An Assessment 10 Games into the Season

E2dog82

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Dec 23, 2011
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About a month ago, I posted a thread stating how pessimistic I was about how successful the Army basketball team would perform this year, and the post linked to a CBS sports article where Army was ranked 301 out of 351 Div 1 NCAA teams in a pre-season assessment. I almost followed up to that post to point out that the Patriot League pre-season coaches poll also projected Army--by a pretty wide margin--finishing dead last in the league. I held back from that posting, because I didn't want to appear to be totally a "Debby Downer."

Happily, Army sits at 5 wins and 5 losses, and I am encouraged that my initial assessment, as well as the media's and the P-league coaches was likely too harsh.

I still don't think that this will be a winning season, but the team is showing more talent than originally expected. In the previous post, I stated that Zach Spiker, who departed for the head coaching job at Drexel, had left the cupboard bare in terms of talent for the incoming coach Jimmy Allen. Well, two direct admit freshmen, 6 ft 9 in Center/Forward, Matt Wilson, and 6 ft point Guard, Tommy Funk, have proved me wrong in that assessment. Wilson is Army's second leading scorer, averaging 10.2 points per game, with shooting a tad under 70% from the field. Funk is the team's fourth leading scorer, averaging 9 points per game. I also had my doubts about the returning yucks, cows, and firsties, but the core players in those classes have also performed better than I was expecting and here I'm referring to Jordan Fox (Leading Scorer--12.4 ppg, Yuck)--point guard, John Emezie (9.9 ppg--Yuck)--Guard/Forward, Jacob Kessler (Yuck)--Guard/Forward, Luke Morrison (Cow)--Forward, Kennedy Edwards (Firstie) Guard/Forward, and Mac Hoffman (Firstie)--Center/Forward.

The team shot very well from the field-- both two and three pointers--in a three game win streak vs Fairleigh Dickinson, St. Francis Brooklyn, and Air Force. Those percentages dropped off significantly in a 10 point loss to Monmouth, a better team than those three aforementioned opponents. Nonetheless, I am encouraged that Army will be much more competitive in Patriot league play this season than projected, and you can't rule out a win against their remaining two non-league opponents--St Bonaventure and Binghamton--though both teams are likely to be favorites over Army.

My final comment is that I thought Army had settled too quickly on Jimmy Allen as the head coach to replace Zach Spiker, rather than embarking on a more aggressive and ambitious search. But based on what's transpired so far in the season, I'd have to say that Allen seems to have done a good job, and the team has benefited from the continuity in the system and approach from moving Allen up from the assistant position.
 
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Hooah75

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I agree with your 10 game in assessment. I was not overly optimistic about our chances...but now believe we will finish .500 or better in the Patriot League. I watched the AF game on line and was very impressed...l think the Spiker teams underachieved their last 2 years..this team appears to be a gang of over achievers
Go Army Beat Navy
 
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Gordon Larson

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Continuity in the program is a factor that often goes unappreciated when a head coach leaves and the school has an opportunity to pick a new coach.

I noted the importance of continuity on the football forum, citing the women's basketball team as an example. After losing all 5 starters to graduation including the best woman BB player ever to set foot on the West Point campus, Magarity has the women's team at 8-2. Magarity was promoted to the HC job when Maggie Dixon died, and he's done an outstanding job since. He has done a good job of hiring assistants and despite the difficulties one would expect in attracting top women BB players, he's done a good job of backfilling.
 

Hooah75

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I watched the Binghamton game on line and I continue to be impressed. While statistically this was not our best shooting night, We really pass the ball well and the plebe Wilson if he gets the ball inside has the ability to finish. They are a scrappy group and fun to watch. Fox is a player. I think we will make some noise in league play. Go Army!