Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

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citay
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Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by citay » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:16 am

Look, we're all disappointed in this season so far--the fan base, the players, the coaching staff.

But the one thing Travis DeCuire must learn as a coach is, Do not blame your players! Great coaches always take full responsibility for their team's fortunes. The fish always stinks from the head. Do not say, as I believe he did, "This team needs to look at itself in the mirror."

If DeCuire looks into that same mirror, he'll see himself. In fact, he will see multiple images of himself.

1. The absence of another good big man. If there's one truth about this year's team it is, "We miss Krslovic!" But Krslovic, like Beunig, was a gift from the Tinkle regime. DeCuire and his staff have in five years brought in one credible big man, Akoh. Anderson and NIcholas washed out. The one big who committed to us for this year changed his commitment. And it's clear that the three freshmen bigs are not ready for prime time.

Is this the fault of the players?

2. Our offense. If you don't have a good big man, do what the Warriors did with their now famous Death Lineup--no guy taller than 6'7". Yes, the Death Lineup can shoot like our team can't, but they also play fast. Any one of those guys, once he grabs a rebound, is off to the races, pell-mell down the court, before the opposition can set its defense. Do we play that way? We do not. We walk the ball up the court, and pass it around and around, often times heaving up a shot as the time clock expires. Save for Akoh, we have no low-post presence. So: Are we running the best offense for the personnel we have? Could we--should we--be playing faster? Do we have the athleticism and open-court talent to do it?

Again, the design of the offense is not the fault of the players. It's on the coaching staff.

3. Late-game strategy. Against Portland State, the way we played the final 30 seconds of that game was stupid, as I said before. Somebody else posted, maybe they were trying to get a 10-second violation. Not in that situation. They should have fouled, they should have fouled quickly, and they should not have fouled the kid who was lighting us up.

Is late-game strategy the fault of the players? Or the coaching staff.

I offer these observations as a guy who loves where this program is and the potential it offers for the future, and is extremely grateful for what DeCuire and this staff has brought to Montana. I believe DeCuire has built a solid all-round program, and that the future might even exceed the high expectations we all held for this year.

But DeCuire must not blame his players. He must learn as a coach to ALWAYS to take responsibility for his team's actions.

Anything else is fatal.

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by mweisner33 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:08 pm

A few thoughts...

“In all honesty, this is two games in a row where our opponent wanted it more than us,”

I copied this from another thread but I think it's relevant to this topic... If we drop a game to Portland St. at home and it was because we played down to their level or they wanted it more than us, then as a coach I think it's your responsibility to make damn sure this doesn't happen again the next game...

It's the players responsibility to get themselves ready to play. But a lot of it also falls on the staff getting them ready to via practice, pregame, scouting, rest, etc...

But as a player if I got challenged publicly by my coach I know I'd come out the next game with my hair on fire. I didn't watch the game but after reading others comments it sounded like that didn't happen. Maybe our lack of leadership has contributed to this? Maybe it's a bit of an overreaction and we're going through a tough stretch...

Another thing to point out is that I don't believe players really care about winning the regular season championship. Especially at Montana where you're judged solely on winning the conference tournament, or to some, wins in the NCAA Tournament.

I can't remember when we dropped 3 straight conf games and it doesn't get any easier tomorrow against NoCo... But I have a feeling we'll bounce back!

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by Proud Griz Man » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:03 pm

Good points citay. I think you provided some worthwhile advice for the coaches.
I would also suggest - Travis: play the guys that are giving 100% effort and mentally-prepared to compete. if you sense that there are UM players partially-interested and under-prepared, then bench them until they get to be fully-committed to the team.
Like you citay - I am a loyal fan since the Heathcote/ Brandenburg / Montgomery days and have high expectations for this team. I want the best out of this team. I have witnessed their potential, when they play hard.
citay wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:16 am

I offer these observations as a guy who loves where this program is and the potential it offers for the future, and is extremely grateful for what DeCuire and this staff has brought to Montana. I believe DeCuire has built a solid all-round program, and that the future might even exceed the high expectations we all held for this year.
But DeCuire must not blame his players. He must learn as a coach to ALWAYS to take responsibility for his team's actions. Anything else is fatal.

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by cmtgrizzly » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:06 pm

I think they will bounce back as well. I have to see it on the defensive end. That intensity from last year is required. Maybe they have become apathetic in attitude toward regular season.

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by IdaGriz01 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:49 pm

cmtgrizzly wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:06 pm
I think they will bounce back as well. I have to see it on the defensive end. That intensity from last year is required. Maybe they have become apathetic in attitude toward regular season.
Not sure "apathetic" quite captures the nuances, but could basically be accurate.

And there is some cause. What's the advantage to winning the regular season in the Big Sky? Answer: You get one bye while the total dregs beat each other up.

But the top five teams get that anyway. After that, you still have to win three straight games to be awarded the auto-bid. And as long as the Sky is so weak, it will never get two bids. Plus, you're still going to get a crappy seed.

Right now, despite the terrible start, the Griz are #4 in the Sky. Deep down, some players may figure they can "mail it in" and still finish in the top five. And they could well be right. So why bust your fanny, when it really gains you nothing, or almost nothing?

The flaw in that reasoning(?) is that you can "turn it on" when it really matters. Teams have tried that ... usually with disastrous results.

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by cmtgrizzly » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:54 pm

IdaGriz01 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:49 pm
cmtgrizzly wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:06 pm
I think they will bounce back as well. I have to see it on the defensive end. That intensity from last year is required. Maybe they have become apathetic in attitude toward regular season.
Not sure "apathetic" quite captures the nuances, but could basically be accurate.

And there is some cause. What's the advantage to winning the regular season in the Big Sky? Answer: You get one bye while the total dregs beat each other up.

But the top five teams get that anyway. After that, you still have to win three straight games to be awarded the auto-bid. And as long as the Sky is so weak, it will never get two bids. Plus, you're still going to get a crappy seed.

Right now, despite the terrible start, the Griz are #4 in the Sky. Deep down, some players may figure they can "mail it in" and still finish in the top five. And they could well be right. So why bust your fanny, when it really gains you nothing, or almost nothing?

The flaw in that reasoning(?) is that you can "turn it on" when it really matters. Teams have tried that ... usually with disastrous results.
Agreed. Any team that is not putting in full effort during the regular season should not expect to just turn it around in the post season

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by mtgrizrule » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:40 am

Some great suggestions, questions, and concerns. I had a few of those things myself, in which I posted after the disappointing PSU game. I hope the downhill slide does not continue. If it does continue, Coach DeCuire may have to resort to some extreme measures, which may be risky. Yet, when so much is expected, with the kind of talent this team has, I'd take a few chances.

So what kind of things can a coach do to get 100% attention from the players?

(1) Nothing but defensive drills and FT's all practices. Take the damn ball away from them, have them earn it back as a team!!!! Seriously, they cannot shoot much worse than they have, and it will improve continuity, defense, etc.

(2) Test every player every way possible to find out which players have the bite/edge of a Jordan Gregory, Will Cherry, Kareem Jamar, Anthony Johnson? This team is in dire need of that from the SR's. Of the regular rotation players, I think only Sayeed Pridgett has that kind of attitude consistently. Falls has it, but needs to learn how to harness it for the betterment of the team. I really do want to see a player or 2 biting off opponent heads and spitting them back during games.

(3) Use a player or 2 at the end of the bench to fill key weaknesses the team needs improvement. The team is really struggling from the perimeter. The key players, other than Manuel, are way too inconsistent from 3 to get the job done consistently. I honestly wouldn't hesitate to tell Freddy Brown to not hesitate to shoot, and play his best possible defense. That would absolutely serve notice to the key players to do what is expected of them. Do you want to end your college careers on an all time high, or an all time low (ask that while looking yourself in that mirror)? If it pisses off a key player or 2, mission accomplished. Get out there and take it out on every opponent for the rest of your career!!! Who knows, maybe another player or 2 can emerge from it!!!

Yes, I've seen or have done these kind of things in coaching, at various levels. These kind of things prove to be quite motivating, when teams need a fire lit under their asses!!!! I know each and every GRIZ player has extremely terrific character and pride. I am sure Travis would get the expected results. I do hope, he doesn't have to go to these extremes though.
Thank you all. God Bless every soldier fighting for our country!!!!
Health issues, major and minor...increase the productivity of your NRF1 and NRF2. Here is my business website to see the products. http://rbidwell.lifevantage.com/

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by mtgrizrule » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:32 am

mweisner33 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:08 pm
A few thoughts...

“In all honesty, this is two games in a row where our opponent wanted it more than us,”

I copied this from another thread but I think it's relevant to this topic... If we drop a game to Portland St. at home and it was because we played down to their level or they wanted it more than us, then as a coach I think it's your responsibility to make damn sure this doesn't happen again the next game...

It's the players responsibility to get themselves ready to play. But a lot of it also falls on the staff getting them ready to via practice, pregame, scouting, rest, etc...

But as a player if I got challenged publicly by my coach I know I'd come out the next game with my hair on fire. I didn't watch the game but after reading others comments it sounded like that didn't happen. Maybe our lack of leadership has contributed to this? Maybe it's a bit of an overreaction and we're going through a tough stretch...

Another thing to point out is that I don't believe players really care about winning the regular season championship. Especially at Montana where you're judged solely on winning the conference tournament, or to some, wins in the NCAA Tournament.

I can't remember when we dropped 3 straight conf games and it doesn't get any easier tomorrow against NoCo... But I have a feeling we'll bounce back!
Michael, it is great to see you posting here. I'd really love to see you post more of your opinions, observations, critiques, etc more often here. It would be a welcomed addition here, to get those kind of things from someone who actually played college ball for the GRIZ. You certainly have a rare and unique experience that not many have. Thank you
Thank you all. God Bless every soldier fighting for our country!!!!
Health issues, major and minor...increase the productivity of your NRF1 and NRF2. Here is my business website to see the products. http://rbidwell.lifevantage.com/

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by IdaGriz01 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:26 am

mweisner33 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:08 pm
A few thoughts...

Another thing to point out is that I don't believe players really care about winning the regular season championship. Especially at Montana where you're judged solely on winning the conference tournament, or to some, wins in the NCAA Tournament.
...
IdaGriz01 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:49 pm
... What's the advantage to winning the regular season in the Big Sky? Answer: You get one bye while the total dregs beat each other up.

But the top five teams get that anyway. After that, you still have to win three straight games to be awarded the auto-bid. And as long as the Sky is so weak, it will never get two bids. Plus, you're still going to get a crappy seed.

Right now, despite the terrible start, the Griz are #4 in the Sky. Deep down, some players may figure they can "mail it in" and still finish in the top five. And they could well be right. So why bust your fanny, when it really gains you nothing, or almost nothing?

The flaw in that reasoning(?) is that you can "turn it on" when it really matters. Teams have tried that ... usually with disastrous results.
Thought I'd combine these two just to reinforce the point ... and add another.

Call it the "NBA syndrome." The pros are notorious for "taking games off" during the regular season. Of course, their season is much longer and more physically demanding. But we should be able to expect more, given the money they make (last I looked, the league minimum is now over $580,000). On the other hand, a team can win just half their games and get into the NBA playoffs ... so Who cares?

Obviously the situation for college players is quite different. But college players look to the NBA in so many ways (shooting style, shoes!? etc.), some of that NBA "Ho-hum" attitude could also trickle down.

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by first11 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:06 am

IdaGriz01 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:26 am
mweisner33 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:08 pm
A few thoughts...

Another thing to point out is that I don't believe players really care about winning the regular season championship. Especially at Montana where you're judged solely on winning the conference tournament, or to some, wins in the NCAA Tournament.
...
IdaGriz01 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:49 pm
... What's the advantage to winning the regular season in the Big Sky? Answer: You get one bye while the total dregs beat each other up.

But the top five teams get that anyway. After that, you still have to win three straight games to be awarded the auto-bid. And as long as the Sky is so weak, it will never get two bids. Plus, you're still going to get a crappy seed.

Right now, despite the terrible start, the Griz are #4 in the Sky. Deep down, some players may figure they can "mail it in" and still finish in the top five. And they could well be right. So why bust your fanny, when it really gains you nothing, or almost nothing?

The flaw in that reasoning(?) is that you can "turn it on" when it really matters. Teams have tried that ... usually with disastrous results.
Thought I'd combine these two just to reinforce the point ... and add another.

Call it the "NBA syndrome." The pros are notorious for "taking games off" during the regular season. Of course, their season is much longer and more physically demanding. But we should be able to expect more, given the money they make (last I looked, the league minimum is now over $580,000). On the other hand, a team can win just half their games and get into the NBA playoffs ... so Who cares?

Obviously the situation for college players is quite different. But college players look to the NBA in so many ways (shooting style, shoes!? etc.), some of that NBA "Ho-hum" attitude could also trickle down.
Good observations ....
Unfortunately the much shorter college game offers little opportunity of most teams taking a game off mentality.

The option in conf tournaments does allow for teams to “play in” but some bad habits may have been ingrained by sloppy play by then

This talented version of Griz is lacking that something element, I am not sure what it will take to recover that “something element”

Hopefully we all see the change at Greeley today

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by HookedonGriz » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:06 pm

Valid points but I am in the camp that more often than not, a coach knows EXACTLY what to say to his team to get them motivated. If TD said the kids need to look at themselves in the mirror (and quit taking teams for granted) then maybe he knew it would wake their asses up. Sure worked today vs UNC

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Re: Some Heartfelt Advice for Travis DeCuire

Post by Paytonlives » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:53 pm

He won't say it but I bet if he saw this thread TD probably thought this...


Bobby Hauck 2008 (After beating the kittens)

"I wish there were 5 quarters in this game, so we could kick their asses some more!"

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