Is anybody else slightly concerned by Eric’s level of emotional intensity and its affect on team confidence?

On the one hand, I like the fact that he cares and is a fighter and really into figuring out what it will take to win.

On the other hand, I get concerned that his frustration over mistakes in what appears to be a high level of execution requirement may lead to lack of confidence in tight situations.

I notice that in tight games, when you need players to feel confident vs. frozen in fear of mistakes, Muss seems to be more focused on the mistake vs. cheer leading and building confidence in the moment and letting the mistake go…for the moment.

I’ve seen both styles. If you watch coaches generally you will see clapping or some other sign of “it’s going to be okay we can win this” behavior…Roy Williams, Bill Self. Others get very frustrated by mistakes and focus on not making them. Saban - Bob Knight.

Watching Eric at press conferences post losses and during games, I get a little worried that his perfectionism and intensity may impede confidence in tight or stressful situations. Not blaming Eric for Mason Jones outburst, but no doubt it’s intense in those huddles and in tight situations, I would think you want calm, attention and confidence.

One last point. I know Muss cares and he’s frustrated when we lose, but by all measures this team is overachieving, given the roster and the fact that we are down to basically one legitimate offensive weapon. Personally I’m concerned that Eric’s outward display of stress (late game and pressers) can affect the team at a time when they need confidence, and maybe that’s just me. But, when we make mistakes, miss free throws, don’t take open shots and then later in a possession take bad ones, especially at the end of games that are tight, I wonder if they are a little too afraid of mistakes vs. playing to win. (I know they want to win)

I’m sure all of this would be less noticeable and less important with more wins and less stress, but what I see right now is slightly concerning.

I’m not too concerned at this point this season with CEM’s coaching style given the roster makeup and lack of quality depth.
Having said that, I do believe he could make better use of his timeouts during the game in order to get his depleted roster a breather throughout the game. Currently, we are getting quality minutes from six players and only seven when Joe was playing.
IMO, that’s not enough over a 30+ game season when you factor in injuries, deficit in rebounding to most opponents.
I like most on this board were critical of Gabe O over his first two seasons, but he could’ve given this team quality minutes along with better rebounding numbers and another body to bang at the 4/5 spot to fight on the boards and spread out the fouls over a 40 minute game. We have gotten very little out of Cylla this season and this seems to be the guy that was going to pick up his minutes and it hasn’t proven to be successful to this point.
I believe going forward, Cylla and Henderson have to be given playing time if for nothing else to protect Bailey and Chaney from fouling out of games and to evaluate what Henderson’s upside may or may not be in the future. He will be a Junior next year and hasn’t played hardly any meaningful minutes thus far as a Hog and they need to determine if he can.
I believe Jones is just frustrated and feels the pressure of needing to carry such a big load on his shoulders with Joe being out with injury. He and CEM are ultimate competitors and I would much rather have that than a look of apathy on the players face and body language. I’m not worried about that at all.


Good points and I’m with you regarding Jones.

However, not everybody is the same and some of those guys may need something different during the heat of the moment.

Either way, I don’t see Muss changing his emotional stripes anytime soon, nor does he necessarily need to, but I do hope some wins, or a little levity will come soon for this team and their coach.

While every may be different everyone should be able to maintain some composure and be respectable.
The wins will come it may not happen this season but with the way these players compete with a short bench we are not that far away!

Once again love all the professional coaches we have on here. Dude is 54 ( probably older than some posting here ) has been in a college/ pro/ international locker room since he was like 7 years old probably has forgotten more hoops than any of us know. Nothing wrong with wanting and expecting perfection did Nolan or Sutton expect less? I’ve heard Nolan stories where after mistakes/poor play players were afraid of the next days practice. I personally like his fire and passion wish the last 8 years the football teams coaches had it we, ll be fine.

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Not one dam bit. watch KY coach, Watch auburn coach. Watch So, Carolina coach… If I’m not mistaken I think Ky and Auburn are pretty high in the standing every year??


I don’t care how old he is he can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip! The roster has him handcuffed. Expecting players to act with respect sure isn’t a hit on anyone!
What this team has accomplished this season is amazing as limited as they are! Without Joe they just don’t want the fire power or man power to compete for 40 minutes so a OT sure isn’t in their favor.
It don’t take a coach to see that. The walking wounded and the fatigue is too much to overcome. Especially with players out of control and arguing.

If your an Auburn Bruce Pearl fan go jump on the Lying Pearl band wagon and wait on the dust to settle form his assistant getting fired. The one that went to federal court for being a such an outstanding example for young men to follow. I wouldn’t associate a thought in my mind to compare our hogs to Auburn or Kentucky! You can include LSU in there as well.

There is Muss high energy demeanor and there is Mike Anderson calm demeanor. Coaches have different demeanors based on their personality and both Demeanors have been shown to be winners.

High energy demeanor always looks good in the eyes of the fans whether you win or lose. Calm demeanors looks outstanding during adversity, better than good, when you win. But looks bad when you lose.

But I think Muss goes one step further that I have not seen most high energy coaches do. That is show outward facial disappointment on a missed shot, turnover, etc. I am sorry, but Nolan did not show such facial expressions on the court on missed shots or bad shots taken. Missed defensive assignment is when he pulled the player, but there was no throwing up the hands, etc. Eddie did not do that either. .

Whether that is a problem or not depends on how Muss’s players feel about it and what they are accustomed to it practice and what Muss says to them post game. It us about the bond he has with them.

Not sure what impact it has on recruits watching. Little worried about that.

Many things to learn about Muss over the next few years. Biggest thing to watch is if he is flexible enough to adjust to coaching in a high stress P6 league and evolve to become a great coach, because he has the fundamentals to do so. But not there yet. He has coached in all kinds of places, but this is probably the most stressful job he has had.

CEM is probably best at adjusting to what he has in his took box to work with. Your right about we will see how this turns out. I’m excited and just thankful for the fight our over matches hogs show when they hit the court.

I’ve thought much the same thoughts you wrote here. In general, I’m a BIG Muss fan. This is my only concern…that he gets too low in times of distress, when the team needs a “this is OK…we’ve been in tougher positions and prevailed…and here’s how we’re going to do that tonight” type attitude.

Having said that, it’s dangerous to judge from outside the huddle and locker room. That’s what it appears like to me, on TV. But it may be different to those actually involved (on the team).

I think part of it is that muss wants is SOOO badly, and the start we had allowed him to almost “taste” a really good, compete-for-the-SEC-Championship type season…even though his eyes and head surely told him we are a year or two away from that. But he’s such a competitor that he wants it NOW. I’m never going to criticize a coach for having that attitude.

I’m a BIG Muss fan too and expect he will do well.

I actually think he thinks a lot about chemistry and did some great things preseason to encourage that. I also think the players think highly of him because they know he is out behind them and wants to win.

The watch out I see is that teams learn by their leaders example. To a degree I’m not surprised by Mason’s reaction in that it emulates his coach with whom I believe Mason thinks he has a very close and comfortable relationship. I’m also not worried about that one incident.


I have never been a P5 coach so it’s hard for me to judge. Don’t have any inside information which may be causing CEM live pretzel routine.

From my military leadership experience of 38 years, I have learned your personnel (players?) tend to follow your example. I had a tendency to get hot over the small stuff (errors) because my expectations were always high of my personnel and I wanted everyone to pay attention to the details and strive for perfection. However, I learned to be most relaxed during the the most stressful events so my personnel could perform better knowing I was confident in their abilities.

It is much easier to perform when the muscles are relaxed and the brain is confident.

Personally, IMHO, I think the players would perform better if CEM was more relaxed and sitting on the bench. However, it appears that is not the norm for college P5 coaches. It appears they all want to be micromanaging the play.

Hopefully CEM will continue to learn and evolve as a coach and leader.


I don’t think we would be having this conversation, if we had won the last 2 games. My problem is why has Harris had the ball to win the games in crunch time. I respect him, but he’s not a good shooter and proved it in the last 2 games.

Harris is the only one on the team who can dribble the length of the court in traffic in 5 seconds. That is why Muss gave him the ball against Missouri.

Muss did not give him the ball against Auburn. Muss of course had play drawn up for Jones as option 1. The ball ended up with Harris because Jones and Sills were well covered and Harris was left open. You can guess why he was left open.

My only observation on the final play was that it looked like we had someone open in the middle of the court who would have an uncontested shot if Harris would have seen him. I do think if we started the offense with the ball in Harris’ hands and work plays for Mason, it might take pressure off and create some better shots, as well as involve more players in the flow. With Jones controlling the ball, it can be easy for everyone else to back off and watch too much.

WOW!!! Armyhog, I either miss read the post or some thing because I hate both of the A-holes…I have been jump on before but not like what you did…I’m sorry for causing you this problem to beat me up… I still like reading your posts and always will… reed.

Army what I was trying to say was all three of those coachs throw fits all the time.

I would be more concerned if he wasn’t that intense. I think the players see it daily, so they are used to it. Same with all the good coaches. The intensity of Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson were there in practice, although you may not have seen it in games as much with those two. If I hadn’t seen them play well with the same intensity, I’d worry about it. I think the concern is not his intensity, it’s the lack of depth and the injuries.

Clay pointed out earlier this season (when we were rolling) that injuries and thus lack of depth could be a huge deal coming down the stretch. Which is our #1 problem right now. You can’t lose a player like Joe when you are so thin on the bench.