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dggoddard
12-15-2010, 12:16 AM
If not a deliberate effort to mislead us, certainly a deliberate effort to keep us from asking too many questions.

Speaking of this, Hoops lost to Wyoming 60-48 tonight. They are 2-9 on the season.

What is telling about the losses this season is that the games haven't been close. DU is getting blown out.

DU hoops is ranked #286 in RPI out of 348 NCAA D-I programs. Clearly this season is a disaster. Joining the WAC has been a disaster.

Old Pio
12-15-2010, 12:42 AM
Speaking of this, Hoops lost to Wyoming 60-48 tonight. They are 2-9 on the season.

What is telling about the losses this season is that the games haven't been close. DU is getting blown out.

DU hoops is ranked #286 in RPI out of 348 NCAA D-I programs. Clearly this season is a disaster. Joining the WAC has been a disaster.

Jeez. My memory may be going, but I'm pretty sure we were hearing things like "this is DU's year to contend" etc, earlier, weren't we? If this is contending, I'd hate to see what stinking up the joint looks like.

du78
12-15-2010, 09:45 AM
This morning's NY Daily News in their transactions shows Rhett was returned to Bridgeport.

Puck Swami
12-15-2010, 09:49 AM
I think everyone's surprised at 2-9. Why are they losing? The big challenge for DU is their best 6-8 senior, Rob Lewis, hasn't played and is likely out for the season-- he was their key rebounder. The guy who was supposed to back up Lewis, 6-9 Trevor Noonan, has also been vastly hampered with injury and sickness as well, so the Pioneers have no rebounding at all, which is a big reason they are losing. An other factor is the non-conference schedule is much tougher than last year, with a lot of NCAA caliber teams on the docket. Finally, a couple of guys that were supposed to be better players have not had good seasons so far, either. Certainly disappointing to date, but the schedule should soften once they get to league play, and I expect the Pioneers to be more competitive there.

As for the WAC being a disaster, I wouldn't term it that way yet, as DU has yet to play a game there. The Sun Belt has been a disaster for 12 years for DU in terms of building interest in Denver, and the WAC can't be any worse than that, even in its currently weakened condition. The Pioneers are stuck in a tough location, and finding any conference that really works for us is a tall order.

Puck Swami
12-15-2010, 09:52 AM
This morning's NY Daily News in their transactions shows Rhett was returned to Bridgeport.

Giving the guy one game to prove himself at the NHL level is not good player management. They should have given him 3 games if they were going call him up for a non-injury replacement situation.

dggoddard
12-15-2010, 11:23 AM
I think everyone's surprised at 2-9. Why are they losing? The big challenge for DU is their best 6-8 senior, Rob Lewis, hasn't played and is likely out for the season-- he was their key rebounder. The guy who was supposed to back up Lewis, 6-9 Trevor Noonan, has also been vastly hampered with injury and sickness as well, so the Pioneers have no rebounding at all, which is a big reason they are losing. An other factor is the non-conference schedule is much tougher than last year, with a lot of NCAA caliber teams on the docket. Finally, a couple of guys that were supposed to be better players have not had good seasons so far, either. Certainly disappointing to date, but the schedule should soften once they get to league play, and I expect the Pioneers to be more competitive there.

As for the WAC being a disaster, I wouldn't term it that way yet, as DU has yet to play a game there. The Sun Belt has been a disaster for 12 years for DU in terms of building interest in Denver, and the WAC can't be any worse than that, even in its currently weakened condition. The Pioneers are stuck in a tough location, and finding any conference that really works for us is a tall order.The WAC is a disaster because of the teams that have left, are going to leave or want to leave.

Will there even be a WAC in a year or two? Right now you have to wonder.

Chris
12-15-2010, 11:28 AM
Actually, those are pretty good numbers, considering the students are on "winter break" on 12/31 and 1/1. Failing to break 100, on the other hand, sent shivers down my spine. It's one thing to play off campus while your new arena is being constructed, it's another matter to play in several arenas in one season, while your new playpen is being built. Glad those days are in the rearview.

I seem to remember the game at McNichols (with MAYBE 100) being a Gopher game with a decent snowfall going on. DU didn't even attempt to sell upper-bowl tickets and there were no more than 10 people in any section in the lower bowl -- I believe my section had my mom and me and that was it. DU lost a lot of money in the years between the old and new arenas. I'm pretty sure DU had to rent the arenas they used and didn't even get a cut of the parking or concessions, with any money coming in just from the ticket sales which were horrible.

Considering the Denver Cup crowds this year, the New Years games MAY be a bit different in terms of numbers since some people are still a bit wary of a potential double dip recession and all, which may help explain some down-sized crowds recently in the Cup and against Bemidji. I like to hope and think that every game will be full, but that's just me :) .

Does anyone remember the "Bernie Mullen era" of the early '90s? When he was hired, part of his responsibilities was to ensure a sellout every game and that was just impossible back then. So, he would give away any tickets which were not bought to schools and various groups who would not use them and the official stance was to announce the crowds as sellouts even when the old barn was half full. DU has a more honest approach now as to how many people are actually there -- as opposed to including unused, donated tickets as part of the actual "attendance", which gives me a bit more faith in their announced crowds of recent seasons.

SteveP
12-15-2010, 11:35 AM
Hey all. Just a heads up that a Penn State alum is blogging about potential coaching candidates for the Nittany Lions. This week it's Gwoz's turn (http://thankyouterry.blogspot.com/2010/12/head-coach-candidate-george-gwozdecky.html) in the spotlight.

dggoddard
12-15-2010, 11:36 AM
Here's two articles on the Avs attendance woes from last year, but you could substitute DU for Avs in the article and it would probably still ring true.

http://thehockeywriters.com/colorado-avalanche-attendance-is-anybody-out-there/

http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_13739156

vizoroo
12-15-2010, 12:00 PM
WCHA Players of the Week
12/14/10 Jason Zucker Rookie
12/07/10 Jason Zucker Rookie
11/30/10 Drew Shore Offense
11/23/10 Sam Brittain Defense
11/23/10 David Makowski Rookie
11/16/10 David Makowski Rookie
11/02/10 Sam Brittain Defense
10/26/10 John Lee Defense
10/26/10 Sam Brittain Rookie


National Player of the Month
November Drew Shore
November Honorable Mention to Sam Brittain for Rookie of the Month

Puck Swami
12-15-2010, 06:01 PM
Okay, so I've been thinking about George Gwozdecky's contract situation. He's got a few years left on his current deal, and he's been agitating about signing an extension of the deal that would seem him here for the forseeable future.

On one hand, he has a good case to make for long-term deal extension. His team was WCHA Champion and had a record number of players on the all-Academic team. He locked up the number one recruiting class in the country, and he has DU among the top 10 this year after losing a lot players to graduation and the pros. Clearly, he can coach and program-build with a culture of winning. His guys who stay graduate and his players stay out of trouble - DU has had no known police incidents in the 15 years he has been here. He is the best coach of a D-I revenue sport in the state, IMHO.

On the other hand, I can also understand DU's reluctance to hand over the keys to the kingdom. This isn't 2005 anymore. The last five years, Gwozdecky's teams have all underachieved in postseason. Two DU teams favored to make the NCAAs never got there at all, and of the three teams who did make it to the dance, all of them got rudely bounced in the first round against teams who were seeded lower than DU. Gwoz wants to be paid for excellence, but his recent teams have simply not performed with excellence when it counted most at the NCAA level. Additionally, DU is no longer selling out Magness Arena. Fans are starting to vote with their feet, no longer jamming the place to get behind teams who under-achieve in the NCAAs.

On the other hand, by winning it all in 04-and 05, Gwoz raised the level of expectations as well as the quality of the program. Now, getting to the NCAAs is no longer seen here as a quality outcome. First round upsets are now met with a sense of 'choke' rather than "better luck next year".

Ok, so where do we go from here? Gwoz is already paid in the top 5 in the sport and has a current contract that a lot of schools likely won't be able to match. I would imagine there are probably also clauses in his current contract that were negotiated in the Dan Ritchie era years ago that no longer can be supported in the current financial climate and I would guess that DU would want to Gwoz sign to a new contract with more favorable structure to DU rather than just extend the old one, which was likely favorable to Gwoz.

Right now, I think Gwoz needs to win an NCAA tourney game for the first time since 2005, or his teams need to start selling out the place if he wants top tier contract this time around. Gwoz was rewarded with a nice raise and extension when he won the NCAA tournament 5 years ago. Now it's time to prove that DU can sustain elite-program status by winning some NCAA tournament games. The 2005 victory lap is over.

Chris
12-15-2010, 08:20 PM
Okay, so I've been thinking about George Gwozdecky's contract situation. He's got a few years left on his current deal, and he's been agitating about signing an extension of the deal that would seem him here for the forseeable future.

On one hand, he has a good case to make for long-term deal extension. His team was WCHA Champion and had a record number of players on the all-Academic team. He locked up the number one recruiting class in the country, and he has DU among the top 10 this year after losing a lot players to graduation and the pros. Clearly, he can coach and program-build with a culture of winning. His guys who stay graduate and his players stay out of trouble - DU has had no known police incidents in the 15 years he has been here. He is the best coach of a D-I revenue sport in the state, IMHO.

On the other hand, I can also understand DU's reluctance to hand over the keys to the kingdom. This isn't 2005 anymore. The last five years, Gwozdecky's teams have all underachieved in postseason. Two DU teams favored to make the NCAAs never got there at all, and of the three teams who did make it to the dance, all of them got rudely bounced in the first round against teams who were seeded lower than DU. Gwoz wants to be paid for excellence, but his recent teams have simply not performed with excellence when it counted most at the NCAA level. Additionally, DU is no longer selling out Magness Arena. Fans are starting to vote with their feet, no longer jamming the place to get behind teams who under-achieve in the NCAAs.

On the other hand, by winning it all in 04-and 05, Gwoz raised the level of expectations as well as the quality of the program. Now, getting to the NCAAs is no longer seen here as a quality outcome. First round upsets are now met with a sense of 'choke' rather than "better luck next year".

Ok, so where do we go from here? Gwoz is already paid in the top 5 in the sport and has a current contract that a lot of schools likely won't be able to match. I would imagine there are probably also clauses in his current contract that were negotiated in the Dan Ritchie era years ago that no longer can be supported in the current financial climate and I would guess that DU would want to Gwoz sign to a new contract with more favorable structure to DU rather than just extend the old one, which was likely favorable to Gwoz.

Right now, I think Gwoz needs to win an NCAA tourney game for the first time since 2005, or his teams need to start selling out the place if he wants top tier contract this time around. Gwoz was rewarded with a nice raise and extension when he won the NCAA tournament 5 years ago. Now it's time to prove that DU can sustain elite-program status by winning some NCAA tournament games. The 2005 victory lap is over.

Definitely a well thought out post.

I think that Gwoz did raise the bar to such a high level after '05 that a lot of noob "fans" or "fans" who decided to return based on the back2backs actually thought DU would be a Frozen 4 participant yearly, which was not going to happen nor will it happen. What he does provide is an excellent product (program) that graduates it's boys (the ones who don't bolt for contracts) as better, more educated men (actually what an NCAA program is supposed to do) -- while still winning consistently.

DU doesn't actually have to even think about extending Gwoz at this point, because he does have time left on his contract and this is still a business and DU has to do what they think is best all-around for them; it's not their responsibility to worry that Gwoz is not happy about it and definitely not what the fans think -- it's about what they (the people who pay him) feel is best for them and the program. DU will have no shortage of qualified candidates if a vacancy occurs, they definitely did not when Frank was hired nor when Gwoz was hired. When you consider the $100,000 a year (I think that was the number) it costs for the Magness conversions, DU will probably seriously consider a quality replacement who would be around $100,000 or more less per year than what Gwoz wants. From a business stand point, why would you not consider a really good coach who combined with the conversions cost could come in under what Gwoz wants all by himself? Think about a certain protege who is doing a real good job out east right now who DU could probably double his current salary and still save quite a bit of money over Gwoz.

Also, in regards to fans, this is a different economic climate than a few years ago and families really have to consider if a Friday or Saturday trip to Magness is worth it when you consider the money is equivalent to about a week's worth of groceries. I'm not so sure we can blame Bemidji coming in or losing to RIT for some smaller crowds, since discretionary spending for families is overall lower today than in the past. If I had to pay to go, I would have to think twice about going to every game myself, to be honest. Which also brings me back to Gwoz and the contract situation -- a lot of people are not getting deserved raises/bonuses (unless you are with my Red Sox, then it doesn't matter because you hand out $20mil/year because your owner is a billionaire and beating the Yankees trumps economics), due to the uncertainty and Gwoz may have to accept that fact.

That's my take on some of this stuff. Again, a well thought out post Mr Swami.

Dmann
12-15-2010, 09:54 PM
Definitely a well thought out post.

That's my take on some of this stuff. Again, a well thought out post Mr Swami.

Agreed, but wait a minute,
"Fans are starting to vote with their feet", Swami, what does this mean?

vizoroo
12-15-2010, 10:43 PM
Fans are starting to vote with their feet, no longer jamming the place to get behind teams who under-achieve in the NCAAs.


Agreed, but wait a minute, , Swami, what does this mean?

Not as articulate as Swami, but they don't come to the arena and pay the price just because it is DU. They expect performance at the NCAAs.

Puck Swami
12-15-2010, 10:45 PM
Agreed, but wait a minute, , Swami, what does this mean?

Voting with their feet? An Old expression meaning 'Walking away' -- There are just not as many fans at Magness this year. Attendance is down, and really down for the non-glamor opponents. The economy is partly to blame, but I've heard number of them are not coming back due to poor postseason performances, too. (those are the bandwagon fan types, but the money they spend is important. Die hards like us go anyway, no matter how the team does.

thedunker
12-15-2010, 10:53 PM
How about college hoops all things Denver. Any talk about letting Scott go. Not sure many care. I am far away and can't access the situation. I did tell Peg after her "Scott Hire" that I thought she made a grave mistake. She explained that they did a thorough check on Scott. I love Peg, but we are in college hoops trouble.
He ruined Princeton. He overnight made an Ivy contender into the worst Princeton team in history. Kids don't like being around him.

Any insight? Thanks..

vizoroo
12-15-2010, 10:53 PM
Don't know whether you know Stastny and Duchene are the newest entries for Dancing with the Stars.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_LZYVNcAHI&feature=related

Puck Swami
12-15-2010, 11:07 PM
How about college hoops all things Denver. Any talk about letting Scott go. Not sure many care. I am far away and can't access the situation. I did tell Peg after her "Scott Hire" that I thought she made a grave mistake. She explained that they did a thorough check on Scott. I love Peg, but we are in college hoops trouble.
He ruined Princeton. He overnight made an Ivy contender into the worst Princeton team in history. Kids don't like being around him.

Any insight? Thanks..

It's too early to call Scott a failure at Denver. He has built progressivly better teams in his first few years at DU, and this year was supposed to be his best one yet, but this year has been a struggle for a number of reasons. First, his best 6-8 senior forward (Rob Lewis) hurt his leg and hasn't played all year, and Lewis' substitute,a 6-9 junior (Trevor Noonan), has also struggled with illness, which means the teams rebounding capability has been quite crippled. Then you add the fact that the schedule is much tougher this year, and the fact that two other players (Andrew Hooper and Brian Stafford) who were good shooters last year have been very inconsistent this year, and you have the recipe for a bad start. I think DU will win some games this year in the Sun Belt, but this season has been much more disappointing than anyone thought.

Scott does have a reputation as a yeller, but I think the guys know he's trying to make them better. I've seen no signs that the players don't respect him. He's gone out of the way not to blame them so far, and I am hopeful that things will improve.

DU can't go out and get a million dollar coach. They need to win with a $400,000 coach, and Scott has taken Air Force to the NCAAs. so Scott didn't get stupid. With an average incoming SAT of 1200 and GPA of 3.7, there are a lot of good hoops players who won't be admitted to DU. The Pios need to win with gym rats rather than thoroughbreds, and Scott's system is tailor made for gym rats. They just have to hit their shots....

ronmexico
12-15-2010, 11:20 PM
I love reading about squeak ball! Thanks DU fans!!! When can we read about lacrosse again too?

Old Pio
12-16-2010, 12:59 AM
I think some of this hesitation to back Gwoz enthusiastically here is a residual from last year. We had such high hopes and expectations and an early out at the hands of RIT just wasn't in our thinking. Later we learned of a very high total of off season surgeries, which might have explained the upset in part.

We're all thinking of Murray Armstrong and what he meant to DU, but we should remember as great as his teams were, they won "just" 5 NC's, although admittedly they gave the impression of being able to win it all just about every year. And times and the competitive environment have certainly changed. What we've learned after the back-to-back titles is that it isn't as easy as we made it look those years.

Swami correctly outlines all of the pluses of the Gwozdecky era, and they far outweigh the minuses. One thing we haven't mentioned so far is the uncertain future for DU, the WCHA and all of college hockey. The BTHC and possible conference realignments cannot be ignored. And I don't want to see us in a "mid major" conference. Just as I beleive we need to keep up with the competition in terms of upgrades to Magness, I'm thinking now would be a bad time to "go cheap" with a coach who has brought us so much success. Look at this season, we were all resigned to a mid-conference finish with maybe a shot at the tournament. Things are working out a whole lot better than that, and the credit belongs to Gwoz.

This guy is a proven winner, with the highest standards for his team, both in the classroom and out of it. Gwoz wasn't afraid to suspend his third leading scorer on the eve of DU's first NC game in decades. Later, when the team and that player were honored by President Bush, Gwoz made sure "W" mentioned Dora--"all is forgiven." A very classy move.

It's certainly possible some other coach could have the same success as Gwoz, possibly even more, but we don't know that. We DO know what Gwoz has accomplished, and frankly I don't feel comfortable risking that success on the basis of what some unknown dude "could" do if given the chance. Gwoz has done it. And continues to do it. No one wants us to go further in the tournament than Gwoz, unless it's maybe me. But I think we have to take the longer view here. We'll have post season success again, I guarantee it. In the meantime, if I ruled the world, I would do everything reasonably possible to keep George Gwozdecky right where he is. Especially when there's a Penn State out there who'd like nothing better than to announce Joe Pa II as their new hockey coach. And if not them, somebody else. Especially when he's showing his ability to bring in talent so the Pioneers are "reloading" not "rebuilding." Now is not the time for DU to send out any message other than "business as usual."