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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Coaching changes and additions in WBB -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


STEPHANIE WHITE AT VANDY THE RIGHT MOVE

MELANIE BAUCOMB
As of a couple of years ago, the thought of Melanie Baucomb ever leaving Vanderbilt would have drawn a raised eyebrow from me...and many basketball analysis. Not that I consider myself to be a basketball analysis, but she had a good thing going in Nashville and was producing. 310-149 isn't anything to sneeze about. You're winning two out of every three games you coach. How many coaches would snub a 26-13 season if offered to them before the season began? 

Things change. 

After a 15-16 season in 2014-15 and 18-14 mark for the Dores in 2015-16...with no NCAA appearances...there were rumblings that it might be time for a change in Music City. 

STEPHANIE WHITE
Baucomb spared herself the embarrassment of a possible firing by stepping down on April 27th. After 14 years at the SEC school, she indicated that she wanted to spend some time with her family. She also left the door open for a return to another hiring down the road. After all, you can only spend so much time with family before you start second-guessing coaching decision on televised games you're viewing, right? 

The nationwide search for a replacement didn't take that long. Stephanie White was brought on-board to take the reigns and decided to bring ESPN analyst and former national champion coach Carolyn Peck with her as an assistant. 

CAROLYN PECK
White, an excellent player in her own right and having success with the WNBA Indiana Fever, is a splendid choice for Vanderbilt. They'll have the #6 nationally ranked recruiting class to work with coming in. She'll also have the three leading scorers from last year's squad in Christa Reed, Rachel Bell and Rebekah Dahlman returning for their junior seasons.

Should her fellow SEC Coaches be worried? Maybe not this upcoming season, it takes time to set and convince a team on your philosophy and style and there can be bumps in the road...but, beginning in 2017, the 'Dores could very possibly return to the top echelon of SEC WBB. 


UK ADDS LIN DUNN TO WBB STAFF

If Matthew Mitchell is looking to bolster his coaching staff in case he doesn't survive the UK fiasco...or if he wants a few highly regarded second opinions...he's doing quite well in the hiring process. 

Add Lin Dunn to the roster as an assistant for the Cats. Dunn came out of retirement to head to Lexington and help Mitchell reassemble Humpty-Dumpty and if there's anyone who has experienced the X's and O's...it would be her. 

25 years in college for Miami (FL), Ole Miss, Austin Peay and Purdue. Seven NCAA appearances and one Final Four trip. Head Coach of the WNBA's Seattle Storm and Indiana Fever. 

You might say that...if there's anyone who has seen the game of women's basketball from every imaginable aspect possible, would you please raise your hand?...Dunn's hand would be one of the first in the air. That much coaching experience is an asset. Anywhere. 

And, with her hire, it's doubtful she'll be coming in to replace White at Indiana. 

Mitchell is assembling some nice collectibles to assist him in re-filling the curio cabinet at UK. He needs to do a bit of work on the shelf that will store players...and just how much identification will today's players have with the venerable Dunn?...but, as of now,...at least he's brought to Lexington a group of coaches and staff in Dunn, Amber Smith, Kyra Elzy and Niya Butts that would make any dinner table conversation a lively one. 

paulie
xxxxx



  

18 comments:

  1. It is very interesting that two coaches with the coaching credentials of Dunn and Peck would be happy being second banana. This should be a very interesting season. I'm not sure even Dunn can clean up Kentucky in a season, but maybe she can make a difference down the road. At least, at Kentucky, the fan will be able to understand and appreciate her accent. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've learned a ton about the strategy of WBB just by listening to Peck on ESPN over the years. As far as Dunn goes, I wonder if MM will allow her to crochet and knit a sweater on the sidelines.

      Paulie

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    2. I like Peck as an announcer. She added some energy. I didn't know anything about her coaching previously. Coaching Purdue to 1999 championship.
      The money is soooooo much better in WCBB than WNBA now. More security in some places also.

      Delete
    3. Peck gets a lot of hate for her announcing prowess, almost to the point that a lot of people are excited about her hiring just to get her off the air. I think she and Debbie Antonelli do good jobs.

      Delete
  2. Vandy also has a top 20 (18th) recruiting class coming in as of last week anyway. Cards class was upgraded to #5 though rankings can be misleading. Just ask Duke and us from last year. Many ranked Duke the #1 class over ours last year. I don't think have much left with Angela Salvadores leaving for Spain and the others off to low impact contributions. Our class so far is ahead but it didn't contribute up to lofty expectations either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I lived up to my expectations. I think most expectations were way too high, to begin with.

      Delete
    2. I'm going to guess you meant 'It lived up to..." but if not, living up to one's expectations is always a good thing. The 2015-16 Louisville squad was probably over-ranked to begin the season. They were playing great ball by the end of the season, though, and the talent just keeps better more and more prevalent on Walz's roster.

      As Coach says, 'it's not who starts the game, it's who you have out there with two minutes to go in a close game'. This Cardinal squad was playing very good basketball at the end of the season and I'm certainly looking forward to 2016-17.

      Paulie

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    3. Thx for correction Paulie. Yup meant "live up to expectations". Darn IPhone!
      It's not accurate or fair to gauge a class after just one year like I do. Very few freshman do what Mariya and Myesha did. I get real impatient and have trouble looking at the long haul.

      The UCLA class two years ago with Canada, Billings, Kelli Hayes and the post Arica played with at Cal Poly Tech
      have carried that team their first two years. That is a #1 class fulfill g expectations. That's hard to do.

      Delete
    4. I would imagine we probably had a top 3 to 4 recruiting class (2014) based on Myeisha and Mariya if you just look at their play first two years. I put UCLA ahead of them so far but that's it. Not shabby!

      Delete
    5. Just think if Syd was healthy and we could of seen what she could do. What a group. Arica still has the chance to make strides and become an impact player. No one ever ranks recruiting classes 4 years later when the results are in.

      Delete
  3. Matthew Mitchell with a brilliant move. How do you get angry hiring a grandmotherly type like Dunn who can really coach. She's solid and will have a fantastic influence on that roster and get players attention. Certainly a short term move but it looks better than hiring a no name.

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  4. My top recruiting class for this incoming year is Notre Dame. Erin Boley and Jackie Young are can't miss players. Boley I thought looked as good as Ionescue in All star game. Boley has a poise about her. Bigger than I thought too and not slow.

    Vandy got the #45 and #46 players to earn their team ranking

    Virginia also had a top 20 class this year with #48 and #49 and #96 a 6'9" shot blocking machine named Felicia Aiyeotan who "higher ranked" schools wanted to get at late but she stuck with Virginia. Out of Blair Academy, same school Batouly Camara (UK to UConn transfer).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Watch all of these assistants will be gone next year and Mitchell will be saying how much he's learned from the experience!
    Just being a wise guy lol.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dunn can always be used to babysit Matt Mitchell's kids to free up more time for him to spend with the team.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mitchell is surrounding himself with experience. That speaks volumes. He came to Kentucky from Morehead. You look at Walz's coaching tree of assistants that have gone onto head coaching jobs. You look at Mitchell's coaching tree and your first thought is to call in a tree removal service.

      Blue Lou

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    2. Didn't know he came from Morehead. That's a pretty pretty pretty big jump.

      Delete
  7. Mitchell is a fading rock n roll singer who is picking up once great musicians to back him up. His albums don't sell anymore and the critics are panning his material. If he were anywhere else but Kentucky, his office would have been emptied by now and the new coach would be picking out wall and floor designs.

    Barnhart just can't fire people. Probably because he survived a fire Mitch campaign a few years ago. Let Grandma coach the squad. Or Epps. She seems to run it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He would have been let go most places

      Delete

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