year.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into this....

Z and E with J and B....
Jon Zamberlin and new offensive coordinator Phil Earley joined Jerry Miller and Brad Bugger courtside on Monday night to talk football recruiting and a little Bengal football offense prior to the Bakersfield game, and fans got a great look into what ISU will be trying to do offensively, and what ISu is still looking for recruiting-wise. The amazing thing is they didn't run over in talking with Earley, who has more stories than a Dr. Suess library.

Conference Tournament Musings...
First to the women, who got a road sweep this past weekend against Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado to go to 6-6 and stay tied with Montana State for fifth place. Northern Colorado is the closest team chasing ISU, and the Bengals take on Weber State this Thursday, and a win there would give ISU sweeps over NAU, UNC, and WSU, the three teams chasing ISU, meaning the Bengals would have all sorts of tiebreakers with those teams, and would be a near lock to make the tournament.

The men's side isn't so simple. ISU is at Weber State on Saturday, and the big games are with NAU and UNC hosting EWU and PSU. Right now, it looks like the best team for ISU to catch might be Portland State, who is 5-7, as the Vikings have two tough road games this weekend, and then still have to host Weber State and Idaho State. It's still too early to figure things out, but ISU could make it into the tournament with just one win, or they could conceivably win all three and have to rely on tiebreakers, but ISU would get in with three wins. That all starts on Saturday in a rematch of the game of the year, ISU's 95-93 loss in triple overtime to Weber State.

Softball Stuff
The Bengals got one, and then lost four at the Red Desert Classic, but the team had never won in three previous trips there, and have a double header at the College of Idaho on the 27th for their next contest. The team didn't get great pitching overall, but that should improve with fourth-year junior Kandis Clesson and freshman Nora Maschue, who both had moments over the weekend, and were facing their first live opponents in an outdoor setting.


Anonymous said...

ISU's RPI is 286, the bottom 20% of all DI teams.

Twist and spin this however you want, but the fact remains that this is a bad basketball team. In Coach O'Brien's 4th year, there are 6 seniors on this team, and every player is his recruit. To have the record they do is a sad, sad statement on the program and the ISU athletic department.

Frank Mercogliano said...

Not really twisting and spinning per se, but I will say this....the eight guarantee games really hurt...and when you think about it...the senior class didn't just play eight...it's like 25 or so over the past four years. Life as a mid-major in this economy with sweeping budget holdbacks in the state of Idaho.

The good thing is the team has just four such games next year (Utah State, Arizona, Iowa, and one other that hasn't been contracted yet, so they will at least have a a fairer shake in some of their other games.

I don't think the record is a sad, sad statement on the program...sometimes things don't work out. that's just the reality.

Also, something I hadn't thought of until a little while ago but this has been a learning experience for coach O'Brien and the staff in dealing with all these four-year seniors in that as a JC coach, Joe never had guys for four years ... so I think in a way he is learning and adjusting his coaching style, and will do that even more after the season, because he has never faced this situation in over 20 years of coaching.

Just something to think about...again, not really an excuse, but if ISU and the staff learns from this season, then some good eventually comes out of it.

That being said, 7-19 leaves all of us a little hollow, but hey, conference tournament hopes are still alive even with the record we have, so that's still something to hold onto.

And while our RPI is at #286, I haven't been shy in the game notes about mentioning that our defensive efficiency rating is 346 out of 347...so yes...room for improvement.

Thanks for the comments...


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