This is a real crossroads right now. This is unfamiliar territory for us in the CMA era. We’ve never seen him have multiple 4 game losing streaks. We’ve never seen his teams not show up for entire halves and not be able to score at all and not value the basketball. I can’t even put together a good argument for those saying it’s unacceptable and putting the blame on CMA because they are correct, his team, his players, his system and right now it’s not getting any type of positive results at all. Our schedule was setup perfectly for us to make a run and make the NCAA tournament despite being young and we absolutely blew it.
I was talking to another poster and I told him I believe we really didn’t think too much of that Jordan Phillips leaving early situation and looking back now I think this was a pretty big deal. Not only did it give us even less depth, I think it kinda killed some of the confidence/momentum from our guys. If you look at the schedule, right after Phillips left, that’s when our first 4 game losing streak started. We are 4-9 since he left. Now while he wasn’t a big part of the rotation, he was close to a lot of those guys, and they seen the hard work he put in to get back on the court, and when you see that and see a player lose confidence in a coach that can spread to others, especially to other freshman who may not be happy with their playing time either. Our bench has arguably gotten worse as we’ve gone along, you look at their faces, there’s not much confidence left in them.
That’s always been one of my complaints about CMA is him always going with the upperclassman no matter what even if they are less talented and make more mistakes than an underclassman. We seen that with Beard last year, he would make the most head scratching plays you’d ever see in your life and he’d still start and still be on the court in big moments with no consequences. Hall would have a great game, the next game he’d make a mistake or 2, then only gets to play a few minutes. That’s happening this year with Bailey. I’m not exaggerating when I say it wouldn’t surprise me if Bailey led the nation in most missed layups and dunks, and guy that has gotten his shot blocked the most. He’s been horrible 3/4 of the year and there’s no consequences for him playing that bad, but if Reggie Chaney comes out nervous and has 2 turnovers, he’ll only get to play 5 minutes and won’t get put back in the game.
So, I really don’t know where we go from here. I’m kinda torn, I’m hopeful that CMA will get it figured out because he always has before, yet at the same time, it’ll be the same old thing next year, we’ll have Bailey and Gabe out there doing whatever and making all the mistakes in the world and we’ll have brought some new guys like Hawkins and Diawara in and they probably won’t even get to play that much and get taken out soon as they make a mistake. So, at this point, I’m just hoping the people that make the big bucks look at the whole situation and make the best decision, I’m good with either.
The SEC has improved and upped its game…the Hogs haven’t. What worked against a mediocre conference won’t work anymore. Our players are small, quick, and pretty soft overall. We really don’t have a tough guy on the floor ever. Gafford is beyond overrated and we have a bunch of athletes. You need basketball skill, size, toughness, and some character. This team lacks all of those. There is no horizon where this improves with a few of these kids transferring and Gafford going to the NBA. Our coach cannot recruit and his b-ball 2019 IQ is lacking.
I was at the point I just didn’t care…last few games haven’t even watched but I decided to watch last night because there was some chatter that the team was going to man up and go get it…I wanted to see what they had and what they brought last night…good grief.
The players have their share of the blame but a lot of that was on the coaches also…there was no evidence of leadership from them…the team was ill-prepared, lethargic, looked completely lost and didn’t really want to be there.
I am to the point that I hate to say it but I think a change has to be made. The philosophy of CMA isn’t working anymore. Recruiting 6’8" 180 lb “athletes” just won’t work anymore IMO. I also wonder how much he is getting from his staff…how good are they at player development, X’s and O’s, etc
Always been a fan of CMA and don’t like to bash him but man, last night was just bad. I have been a fan for 51 years and for the first time in basketball found myself chuckling at times just watching (to use a word from Bob’s article) how feckless we were for the majority of the game. I am chuckling because I am slowly becoming apathetic to this team and staff. Everyone on this post has made great points on where this team is and the concerns on where it is headed. If we are not careful we could lose out or only win 1 more. I still think CMA get’s 1 more year but sadly don’t see it getting any better until we make a change. I just think the game has passed by his style of coaching.
I had a new experience last night. I was out to dinner & forgot the game was being played. Didn’t even remember it as I drove home. When I got home I saw it was on when I turned on the TV. The score was 42-14. I had to look again to be sure that was the score & not some other statistic. Once I knew that was the score & we were down that much, I just changed the channel. I couldn’t bear to watch. The only “good” thing is I guess we played them even or slightly better than even the rest of the way since the final margin was less than 28 points. So much for silver linings.
I know this season is essentially over. I hope we close out well, but I doubt that happens. I’m not ready yet to call for a CMA’s replacement, but it wouldn’t bother me if we made the jump. I can also live with having him another year to see if these young kids can become real ball players. However, I’m not optimistic.
One thing I’d like to know, though: are Auburn & some of these other teams cheating or are we just getting beat on the recruiting trail. If recruiting is about the same, then why are we losing on the court?
One thing I know: we have the facilities & the tradition to be a basketball powerhouse. We have fans who will pack the arena if we’re good. We can’t squander those assets much longer.
When all of that drama happened with players after Portis & Qualls left, that was probably MA’s best coaching season here to date, to keep that squad from having a losing season. They went from a not very talented, raggedy, bunch that nobody thought would reach 500, to a pretty salty basketball team by seasons end.
I thought this team would grow & improve like that as the season progressed. If it had we would have 20+ wins now. Has more talent.