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I’m usually leery when a coach—or anybody else—blames a loss on lack of effort. Some 20 years ago my son’s rec-league fifth-grade soccer team offered to play the sixth grade elite team to help the older guys tune up for a tournament. It wasn’t much of a tune up—not even close. In the post mortem at Godfather’s one of our team’s dads observed that the sixth graders had simply “wanted it more.” The boys nodded quietly, agreeing. I kept my mouth shut.
I know the dad was trying to be kind by saying that the other guys wanted it more. “Not wanting it” can be corrected by more wanting. Not being as good as the other guys is a more cruel assessment in that it is harder to correct. Still, in this case the other guys were bigger, faster, and more skilled. Wanting it was beside the point—and using it as a reason for losing needlessly made the fifth graders feel lazy.
Maybe Iowa lost to Michigan because they played soft. It sure looked to me like UM had better players, though. If these guys played 20 times the Hawks might win—what—twice, maybe. Not many more.
I’m all for a coach holding his team accountable for their effort. Yes, and I get dads who don’t want their kids to believe they were outclassed and so use effort as an excuse. I’m less comfortable when a college coach whose guys have just been thoroughly outclassed blames their effort. Puts all the blame on the guys and none on the fellow who assembled the team.
Fran has done a lot for the program—I’m a fan of most of what he’s doing. I just wish he’d back off this public finger pointing. Call the guys out in practice. Change the line-up if you need to—but I’d rather not read questions about the commitment of individuals in the newspaper.
He did call out some of his players. What Fran needed to say is that Michigan is a much better team than Iowa and that this program has a ways to go and a lot to improve on in terms of recruiting if he wants the Iowa program to be at the level of Michigan's program. Michigan's players are at a much higher level of talent.
After about the first 10 minutes, it looked like an NBA team playing against an average college team. Michigan put on a clinic and a dunk-fest on Iowa.
The players Fran called out didn't play all that lazy. The Michigan players are just that much better and made the Iowa players look that way.
I definitely see where you're coming from here - great post. Just speculating, but I would assume that if you asked Fran, he would say that he, as the head coach, ultimately deserves the blame for the lack of effort that he called out. Every good coach knows that it's his job to do whatever it takes to get his players to play their best - and with maximum effort - in each game. With that in mind, I bet Fran didn't see it as pointing the finger at those guys alone, but at himself as well.
One other thing - the best coaches, regardless of the sport and regardless of the level, know which buttons to push with which players at any given time. It'll be interesting to see how those guys respond tonight. It's possible that he knows that's the best way to motivate those particular players, so this was a calculated move on Fran's part to get them to pick it up. We'll see whether or not it worked tonight.
if it was not a lack of effort by the players then what was it as Neb only loss by 15 62-47 and until there was 4 minutes left in the game they were still within 8 points.
unless you are saying Nebraska is a superior team than Iowa. if so it is going to be a long season.
Fran is pretty straight forward and does not make excuses as he calls it like it is,
Nebraska plays a very slow tempo game. Accordingly, they will keep the score lower and closer than Iowa, if the game is much of a mismatch. I don't think the scores are a valid comparison between Nebraska vs Michigan and Iowa vs Michigan. Iowa has to run to be a good team. Nebraska can't run, if they want to look at all competent. I look forward to Iowa showing their maturity against Nebraska. If they can't handle the down tempo play, it will kill them against Nebraska.
I disagree as with Michigan is a much better team they can force the tempo, Nebraska is not good enough to make Michigan play their tempo.
it sure didn't take long for posters to start finding faults in Fran,
As I said in another thread about the game, I don't have any problem with Fran publically criticizing his players, but it's a practice that has to be a calculated measure, and coaches have to pick their spots. Certainly, stating that a couple of players didn't hustle on defense is not exactly throwing them under a bus or dressing them down. It's a subtle but accurate assessment, and sometimes players need a little push. Some of the best coaches in all sports practice this tactic. Brands definitely doesn't have a problem telling it like it is.
Also, I suspect Fran's intention also is to promote some leadership qualities in two of his veteran players, something this team seems to lack on the court. If you can get your best players to work harder and take some accountability, the benefits filter down to the younger guys in a big way and that can pay dividends.
As for "not wanting it," there's no doubt that sometimes the opponent you face outclasses you in terms of ability, but I wouldn't discount the importance of desire and determination. Some of the best basketball players in history were not innately talented but became great through sheer desire and hard work. Cases in point: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Neither could jump or run particularly fast, but they outclassed everyone due to incredible basketball intelligence and the will to win.
Great post all around here.
White has this ability to force his will on the opponent. there was a reasin wjy he was named a FR AA, he let himself get pushe around.
I see people comparing the Iowa vs Michigan game to the Nebraska vs Michigan game.
Maybe Nebraska has a better basketball team than people are giving them credit for. Like Iowa, Nebraska is 0-3 in B1G play so we really can't assume Iowa is a better team than Nebraska until they play.
the thing is this reminds me of when Iowa beat MSU at home by 2 62-60 and then lost 81-49 at MSU in the 2006-07 season, playing on the road is not a easy thng to do for anyone.
I llinois is 3-2 the last 5 games and people thought they would be a force in the BT losing 1 BT game on the road to Purdue and 1 home game to Minnesota and beating OSU at home.
its to early to write the obituary for this team
Very true - long way to go.
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