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Thread: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

  1. #1
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    Default IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    It is disappointing how difficult it is to find info or discussions about WBB, especially this year, given the national success and prominence of the IUP Women. What little talk there is--such as IUP Crimson Hawks pointing out that "Tom McConnell has quietly become arguably the most successful coach in IUP WBB history in his first five years on the job" tends to get lost in the predominantly men's oriented discussions. It seems like WBB deserves its own thread, so I made one.

    There is some great ball being played by the IUP women and their PSAC rivals--why don't people seem to care all that much? The old argument that men are stronger, faster, and more athletic than women is what I've heard when I mention to to friends, but that seems sort of squishy and closed-minded, at least for real basketball fans who understand the game. I only made it to a few games this year, but in each one I attended--especially those at IUP--the women played a crazy exciting game in front of a relatively small crowd until late in the third quarter when people started trickling in for the later men's game, only to see the men sort of mail in an adequate performance in front of much larger crowds. It just doesn't make that much sense--if I could pay half of the nine hundred dollars it costs to go to a game at the KCAC, and only watch one game, I'd likely choose the women's game over the men's.

    I'm curious what you all have to say about this.

    OLM

  2. #2

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    For years and years, I was one of 'those people' who rolled in toward the end of the women's game. This, for whatever reason, was the first year I started to attend both.

    I was pretty amazed by the women's game. Granted, IUP blew out most teams they played this year, but the big games were great to see in person.

    One thing I will say -- and I can't speak for other schools -- is IUP has a very divided fan base. The women kind of have their own following. I never really saw that until this year. You'd be amazed how many people leave after the women's game. At the same time, so many don't arrive until after the women's game. Joe has a very, very loyal core following. You see it the more you attend -- in particular during the 'funeral season' between semesters.

    What I learned this year is that Tom's team was much better than Joe's. Fundamentally, it wasn't even close. Tom's team was vastly deeper, more disciplined and, being honest, more fun to watch. That hasn't always been the case but it was this year.

    I don't want to offend some of the 'Flock of Joe' but some things in that program had (have) grown pretty stale -- never having anybody on the bench, continued sloppy play, the continuous altercations this season, etc. I'll leave it at this: That team should have never missed 2 of the past 3 NCAA Tournaments. Never. Should. Have. Happened. They should have went to all three. Different subject.

    Back to Tom: He has done an incredible job building a true 'program'. They are taking some losses this year but he has three coming off redshirt next year ready to step right in to the mix. He has an incoming freshmen class that is purely loaded. If you guys haven't heard of the Lovelace girl from tiny Leechburg yet ... you will very soon. She may be 'Day 1' ready to be a star.

    Tom's downside in his first several years was not winning when the lights got the brightest. That all changed in Year 5. They are going to be awfully good again come next November. They are (amazingly) the best kept secret on campus.

    I've always wondered why the women always have to play first. It almost gives their games a 'JV Game' stigma. It will never happen, but it would be neat to see it flipped a couple times a year.

  3. #3

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    I know that a Gannon, the women's coaches like to play first. Penn State-Behrend (our Erie D3 team) played the women's games second this year -- not sure what the attendance results were.

    I also really like the Division II women's game for what it is -- it's a great version of basketball -- not better or worse than the men's game, just different. I've been going to GU women's games regularly since the late 1980s when the attendance of 50 was the norm. It's been great to see the game grow in popularity. Jodi Kest (GU 1996-03, now the Akron WBB coach) and Cleve Wright (2003-13) lifted the women's program at GU to another level. The 2009-10 team that went 37-1 was spectacular and the 2010 Atlantic Regional Final is still the most recent sellout at the Hammermill.

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    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    I stared going back to Cal to see the Men’s team when they were ranked #1 in the U.S. (1991-92 I think)
    I started to go particularly early to get a good seat, only to discover they had a Women’s team too.
    It was quite entertaining (to my surprise) to see how good some of the women players were. In time, I became a great fan of the women’s team, and still am. During the nineties we had fantastic men’s and women’s teams, and I really looked forward to watching CalU basketball. Since Armenti left, many of our sports teams have gone downhill, especially Men’s b-ball. (Along with volleyball, baseball, softball, Women’s tennis and golf ☹️) The basketball women have done quite nicely, and would have this past season had it not been plagued with injury after injury. Anyhow, I still drive 75 miles to California to watch Women’s Basketball, and only stay for the Men’s game if I can stomach it.

  5. Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    I certainly was someone who really did make a big effort to support the IUP WBB program as well as PSAC WBB over the past 15 years or so.

    I picked up my graduate degree from IUP in the Fall of 2002 and for whatever reason---I started attending a lot of IUP WBB games (as well as some other IUP sports) shortly thereafter. I also made it a big point to always post on the various message boards about the IUP WBB team as well as PSAC WBB at large as I thought that it was a great way to promote what was a terrific sport and one of the best kept secrets in the conference. I did all of this for many years. I felt like I was a pretty decent fan.

    So why do I have virtually zero interest in IUP/PSAC WBB these days?

    How about we talk about the KCAC ticket prices. I never felt so disrespected to be honest. The final straw for me occurred in the Fall of 2016 when I got charged $12 for a ticket and then find that they were not even checking tickets and that every single person that I talked to on the concourse had gotten in for free that day.

    Pizzed? Oh, yeah. I deserved better than that! So did anybody else who got charged that day. The ticket prices at the KCAC have been simply outrageous for some time now. It's D-II basketball for crying out loud.

    As I guess some of the locals have found out when they stop me to talk about IUP sports these days---I just don't care that much to be honest. The love is gone. This is what happens when people's devotion and loyalty are not reciprocated.

    I love football and still follow the IUP team from afar but I have not much inclination to follow IUP hoops anymore. Sure, I still goof around on this forum I suppose. But I don't really care much at all about this stuff.

    There once was a time that I did. I wonder how many other folks feel the exact same way?

    The KCAC made some very grave mistakes when it comes to building fan loyalty.

    I probably could not name more than three or four players on the IUP WBB team today. And even then, just a last name. I have no real idea who they are or where they come from. I just don't care.

    Goodness, from comments that I had received from coaches, parents, and fans over the years----I was once considered a hero of the sport.

    Now I just don't care one bit about it. The KCAC and presumably the IUP athletic programs did not care about any of us either. So it goes!

    They can keep it all as far as I am concerned. I'm thinking about maybe starting to attend some Pitt games next season.

    I just write this so that you might know how things changed and interest fell off so bad.

    -

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    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden89 View Post
    ... Penn State-Behrend (our Erie D3 team) played the women's games second this year -- not sure what the attendance results were........
    The Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) that Behrend plays in, has rotated the men’s and women’s start times annually. In a 4 year period parents get to see their son/daughter play early games 2 years and late games 2 years. Makes it more equitable.

  7. #7

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Reply to IUP Crimson Hawks....

    Attendance at an IUP game, with the mandatory "box office fee" tacked on at the end, is comparable to what UConn charges, and while I care a lot more about IUP than I do about UConn, the programs are not really comparable. I don't know if these prices were negotiated with the out-of-town facilities management corporation hired to run the KCAC, but if this is just greed on the part of the athletic department, it is foolhardy. I used to drag my wife and kids to just about all of the home games, but this year I saw two. By myself. So I spent about $30.00. Well, knock those tickets back to a reasonable price. Let's say $8 (Westchester charges $6). Well, I'd probably triple my attendance at the bare minimum, and I'd take my wife--who isn't a hoops fan, but is a good sport if I invite her--so all of the sudden I'm spending upwards of $100. Inflated prices just drive folks away.

    Making the games more accessible to local and regional residents and families not only might make up for lower prices in scale, but could also help attract more potential students in this age of declining enrollment. I mean, who wouldn't watch these girls play and think that IUP is a cool place to be?
    Last edited by oakleafmold; 04-22-2018 at 10:23 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Reply to IUPbigINDIANS

    The men's games I saw--both of them--were marked by lackadaisical play, low discipline, stupid fouls, and a team that didn't get serious until it was clear they needed to assert themselves. Lots of coasting. The women play like demons.

    You're right about Lovelace--she's been ripping up the WPIAL for several years and is a real coup. I'd like to know what you know about the rest of the freshman class--if there's been news, I missed it, and even though I've got two kids on campus now--one of whom is a scholarship jock, but not in basketball--I no longer have any connections around the basketball team. I'm starved for WBB news.

    OLM

  9. #9

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Quote Originally Posted by oakleafmold View Post
    Reply to IUPbigINDIANS

    The men's games I saw--both of them--were marked by lackadaisical play, low discipline, stupid fouls, and a team that didn't get serious until it was clear they needed to assert themselves. Lots of coasting. The women play like demons.

    You're right about Lovelace--she's been ripping up the WPIAL for several years and is a real coup. I'd like to know what you know about the rest of the freshman class--if there's been news, I missed it, and even though I've got two kids on campus now--one of whom is a scholarship jock, but not in basketball--I no longer have any connections around the basketball team. I'm starved for WBB news.

    OLM


    Men's-wise, this past season will go down as probably my least favorite in a long, long time. The way it ended (again) at Seton Hill was just sick to watch. I say it ended there rather than in the PSAC Tournament because, well, it did. You brought up a lot of points there that I feel many just don't like to say out loud. The worst part of the Seton Hill mess was of all players to get suspended ... it was the calmest, best behaved kid on the team. But, I won't kid myself. They had something like that coming. They had two dust-ups with Slippery Rock, two with Edinboro, SH, and a couple others. Every year will have one or two. This was a bit extreme.

    Does that tie back to the 'low discipline' you mention? In my mind, absolutely. In particular, ... when it was the same two guys starting most of it every game. In some ways it was a snake bitten team. At every turn there was one mess after another. I'll still always believe if Malik didn't miss a month they wouldn't have lost to either UPJ or Gannon. But, that doesn't really matter now.

    This coming November you're going to see one of the most hyped-up teams in a long time at IUP. The expectations are going to be sky high with the fire power they have back plus the new additions. I like to think a program at IUP's perceived level doesn't 'build up' for a big run but they've 'built up' for this coming season. Rest assured, it's time for Cobo and Dante to deliver on the big stage. And, if they don't fix many of the items you listed, ... all that talent may not matter much.

  10. #10

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    Men's-wise, this past season will go down as probably my least favorite in a long, long time. The way it ended (again) at Seton Hill was just sick to watch. I say it ended there rather than in the PSAC Tournament because, well, it did. You brought up a lot of points there that I feel many just don't like to say out loud. The worst part of the Seton Hill mess was of all players to get suspended ... it was the calmest, best behaved kid on the team. But, I won't kid myself. They had something like that coming. They had two dust-ups with Slippery Rock, two with Edinboro, SH, and a couple others. Every year will have one or two. This was a bit extreme.

    Does that tie back to the 'low discipline' you mention? In my mind, absolutely. In particular, ... when it was the same two guys starting most of it every game. In some ways it was a snake bitten team. At every turn there was one mess after another. I'll still always believe if Malik didn't miss a month they wouldn't have lost to either UPJ or Gannon. But, that doesn't really matter now.

    This coming November you're going to see one of the most hyped-up teams in a long time at IUP. The expectations are going to be sky high with the fire power they have back plus the new additions. I like to think a program at IUP's perceived level doesn't 'build up' for a big run but they've 'built up' for this coming season. Rest assured, it's time for Cobo and Dante to deliver on the big stage. And, if they don't fix many of the items you listed, ... all that talent may not matter much.
    Agreed, but look at us, talking about the men again....let's hear about those IUP women freshmen recruits....

    OLM

  11. #11

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    That's unfortunately a tougher nut to crack. I know of the Lovelace young lady because she's somewhat local to Indiana.

    Tom's rotation will be interesting to watch unfold next year. I assume Lauren Wolosik will be back and play as a graduate (she graduated this year).

    They'll have Brittany Robinson and Maura D'Anna underneath in addition to Lexie Griggs and Kendall Hunter. The low post is pretty loaded.

    Carolyn Appleby likely starts the season on many preseason All-America teams. Ana Hollen returns as the backup PG so that position is pretty loaded.

    The three players who redshirted this year -- Madison Kerr, Courtney Alexander and Jennifer Oduho can all play. There just wasn't enough minutes last year. All three are big guards -- all at least 5'8" and Alexander is about 5'11".

    That's a very good roster. I'm not sure it will be 'Final Four' worthy again but we'll see. Megan Smith and Halle Denman are big losses and Audrey Stapleton gave them that other deep threat.

    Of the five incoming freshmen I think at least two could play immediately.

    One thing I love about the women's side of it is the players (freshmen) who redshirt actually stay. So many times on the men's side it's like a death move.

  12. #12

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    That's unfortunately a tougher nut to crack. I know of the Lovelace young lady because she's somewhat local to Indiana.

    Tom's rotation will be interesting to watch unfold next year. I assume Lauren Wolosik will be back and play as a graduate (she graduated this year).

    They'll have Brittany Robinson and Maura D'Anna underneath in addition to Lexie Griggs and Kendall Hunter. The low post is pretty loaded.

    Carolyn Appleby likely starts the season on many preseason All-America teams. Ana Hollen returns as the backup PG so that position is pretty loaded.

    The three players who redshirted this year -- Madison Kerr, Courtney Alexander and Jennifer Oduho can all play. There just wasn't enough minutes last year. All three are big guards -- all at least 5'8" and Alexander is about 5'11".

    That's a very good roster. I'm not sure it will be 'Final Four' worthy again but we'll see. Megan Smith and Halle Denman are big losses and Audrey Stapleton gave them that other deep threat.

    Of the five incoming freshmen I think at least two could play immediately.

    One thing I love about the women's side of it is the players (freshmen) who redshirt actually stay. So many times on the men's side it's like a death move.
    Are you counting Kerr, Alexander, and Oduho as freshman--or are there Lovelace and 4 other true freshmen on the way in addition to them?

  13. #13

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Kerr and Alexander will be red shirt sophomores. They both played as freshman but sat last year out. Not sure what class rank Odohu has.

    So, no, I wasn't counting them. They signed (5) incoming true freshmen.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    I believe Oduho would be a redshirt sophomore because she was active one year at YSU.

  15. #15

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    My guess is Lovelace will play right away. I'm actually very surprised they got her. Had she not signed early she'd have received smaller D1 offers. She scored close to 3,000 points in high school. That's pretty astounding.

  16. Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    My guess is Lovelace will play right away. I'm actually very surprised they got her. Had she not signed early she'd have received smaller D1 offers. She scored close to 3,000 points in high school. That's pretty astounding.
    Kelly Mazzante territory. I think I once read that she actually averaged 37 points ppg in high school.

    I was doing some interesting reading the other night on Pistol Pete Maravich. He averaged like 44 points a game in college at LSU. And that was before the advent of the three-point line and the shot clock. Someone did a study of his films and figured out that had he had the benefit of the trey line that he would have scored 57 a game. That's just plain crazy there.

    Also interesting that his father, Press Maravich, coached at Aliquippa and Baldwin high schools and West Virginia Wesleyan before coaching the Pistol at LSU.

    Pistol Pete of course sadly passed away in January of 1988 at the age of 40 while playing in a pick-up basketball game. He was before my time, but he had to be one of the truly great ball players of all-time.

    -

  17. #17

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Quote Originally Posted by IUP CRIMSON HAWKS View Post
    Kelly Mazzante territory. I think I once read that she actually averaged 37 points ppg in high school.

    I was doing some interesting reading the other night on Pistol Pete Maravich. He averaged like 44 points a game in college at LSU. And that was before the advent of the three-point line and the shot clock. Someone did a study of his films and figured out that had he had the benefit of the trey line that he would have scored 57 a game. That's just plain crazy there.

    Also interesting that his father, Press Maravich, coached at Aliquippa and Baldwin high schools and West Virginia Wesleyan before coaching the Pistol at LSU.

    Pistol Pete of course sadly passed away in January of 1988 at the age of 40 while playing in a pick-up basketball game. He was before my time, but he had to be one of the truly great ball players of all-time.

    -
    My favorite Pistol Pete story was that as a student he was banned from the free-throw shooting games on the boardwalk of whatever beach he used to go to--you know, the ones that look normal but are actually sort of ovoid--because he was so accurate he could take all of the biggest prizes and they were losing money.

    OLM

  18. Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPalum View Post
    I believe Oduho would be a redshirt sophomore because she was active one year at YSU.
    What happened to her? Is she still with the program? I know she played early in the season and then seemed to vanish.

    I think D'Anna will be a beast in the paint when she gets unleashed next season now that Megan Smith is gone. I never did figure out if D'Anna is her first or last name though?

    Starting five could look like:

    F-D'Anna
    F- Robinson
    G/F- Lovelace
    G- Wolosik
    PG- Applebee

    -

  19. #19

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    Kerr and Alexander will be red shirt sophomores. They both played as freshman but sat last year out. Not sure what class rank Odohu has.

    So, no, I wasn't counting them. They signed (5) incoming true freshmen.
    Sweet. Are they keeping the names secret or am I just not looking in the right places?

    OLM

  20. #20

    Default Re: IUP & Related PSAC WBB

    Quote Originally Posted by IUP CRIMSON HAWKS View Post
    What happened to her? Is she still with the program? I know she played early in the season and then seemed to vanish.

    I think D'Anna will be a beast in the paint when she gets unleashed next season now that Megan Smith is gone. I never did figure out if D'Anna is her first or last name though?

    Starting five could look like:

    F-D'Anna
    F- Robinson
    G/F- Lovelace
    G- Wolosik
    PG- Applebee

    -
    Last name. First name: Maura. My next favorite player after Denman this year. D'Anna walked past me on campus a few days ago--she is an impressive physical presence, broad-shouldered and powerful. I know sometimes the girls don't like to be described as "big" or whatever, but I mean it in the best way possible that she stands out in the crowd, and I'm a big dude. If I was running next at the playground and she showed up, I'd grab her for my five. She was smiling, but there's something about her that hints she wouldn't back down from anything.

    OLM

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