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Date Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 06:58:11pm
Author: Peacock Blue
Subject: Sounds a lot like SPC...

St. John's coach Norm Roberts recently made these comments::

"A lot of people don't want to understand this but they need to," Roberts said. "When we came in here, this thing was demolished. It was demolished from a standpoint of talent. It was demolished from a standpoint of discipline. It was demolished from a standpoint of pride in the program. I mean everything. It was demolished. We've been trying to build.

"And with all of that, people want wins and those things. and we're trying hard to get those wins, too, because winning brings more talent, winning brings more exposure, all that stuff. But it's not a quick fix."

My question is with some posts stating that Dunne should only have 1 more year to prove himself, is that really enough time to judge someone based on the state of the program he was put into? How long should it take to build a program from the ground up?

A few years back Loyola was one of the worst programs in the country and now they are in the top half of the MAAC. One major difference there was that Patsos brought Collins and with him to use as the foundation. Patsos realized that there needed to be a change from the losing culture. How (assuming it is possible) does Dunne or the new AD or anyone else for that matter change the culture around SPC? I don't see much of a community around the college to fall back on and student support is minimal at best.

While I'm not trying to make excuses for JD, I do think that sometimes the expectations on this board are way too high. However, I do think that Jenkins, Lampley, and Bacon are a decent start to rebuilding this program, but there is much more that needs to be done. I think a reasonable expectation would be that SPC will be a top 5 MAAC team when these freshman are seniors.(Hopefully I'll look back and see this as a low expectation) I think that by then we will have a clear view of the job of Dunne and where he is taking this program. Don't underestimate the lack of talent that he was left with last year when he took over last year. (Let's not forget we were relying on Brock, Spitler, and Reeves to play significant minutes)

I think that over the last 5 games we've seen that this team hasn't given up on Dunne or the season yet. I'm not one for moral victories, but I think this says a lot about Dunne and his staff. Let's hope we can keep this up for another few weeks and maybe steal a win or two in Albany.

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[> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- loyal, Tuesday, February 19, 07:21:32pm [1]

A top-5 team in a weak, 10 team league should be our FIVE YEAR goal?

Why not set the bar lower?

I propose kudos all around for more than one road win in 2010-2011. A parade for an RPI over 300, perhaps? How about a bonus for "good practices?"

Norm Roberts has done a terrible job at SJU; who gives a s**t what NR says? Bobby G. has done much better at SHU, starting with less. So did Welsh @ Providence by his second season...both at small, urban Catholic schools either coming off poor seasons or losing a cornerstone player. Screw Roberts focus on "changing the culture"......what are we rooting for, an encounter group? Results are what counts.

I like Dunne. I like his image. I especially like his recruiting work ethic. I want him to succeed. But, I want our bar to be high; maybe that is being an idealist, but I want accountability and 3-4 years is plenty of time to see if we can move on up to the 200 range in the RPI, finish in the top half of the league and see players improve during the course of a season.

So far, Gooding, Traore and Orta have arguably regressed and Sowell has improved only slightly.

That, my fellow Peacock fan (and there are not many of us), is a piss poor result. This team should be better than 3-12 in this year's MAAC.

We need to see much more in the player development department, with Bacon, Jenkins, etc. OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS. As Al McGuire used to say, the greatest improvement in college players comes between their freshman and sophomore seasons.

Dunne has to show MUCH more re: a capacity to develop players..........we'll get a good indication if he has it in him this off season and next fall/winter.

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[> [> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- Peacock Blue, Tuesday, February 19, 10:38:27pm [1]

Why should we be better than a 3-12 MAAC team? We were picked to finish 9th for a reason. The MAAC has far more quality teams this year than last. With that said, it doesn't take much of an imagination to see that this years teams could/should have won 6-8 MAAC games so far this year.

As I said, I hope that being a top 5 team will be considered a low expectation looking back 3 years from now, but as for now it seems to be a realistic and (hopefully) achievable goal. The bar should be set high....but that doesn't always mean it will be reached.

I agree with your thoughts on NR and the job he has done had SJU. I was simply asking what is a realistic timetable to build a program from ground up?

I also agree that we need to see player development from Bacon, Jenkins, etc in the next 12 months...but part of the reason we NEED that is because we are so dependent on these young players for our success because of the talent (or lack there of) that was inherited by Dunne.

Have these players regressed or are we finding out that they simply aren't as good as we thought? Gooding is a good athlete without a position. He lacks the range to be a 3 and isn't big enough to play the 4. He needs to take the initiative to develop some sort of mid range game. Traore gets minutes because we have no other real big other than Bacon and Sowell on the roster. I can't say he regressed because I never had any expectations of him other than playing minutes that needed to be filled by someone. As for Orta, I don't think it is a matter of regression but instead a combination of opposing defenses keying on him and his inability to create his own shot (a quality which he never possessed).

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[> [> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- oldtimer#1, Tuesday, February 19, 11:24:51pm [1]

Loyal, usually we agree but I'm sort of on opposite sides of the fence on this one. Yes we could have/should have won more games than we have but I don't think very much more given the talent we put on the floor. What would your expectations have been if you knew that Raul Orta would have become a non-entity in our offense. There is an interesting post on the Niagara board that called Raul "a shell of what he once was"

Now you can say he has regressed but if you look at the stats I posted below his performance is definitely injury related. While this is third hand information, I had heard that his injury possibly was season ending but that the kid wanted to gut in out. As I said unsubstianted but an interesting take on what has happened. Essentially, his season did end with that injury because he is a shell of himself. I can't blame John Dunne for that and call it lack of player development. Although, as Nick D stated Raul could have/ should have shot more, he had some wonderful games and he was shooting over 50% from the three early on. With Raul as he is, we do not field that good of a team. Need to fill obvious holes.

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[> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- jajk, Tuesday, February 19, 08:07:38pm [1]

From those two posts , I think that I would really enjoy sitting at a bar downing a few with the two of you while you debate on this at more length. Reading both, it reminded me of how much I used to enjoy the Bill Buckley debates with Vidal or Mailer. I'd listen to one and say "hard to argue with that ,very well put " But then the other guy would counter punch and I'd say "well now, there is surely another side to the coin "

Those guys did not solve the world's problems. And I guess you two won't solve all the Peacocks' . Nevertheless.those encounters and yours' were a pleasure.

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[> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- SPC Dawg, Tuesday, February 19, 10:25:50pm [1]

Comparing Bill Buckley to those two idiots is criminal.As to the other comment by Peacock blue that some of us here on the board have expectations that are too high that is just simply untrue and also ridiculous.In addition our program had been rebuilt under Leckie with Keydren Clark. In his last 3 seasons SPC won 25,17 and 17 games hardly a "demolished" program. Dunne must show marked improvement next year or he will be gone.

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[> [> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- SPC Dawg, Tuesday, February 19, 10:27:32pm [1]

Error in win total. That was 15,17 and 17.

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[> [> [> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- Peacock Blue, Tuesday, February 19, 10:44:19pm [1]

Keydren Clark helped hide a 4-8 win team and made it look like a .500 team. He was able to hide many of the flaws we came to see in players such as Orta and Sowell in the last 2 years. The lack of recruiting around Clark in his years here contributed to what was left over and inherited by Dunne.

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[> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- MC 95, Wednesday, February 20, 06:40:01am [1]

I agree that Roberts hasn't done much at St. Johns. They have the urban school without a campus problem and the lack of a name that resonates with AAU coaches problem. Recruiting is all about building relationships and showing personality. Some have it and others don't. Roberts was an Asst. at Kansas but building a team from the ground up is a tough challenge in any league. Rutgers has the lack of image problem but Fred Hill has recruited some good players and this year, the program gets its first McD's All American.

As for us, there has been some improvement throughout the season even if it is not represented in wins and losses. This league is stronger in the middle than it was in recent years. Any one of five teams could take home the automatic bid in Albany. We are making some slow strides but it's evident to me that Leckie recruited no program changing players aside from Clark. While we have none at this point, we far more resemble a team than we ever did aside from the Clark years.

It takes time. I'd be willing to give Dunne at least two more years after this one to prove himself. It seemed like we got no one and had high attrition rates in the previous years. Let's hope we can cut the attrition as well.

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[> [> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- SPC '91, Wednesday, February 20, 12:15:23pm [1]

Leckie did not recruit Clark, one of the assistants deserve the credit for that but, it did happen under Leckie's watch.

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[> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- Fraedo, Wednesday, February 20, 12:25:43pm [1]

I see dunne or dunne/Morton all over the high school schne recruiting. Rarely saw leckie.

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[> [> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- NickD, Thursday, February 21, 12:57:38am [1]

Saw Owes tonight on TV against Boston U and Johnny Holland. Holland looked real good Owes not much.I think we could beat both teams and Holland would have looked real good in a Saint Peter's uniform.

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[> Re: Sounds a lot like SPC... -- SPC Fan, Wednesday, February 20, 08:06:05pm [1]

The two Leckie recruits i regret losing were Kaimondre Owes and Kevin Spann.Both would start here now and be key contributors in the case of Owes would be our leading scorer.

Since i dont know the circumstances surrounding the departure hard to comment on it. I still feel this season has been a dissapointment. Not so much in wins and losses but in player development. Just now seeing a ray of hope from Leon and Lampley and maybe Bacon as well. Let's hope we get one or two more wins and are competitive the rest of the way. The last 2 weeks we d look improved overall.No more 20 point losses .

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