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Ernie Baer

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Everything posted by Ernie Baer

  1. Short term its these schools only hope at remaining somewhat relevant along with the ACC in the current landscape. Adding some teams from the MWC won’t do much of anything in the grand scheme of things to salvage USC and UCLA leaving the Pac 12. Long term it won’t make much of any difference for whatever this merged league becomes as it probably won’t last too long. Everyone at this point is angling to try and become the last remaining teams selected in the Big 10/Fox and SEC/ESPN super conferences that will be running college athletics.
  2. Happy for Ron Adams getting another ring. Helluva coach.
  3. Couldn’t agree more with this. Peery is a good recruiter but there were better options on that front. Going to be very interested to see how much influence he has on the style of play. As you wrote, if he doesn’t have much influence the hire is certainly questionable. In addition to full court pressing he likes the transition game offensively as well as quick, volume, shot selection. They have the depth and skill set to play this way and it puts the team in the best position for success. Quite a bit of that though goes against the Lon Kruger philosophy. We’ll soon see how flexible Kevin is going to be as a head coach.
  4. Lunacy!!! The last 30 seasons of UNLV basketball have demonstrated what the program would have been had they never hired Jerry Tarkanian. It was never Jerry’s idea to have the Thomas & Mack Center seating capacity be as large as it is. At the time he wanted something slightly larger than the Convention Center. He pushed for around 10,500 - 11,000 but was over ruled by the Runnin Rebel Club and other influential people in town at the time that wanted the larger capacity. As for the WAC, the football program at the time was division II at the time. The school petitioned the league in 74 to try and join the WAC and were rejected. The primary reason the WAC changed its view on the school was due to the success of the basketball program led by Jerry Tarkanian in the mid 70’s. When they reapplied in 77 they were coming off the Final Four and none of their other men’s basketball programs at the time were competing at that level and they thought it would be a shot in the arm. Had it not been for the success of the basketball program at the time they wouldn't have even been considered.
  5. If you are not a 1st round pick really in the player’s interest to to go undrafted, and hope to have a good agent to get you placed on the right Summer League team where your skill set fits best. Have to believe Williams folks got some assurances at least from a couple of teams that will at least give him a look in one or more of the summer leagues. Certainly rough for UNLV. Barring some unlikely late home run signings or current players overachieving, while the defense should be improved they could struggle in half court offense next season.
  6. Only time it might benefit a coach to schedule a cupcake schedule would be during their first season taking over a really bad program. Generating some confidence, buzz, is important and this could accomplish that. Other than that there is no reason to, especially when you are in a mid-major conference. If you have any desire of getting an at large bid you’ve got schedule tough to give yourself a legitimate chance, particularly if you want a quality seed.
  7. No question the game has definitely changed. I can remember years ago Jerry getting criticized for taking too many jucos and transfers because you didn’t get four/five years out of them. I didn’t necessarily agree with that view at the time but at least it was a plausible debate. Lon took heat for this at UNLV as well. The way rosters flip like Sunday morning flapjacks now the idea of trying to build culture, roster continuity, is becoming increasingly harder if not impossible if the rules remain as is. For guys like Wright and Beilien who were big believers in it, it drove them out of the game. This is the rule now not the exception. To me its about accumulating the best talent that fits your system any way you can. If the rules change, then maybe Kevin’s approach will need to. But currently if you are only going to get to keep a player a season or two what is the difference of where you got them from.
  8. Best news of the off season so far. Guess he wasn’t thrilled with Mark bringing his son on board to Tech’s staff. Remember Barret being mentioned as possibly joining Dave’s staff some years ago. Solid recruiter and defensive tactician that likes to cause turnovers and run off of them. His preferred style of play is similar to what West Virginia was using a few seasons ago. If he is able to have a strong influence on the style of play, given the probable roster next season this is a really good fit that can maximize roster strengths and hopefully hide weaknesses.
  9. Didn’t he just reaffirm his commitment after Hartman left. Someone tossing some decent NIL money in his direction.
  10. Gigantic blow. Most competent assistant, brought a lot to the table and knew the system. So much for Grimala’s quiet offseason. Kruger has a lot of big decisions to make.
  11. It took Krzyzeski four trips to the Final Four before winning it all and they were all rough trips on top of it. In 86 they were solid favorites over Louisville in the title game but lost, they were blown out by Kansas in 88 and Seton Hall in 89 semifinals and of course suffered the worst defeat in NCAA title game history to UNLV. I remember late in the 90 title game looking over at him and feeling sorry for him knowing the heat he was going to take. At the 91 Final Four there was a good amount of chatter questioning whether he was a big game coach. Obviously no one is saying that now. It took a number of coaches (Krzyzeski, Dean, Roy, Jerry, Lute) multiple tries before finally winning a national title. And of course several really good coaches who won a lot of games, NCAA tournament games, like Lefty Driesell, John Chaney, Gene Keady, Tom Davis that never made a Final Four. It’s hard enough to make a Final Four much less win a national title. Silly to be overly critical of a coach with two title game appearances and multiple sweet sixteen/elite eight appearances.
  12. That 99-00 Cincinnati team is the closest I’ve seen to the 89-90, 90-91 UNLV teams. They played smothering defense, were great in transition, were tough as nails and had that similar intimidation factor. Remember them beating UNLV by like 35-40.
  13. I recall Mark Warkentien saying the same thing around that time. Mark felt given the state of the program at the time it would be easier to rebuild in the Big West than in the WAC which had Majerus, Bliss, Haskins , Wallace and was about to add guys like Jerry and Tubbs. The problem though was football. Big West football was dying. The only options were to drop football, go independent or join the WAC. The first two weren’t wise financially or strategically.
  14. About time Jerome got a head coaching job.
  15. Go back and look at the OOC schedules in the late 80's, early 90's. Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisville, Kansas, NC State, LSU, Missouri, Iowa, Navy with David Robinson among others weren't nobodies. On top of that the PCAA/Big West back then was light years better than it is today. Many of those programs best years were in the 80's, early to mid 90s. League actually received some at large bids and had some really nice OOC wins.
  16. The thing that did Westhead in was he had a bad relationship with Magic. The biggest reason why Jerry, and most of the great coaches excel, was he was great with the psychology aspect of coaching. He could be tough at times, but in the end he knew how to build relationships with players, how to get the best out of them. Both he and Magic had a burning desire to win. I don’t think he would have had the same issues with Magic that Westhead did. I don’t doubt given how he had never coached at that level there may have been a bit of a difficult transition, but if I had to lay a wager I think he would have succeeded at that time, with those players.
  17. Yes, Rosenbloom’s death has always been mysterious. Several families members claimed he didn’t know how to swim well and never went out in the water by himself as a result. For some reason on that day he went out by himself and in very rough waters? PBS’s Frontline did a big expose a couple of years after his death focusing on the NFL’s ties to the mob and gambling. Part of it focused on Rosenbloom’s death. If my memory is correct the piece interviewed an eye witness who claimed they were on the beach and saw something like a jet ski over by where he drowned speeding away in the opposite direction from the gathering crowd. The coroner was always adamant he died of a heart attack fighting the rip tide. There have always been rumors though that marks were found on Rosenbum’s legs insinuating someone may have held him under water.
  18. Jerry actually accepted the Lakers job twice, in 1979 after Jerry West stepped down but the first time was in 76. Following Bill Sharman’s move to the front office after missing the playoffs again then Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke needed a coach. He was rather cheap when it came to paying coaches so they looked primarily at college coaches, specifically Jerry and Denny Crum who were up and coming coaches with CA roots. They eventually settled on Jerry. Although he was actually going to take almost a $200000 pay cut (he was making really good money from the UNLV boosters at the time), Pete Newell was the Lakers GM at the time and he thought the world of Pete. Working side by side with him he found very intriguing. The deal in 76 fell through because he and Cooke didn’t get along. Cooke was notoriously difficult to deal with. During the negotiations Jerry saw Cooke belittle Newell on a couple of occasions which he couldn’t understand. The final straw came when he called Cooke at his ranch in Porterville to discuss assistant coach salaries. When Cooke picked up he belittled Jerry for calling him at his home and calling him by his first name. I tell the 76 story as it has an impact on 79. After West fulfilled the final year of his contract he wanted to move back to the front office as he didn’t like the stress of coaching. Lakers management looked hard at Dick Motta and Jerry before settling again on Jerry. Newell had moved on, but Chuck Hearn was still involved and really liked Jerry. Initially Jerry turned them down as he had no interest in working for Cooke. Once he learned of the sale to Dr Buss, and got to know Buss some, he changed his mind. Buss was going to make him I believe the highest coach in the league which I am sure helped play a factor in his decision. The family was also was interested in moving back to Southern California. It was a done deal. Vic Weiss who was his friend and represented him on all his contract negotiations at the time met with Cooke who was still technically the owner at the Beverly Comstock Hotel to pick up the contract. UNLV boosters were already making plans to go after Gary Colson and Norm Ellenberger Jerry and Lois were at a restaurant in Newport Beach to meet with Vic to sign the paperwork but he never arrived. Vic’s wife called them the next day to discuss Vic’s whereabouts, a missing persons report was filed. A few days later his body was found in the trunk of his Rolls Royce by some valet attendants at a hotel in LA. Buss was very understanding given Jerry and Vic’s friendship, and told him to take some time before making a final decision. About a week and a half, two weeks later, he met with Buss at the Desert Inn to inform him he wasn’t accepting the job. The public reason given was Jerry wanted to stay at UNLV to continue fighting the NCAA. Privately, he was a very superstitious person, and he saw what happened to Vic as a really bad omen. As the story emerged about Vic’s murder, his past, Jerry took a fair amount of heat from both the local and national media as to why he didn’t know more about Weiss past. They became friends when they were at PCC. Over time they separated but reconnected at least as of Jerry’s time at Long Beach St. That’s when I met him. No one knew what was really going on with Vic. He came off as this successful businessman who owned multiple car dealerships in Southern California. He was quite flamboyant, presented himself as a man with money. He loved Rolls Royces and wore a diamond ring on his pinky finger. He was an acquaintance of some CA celebrities and pro boxers. Off the top of my head a couple of LBSt players used him as their agent to negotiate NBA deals. He was a UNLV scholarship donor. We were taken aback when the LAPD eventually announced his murder was mob related. Apparently the cars he supposedly owned were leased. As to what happened to him, to this day still an unsolved mystery. The two scenarios speculated have been, he was a bagman for the mob taking money off the top which caught up with him. The other involves former Rams owner Carol Rosenbloom who Vic said he was close with. Their deaths occurred within a few weeks of each other and supposedly he ran bets and did some other deals for Rosenbloom.
  19. Time will certainly tell but personally hard to believe Jans is going to be an upgrade over Howland. Big leap from battling the likes of Cal Baptist, Grand Canyon, Tarlenton and Seattle U. to the likes of Kentucky, Auburn, Tennessee and Arkansas on a game to game basis.
  20. Would've been in NCAA in 19-20 but the tournament was cancelled. Anyone with a shred of objectivity knows the past nine seasons of UNLV basketball under Howland would have been better than the degree of mediocrity we’ve witnessed.
  21. ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo · 15m With San Diego State falling in OT to Creighton, the Mountain West Conference finishes 0-4 in this year's NCAA Tournament. They're just the 3rd conference to finish 0-4 or worse in a single Tournament, joining the 1989 SEC (0-5) and the 1985 Pac-10 (0-4).
  22. League officially takes the gas pipe again. Hasn't won a NCAA tourney game since Reno in 18.
  23. After losing to New Mexico think the Rebels need to beat Wyoming and Boise to have a legitimate shot at the NIT.
  24. Add Townson (CAA) and Cleveland St (Horizon) as one seeds who have been bounced from their conference tournaments. Another one seed, UT-Chattanoga had to hit a buzzer beater from almost half court to hold on or they would have been another.
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