Hello clone fans, I'm new to the blog, but a current ISU student. I'm down in Australia at the moment, but trying to keep up with the cyclones.
Greg McDermott has been a huge huge disappointment for me. When I say this to other ISU supporters I usually get tongue lashed saying I am not understanding the "building a program process" and the problems that come with it. But in honesty, that is not why I'm upset. I'm not upset because in his first two years we aren't competing with KU for the Big 12 crown. I'm not even upset about our record! Wins and loses have nothing to do with my criticism. I'm upset in our horrible, and I mean horrible, gameplans and offense sets. It is not a good coach without the talent scenario. It is obvious to see when a player is doing the right thing but an opposing player is better and steals the ball, blocks the shot, etc. But when a team is not even assembling to do anything worthwhile that falls on the coach.
I've played a little, and coached at the high school level, but I have never seen an offense as "grade schoolish" as the one used at ISU. 3 wing players and cross screen in the post is used almost exclusively. I've never seen a team consistently look that bad at offense and put up so few points. And it is not the talent level. It is not the players attitudes. It is not the players execution. If anything, they are executing too well by just standing in the spots Greg tells them to.
Mike Taylor was pretty much pegged as a ball hog who jacked up shots during his short tenure at ISU. I admit myself I hated his high turnover ratio and high shot attempts, but then I realized...Mike Taylor was trying to make plays. He often had 4 other players standing around in some BS offensive set and the shot clock was winding down and he had to make a play. That or he had a semi-fast break opportunity and was so giddy to take advantage of it because he didn't want to have to deal with another horrible half court set.
I wish I had the tape of the UNI game this past year. Mac's game plan was "we're taller", "we're better", cross screen and throw it inside. Occasionally swing the ball and shoot a three. Zero penetration. I remember vividly when Peterson put the ball on the floor and got to the lane. The first time he passed the ball for a basket, but the second time he turned it over. Mac stomped his foot and did his finger come here thing and lashed into Peterson...needless to say Peterson did not attempt to split the gaps and penetrate anymore...which by the way is what nearly all college offenses thrive on. (Duke doesn't even run a true offense anymore. They just tell players to drive gaps, rotate to open spots etc.)
Well UNI realized our offensive set after a few inside baskets, bumped the screen hard, fronted the post with a weakside help, and Jiri was severely limited after that. He still got his points, but only because we kept jamming the ball inside, at the expense of running a better game plan.
Greg recruited 5 players in 2006. All 5 are out of the program. He took the all-time leading scorer in Minnesota history, a 6-8 power forward who's greatest asset was his shooting touch and bringing a big man out to guard him, and put him in the 3 sometimes 4th string center position. ISU had three true centers last season, gray, hiri, and marsden. Why would you have all three on the bench and put Cory Johnson into center?!?! Mac had Johnson guarding Gred Oden when the team played OSU. That is just insanely poor management of players. Mac continually, and absurdly played Cory Johnson out of position this season, which hurt Johnson's numbers dramatically. Now he's gone. But of course Mac is thinking, who cares he wasn't that good. Well he wasn't good because you horrible mismanaged him coach.
Our best player, gets up and leaves the team. Wes Johnson, the final of the 5 players gets up and leaves. He doesn't even tell the staff. Can you say "Coaching staff obviously was not well connected with their star player". One player leaves no worries, two or three we should look into it, all 5....something is wrong.
Add on Vette, Brister and that is 7 players out of the program from two recruiting classes....something is wrong with this picture.
I can't think of something to say positively about Greg McDermott in the terms of basketball coaching, let alone program management. ISU fans have long long long been the most loyal and forgiving of fans. But this isn't middle school basketball and McDermott isn't a volunteer. If you are making big money, performance should be a criteria, and your performance should be scrutinized. Mac will get way too many chances, he is already getting too many with the "this is his first year" crap.
I don't care if this is your first year ever coaching basketball you should have a more dynamic offensive gameplan.
I hope I'm wrong, but I would be willing to bet when Greg McDermott is fired he will never have enjoyed a winning season as the head man, and the team will continually shuffle players in and out with transfers abound.