McKenna's future

bent20

The Odum Level
I know it's only his second year and I'm not suggesting he's going anywhere now, but if this was McKenna's third season I'd like to think his job would be in jeopardy already. We need to demand more of our players and coaches. When we don't we've seen what happens. Look at the football team. I don't want to see the same apathy result in the basketball program falling into the same miserable situation.

So simply put as a fan how long are you willing to give McKenna to get things turned around? Waltman may not have recruited well and his teams may have fallen flat in conference time and again, but you can't argue that it wouldn't be nice to have those 9-0 starts to the season back.
 

Bluethunder

Hugh McAwesome
Supporter
Wow, I certainly didn't expect anyone to be bringing up Royce Waltman and longing for those days this soon. I think Coach McKenna's job is safe (and it should be). We have to be realistic here. We are a program that has had four winning seasons in the last 25 years or so. We get outdrawn by high schools in the state. We pay lower and spend less than any other program in the conference. Coach McKenna (I am assuming) is going to try and implement a lot of the same things that you see Creighton do (1/2, 3/4, and full press, run outs, etc). Trying to put all that in place with players that were recruited to walk the ball up and play motion is not going to be quick or easy. This is like taking over an option football team and trying to run the spread. Look at what has happened with Rich Rodriquez at Michigan. You have to get your players, then if you fail, you have no excuses. McKenna deserves four years, minimum. If two years from now there is no improvement, I won't blame anyone for wanting to show him the door. Just remember, we don't have THAT much to offer coaches and we aren't guaranteed anyone with a better resume that what our coach has right now.
 

bent20

The Odum Level
Sorry, but 0-6 and possibly 0-9 to start the year should never be acceptable. And McKenna has already brought in a lot of his own players. Most of Waltman's guys are gone. Look at the roster. Almost all of them are his recruits. I'm tired of giving ISU coaches a free pass. Once we start talking like that we might as well be discussing the football program, or volleyball or any of the other sports we're terrible at. At some point the losing mind set has to be rejected. There is no reason for this program to get this much worse before it gets better.
 

bent20

The Odum Level
And one other thought, we gave West three years and look where that got us. He had to be fired midway through his third year because his guys were giving the same kind of effort our basketball team is giving now!
 

IndyTreeFan

The Nicks Level
Supporter
I'm willing to give him three years before I start thinking about yelling for a firing. Most of the time, when a coach takes over a program, if he hasn't turned it around in three years, he's not going to turn it around. Therefore, while I'm disgusted with what's going on right now, I'm not going to start calling for his head.

My biggest question right now is what are his assistants adding to the mix? I don't see any of them that can draw up a "kick ass" game plan, and I fault the assistants with not staying on top of Harry's academic situation last year. Say what you want about the team results, but 1) Harry would not be in this situation if Dick Bender was on staff, and 2) Bender was a master at drawing up a game plan. Almost all of our biggest wins were Dick's gameplans. That's completely missing right now. Hiring a good staff is very, very important, and I question whether the assistants we've got right now are up to the challenge. They all might be great guys, but things are falling through the cracks that are normally their jobs.

I like to think that next year looks good. I'm sick of "next year," but that's all we've got right now. Assuming that we don't have any ridiculous issues again over the summer, we could have a nice nucleus coming back. If we develop a leader, we could be good. It took Dana Altman about three years to really get things going at Creighton, so let's hope the same timeline works for us!

In the meantime -

Dear Santa,

I've been a pretty good boy all year. That whole thing with the pictures of 20 year olds wasn't my fault!!! But all I'm asking for this year for Christmas is for ISU men's basketball to go on a big win streak. Big for us. You know, like three games or something. Please give us players that care and will fight for a win, and a coach that can figure out how to push their buttons. I know that you can do this for us, and I won't even ask you to change your famous Santa Suit color from red to blue. We've been through a lot in Treeland, Santa, so your help would make a lot of people very happy!

Sincerely,

A very sad IndyTreeFan
 

ISUCC

The Odum Level
Moderator
I think I've figured it out, ISU is suffering from the "SDSU effect", this is the 2nd team to suffer from this terrible disease.

the 1st was ISU baseball, Meggs hired a pitching coach from SDSU that wasn't worth a crap, the team's ERA was over 7, which was one of the WORST in ALL of college baseball last season. Meggs subsequently fired the pitching coach as soon as the season ended, good riddance!

and now the basketball team has an asst. "big man" coach from SDSU too, and look what has happened to the rebounding, ISU is getting absolutely POUNDED on the rebound end of the floor. And it's not even close, I am pretty sure opposing teams are averaging over 10 rebounds a game more than ISU.

message to ISU coaches....NEVER, EVER hire asst. coaches from the Mid-Con, they're out of their league when they come to the MVC.

and one other thing, in no way, shape, or form, is it time to be talking about coaching changes, like everyone said, it's his SECOND season, it's gonna take 3-4 to get this mess turned around. I know we live in an "instant gratification society" and we want success now, but this is ISU, not a BCS school. I have a feeling we're going to have to be a bit more patient than normal.

I'm willing to give him three years before I start thinking about yelling for a firing. Most of the time, when a coach takes over a program, if he hasn't turned it around in three years, he's not going to turn it around. Therefore, while I'm disgusted with what's going on right now, I'm not going to start calling for his head.

My biggest question right now is what are his assistants adding to the mix? I don't see any of them that can draw up a "kick ass" game plan, and I fault the assistants with not staying on top of Harry's academic situation last year. Say what you want about the team results, but 1) Harry would not be in this situation if Dick Bender was on staff, and 2) Bender was a master at drawing up a game plan. Almost all of our biggest wins were Dick's gameplans. That's completely missing right now. Hiring a good staff is very, very important, and I question whether the assistants we've got right now are up to the challenge. They all might be great guys, but things are falling through the cracks that are normally their jobs.

I like to think that next year looks good. I'm sick of "next year," but that's all we've got right now. Assuming that we don't have any ridiculous issues again over the summer, we could have a nice nucleus coming back. If we develop a leader, we could be good. It took Dana Altman about three years to really get things going at Creighton, so let's hope the same timeline works for us!

In the meantime -

Dear Santa,

I've been a pretty good boy all year. That whole thing with the pictures of 20 year olds wasn't my fault!!! But all I'm asking for this year for Christmas is for ISU men's basketball to go on a big win streak. Big for us. You know, like three games or something. Please give us players that care and will fight for a win, and a coach that can figure out how to push their buttons. I know that you can do this for us, and I won't even ask you to change your famous Santa Suit color from red to blue. We've been through a lot in Treeland, Santa, so your help would make a lot of people very happy!

Sincerely,

A very sad IndyTreeFan
 
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bent20

The Odum Level
I know it's only his second year and I'm not suggesting he's going anywhere now, but...
Just reminding everyone, I'm not saying he should be fired now. My question is how long of a leash should he get?
 

treefromafar

The Sycamore Level
Sorry, but 0-6 and possibly 0-9 to start the year should never be acceptable. And McKenna has already brought in a lot of his own players. Most of Waltman's guys are gone. Look at the roster. Almost all of them are his recruits. I'm tired of giving ISU coaches a free pass. Once we start talking like that we might as well be discussing the football program, or volleyball or any of the other sports we're terrible at. At some point the losing mind set has to be rejected. There is no reason for this program to get this much worse before it gets better.
Slow down now, and come in off that ledge. When you have 7 or 8 newcomers on your roster, and play the early season schedule we have played, it is going to be rough. I will admit, I had hoped for a 6 - 5 record heading into conference. Now, let's hope for 4 - 7. I see progress (except Louisville). A statement was made by another poster. Year 3 should be strong evidence if the coach is turning things around. Also, all coaches should get at least 5 years to prove their worth.
 

sycamore fan

The Varsity Level
Can you imagine how sad it would be if Lou West got five years to prove his worth?
I try to avoid posting on these sites and just read them in my spare time. I just couldn't believe this thread...I couldn't keep my mouth shut.

Wow... How did we get here so fast? This program didn't become awful over night, and it's going to take longer to fix it than it did to destroy it.

I actually saw a couple games in KY of the weekend. We have kids playing against men. Throw out the Louisville game..there was no way. The Lamar game was a big step forward...the Ohio game was a half (second half btw) step back. That happens with kids as your focus.

We're not going to be overly successful this season. (Harry will help though) However, these kids will develop into good college players...just not tomorrow.

If we can keep Jake interested in walking on and land another solid recruit to go with Mahurin, we're moving forward, big time. Remember, their up-side will likely be a few years down the road as well. We're taking small steps forward now. The experience these kids is getting is very valuable.

Losing is no fun for fans, but it does differentiate true fans from those who just jump on the band wagon when things are good. We ought to add a rule to this message board...if you don't come to the games, you can't complain! That would at least double our dismal attendance at home games!

My biggest concern with the team centers around their desire to play hard. That comes from the kids themselves. Stick your nose in there and draw some charges, may be dive on the floor for a loose ball once in a while, knock someone down...just get tougher in general.

I did see our senior stepping up and becoming more of a leader in KY. I thought AC was more agressive too. We can't win games if our new point guard goes scoreless but he looked a little dinged up. Who will step up?

I'm looking forward to see how this group develops this season and beyond.

It would be much easier without topics like this.
 

bent20

The Odum Level
To address some of your points:

I'd love to come to games, but live four and a half hours away. I thought I might make it to a game over the holiday weekend, but they're not in TH. My best bet is road games when they're in Cedar Falls. As for band wagon fans, I don't think ISU has had to worry about those for quite a while. If you're here and you're talking about the team you're a true fan and probably an alum like me. To suggest the board should be limited to those who attend games seems silly. We don't have that many people posting here to begin with. I hope you start posting more.

I'm hopeful that McKenna has the team going the right direction and that more solid recruits will come. I know it's a bit of a transition year with a lot of new faces, but the team should still be better than 1-7. Hopefully things get better from here.

What I find interesting is how many of you translate asking how long McKenna should get to "McKenna should be fired now," which I never said. I think as fans we should set expectations for a coach and stick to them. We all complain about how long previous coaches were allowed to stay on and let the team drift into severe mediocrity. Well, at what point do we start to voice our frustrations? I agree McKenna deserves time, but if things keep heading in this direction I think the question has to be asked.
 

IndyTreeFan

The Nicks Level
Supporter
This is a fair debate. No one is questioning anyone's abilities or committment right now. Just, "how long does a coach get?"

Fair debate...

:sycamores::sycamores::sycamores:
 

Lights Out

The Sycamore Level
I try to avoid posting on these sites and just read them in my spare time. I just couldn't believe this thread...I couldn't keep my mouth shut.


My biggest concern with the team centers around their desire to play hard. That comes from the kids themselves. Stick your nose in there and draw some charges, may be dive on the floor for a loose ball once in a while, knock someone down...just get tougher in general.
I am just happy the "sycamore fan" was able to attend the games in the Ville over the weekend to give us his synopsis. I agree everyone should just relax with all the McKenna being fired talk. This is a very young team and it will take time to mature. We need to do 3 things to improve this team:

1. Get Harry back on the court...this will improve the team tremendously
2. See if Coach Mahurin will follow RJ to ISU and add some of his knowledge to the coaching staff.
3. Once Coach Mahurin is on board have him conduct practices that include having the players scrimmaging the coaching staff. :bigsmile:
 

FreeThrow

The Blue Level
I have stated this before, but I sure think the "losing" mentality that seems to seep department-wide when it comes to Sycamore athletics is a much deeper problem than the coaching itself. I still question how much better the basketball program is now as compared to when coach Waltman was here, but I do think that it is premature to lynch McKenna and his career here. I do agree with the analysis that our guys don't seem to understand how to play hard and seem to not be "meshing" with this coaching staff. Hopefully they will mature and grow through this tough time. We have good kids coming in and I would second a motion to bring Mahurin's father along on the staff, his teams have always been known as hard-nosed and fundamentally sound clubs.
 

IndyTreeFan

The Nicks Level
Supporter
For the record, I think McKenna has the program moving in the right direction, overall. Obviously, there are some "player motivation" challenges right now, but I think we'll get over them. Good times are still ahead!:cheers:

:sycamores::sycamores::sycamores:
 

sycamore fan

The Varsity Level
To address some of your points:

I'd love to come to games, but live four and a half hours away. I thought I might make it to a game over the holiday weekend, but they're not in TH. My best bet is road games when they're in Cedar Falls. As for band wagon fans, I don't think ISU has had to worry about those for quite a while. If you're here and you're talking about the team you're a true fan and probably an alum like me. To suggest the board should be limited to those who attend games seems silly. We don't have that many people posting here to begin with. I hope you start posting more.

I'm hopeful that McKenna has the team going the right direction and that more solid recruits will come. I know it's a bit of a transition year with a lot of new faces, but the team should still be better than 1-7. Hopefully things get better from here.

What I find interesting is how many of you translate asking how long McKenna should get to "McKenna should be fired now," which I never said. I think as fans we should set expectations for a coach and stick to them. We all complain about how long previous coaches were allowed to stay on and let the team drift into severe mediocrity. Well, at what point do we start to voice our frustrations? I agree McKenna deserves time, but if things keep heading in this direction I think the question has to be asked.
Sorry, I guess I snapped a little. I really didn't mean to come off as nasty. I think the headline startled me a little. It's just that the connotation of the headline seems quite simple to me. At 1-7 I doubt you were implying that we ought to roll over contracts now for another 5 years. I like this staff. I think we are doing a lot of the things that other posters are calling for...at least they're trying.

If you haven't noticed, recruiting to Terre Haute is not that easy of a job. Put yourself in the place of an 18 year old kid, where would you go?

I also understand that it's just not realistic for all posters to come to games. That wasn't a fair comment. It's just a shame that so few people do. It seems like we have lots of devoted Sycamore fans out there; we just never see them in seats. May be the teams ought to have to earn the right to have fans. I'd just love to see those supporters we have focus their energy in positive ways.

All of us have watched our share of painful seasons. Those of us following for decades remember a few good times as well. The thing I like about this staff is that they do seem to have a vision. They know what they want and what they don't want, and they do something about it. Right now, I feel like we are preparing for the future.

Anyway...I'll slide back out of the discussions here. I just hope a positive message might carry some weight in the negative world. Let the coaches coach without questions about their futures...at least for long enough to get their kids in the system.
 

IndyTreeFan

The Nicks Level
Supporter
Anyway...I'll slide back out of the discussions here. I just hope a positive message might carry some weight in the negative world. Let the coaches coach without questions about their futures...at least for long enough to get their kids in the system.
I hope you don't leave. Different voices add to the fun of a message board. Arguments are a great thing - it means people care! Don't go silently into the night! Your voice is wanted here!!!!

:sycamores::sycamores::sycamores:
 

bent20

The Odum Level
I hope you don't leave. Different voices add to the fun of a message board. Arguments are a great thing - it means people care! Don't go silently into the night! Your voice is wanted here!!!!

:sycamores::sycamores::sycamores:
I absolutely agree. Thanks for your take on things Sycamore Fan. We need more people adding their thoughts here. I think it makes the board stronger.
 
S

sickamorfan

Guest
i think you are rigth mckenna is fine, wiedie might need to worry if he doesnt start winning a lot of games here in the next month or so reason is wiedie is not prettymans coach, but mckenna is so he will be fine
 
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