Monday, September 1, 2008

Star quality

Say what you will about Herb Pope and everyone seems to be piling on. One thing about basketball is that it's about X's and O's and in-game adjustments. And it's also about managing and handling egos. Especially with stars. Does Herb have an ego? Sure. Find me one great player who doesn't. Herb wasn't great last year by any stretch. But he has proven to have significant talent and had arguably the deepest skill set on the roster heading into the new year.

Look back at last year and you'll find the whole team underachieved. Don't give me this and that about Menzies and a new roster. It flat-out didn't get it done. The WAC was weak and it was the Aggies' conference for the taking. All of you that are cheering Herb's departure, will you be cheering after another sub-par season in a year when the conference is - you guessed it - weak again? I don't think so. And that's what you're going to get.

There are still questions at point guard, I don't care who they brought in to play the position, until they get it done in an Aggie uniform, they remain question marks to me. That was a problem area all of last year and it better be corrected or else the trouble will persist on the court. Also, who is this team's star/leader? Last year, it was lucky to have good seniors who played major roles on and off the court. I'm talking about Justin Hawkins, Fred Peete and Passos. Those three were a luxury that won't be around in '08. Who's team is this anyway? Jonathon Gibson's? Jahmar Young's? Wendell McKines? Your guess is as good as mine. All those guys are unproven in the leadership role.

You need star power and - hate to say it - you need some egos too. People can hate all day on the situation but it doesn't change the facts that the Aggies have lost a talented player. One they could have used in 2008.


Anonymous said...

Did we lose a player that was talented? Yes. However, we still have a load of talent and we no longer have a cancer. It was in NMSU's best interest to move on. I wish it hadn't dragged on so long. We can blame Pope and his waffling on for that.

Anonymous said...

Great observations Teddy......NOT! I like the way you get a rise out of folks though. I guess that's what you get paid to do create controversy. Let's examine your post...You talk about managing Stars is that what Pope was to you, WOW! Ranked High out of HS -----yes, but a star? (yet to be seen)I won't even begin to mention all the negative press the University got behind this player. It's funny you are obviously are not a throwback who believes in things like "Team". The Aggies did lose a talented player (with a boat load of drama), all we can hope is that is was addition thru subtraction. I like Menzies and personally think he did a fine job especially with all the distractions. One reason Boston hired him is because he can recruit let's see what type of product is on the floor before you start killing the team about having a subpar season. Then again thats what you do spectulate to get a rise...Good Work. Oh and by the way Go Aggies!

Teddy said...

I think team....He would have been a nice piece to the one here.

Tim said...

I agree with you in the aspect that its easiest to kick somebody in the butt on their way out. Pope was good and if the men's basketball coaching staff and player-development coach Gerald Lewis could've harnessed him in; he would've been an all-time Aggie great. I'm not saying it is the coaching staff's fault. Essentially, I'm saying "Good Luck Seton Hall coaching staff". I hope for Herb that he can focus on school, basketball and life. He's one of those gifted people out there whose motivation does not equal his talent.
So, instead of joining the bandwagon and kicking him in the butt on the way out, I wish him good luck.
As for the Aggie basketball team; I admit, I am worried. They have many newcomers. As for team leader/star, I think Jon Gibson will step up, along with Jahmar Young. Hopefully Young has matured, but the team-leader role is Gibson's to lose. You think of McKines as a leader? Not this year, but possibly in the future. I am putting my stock in Gibson (should he return).

Go Aggies!

Teddy said...

I think Jonathan has the intangibles to be the leader. He's not afraid of the spotlight or the big shot. He has a swagger. But he has to grow up a lot and learn to distribute the ball better. If he does that, he seems like someone who would do well. But I think it is asking a lot out of him.

Anonymous said...

Teddy, NMSU didn't lose anything. These recent events were all Herb Pope's doing. Coach Menzies wasted a lot of valuable time re-recruiting him to NMSU. No player is worth that much effort; even Herb Pope. If Pope “truly” wanted to be an Aggie he would have found a way. Otherwise, as Aggie fans, we should wish him luck as NMSU shows him the door.

Now, will his absence affect the strength of next season's team? More than likely... But what can coach Menzies and Aggie fans do about it? Nothing, just simply move on...

By the way Teddy, NMSU still has more than it’s quota of egos for next season team.

fed up said...

I don't know how things will shake out this year, but I will say this:

MM is taking over.

Its a good sign for a coach to insist on culture first.

Let us see what happens. A lot of this talk is but speculation about players who, as Teddy said, have never played in LC before. Perhaps it will jell and become something special. Stranger things have happened.

But even if it doesn't happen I am proud of MM for finding his voice. Thats not easy to do.

Go Aggies

Anonymous said...

Team team team! In college sports, it has to be about TEAM! No one player is more important than the team.

You remember a young, talented kid from UNC a few years back? Michael Jordan was a star! He fit in with his teammates and worked his rear end off to make him the superstar he became. That is how it is supposed to work.

How about Kevin Garnett? Young kid who made the jump from high school to the NBA, which is what people around here thought Pope was supposed to be about. Garnett grew up as his days moved forward and did the right things. Look how he's turned out.

Menzies was uncomfortable with Pope from day one! Boston, Theus and the east coast recruiter-Pompey, sold us all on an immature kid who was good at surrounding himself with the wrong people. Talented? Yes, but we would never see it through all his baggage. NMSU went to bat for the kid on many occasions and the kid did nothing to show his appreciation. Menzies probably would've sent him packing long time ago, but was the new coach and he wanted to please his boss. Lesson learned: don't let one kid hold the program hostage.

We all do wish the kid well because that's what we do. We wish for the best for these kids and coaches.

Turn the page!