Time to Start Naming Names...

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J.J.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by J.J. »

CCSU4-3 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:29 pm BTW I've heard one on-campus interview per day this week with a decision coming Sunday/Monday.
Thanks. That's what I was figuring. Hopefully we will have a press conference on Monday or Tuesday at the latest!
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by CCSU4-3 »

It's kind of amazing that Jeff Goodman did his "Top MBB Assistant Coaches" this past July and in our final 5 we have the #2 rated AC in the Big East, #1 in the A-10, and #1 in the Ivy, plus Sellers (easily our most qualified alum), and Kelvin Jefferson.

https://watchstadium.com/stadium-ranks- ... 7-13-2020/

Folks- this list is so much stronger than what we had 5 years ago.

I had concerns early on that we wouldn't find great candidates who would want this job, but J.J. was right all along. Tip of the cap! I think the lack of open jobs in the northeast played a part...Vermont could have opened, same with Bryant and others. Better to be lucky than good. We are going to end up with a great HC.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by J.J. »

CCSU4-3 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:03 pm It's kind of amazing that Jeff Goodman did his "Top MBB Assistant Coaches" this past July and in our final 5 we have the #2 rated AC in the Big East, #1 in the A-10, and #1 in the Ivy, plus Sellers (easily our most qualified alum), and Kelvin Jefferson.

https://watchstadium.com/stadium-ranks- ... 7-13-2020/

Folks- this list is so much stronger than what we had 5 years ago.

I had concerns early on that we wouldn't find great candidates who would want this job, but J.J. was right all along. Tip of the cap! I think the lack of open jobs in the northeast played a part...Vermont could have opened, same with Bryant and others. Better to be lucky than good. We are going to end up with a great HC.
Thanks. :) No doubt timing and circumstances have some impact. We don't exist in a bubble.

While there weren't many jobs open - Albany, Binghamton, Fordham, Hofstra, and UMBC did have open jobs and you'd be hard pressed to suggest their selections were stronger than ours.

Albany and Fordham both grabbed top Big East assistants off that Goodman list. Hofstra hired a current assistant, who was a successful alum. UMBC took an experienced former NEC head coach. We absolutely are in that "peer group" despite them all paying a higher salary and in "better rated" conferences. Binghamton just mailed it in and needs time for a reset.

As I said, this is an outstanding program with a great history, location, the right level of academics, and a reasonable shot to go to the NCAAs every few years. Regardless of how our next coach does, he will position the program back to being a top regional mid-major program that is respected in college basketball circles.

Finally, we need to give all the kudos to Tom P. and the entire Athletics Department staff. I have no doubt he is also a big reason there was such great interest in the job. He is highly respected in AD circles and is doing a fantastic job with the interim title. He's running this process (with all its rules and restrictions) better than anyone could have hoped. Sure, we are taking far longer than any of the schools I mentioned - but I care most about the process and results.

Once this press conference is sent - we need to push the President to announce Tom as the permanent Athletic Director so me can move on and move Central Connecticut athletics forward with structure and vision. There should be no doubt who is the most qualified person to lead CCSU athletics.

After that, let's begin to push serious discussions with Hartford, America East, and the NEC to swap places without either school or conference colleting or pay any entrance/exit fees. A simple straight-up trade of 2 schools between 2 conference. The AE would have 10 public universities and the NEC would have 10 private universities. CCSU keeps football in the NEC for a guaranteed minimum of 5 years and pays the same "associate fee" that Duquesne does. If Hartford stays D-I, I think this is the best move for all parties involved.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by hilltopper »

A simple straight-up trade of 2 schools between 2 conference. The AE would have 10 public universities and the NEC would have 10 private universities. CCSU keeps football in the NEC for a guaranteed minimum of 5 years and pays the same "associate fee" that Duquesne does. If Hartford stays D-I, I think this is the best move for all parties involved.
Stop making sense. You will never get anywhere with that type of thinking ](*,)
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by J.J. »

I've never been a huge fan of Jeff Jacobs, but I think he gets the important facts straight, sets the context and has a good and fair take on the situation.
With Central there always seem to be a lot of cooks involved. Too many non-athletic people can mean a lot of folks giving different weight to different agenda and, thus, a different final decision..

For what’s it worth, once source is telling me it’s 1. Sellers and 2. Jefferson. Another is saying either Sellers or Curran. A third source said don’t waste your time, it’s Sellers. Take your pick.
Still, it bothers me to hear people talking like Sellers already has the job, or is one of two. He may well be the right guy. But you look at the final seven last time, you see his name, Young’s name, Curran’s name. Central could have picked Grasso, who has gone on to do a strong job at Bryant. Ditto Holloway, who has brought life back to St. Peter’s program. Central didn’t pick them.

No preconceived notions. No last-minute hijinks. Grill the spit out of these guys. Get it right this time.

Bring Central back.
https://www.ctinsider.com/sports/jeffja ... 113115.php
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by hilltopper »

I agree with Jacobs. I have no faith in bureaucracy.
Sellers is ready. He was a finalist last time, he was a former student athlete here, he was a former Assistant Coach here. He has been an assistant all over the D1 map, and he always has a job, that is because he has a great reputation among D1 head coaches.
Let's face it, Sellers would have been a HC somewhere years ago if it weren't for the UConn recruiting scandal.
That means that we can get a bargain.
Let Central be the school that gives him his much deserved and belated HC job.

Besides I have heard that Central punches above its weight class when it comes to producing coaches.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by CCSU4-3 »

hilltopper wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:56 pm I agree with Jacobs. I have no faith in bureaucracy.
Sellers is ready. He was a finalist last time, he was a former student athlete here, he was a former Assistant Coach here. He has been an assistant all over the D1 map, and he always has a job, that is because he has a great reputation among D1 head coaches.
Let's face it, Sellers would have been a HC somewhere years ago if it weren't for the UConn recruiting scandal.
That means that we can get a bargain.
Let Central be the school that gives him his much deserved and belated HC job.

Besides I have heard that Central punches above its weight class when it comes to producing coaches.
I'm not sure if you read the article or just the excerpts J.J. posted, but Jacobs was NOT suggesting they should hire Sellers, but rather they should be open-minded and get it right. Sellers MIGHT be the right guy for the job, but if these final interviews are simply a formality then that's a real bad job by the committee.

I just...I don't get the fascination with Patrick. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he will do fine. I respect him, I think he's qualified, and he will probably have some success. But not hiring either Billmeier or Curran will look really bad 5 years from now, just like not hiring Grasso or Holloway in 2016 looks bad today.

I get the sense some people would prefer Sellers to Brad Stevens or Scott Drew. He's a good option. But we have the opportunity to, perhaps, hire better options.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by J.J. »

IMO - the appeal of Pat is simple - he's a highly qualified "Central guy" just like Detrick and Dickenman before him. These guys bleed blue and Central Connecticut is special place to them and us as fans. It translates to winning basketball, stability, and a sense of comfortability. It is like a warm blanket. I'm confident Patrick is a low-risk choice.

Again, that being said, I want a tough grilling of everyone and we should pick the best qualified candidate that's the best fit for our situation, period. Yes, we have the opportunity to pick a rising star. Maybe get someone who makes their mark at CCSU and moves on, but there are no guarantees on anyone's success at Central, including Sellers. Everything in the future is an unknown and we can only know more in hindsight after years.

My larger point is whoever is selected, we will all have "what ifs," second-guessing and questions as to why we didn't pick someone else. This great list of finalists is both a blessing and a curse. What happens we go Curran and get mediocre results and in a few year Billemier rebuilds NJIT into a AE power - is that a mistake? Or do we skip over major assistants Sellers, Curran, and Bellemire for a young T.J. who's spent most of his years at a middling Ivy program? Kelvin sounds like a great choice, but are we comfortable passing 2 guys who were on the short-list (Curran & Sellers) 5 years ago - what changed?

This is a simple case of the "fear of missing out." And just like last time - we will be missing out on something. If we took Jay Young as Paul wanted, we still would have let Holloway and Grasso move on to their respective jobs. Curran didn't make the final 3 last time and Pat bounced to FDU and Fairfield, so what can they do to move past the committee this time? How come Donnelley didn't make the final group?

I'm as anxious as anyone here, but the fact is there isn't a single "right" answer - they are right all are to some degree. While we have a new COO and President, many of the same people involved last time that interviewed Pat and Steve are in the process. We know Tom P. was on the committee last time - now he is running it. I'm sure there are faculty and other coaches that were part of the previous vacancy.

Bottom line is 5 years ago we had 7 finalist and only 1 "wrong" answer - we got stuck with the obviously wrong answer. If we would have picked Young, Sellers, Curran, Grasso, or Holloway we would not be as anxious as we are right now. We had an egotistical Administrator ruin the process and subvert the hard work of a AD and selection committee. That will not happen this time because there is no obvious wrong answer just a tough judgment call on the best option among many right answers.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

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Here’s my (probably not so good) analogy...
This is kind of like the early’90s in the business world. Corporations were hiring new CEO. They could either hire a business leader who was stuck in a 1980s mindset—who may have been very successful in the past. Or they could hire a CEO who realized that times had changed. The way of doing things had evolved. Computers and the internet were transforming the way things were done. Some businesses realized that success would come by hiring a leader who understood and embraced these changes.
That is us right now—gotta decide what type of leader we want...One from the past or someone who has embraced the modern game.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by ktuck911 »

There's your argument for Jefferson. He's literally coached (at the prep level) players that went to plenty of D1 schools (High Major Schools) AND some are now in the NBA.. in fact plenty have had a taste of professional basketball (whether in the NBA or overseas)... He gets today's kids... one other thing... Look for him to probably recruit locally (Tri-state, PA, Mid Atlantic areas) heavily... There's plenty of talent around these parts... Would make for an easier trip for parents to support their kids too...

Actually, that part should (must) be a factor in whomever ends of up being the next MBB coach here... Gotta go hard at the local areas in terms of recruiting...
Last edited by ktuck911 on Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by CCSU4-3 »

I agree, J.J. I think any of these choices could be good, and that no matter what there will be some Monday Morning Quarterbacking going on.

I just know for myself, personally; if we hire either Billmeier or Curran, there would be no looking back. Hire one of them, wish everyone else good luck, and cross my fingers. If we hire Sellers, I won't be able to help watching the careers of Billmeier and Curran (and Sorrentine) and wondering "what might have been".

In 2016 I was in support of Jay Young. Hindsight says that would have been wrong, though probably not AS wrong as Marshall. Clearly Grasso and Holloway have had the superior careers since then.

I can understand Pincince wanting to play it safe with Sellers. To use a baseball analogy; he'd rather get a single than a strikeout, especially in his position. And there are no sure things; Indiana (Archie Miller) and Texas (Shaka Smart) learned that first hand.

As we headed into this thing, even before Marshall was formally let go (resigned, whatever), I started to think Sellers was the RIGHT man for the job based on conversations with people in basketball circles. I had questions as to if Curran would want this gig; he could have been in play at St. Bonaventure if Schmidt got the BC job, and he could have just waited it out at Bona as the "coach in waiting". Plus his time as an assistant here didn't exactly end well. I also floated Billmeier to a media acquaintance and I was (metaphorically) laughed out of the room. If the finalists were, say, Sellers, Sorrentine, Jefferson, Kingsley, and Donnelly, I'd 100% be on the Sellers train, while recognizing that the other 4 were strong candidates as well.

I just continue to believe both Curran and Billmeier aren't just the best candidates here, but significantly superior to the others, and superior to any of the candidates we had in 2016 (I know Curran was on that list, but he was never going to get that job as Howie was involved). To me, this isn't a "FOMO" situation as much as it's a "we have a shot to get one of these guys and we aren't going to take it?!?!?!" situation.

Sellers over Sorrentine? I'm good there; I think Sorrentine COULD be the better choice, but I get it. Sellers over Jefferson? To me they are very similar; low risk, experienced, qualified, will do things the "right way", won't embarrass the program, will compete. But outside of the fact that Sellers is an alum, I do not understand why anyone would want Sellers over Billmeier and/or Curran. If Sellers played at LIU instead of CCSU, would we be even talking about him? To me, being an alum should get you an interview. In terms of hiring, it should be nothing but a tie-breaker.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by callmecasual »

I understand the general appeal of Sellers being an alum and all, but what about him is different than 5 years ago? He's in essentially the same place as he was. An assistant in the NEC. And when your read his bios at any of his stops, they aren't touting his accomplishments, just noting where he has worked previously. They all read like this guy is just there, not as if he is a genuine benefit to their program.

Curran has been promoted and his team has been very good and in a superior conference. He is a winner and has worked with and helped develop some excellent A-10 talent.

Billmeier has been on the rise his entire time within coaching. Sure it's one program, but it's a respected program that has some moderate success thanks to several of the players he has worked hard to develop.

Sorrentine is really an unknown commodity. Middling Ivy program.

And Jefferson seems like someone that may be able to build a program and understands kids these days based on his time at S. Kent.

Curran is definitely my top choice, followed by Billmeier and Jefferson.

I just look at Sellers and ask what has changed in the past 5 years that makes him better qualified for the job now than he was back then, nothing. Curran on the other hand has elevated himself.

And those are the ramblings of a casual fan.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by J.J. »

I think everyone is right. This is a very difficult choice.

Of all the finalists, T.J. seems to be the outlier, although even he is a well respected assistant.

Look back at last time, if Paul had his way we would if had Jay Young here. I think that would have worked out a lot better than DM, but probably isn't the "home run" we are looking for.

As well as Holloway and Grasso are doing, what set them apart BEFORE they got the jobs they have now? Lots of buzz about the 2 major assistants Curran and Billmeier, but major programs always get a lot of press and buzz. Jefferson is under the radar but has the in-state connections, coaches at a prep school and is the only one with HC experience.

Pat is the "good guy" and his weakness is that he has bounced around a lot. Hasn't stayed anywhere very long, known as a recruiter, but everything else is an unknown. He held the interim job at Hofstra for a few games to end the season, but that's it. Nothing screams attention.

Bottom line is we will see who impress the panel and Tom the most. Who has a plan, who fits, who can get us the type of kids we need. Until some insiders can tell us what is being said in the interviews, we are judging everyone on their past, not the future.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by CCSU4-3 »

J.J. wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:43 am Bottom line is we will see who impress the panel and Tom the most. Who has a plan, who fits, who can get us the type of kids we need. Until some insiders can tell us what is being said in the interviews, we are judging everyone on their past, not the future.
This is true, and what makes hiring a head coach difficult.

We won't know the REAL answer, but if the committee is currently open-minded and decides that Sellers is right for the job, and that it has nothing to do with having graduated from Central, then great.

If it's "Sellers is an alum and he deserves a shot", then it's just flat out wrong.
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Re: Time to Start Naming Names...

Post by hilltopper »

CCSU4-3 wrote:I'm not sure if you read the article or just the excerpts J.J. posted, but Jacobs was NOT suggesting they should hire Sellers, but rather they should be open-minded and get it right. Sellers MIGHT be the right guy for the job, but if these final interviews are simply a formality then that's a real bad job by the committee.
I wrote that I agreed with Jacobs about the unwieldy selection process.
The advocacy for Sellers was my own opinion.
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