With time to consider how special this year's run to Salem was, you appreciate the fact that Midd Bball is now one of those in the forefront of the 'national' discussion, and though only time will tell if this is sustainable, it doesn't take a leap of faith to consider that with Amherst, we should be able to contend for the NESCAC crown. Obviously, with Locke, Jamal and Ryan W. and their chemistry leaving, we're going to need some answers. And this year's seniors leave a huge legacy, having won 96 games. In D3 perspective, without playoffs or NCAA's, you're only allowed to schedule 96 in four years. to expand the perspective, next year's group has an opportunity to put their 'W' total past the century mark. At the speed we were accumulating 'W's when I came on board, a couple of rounds of national forests could've grown and been harvested before my squads hit triple digits. This is better.
Sharry, the only Midd junior ever to earn All-American status, provides a couple of answers for next season. My take is that he can do more on 'O' whenever called on and think his number will come up more. The help is going to have to come from Peter Lynch inside on both ends so we're able to control the paint. He's the strongest guy in the program, so there's hope he'll start pounding the stuffing out of opponents from the tip.(We were 5th nationally in RB'g margin at plus 9.1). Also will need Jensen to continue his progress, plus find some assistance either from a new frosh or along the bench to be able to defend and board from the #3. As far as the perimeter 'D' goes, Nolan Thomson only gets better and he always brings his cuffs. Jake plays hard, and has quicker hands than one would think, and that complements Nolan's work nicely. Have to feel that Joey Kizel will only be better as a soph. Like the attitude and development that Luis Alvarez had throughout the year. Think that 'D' his stronger suit but he contributes in spots on the other end. he should be anothe rkey factor. Midd lead the country in FG pct. 'D', and was third in scoring defense. The Boys will be tested on the perimeter because Andrew isn't back there as chief initimidator, but we've got a terrific group in the ones just mentioned, plus others trying to fight their way into the rotation.
A wish list for next year includes some up front size and brawn, a dial -up jump shooter to fuel the inside out game and help take the pressure off Ryan S., and better foul shooting. At 12-23 in the final - and not much better from start to finish, it'd be a big help in closing teams out. Time will tell as to how the new boys fit in but am looking forward because sources say this is a really good group.
The nescac will have a different look with new coaches at Colby and Hamilton (a Bball member now) and a chance for Trinity to have a recruiting class for Cosgrove, who is waaaay too intense for me but gets a lot out of his kids, and they always give us headaches. Sources indicate The Boys are opening in a tourney at Ramapo State in Jersey, and next season we get the 'southern' road schedule (@ Wes, ConnColl, Trinity and Amherst) so if you didn't get north this year you'll be able to make a couple of mini-trips. With the outside grilling season about to begin in earnest, the blog will be in recess (unless something earth shattering happens) till we get an eyeball on the pre-season camps.
From out here on my deck, plotting a return to Salem, be well. Clubbo.