Monday, November 07, 2011

Steve Donahue's candid strategies

With the calender turning to basketball season, Steve Donahue has been making the rounds with the media. As the Heights said, his energy, enthusiasm and ability to sell his plan for the program make the potential rebuilding that much more tolerable than what is going on with Spaz.

What I found most interesting is Donahue's openness about his recruiting strategy. He is obviously looking for guys who can fit in his system, but he is also looking at guys who may be underrecruited or not being recruited by a school like BC. That means going to California and differentiating BC from Pac 12 schools or selling a European kid on the benefit of playing in the U.S. It probably means we won't go head to head with other east coast city schools or other ACC programs. I endorse this strategy 100%. It is not all that different from how Al Skinner approached recruiting.

What's also encouraging is that Donahue and his staff are turning over every rock locally (great series by Around the Res BTW).

What makes Donahue so refreshing and should be a lesson to Spaz and any other future head coach, is that he has belief in himself, his vision and is willing to share that vision. Now wins will ultimately need to come, but being yourself and being optimistic can earn a lot of goodwill.


EL MIZ said...

agreed, ATL.

i admit, i initially hoped that Gene would bring Ed Cooley back to the Heights. i always loved Ed and heard that he was the big recruiter who brought guys like Craig Smith and Jared Dudley to BC.

donahue has been awesome, and you gotta give credit where credit is due -- Gene made the right hire. Donahue has been a great ambassador for BC in the boston community, in the alumni community, and just great overall. he has energy and passion and is promoting the program.

i went to the first BC football game this year and vowed not to go back until spaz was gone. i will try to make it to at least 1 and hopefully a handful of BC basketball games this year to support Coach D and the boys. they play an exciting style and while the wins may not come this year, the coach plays to win, believes in himself, is articulate, and sells himself and his program. you cannot say the same in any facet with regards to the football program and spaz the curmudgeon.

really excited not only to see this team grow but to support donahue throughout. go bc!

JBQ said...

It appears that the Donohue enthusiasm is embarrassing to the f-ball program. GDF has some cleaning up to do. Pitt and Cuse obviously have great b-ball traditions that will give a shot in the arm to the ACC and be great for BC b-ball. The excitement could carry over to f-ball.

Rob said...

I think the comparison to Spaz has made everyone a little overly optimistic on Donahue. I love his attitude, I love his style of play, but we have no idea whether he can recruit or coach with his own targeted players. We beat a Division II team by 4 points.

I'll add the following. Read through that Donahue piece, and notice some of his negative comments regarding his players, for example, the implication that last years team would not commit to defense (thus, our poor defense did not have anything to do with his coaching). If Spaz made a similar comment he'd be killed. I don't say this to bash Donahue, but he clearly realizes the importance of media relations, something that Spaz doesn't seem to get. A little openness and warmth can buy you some breathing room, Spaz on the other hand seems to have somehow kept the Globe and Herald on board, but did little to endear himself to the regular fan. That may have working in a pre-internet time, but its not enough now and I think it will cost him his job.

Walter said...

I agree Rob. Steve Donahue has done nothing wrong - but that doesn't mean he's a golden coach or anything yet.

People are overlooking the fact that the same qualities which made Spaz endearing in his first successful season are now being used against him. The results on the field or the court are always more important than the coach's style, and pretty much the results validate whatever contradicting styles there may be.

This should be a telling season for Donahue; I have confidence in him and think we'll be okay.

However, I also never thought we could possibly be 2-7 in fb this year.

Big Jack Krack said...

BC Basketball will be exciting, etc. - but this shapes up to be a very tough year. Get ready. It may be tough for 2-4 years at least.

EL MIZ said...

walter, what qualities made spaz "endearing" in his first season?

Calvin L. said...

I agree with the comments that perhaps we're getting too psyched about hoops before we even see any results. But with the current state of the football program, you still have to appreciate Donahue attributes like passion, competitiveness, work ethic, and vision. Sounds like they went through a lot of NCAA ordeals to get Heckmann. I think that kind of determination says a lot.

Even though we played a Div II school in exhibition, I liked seeing Clifford's scoring ability, the fact that Heckmann got to the line going 8-10, and Cahill in the box score! Didn't realize he's back! Solid contributor and hopefully a solid leader for our young squad.

Walter said...

He was endearing in that stoic, sort of cold but cool kind of way. Tough. Frank. (no pun intended?)

Jags was more prone to fits of emotion (that I really enjoyed) but when Spaz was hired it wasn't universally criticized the way you think it might have been based on the way people talk now. Sure, it was unexciting, but it wasn't a bad decision at the time.

The same thing happened to Al Skinner. Everyone loved that ad he had for that men's warehouse or whatever. Suddenly the team's not performing up to expectations and he's unemotional and doesn't care about the team. And this was a coach that won national coach of the year.

Knucklehead said...

If Donahue applies the same logic and recruiting practices at Boston College as he did at Cornell then Boston College will be all right.

He won three conference titles, three NCAA tournaments, and had a nice sweet 16 run. In a league dominated by Penn and Princeton.

We should be in good shape

mod10aeagle said...

As long as a team is improving, a majority of fans will support a coach, even in a "rebuilding" phase (i.e. "losing"). Skinner and Spaz both committed the fatal error of continued regression. Add "stoic" to that, and people get angry.